India’s “E-commerce Market rose 88 % in 2013” : Survey | ET Retail

India’s e-commerce market grew at a staggering 88 per-cent in 2013 to $16 billion, riding on booming online-retail trends and defying slower economic growth and spiralling inflation, according to a survey by industry body ASSOCHAM.

“The increasing Internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

“Besides electronics gadgets, apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products witnessed significant upward movement in last one year,” Rawat said.

According to the survey, India’s e-commerce market, which stood at $2.5 billion in 2009, reached $8.5 billion in 2012 and rose 88 per cent to touch $16 billion in 2013. The survey estimates the country’s e-commerce market to reach $56 billion by 2023, driven by rising online retail.

As per responses by 3,500 traders and organised retailers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata who participated in the survey, online shopping grew at a rapid pace in 2013 due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel prices and availability of abundant online options.

Among the cities, Mumbai topped the list of online shoppers followed by Delhi, while Kolkata ranked third, the survey found.

The age-wise analysis revealed that 35 per cent of online shoppers are aged between 18 years and 25 years, 55 per cent between 26 years and 35 years, 8 per cent in the age group of 36-45 years, while only 2 per cent are in the age group of 45-60 years. Besides, 65 per cent of online shoppers are male while 35 per cent are female.

To make the most of increasing online shopping trends, more companies are collaborating with daily deal and discount sites, the survey pointed out.

The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, including mobile phones, ipads, accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, it found. India has Internet base of around 150 million as of August, 2013, the survey said..

“Having close to 10 per cent of Internet penetration in India throws a very big opportunity for online retailers to grow and expand as future of Internet seems very bright,” Rawat said.

Those who are reluctant to shop online cited reasons like – preference to research products and services online (30 per cent), finding delivery costs too high (20), fear of sharing personal financial information online (25) and lack of trust on whether products would be delivered in good condition (15), while 10 per cent do not have a credit or debit card. 

UK-based “Tesco Plc gets approval on Indian investment”,on setting up “JV with Tata Group’s Trent Hypermarket” | Economic Times

India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), a unit of the Finance Ministry, has approved Tesco’s proposal to invest $110m to set up supermarkets in the country.

Earlier this month, Tesco became the first foreign supermarket operator to venture into India’s $500 billion retail sector after announcing it had applied to buy a 50% stake in Tata Group’s Trent Hypermarket Ltd.

The UK-based firm became the “First global retailer” to get approval to enter country’s “Multi-brand Retail sector” from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) since the government allowed 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing in September last year.

The retail major plans to initially invest $110 million in the multi-brand retail foray, including for the acquisition of 50 per cent stake in Trent Hypermarket Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trent Ltd.

The world’s third-largest retailer already had a franchise agreement to provide support to Trent’s Star Bazaar chain. In 2008 Tesco PLC had announced setting up of a wholesale cash-and-carry business in India, with an initial investment of up to 60 million pounds in the first two years.

It had also entered into an exclusive franchise agreement with Trent to provide expertise and technical capability to support the Indian firm in the running of hypermarket business, under Star Bazaar stores. Under their existing partnership, Tesco’s wholesale business supplies merchandise to Star Bazaar.

The decision brings much-needed relief to the Indian government, which had failed to attract a single application since September 2012 when it allowed foreign investors to own up to 51% of their operations.

Some retail analysts have tipped India as one of the last great untapped markets for supermarkets.It is also a sign that Tesco remains ambitious to expand abroad, despite its decision to close loss-making businesses in Japan and the US and a big investment drive to turnaround its under-performing stores in Britain.

While the proposed investment is not large, the move by Tesco will be seen as a vote of confidence in India’s potential at a time when the economy is struggling and grew at its slowest pace in a decade last fiscal year due largely to a lack of corporate investment.

The ruling Congress party paid a high political price for opening the retail market, losing a key coalition partner over worries the policy will wipe out India’s millions of family-owned grocery stores.

The government and global retailers say the policy will create jobs and help overcome chronic bottlenecks in food supply that means much farm produce rots and has made high food inflation a structural problem. Vegetable prices have risen 115% since March.

Recently the world’s biggest supermarket Wal-Mart Stores called off its Indian wholesale joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, citing unfriendly regulations.

Tesco plans to invest in Star Bazaar’s stores in the western state of Maharashtra and neighbouring, Karnataka. Star Bazaar currently runs 16 stores in southern and western India.


Understanding the “Role of a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)”| BCG

In our work with Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs)FOUR Questions invariably arise – 

  1. What are the typical CSO responsibilities ?
  2. Why are some CSOs more effective than others ?
  3. How should CSOs work with line executives ?
  4. what role should the strategy department play in developing future leaders within the business ? 

We’ve observed that roles and responsibilities vary among companies and industries, but to better quantify the differences—and to definitively answer these questions—we embarked on a series of in-depth interviews with 48 CSOs of companies from around the world, in a wide range of industries : consumer products, industrial goods, financial services, energy, technology, media, and telecommunications. Just over half of the CSOs we interviewed report to the CEO, although this is less likely to be the case at larger companies and in the financial sector.

Our interviews explored CSO responsibilities, team composition and size, how CSOs work with other parts of the business, and other key success factors

What Are the Typical CSO Responsibilities ?

