The “Four Pillars” of “Blue Ocean Leadership” | INSEAD

To unleash employees’ untapped talent and energy, leaders need a strong repertoire of actions, not just better awareness and empathy…!!

Most leadership programmes are generally designed to hone the cognitive and behavioural skills of leaders with the implicit assumption that this would ultimately translate into high performance. Leaders are accordingly called on to develop traits like self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy, for example, all of which require deep self-reflection and introspection to assimilate into a person’s being.

While cultivating such values are important, when we asked people to look back on these programmes, most reported not seeing a marked change in leadership caliber..

As one executive put it, “Without years of dedicated efforts, how can you transform a person’s character or behavioural traits? And can you really measure and assess if leaders are embracing and internalising these personal traits and styles? In theory yes, but in reality it’s hard at best.” In the end, millions of dollars were often spent, excitement was initially generated, but real leadership change did not set in..

Pillar One: Focus on acts and activities.

Blue ocean leadership, in contrast, is action-based, just as strategy is. It focuses on what acts and activities leaders need to do to provide a leap in motivation and business results driven by people, not on who they need to be. It’s the difference between being asked to be motivating versus being asked to provide those you lead with real-time feedback and best practice lessons that internally motivate and guide those you lead to up their game while feeling valued. The summation of these acts and activities is the leadership equivalent of a company’s strategic profile only here the aim is the development of a compelling leadership profile grounded in actions that are easy to observe, measure, and are directly linked to performance. This difference in emphasis has an important consequence for the time and resources needed to bring about a change for high performance. It is markedly easier to change a person’s acts and activities, than their values, qualities, or behaviours.

Of course, changing a leader’s activities is not a complete solution, and having the right values, behaviours, and qualities is important. But changing acts and activities is something that any individual can do, given the right feedback and guidance..

Pillar Two: Connect leadership to market realities by engaging people who confront them.

We observed that the leadership approaches employed by organisations are often generic and detached from what firms stand for in the eyes of customers and the market results employees are expected to achieve. At one insurance company, for example, call center personnel were tasked with fulfilling customer claims rapidly, while their frontline leaders maintained a hands-off approach to getting the claims department to cut checks rapidly.  Call center personnel rightly felt set up to fail, hugely demotivated, and let down by their leaders.

Blue ocean leadership, in contrast, focuses on what makes effective leaders, not in a vacuum but in light of the market realities their organisations confront and their direct reports must deliver on. Blue ocean leadership does not subscribe to a generic approach of common leadership acts and activities much as strategy does not subscribe to the same strategic profile across organisations. Instead people who face market realities are asked for their direct input regarding what acts and activities their leaders do that hold them back and what they need from their leaders but aren’t currently receiving to be their best and effectively serve customers and key stakeholders. When people are asked to help define the leadership acts and activities that will make them thrive and are connected to the market realities against which they need to perform, people get the type of leadership they and their organisation need and are highly motivated to share their energy and perform to the best of their abilities. As one employee put it, “I am under constant pressure to produce market results. I need the decisions and actions of my boss to support me to succeed in achieving market results. Currently there is a disconnect here.”

Pillar Three: Distribute leadership across different management levels.

While the market realities that organisations face today demand that there should be leaders at every level, the majority of leadership programmes we observed still remained largely focused on the top. But the key to a successful organisation is having empowered leaders at every level. It’s an illusion to expect or rely on top management on its own to deliver high performance especially as outstanding service all too often comes down to the motivation and actions of frontline leaders who are often in closest contact with the market. Executives need to push responsibility down in the organisation so that people on the frontline can deliver world-class service. Organisations need to develop effective leaders deep in their organisation by distributing leadership across different management levels, but that was often not the case.