Our findings revealed that the CSO has the least-defined role among C-suite-level executives. The role is characterized by a high level of ambiguity, constantly evolving relationships with key stakeholders, and regular changes to the scope of work. As one executive we interviewed noted, “The strategy department is in charge of every new project that falls outside the boxes of the traditional organization.

Broadly speaking, CSO responsibilities fall into THREE Categories —”Strategy Development”, “Resource Allocation”, and “Strategy Execution”—but activities within these three categories vary widely. (See Exhibit 1.)

Most CSOs are responsible for identification of growth opportunities (84 percent of the executives we interviewed), strategic planning (82 percent), and M&A and divestments (82 percent). Other common responsibilities include monitoring long-term trends and outlook, gathering competitive intelligence, driving cross-business-unit initiatives, and sustaining business model innovation. Far fewer CSOs are involved with identifying cost improvement opportunities and managing post-merger integration (23 and 20 percent, respectively).

CSO responsibilities vary by industry. For instance, consumer goods companies’ CSOs focus primarily on strategic planning and cross-business-unit strategy, whereas CSOs at industrial goods companies focus more on increasing shareholder value through portfolio management, M&A, and identification of growth opportunities. CSOs in the energy and financial services industries tend to have more-diverse responsibilities.

The size of the CSO’s centralized strategy team varies depending primarily on the size of the company itself, but the centralized team tends to be smaller than strategy teams in the business units.

Why Are Some CSOs More Effective Than Others ?

From our experience and observation, three factors determine the success of a CSO: having a clearly defined role; getting the basics right on planning, growth, and innovation; and building credibility and trust—particularly in the first 100 days. Let’s look at each of these more closely.

Having a Clearly Defined Role – The most effective CSOs have a clear role and well-defined objectives. This clarity allows them to stay focused on what matters and to build a supporting team that has the right people and skills. As noted earlier, CSO roles and responsibilities vary greatly. Our analysis of the range of responsibilities revealed four distinct roles: portfolio managers, strategy orchestrators, internal consultants, and CEO delegates.

Getting the Basics Right on Planning, Growth, and Innovation – Strategic planning, growth, and business model innovation are the fundamental responsibilities of almost every CSO. Through the planning process, effective CSOs provide top-down guidance to the business units and align the units’ plans with those of the corporate center, a task that all our respondents said they find challenging. Driving growth is also a key aspect of CSO performance. Deciding which markets to target and how to win is especially difficult when it involves going beyond traditional, core businesses. The CSOs we spoke to said that their greatest challenge is executing growth ideas, not generating them. The ability to drive business model innovation—that is, to rethink the value proposition and operating model to capture new opportunities—is also a highly valued aspect of the CSO role.

Even though growth and business model innovation are among the top priorities of the CSOs we spoke with, few CSOs have formal processes for executing on those priorities. As a result, CSOs often find themselves responding reactively rather than proactively to opportunities. This can be frustrating for CSOs as well as for their C-suite colleagues.

Building Credibility and Trust – CSO success hinges on the ability to build relationships with the business units and deliver value, rather than being seen simply as “overhead.” Good listening skills are critical. Each business unit is different, and each will have substantive issues. As one CSO noted, “One of the hardest things to relearn is that I don’t have to speak. I have to listen to senior executives so that they open up.” Without strong relationships with the business units, strategic planning can become a bureaucratic, template-driven exercise. Another trap that new CSOs typically fall into is playing the CEO card too early. The CSO’s relationship with the CEO can be an important lever, but it must be used sparingly.

The CSOs we spoke to all agreed that the first 100 days on the job are critical when it comes to building relationships and gaining credibility. Said one, “I have seen that the CEO forms his impressions in the first 100 days and rarely changes them later on.” Most reported that, in hindsight, they should have focused their first months more on building relationships with the business leaders and CEOs.

To stay connected to the strategy resources in the business units, CSOs use a range of levers. These include adding non-bureaucratic team members with strong communication skills ; developing a community of business unit strategists through regular meetings, monthly calls, or newsletters; and staying closely involved with daily performance management at the business unit level.

How Should CSOs Work with Line Executives ? 

Operating within a clearly defined role that is well understood by the broader management team is critical to a CSO’s success. Although there is no single “right” model, the CSO’s role should be shaped by how diversified the business units are, the CEO’s leadership style, and the company’s organization model. Our analysis revealed four CSO archetypes, each requiring different capabilities.

  • Portfolio Manager (26 Percent of Respondents) 
  • Strategy Orchestrator (42 Percent of Respondents) 
  • Internal Consultant (16 Percent of Respondents) 
  • CEO Delegate (16 Percent of Respondents) 

What Role Should the Strategy Department Play in Developing Future Leaders within the Business ?

In many organizations, the strategy department is seen as both the entry point for external talent and an environment for broadening the horizons and accelerating the careers of the most talented young managers. For example, nearly 60 percent of CSOs are external hires, with many coming from a management consulting company or investment bank. Traditional wisdom says that the skills required to succeed in a strategy role form an important part of the skill base of a successful senior executive.