Blue ocean leadership addresses this need by focusing on distributed leadership, not top leadership. By distributed leadership we refer to leadership distributed at the senior, middle, and frontline levels. Blue ocean leadership sees leadership as needed at all three levels to unlock the ocean of unemployed talent and energy that stretches deep into organisations. It also understands that these three levels are different enough from one another. Each requires a different leadership profile to be effective since each has a different positional power, task environment as well as focus on and interaction with the external environment. The factors that define good leadership are derived by the acts and activities leaders need to take at each level to create a leap in value for both employees and customers. In this way, blue ocean leadership, like blue ocean strategy, is about creating a nonzero-sum, win-win outcome. As we’ve heard repeatedly, “Almost everyone leads someone, not just the top. But when it comes to leadership, we focus on the top. The truth is 90% of our people don’t even have contact with them so how is their greatness supposed to transform our organisation? We need effective leaders at every level.”

Pillar Four: Pursue high impact leadership acts and activities at low cost.

Leadership practices are all too often seen and treated as something added on to people’s regular work. But with secretaries and administrative staff in most organisations already cut back to the bare minimum and the market reality intense, most leaders’ plates are already full. Finding the time to do one’s regular job is tough enough, let alone attempting to up one’s game. So a step-change in leadership strength rarely occurs. Time is just not enough.

Blue ocean leadership recognises this. It breaks the trade-off between impact and cost by focusing as much on what acts and activities leaders need to eliminate and reduce in what they do as on what they need to raise and create to unlock the ocean of unemployed talent and energy to drive high performance. In the context of leadership, high impact refers to achieving high motivation and engagement of people to drive business results while low cost refers to a lower investment of time by leaders, which is their most expensive and limited resource.

Our research has found that many of the acts and activities that take up leaders’ time actually work against them being effective and can even be resented by those below them, not appreciated by those above them, and are an energy sapper for the leaders themselves. By expressly eliminating and reducing these acts and activities, leaders’ time is freed to focus on new acts and activities that make a real impact on leading and producing business results driven by people. Without freeing up leaders’ time in this way, it is often no more than wishful thinking that leaders will have the time to up their game..

Conventional Leadership Development Appoaches Blue Ocean Leadership
Focus on the values, qualities and behavioural styles that make for good leadership under the assumption that these ultimately translate into high performance. Focus on what acts and activities leaders need to undertake to boost their teams’ motivation and business results, not on who leaders need to be.
Tend to be quite generic and are often detached from what organizations stand for in the eyes of their customers and the market results their people are expected to achieve. Connect leaders actions closely to market realities by having the people who face market realities define what leadership practices hold them back and what leadership actions would enable them to thrive and best serve customers and other key stakeholders.
Focus mostly on the executive and senior levels of organizations. Distribute leadership across all three management levels because outstanding organizational performance often comes down to the motivation and actions of middle and frontline leaders who are in closer contact with the market.
Invest extra time for leadership practices added on to people’s regular work. Pursue high impact leadership acts and activities at low cost by focusing as much on what leaders need to eliminate and reduce in what they do as on what they need to raise and create.

To put blue ocean leadership in action, we adapt the analytic tools and frameworks of blue ocean strategy to the leadership context. The result is the Leadership Canvas, the Leadership Profile and the Blue Ocean Leadership Grid all of which are grounded in acts and activities, easy to understand and communicate and that engage more people in an organization…The tools and methodology point is very important…

Without that it is very hard for research to do more than inform but practically address the challenges of leadership development for high performance…!!

“FIVE Revolutions”, That Will “Shape the Future of Your Company” | Chief Executive

Everyone knows change is coming….But underestimating the speed and impact of these changes will be the downfall of many businesses large and small in the coming years…!!

The press is full of trendy terms—Big Data, the Internet of Things, Digital Natives, Globalization, Social Media, etc.—that attempt to describe the complex technological and social changes that the world is currently experiencing. However, there is a danger in reducing complex social dynamics down to a few catchy buzzwords—trendy terms can act as intellectual shortcuts that fool people into thinking they understand these ideas when they really don’t..

In a world of constant disruption and uncertainty, however, CEOs who truly understand the key forces behind these changes will be in a better position to adapt and survive…Looking ahead, there are several horizon-level revolutions that business leaders should be aware of, because they are about to be felt with a force that is difficult to overstate..