This seems to be a plausible theory, but does it work in practice? The answer is yes, mostly, but with a few significant caveats. Our interviews highlighted the important role that strategy departments play in attracting talented people from outside the organization. Most of the CSOs we spoke to recruit from a combination of investment banks, top-tier consultancies, and business schools. In general, this model works well, providing both a strong strategy team and an effective platform to bring those people into the organization. Strategy teams tend to have quite high turnover, but in general this is evidence that the model is working.

Where CSOs report a more mixed experience is in developing and accelerating the careers of talented managers who are already within the organization. Companies that do this well are rigorous about selecting managers to “cycle through” the strategy team and then providing targeted training and professional development to the chosen few. Over time, this creates a track record of accelerating the careers of talented people—and attracting the next wave of talent into the department. Unfortunately, however, the reverse is also true. Without a clear mandate to bring in the best people, a structured development program, and a process for cycling them into line roles, the strategy department can rapidly become a dead end for less-talented managers. This negative cycle can be hard to break once it sets in.

It is no surprise that CEOs and CSOs alike commonly ask us what CSOs typically do next. Although only 41 percent of CSOs sit on the executive committee or management board, they do tend to rise in the executive ranks, with 67 percent either becoming the head of a business unit or taking on another role on the executive committee.

Despite being the least-defined C-suite role, and notwithstanding some of the common frustrations surrounding the corporate-planning process, the overwhelming majority of CSOs add a great deal of value, usually by focusing on a small number of critically important functions.

” From the CEO’s perspective, an effective CSO provides tremendous Leverage and Insight “… and from the CSO’s perspective, the role typically provides a solid foundation for an executive-level line-management position.

Let’s “Move Talent Recruiting” from H.R to “Marketing Department” ; a New-age perspective | by: Jacque Vilet |

” Interesting Read and a very Out-of-Box thinking with rationale….In my personal view on this topic of, “hiring function of Strategic Role/Position(s)”….It certainly DOESN’T belong in Human Resources.

I 100% agree there. After being through many such experiences across my career-trajectory, being interviewed by HR Head’s…It has been mostly.. complete waste of time, as the HR’s in most cases do not have the domain/functional know-how OR the maturity to interview candidates for such critical roles, that align & work closely with the CEO/organisation’s vision/goals. Its only the CEO / Board Member / Founder…who could relate & identify with such..

Which reinforce’s my long-held view-point on why it is such an “imperative” for the CEO / Board member to interview such Strategic role/positions from the First round to the closure and not allow any other to conduct these interviews…to ensure the organisation attracts the best of the talent in the industry, and not loose out to the competition and remain sustainable in long-term.  

However, marketing isn’t right either. By moving recruiting to marketing, you’re just trading one bias that’s in HR being process & compliance based to another organization which will be branding centric. The sales element, which is the most important part of recruiting in my opinion, would suffer under marketing because of their bias.

Report to CEO & COO directly. That’s the right way to do it. Because if all your recruiters are embedded, each silo will pursue their own strategy and go native to that silo. Rather, a strategic recruiting function in conjunction with CEO COO to execute their strategy. Also, we can remind them than an HRIS/ATS doesn’t close deals or find anyone.

When we need to brand, we tap marketing. When we need a process, tap HR. But the technology or brand cannot drive our tactics/strategy. Only the CEO/COO/Board Member/Founder, of a company should do that”..

– Murali Prasanna.


In a survey by PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), more than 1,250 company leaders from 60 countries have made it official -“Recruiting key-Talent is priority No. 1 for CEOs”.

Yes, CEOs say there is a big threat to business growth by not having the right talent in place….At the same time, we have all heard that HR needs to become more strategic and less tactical. Since recruiting reports to HR, this criticism applies to them as well. It’s a case of guilt by association.

Let’s face it : It’s always seemed like Recruiting was tossed into the HR function because no one knew what else to do with it. Employment, yes — having it report into HR makes sense. You know, filling requirements for those positions that are relatively easy to find.

But ” True” Strategic recruiting ?? “No”… it has just never “clicked” in HR….for whatever reasons none know about..!! 

I want to talk about how we might “save” Recruiting — the strategic kind — by transferring it to another department that is more closely aligned with it.The transfer I propose would strengthen Recruiting’s ability to take on a more strategic role. This is important because of the new attention it’s getting from CEOs.

A “Home in Marketing” : 

I believe that Recruiting should report to Marketing. Recruiting and Marketing are both outwardly focused, concentrate on the future, share a common vision for the business, and have very similar responsibilities, albeit with different populations — Marketing with customers and Recruiting with candidates.

Yes, there are some differences between the Two, but let’s look at the similarities :

1. Market intelligence – In Marketing, this focuses on providing the company with information to understand what is happening in the marketplace, what the issues are, what competitors are doing, and what market potential exists. For Recruiting, this involves researching supply and demand in all company locations; competitor companies in terms of who they hire from, who they lose people to, and who their competitors’ key employees are.

2. Branding – Marketing builds an image/brand of the company’s products/services that is essential for product success. The branding process is about creating specific, positive, mental and emotional associations to these products/services. Branding is also important to Recruiting. A strong employment brand enables the company to attract potential employees. Getting people to view the company as a great place to work is what employment branding is all about.