Revolution #1: The End of the Information Age:

Many people think we are still in the Information Age, but the truth is that we are leaving the Information Age behind and entering a new stage of human development fueled by global inter-connectedness and rapidly improving technologies of all kinds. The exponential growth and convergence of so many new technologies—combined with a growing population of tech- and media-savvy consumers—will usher in a revolutionary era of social change, the likes of which humanity has never seen before. In the future, companies will need to find ways to protect themselves from the inevitable disruptions that such changes will bring, while simultaneously recognizing the advantages and opportunities..

Revolution #2: The Shift From Institutional to Individual:

One of the biggest power shifts of the 20th century was the shift from institutional power to individual power, and that isn’t going to stop. The Internet empowered individuals to communicate with anyone in the world, and now populations armed with nothing but cell phones are bringing down entire governments. Furthermore, institutions in all areas of life—education, health care, religion, media, business—are being forced to change simply because people now have more ability than ever to organize, mobilize, innovate, disrupt and demand..

Brands, too, have gone from being purely institutional inventions to personal expressions of almost any kind. For businesses, continuing empowerment of individual customers means that the dynamics of the business/customer relationship are evolving. Customers will continue to demand more transparency, integrity and responsiveness from those they choose to do business with—and businesses will have little choice but to comply. Smart businesses will initiate the inevitable rather than wait to be pushed..

Revolution #3: Artificial Intelligence Becomes Less Artificial:

Creativity and imagination are often thought of as the one realm that computers can never conquer, because the inner workings of the mind are what make humans unique. But it is already possible to control a computer with our thoughts alone, and commercials for IBM’s Watson computer are now touting its ability to generate ideas—helping chefs develop original recipes, for instance—using data to spark creative inspiration.

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and improve—powered by the combination of Big Data, the Internet of Things, and always-connected devices tied to people’s location and activities (e.g., the Apple Watch)—it will begin to behave more and more like a giant alternative brain, one that rivals and surpasses humans in many ways. Machines already do most jobs that involve repetitive motion. When machines start replacing people who use their imagination for a living—writers, designers, architects, engineers, teachers, etc.—they won’t just be taking better jobs, they’ll be challenging what it means to be human.

This shift will create a great deal of psychological stress, generating a massive need for goods and services that will help them adjust to this strange new reality. Brands that can help people ride the wave of change to a brighter future, or help people cope and adapt, will be in high demand—as will brands that affirm human values and identity..

Revolution #4: Rise of the Digital Natives:

Much has been written about the impact of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) on the workforce, but the next wave of workers and consumers entering the workforce will be the digital natives (those born after 1997). Digital Natives are the first generation in human history to be born into the world of hyper-connected information overload…However, since they’ve been connected since birth, digital natives do not experience the flood of information hurling at them as anything more than just “the way things are,” and always have been—for them..

At the moment, millennials are assuming positions of power in all walks of life, and their impact on everything from viral memes, infotainment, social media, spheres of influence and cross-platform content has been profound. But when digital natives start adding their ideas and influence into the mix, the pace of change will accelerate even faster. This acceleration will feel to older generations like constant chaos and disruption, but to digital natives, it will simply be business as usual..

Revolution #5: From Selling to Sharing:

Since millennials and digital natives have been aggressively marketed to their entire lives, they are also extremely savvy about the media they consume. Direct, blatant pitches don’t work on them. They hate being sold to, and to them, commercials are just the things you fast-forward through to get back to the program. Also, since they are wary of institutions, they are much more likely to trust the opinion of a friend than anyone else, hence the rise of social media as a powerful marketing tool.

In the future, selling is going to be less about persuasion and more about participation…Brands that position themselves as a trusted “friend” have a much better chance of succeeding in this environment…

That’s not a new idea; the key is truly being worthy of the customer’s trust. For example, Whole Foods knows that its customers care about the ecological, political, and social impact of the food they consume…To help make that information more readily available to its customers, the company is investing in IT infrastructure to support its vision of total product transparency—a move it hopes will inspire the sort of trust and loyalty all companies are looking for in the 21st century…!!

How to Find “Tomorrow’s Leaders of Innovation” | Chief Executive

Great leaders of innovation see their role not as take-charge direction setters, but primarily as creators of a context in which others are willing and able to make innovation happen…!!

The question this raises is simple and critical : where will today’s organizations find tomorrow’s leaders of innovation ??