3. Communications – Tailoring messages to different types of customer groups and using different communication channels is something that Marketing does well. Recruiting needs to do the same. Using some of Marketing’s communication methods would help them create material for the company website, job sites, social media — any place communication is used in recruiting efforts.

4. Segmentation – Market segmentation involves dividing the broad market into groups of individual markets. It is about understanding each individual market’s wants or needs and how they make buying decisions. If done properly this helps to insure the highest return for marketing/sales expenditures. For Recruiting it means segmenting jobs between difficult and those relatively easy to fill.

It takes more “time & effort” to Source & Recruit people for jobs that are “key and have critical skills”. For example : 

  • Recruiting – Reporting into Marketing. Requires high-end skills in sourcing candidates. This function is responsible for finding candidates with very specialized skills.
  • Employment – Reporting into HR. Responsible for hiring for jobs which require skills that are relatively easy to find and where there are typically a lot of candidates. The job is mostly administrative — no special sourcing skills are necessary.

5. Differentiation – Marketing differentiation is the way to make a company’s products/services more desirable than similar products/services of its competitors. Marketing looks for ways to differentiate — to make products/services “stand out” and be noticed. It is the heart of competition. For Recruiting, differentiation means making the company “stand out” to candidates and making it look like a more desirable place to work than its competitors.

Let’s face it. HR has always been risk averse — both for legal reasons as well as the mentality of needing to “follow the pack.” Differentiation for Recruiting, like Marketing, is the heart of competition.

Making Recruiting Truly Strategic :

By placing Recruiting under Marketing, it would strengthen its ability to become truly strategic. There is also an opportunity for synergy between the two in a way that would not occur if Recruiting continued to report to HR.

The combination of these two functions is a real “natural” to me. Picture the swan finding a home with other swans. Works better than the swan trying to look like a duck with the other ducks in HR.

I completely resonate with the above discussed concept, and is probably is imperative…way forward in this New-age of dynamic business landscape.What do you think ? Does it make sense to you ??… share you thoughts on this new fresh perspective…!! 

“14 Stats from 2013”,to inform your “2014 Social Marketing Strategy” development |by: Jordan Slabaugh| SpredFast

As 2013 draws to a close, Brand-Marketers and Social-Media Strategists have the opportunity to reflect on learnings from the past year.  While no single industry statistic should stand alone in informing future plans and strategies, a broader snapshot of social network trends, social consumer behaviors and brand social media results can help inform the big picture of social going into 2014.

Here are 14 Statistics & Trends from 2013 to inform your 2014 social marketing strategy :

Growth, Usage and Trends of Social Networks –

1. Facebook users spend 6.35 hours each month on the social network via their desktop – When it comes to sheer usage, Facebook still reigns supreme, accounting for almost twice as much time spent monthly by users on the social network over Google. And while mobile usage is on the rise, the majority of this time is still via a desktop experience.

2. Instagram has more than 150 million active users – Now a part of the Facebook family, Instagram has surged in growth and has more than 150 million active users. One third of that number grew in the last 6 month time period, underscoring the growing interest in visual content creation and consumption.

3. 15% of Internet users are on Pinterest – Nearly one in every 6 people who use the Internet are on Pinterest. What’s more? These users are well educated and 18% have an annual income of $75,000 or more.

4. Tumblr & Pinterest outperform Twitter & LinkedIn when it comes to share of time spent, in minutes – They may not have as large a user base as giants Twitter and LinkedIn, but visually-focused social networks Tumblr and Pinterest win out for time spent on their sites in comparison.

Users Share of Time on Social Networks

Social Consumer Behaviour :

5. 33% of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products or services – One in three consumers are discovering new brands and products via social networks. That may not lead to direct attribution on the brand side, yet, but it’s an indicator that brand awareness and reputation are powerful in the social consumer life-cycle.

6. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site – 2013 has raised much discussion on the effectiveness of social advertising. If LinkedIn’s advertising performance is any type of indicator, relevant social advertising is going beyond awareness building through impressions and driving action.

7. 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes – Social networks are huge, but does that mean they are being used for business purposes? Forrester Research confirmed this year that, yes, statistically every business decision maker is both using social media and doing so in part for some type of work purpose.

Social Networks Use Business Decision Makers

8. 47% of Internet users share photos or video they found online – Active usage is great in understanding where people spend time, but understanding consumer actions is an even more meaningful way to get insight. Pew reported in 2013 that nearly half of all Internet users share multimedia they discovered somewhere online. The learning here ? Resonate with your consumers’ interests, and they will share and propagate your content.

9. 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour – Listening without action is no longer an option for social brands. The expectations of consumers have shifted to make brand responses a mandate. A non-response now risks a disappointed customer, at the least, and a negative brand perception.

Brand Intentions and Results :

10. 91% of executives are planning a more programmatic approach to audience segmentation in the next two years – Two trends are highlighted here : the rise of audience segmentation and the intent to scale social media through a programmatic approach. 2014 will likely bring with it more, personalized content and a strong concentration of building internal infrastructure to make this strategy repeatable and successful.

11. 70% of marketers say that Content-Marketing has increased their Brand awareness – Content marketing is on the rise for a very important reason: social is an always-on medium and it requires compelling content to consistently reach and resonate with audience members. The good news ? iMedia reports that brands are seeing positive results as it pertains to content raising brand awareness.

12. 65% of marketers cited an increased social media ad budget in their 2013 plans – To advertise on social, or not advertise on social is no longer the question. Two out of three marketers planned to increase their social advertising budget in 2013. And with greater stringency placed on News-feed placement, this number will likely rise in 2014 for marketers to reach their intended audiences.

13. 79% of Marketers have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities – 2013 solidified the year of social media earning a seat in the integrated marketing mix. Going beyond Paid, Owned and Earned social, brands are now actively integrating social with traditional marketing and creating a full view of social’s integration within CRM systems.

14. Pinterest drives twice the website referral traffic of Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + combined – conversions are a marketer’s best friend. As it pertains to social media, Pinterest proved its power in driving users from the social network directly to corporate websites, second only to Facebook.

A bonus stat and parting thought – social media is the top driver for relationship building : 52 % of enterprise brands say social media is the top driver for relationship building/ brand engagement, more than twice as much as email, and quadruple that of corporate websites.

Why is this significant ? Marketers are realizing and embracing the inherent value of social media – building relationships – and working to create programs that deliver great experiences.

The impact : Happier, more Loyal Customers and Increased Awareness & Demand.

“How tenure of CEOs is shrinking” & fresh set of skills required for longevity | by: Ram Charan | Economic Times


Ram Charan carefully dissects every nuance of Leadership Obsolescence—why & how the tenure of CEOs is shrinking, fresh set of skills required for a Newer World.” 

When ‘the most influential consultant alive’ tosses up a caveat, businesses strive to do more than having their proverbial ear to the ground. Renowned author, advisor and management guru Ram Charan has aptly earned that epithet from Fortune as he now demonstrates what it takes to remain at the top of the corporate ladder. In a world that’s transforming at the speed of light, Charan makes light of the rigidity and idee fixes that determine the charge of the old brigade. Over a sit-down session.

The average tenure of Fortune 500 CEOs is down to 4.6 years and some Chief Executives last fewer than three years. Why are CEOs having such a tough time holding on to their jobs ?

CEOs should watch that number carefully. The news of CEOs losing their jobs no longer draws the attention it did, and the worrying part is that the casualties will only continue to mount. The explanations boards give when they make a change vary in their specifics, but the underlying problem is much the same: the leader is ill-equipped to negotiate a bend in the road. The change in leadership often comes too late, when the CEO has missed the curve, and at least some damage is done. Kodak was a very strong business as late as the 1990s but wrong bets and a late reaction to the shift from film to digital photography under four different CEOs ultimately killed the business.

These kind of things are happening faster and more often. Stronger boards make a change promptly when they see that the skills and talent of the incumbent CEO don’t match the emerging challenges, but the culprit is usually the same—major change in the external environment.

Is this volatility in the external environment a temporary phenomenon ?

The idea of weathering the storm does not apply. Uncertainty and volatility are here to stay because the sources of such major shifts have increased exponentially. The combination of digitization, wireless, sensors, advanced analytics and software, combined with technologies, like 3D printing, are altering consumer behaviour, value chains and business models. Margins are shrinking and cross-industry disruptions are now common. These are unstoppable trends that will affect virtually every business. Some businesses are going through it now, some will follow. This is where obsolescence comes in. Those leaders who cannot see this and deal with it, will pay a penalty..

What does it take to sustain a company— and a career—under these conditions? Keeping a company relevant takes a leader who sees change coming and has the will and the ability to re-position the business. Superb cognitive skills and all the usual personality traits associated with leadership— things like the ability to communicate and motivate people and high ethical standards—continue to be important but they are the “givens.” Other criteria are becoming increasingly important.

The new leader and reinventing yourself

What new skills are required ?

First and foremost, is the ability to scan the environment, spot the unstoppable forces and carve a path forward. Second, the ability to deal with governments and build bridges of information to know what regulatory or policy changes might be coming. In India, legislation and court decisions can seem to come out of the blue, but there are ways to anticipate what might be coming by staying in touch with those close to the government or watch.

A third skill is the ability to deal with technological change, both digitization and real technologies, simply because technology is driving the game. Digitization is making other kinds of technology faster and more economical— lowering the cost of genome mapping, for example. It is not good enough to say, ‘I am a great finance guy, I go through the numbers and ask the right questions’, or ‘I really know the consumer’. Leaders have to be totally immersed to understand the impact and implication.

What about Execution, a subject you’re an expert on ?? 

That’s a fourth skill, and in particular, resource allocation, because that is the first line of managerial action when you are trying to steer the company differently. Thinking is one thing, getting it done is another. Execution requires shifting people and finances. You have to mobilize the company by driving the social system, which can be 1,000 people, 2,000 people or 10,000 people. There is skill in knowing where.

How else does a leader’s psychology factor in ?

In uncertain times, leaders cannot be on the defensive. Even if the leader is caught on the defensive because of circumstances, personally, he or she has to play offensive. Put some chips on the table, make a shift inside. Uncertainty like this also has a message and the leaders have to use that message to position the company and change the purpose of the company. There are so many pressures that crop up on a daily basis.When leaders spend most of their time in pressure cooker situations, psychological tiredness is a risk, but it cannot be allowed. Physical maybe, psychological not. The moment you are psychologically tired, your decisions start going wrong. Leaders can do exercises for their physical fitness; they also have to deal with the mental weariness that comes from overload.

Do leaders need to delegate more ?

They should decide in the next 12 months which decisions only they should make. Beyond that, they should rely on other people’s judgment and commitment. CEOs need to trust their top team. If you can’t fully trust them, replace them. You need a strong, totally aligned team, people with a good head on their shoulders. They should be people who expand your capacity, not drain it. What CEOs cannot delegate is the selection of key people who work for them, and working with the board or the government.

What kind of leaders remain vulnerable ?

We have CEOs or CEO successors who are in the legacy mode with regard to the skills I mentioned. They don’t know how to sort through these new change drivers or how to allocate resources and they are not attempting to learn about technology. These leaders are living on the brink of obsolescence.

Does age matter ?

As boards deal with issues around leadership obsolescence, we can expect to see more younger people in corner offices, 40 + year-olds becoming CEOs of billiondollar companies. These younger people have come of age in a digital world and one of fast change, which can shape their mental makeup. Kumar Mangalam Birla became CEO at 28 and has done an astounding job.

Is inner peace possible under conditions of relentless change ?

Peace of mind is a function of the inner confidence that comes from sifting, sorting and selecting what matters. The leader needs some kind of framework for focusing on what’s important. The second thing is that good leaders do not feel lonely. They have a number of people whose judgments they trust and use them as a sounding board. I’ve seen some leaders create small teams to share perceptions of the external environment. Others invite outsiders to share their views about what is happening on the outside and what might kill the company. Leaders under stress sometimes try to isolate themselves but the inner anxiety only builds, and the situation worsens. Leaders who want to go it alone will likely end up going out of the door.

How should a CEO react when he sees the business landscape changing ?

The CEO should not say we have missed the boat. Even if you have, you can scan the horizon and drive change. I believe we have to search for certainty. Jeff Immelt figured out the Internet of Things in 2010 and saw IBM coming into it. He put $400 million into the project, got the thing going and he was not the first. One or two players could take the lead in the industry but that doesn’t mean the whole industry took the lead. If you are vigilant, looking outside-in, getting younger, fresh people to come in and challenge you every quarter; it is not too late because one player won’t have 100% market share and the guy could stumble, but the issue is can you be a good follower ?..

“Forget Setting Goals”,Focus on this Instead…”Systems”!!| by: James Clear | Entrepreneur

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.

And for most of us, the path to those things starts by setting a specific and actionable goal. At least, this is how I approached my life until recently.

I would set Goals for classes I took,  for weights that I wanted to lift in the Gym, and for clients I wanted in my Business..!!

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things.It all comes down to the difference between Goals & Systems…Let me explain.

What’s the difference between Goals & Systems ??

  • If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

Now for the really interesting question: 

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results ? 

For example, if you were a basketball coach and you ignored your goal to win a championship and focused only on what your team does at practice each day, would you still get results ?…I think you would.

As an example, I just added up the total word count for the articles I’ve written this year. (You can see them all here.) In the last 12 months, I’ve written over 115,000 words. The typical book is about 50,000 to 60,000 words, so I have basically written two books this year.

All of this is such a surprise because I never set a goal for my writing. I didn’t measure my progress in relation to some benchmark. I never set a word count goal for any particular article. I never said, “I want to write two books this year.”

What I did focus on was writing one article every Monday and Thursday. And after sticking to that schedule for 11 months, the result was 115,000 words. I focused on my system and the process of doing the work. In the end, I enjoyed the same (or perhaps better) results.

Let’s talk about THREE more Reasons, why you should focus on Systems instead of Goals ?

1. Goals reduce your current happiness :

When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”

The problem with this mindset is that you’re teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be successful.”

SOLUTION: Commit to a process, not a goal.

Choosing a goal puts a huge burden on your shoulders. Can you imagine if I had made it my goal to write two books this year? Just writing that sentence stresses me out.

But we do this to ourselves all the time. We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.

When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.

2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress :

You might think your goal will keep you motivated over the long-term, but that’s not always true.

Consider someone training for a half-marathon. Many people will work hard for months, but as soon as they finish the race, they stop training. Their goal was to finish the half-marathon and now that they have completed it, that goal is no longer there to motivate them. When all of your hard work is focused on a particular goal, what is left to push you forward after you achieve it ?

This can create a type of “yo-yo effect” where people go back and forth from working on a goal to not working on one. This type of cycle makes it difficult to build upon your progress for the long-term.

SOLUTION: Release the need for immediate results.

I was training at the Gym last week and I was doing my second-to-last set of Clean & Jerk. When I hit that rep, I felt a small twinge in my leg. It wasn’t painful or an injury, just a sign of fatigue near the end of my workout. For a minute or two, I thought about doing my final set. Then, I reminded myself that I plan to do this for the rest of my life and decided to call it a day.

In a situation like the one above, a goal-based mentality will tell you to finish the workout and reach your goal. After all, if you set a goal and you don’t reach it, then you feel like a failure….

But with a systems-based mentality, I had no trouble moving on. Systems-based thinking is never about hitting a particular number, it’s about sticking to the process and not missing work-outs.

Of course, I know that if I never miss a workout, then I will lift bigger weights in the long-run. And that’s why systems are more valuable than goals. Goals are about the short-term result. Systems are about the long-term process. In the end, process always wins.

3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over: 

You can’t predict the future. (I know, shocking)…But every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way.

SOLUTION: Build feedback loops.

Each Friday, I spend 15 minutes filling out a small spreadsheet with the most critical metrics for my business. For example, in one column I calculate the conversion rate (the percentage of website visitors that join my free email newsletter each week). I rarely think about this number, but checking that column each week provides a feedback loop that tells me if I’m doing things right. When that number drops, I know that I need to send high quality traffic to my site.

Feedback loops are important for building good systems because they allow you to keep track of many different pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments.

Fall In Love With Systems :

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

In fact, I think I’m going to officially declare 2014 the “Year of the Sloth” so that everyone will be forced to slow down and make consistent, methodical progress rather than chasing sexy goals for a few weeks and then flaming out.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the ” Process  (Systems / SOP’s)” is what makes the difference..

The “New FOUR P’s ”: Everything You Need to Know About Your Customers| by: David Edelman | McKinsey

Every Marketer…at some point early on in his/her career learns about the “FOUR P’s : Product, Placement, Price and Promotion”..

While these attributes are universal and timeless truths, there is also something rote about them that I worry keeps marketers thinking in terms of old paradigms. With the radical changes in customer behavior, we need a NEW set of P’s to help us focus our marketing…Three of my colleagues have done just that.

They’ve laid out “FOUR New P’s” that capture the ever greater expectations customers have of their brands :

  • Pervasive. “Let me shop wherever I am.” The consummate “channel-surfer,” consumers move effortlessly across channels and technologies along their decision journey. Today, 56 percent of all customer interactions involve more than one channel or Brand Touch-point. Connectivity is expanding, with 21 percent of tablet usage, for example, now happening in bed.
  • Participatory. “I have a voice and I’m going to use it.” Digital tools and social media have given consumers a powerful voice. From “Haul” videos to amateur bloggers to crowd-sourcing programs, today’s consumer demands to be heard. For online shoppers, online ratings and reviews are the most influential source of information. Brands must understand how to listen to their customers, empower them, and turn them into shopper-advocates.
  • Personalized. “Make it relevant to me.” Thomas Romieu, the group digital director for LVMH, said that brands “need to make it easy to find what customers know they want, guide those who want to browse, and inspire others.” He was speaking about luxury shoppers, but expectations for relevance carry over to all of retail. Seventy-two percent of US consumers want to receive promotional offers that reflect their wants and needs. Personalized experiences are the new standard.
  • Prescriptive. “I’m in control of the shopping process.” Consumers are now armed with tools and information that allow them to dictate not just what they buy, but where and how as well. Half of shoppers now use their smartphones to check prices while on the go, and 65 percent of them put off the purchase or shop elsewhere based on what they learn. Retailers who enable consumers to shop how they want are the ones who will keep their customers.

I’d recommend every marketer to tack them to the wall above their desk. In fact, every C-suite executive and Board-Member should do the same because without a clear-eyed focus on the customer, growth is going to be hard to come by.

What other customer traits are critical to your business, and how do those insights inform your marketing efforts ?? 

“A cure for Health Ailments in Rural Areas”; an Innovative delivery model| by: Digbijay Mishra |Business Standard

The article discusses the story of  ” iKure “….a very interesting & Innovative Health-care delivery model, that is currently in it’s infancy…But could be the possible answer to many years of quest…of providing best of global standard, health-care services to the rural-India…similar to the one’s available to the Urban lot.

From a strategic fit & Innovation side….I find, there are certain ” Key Take-away’s within this read “…for our Healthcare Brands/companies (be it full-service Hospital chains OR niche Specialty Healthcare clinics/chains), that currently hold presence & provide services only within the urban centers of the country, but also aspire to penetrate /make their services accessable & affordable to Rural-India, aswel…which they could imbibe and integrate into their service-delivery model(s)…or further innovate on similar lines…that fits into their Brand/Service philosophy and business-operational economics…!!

– Murali Prasanna. 


” iKure “, which runs Rural Healthcare centres and makes software to record patient-data, has an innovative delivery model…

iKure runs rural health care centres in West Bengal. It also makes software that records patient data, footfalls, the treatment prescribed and the medicine inventory. iKure founder Santra admits he has always been inclined towards technology – from his first job at the National Remote Sensing Agency to working with IBM and Oracle in Bangalore.

According to the founder of a rural healthcare provider, tele-medicine isn’t suited for rural areas; also, it is capital-intensive and needs high-bandwidth lines. Doctors have to be available on a real-time basis. “So, remote answering seemed the best answer,” says Santra, who came up with the concept of STEP – the Science and Technology Entrepreneur Programme – at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur. The programme helps record patient data such as those relating to blood pressure, blood sugar and electrocardiogram, and sends these by wireless to a specialist at a city hospital.

A cure for health ailments in rural areas | Business Standard


“Re-defining collaboration” ; “New description” for working-together |by: Mark P. McDonald | Accenture Strategy


We all face a complex future requiring greater degrees of innovation and coordination. We need better collaboration. This is one of the promises of digital technologies such as analytics, mobility and particularly social media. However while the world has grown complex, the concept of collaboration remains stubbornly simple.

Sharing is the dominant definition of collaboration in practice today. People who talk about collaboration in those terms, demo software that shows people ‘sharing’ information, point to likes and re-tweets as examples. Collaboration software concentrates on how to publish, read and recognize shared information.

Sharing defines an earlier age of collaboration. It assumes that information diffusion was the major barrier to collaboration. With all the people on social media, the size of the Internet, and the size of databases, sharing in its current operational definition is the least of our problems.

Too often sharing is one way…For example it’s about me putting my information out there for others to find and use. That is not collaboration; rather it is publishing at best or self-expression at worst. Sharing is an insufficient definition of collaboration in the digital world. The back and forth exchange of information is a weaker form of collaboration at best..

Significant examples of social movements, flash mobs, etc. represent real examples, garner attention and represent a start. But the type of collaboration required for business success is deeper, more structural and more sustainable to make progress against individual, group, organizational and societal issues. That type of heavy sustained and significant collaboration should be what we mean by working together.Talking and sharing is a start..

Social media provides an example of the importance of going beyond sharing:

Social media implementations provide evidence of the difference between sharing and collaboration. Researching more than 400 companies for book The Social Organization, co-author Anthony Bradley uncovered a less than 10% success rate with social media. Success defined as a community achieving a meaningful business purpose. Clearly creating results requires more than putting knowledge capital messages into electronic bottles and throwing them into a digital sea.

A while back, I wrote a post about the difference between Knowledge Management and Social Media, separating the two based on their views of information. Knowledge management looks at information as a stock, something to be inventoried, collected and amassed. Social Media should look at information as a flow between people and leading to action. Without that view, social media becomes another form of knowledge management when it can be more.

Offering a new description for working together :

Sharing is a start, but working together requires more – hence the need to raise the bar on what we consider collaboration. That starts with recognizing that collaboration has little to do with technical systems and much to do with social systems. People collaborate and while technology may reduce the friction, barriers or distance to working together, technical solutions alone will only go so far.

Organizations looking to achieve the benefits of collaboration need to create Social & Business situations where people work-together around :

  • Context – people work together for a reason, in an environment of shared beliefs, shared history and a common understanding of the situation. Traditional collaboration as sharing tools help build context, but there is more to collaboration than context.
  • Outcomes – people work together toward their own goals. These outcomes give context specificity and purpose. Achieving an outcome requires more than general software features and functions. They require their own social, technical and organizational structures to reach an outcome.
  • Motivation – answering the why question from a personal rather than organizational perspective. People do things for many different reasons each requiring its own type of tool and support.
  • Time-frame – guides investment in working together bringing just enough structure to shift the focus of collaboration from sharing to working together.

“Context, outcome, motivation and time describe the context for working together that includes sharing but extends beyond information and into action”..

Share ? Yes, but Collaborate ? Absolutely: 

This post is an example of the limitations of collaboration defined as sharing. It’s a semi one-way form of communication. Semi one-way in the sense that we will talk via comments, but that is less than a dialogue. The point here is to do more than raise the point about redefining what we mean by collaboration. This post seeks to recognize that the definitions we use today are not the ones we need for the future.

The call to action, the real work, associated with redefining collaboration is up to us. Those interested in collaboration, social media and the like have to be the change (agents?). We need to use a different definition, place greater focus on the ability to act and clean up the collaborative solution space. Here are three ideas for doing this. Yes they are sharing and therefore limited in their impact, but perhaps they can be a catalyst for change.

  1. Stop – focusing on knowledge capture, publishing and presentation as characterizations for collaborative software. These are characteristics of publishing and communications solutions, yes peer-to-peer, but not the essence of collaboration. Continuing to think of sharing as collaboration only undermines the personal and business relevance of a critical requirement for success in a changing world. None of us is as powerful as a few of us or all of us working together. Limiting what that means to share, self-expression and publications devalues the significance of collaboration.
  2. Start – recognizing that you cannot buy collaboration. It does not come in a download or a policy to ‘be more collaborative.’ Working together, co-laboring, is fundamentally about people and every aspect about people. From the individual motivation to organizational management to the social recognition of working together, each plays a role in the type of collaboration we need. Collaboration is what people do, the change they make start placing the emphasis on purpose, outcome and result rather than tools, techniques and technology. Buying collaboration either in software or corporate change programs belittles everyone in the organization. In that model, the individual is an object not a person. Social media proved that people organize themselves, but just having a page of social media does not create collaboration.
  3. Change – the classification of what collaboration means and therefore the criteria for collaboration solutions. Emphasize the ability of people and individuals to mobilize themselves, their resources and their actions. Solutions that ‘manage’ knowledge without supporting action are good, but creating results is better.

The need for collaboration demands a deeper definition :

Working together requires information. Going from information to action is at the center of any good knowledge management process. Too often, however, operationalizing collaboration concentrates on what could be measured. In this case its sharing and knowledge management.

Collaboration requires more than sharing; it demands a focus on the hard social, technical, organizational and management work to bring people together to achieve new outcomes. It is time to re-emphasize those aspects of collaboration.