Because leaders are more made than born, organizations must iden­tify people with “the right stuff” for leading innovation and provide them with the experiences and resources needed to develop the required mindset and skills. Yet, if today’s high-potential leaders of innovation don’t fit today’s popular conception of a good leader, many of them will be invisible to cur­rent systems for identifying and developing tomorrow’s leaders..

“ Organizations must identify people with “ the Right Stuff ” for leading innovation and provide them with the experiences and resources needed to develop the required mindset and skills…”

WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE THE RIGHT STUFF:

Leadership concerns not only what a person knows and does, but also who he or she is. Despite differences in culture, age and gender, the leaders we have studied share certain personal qualities that allowed them to lead in ways that fostered the growth of innovative communities. They were idealists, yet pragmatists. They were holistic thinkers, yet action-oriented. They weregener­ous, yet demanding. Perhaps most importantly, they were human, yet resilient..

Take, for example, Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen. In 2001, Novogratz founded Acumen to identify, invest in, strengthen, and scale early-stage enterprises that provided low-income consumers with access to healthcare, water, housing, education, alternative energy and agricultural inputs…

“We were looking for ventures with visionary leaders who were using business approaches to solve big social problems,” Novogratz said. “Their enterprises had to demonstrate the likelihood of financial sustainability and hold the promise of reaching a million customers over time…”

From the start, however, finding good candidates proved difficult. For one thing, Acumen’s mission required leaders who fell outside the typical mold. It relied on individuals who could manage nonprofits or public-sector organizations, but who also had the necessary business and oper­ational skills. Acumen was also seeking leaders who could think and collaborate beyond traditional systems, work with longer-time horizons, and succeed in spite of limited resources…

“ Finding sustainable solutions to vexing and intractable problems requires leaders who know how to build innovative ecosystems, not just organizations..”

Few individuals could meet these standards, and so in 2007, Novogratz created the Global Fellows Program, a yearlong training program aimed at building a corps of leaders for the sector at the intersection between business and society. Eight years later, 75 individuals from 24 countries had already participated in the program…

As the success of the Fellows Program demonstrates, providing a critical mass of promising individuals with leadership tools that cut across sectors can create global ecosystems of innovation leaders…

Novogratz and other business leaders who think like her realize that finding sustainable solutions to vexing and intractable problems requires leaders who know how to build innovative ecosystems, not just organizations…!! 

“6 Viral-Marketing Lessons” to Learn From the “Ice-Bucket Challenge”| Entrepreneur

Social feeds from across the country are chock-full of videos and photos of Celebrities, Inventors, CEOs, Athletes and Politicians all taking part in the most recent viral sensation : “the Ice Bucket Challenge”…!!

Whether you’ve laughed at your friend’s reaction to the ice cold water or taken the challenge yourself, postings about it are everywhere. This initiative has achieved something that’s every marketer’s dream: going viral and capturing wide attention across the nation in a month or two..

How did this simple initiative turn into a movement that has scored participation from some of the biggest names in the country, including Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Kobe Bryant, Oprah and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ??

The #IceBucketChallenge, benefits the ALS Association, which is dedicated to raising funds to research a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as well as caring for those with the disease. It gained steam with the participation of Beverly, Mass.-based Pete Frates, who since 2012 has had the illness (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease)...

6 Viral-Marketing Lessons to Learn From the Ice Bucket Challenge

#StartUps, established firms and marketers of all types can learn from the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge…Those trying to develop a viral campaign can take the following steps :

1. Identify the Goal OR Cause :

The goal of the Ice Bucket Challenge has been to spread awareness and raise funds for #ALSResearch, and its success has exceeded initial expectations. The objective is simple and clear and the challenge doesn’t require much effort from participants: going online to donate or pouring a bucket of ice water over the head, or both.

Today’s consumers like simplicity and direct messaging. They typically won’t take the time to read through an entire article, newsletter or web page to understand a message. Marketers, simplicity is your friend…

2. Make it Fun and Easy :

Few things are funnier than seeing people have ice poured all over them and watching them cringe, scream or freeze in place. The web has been flooded with comical videos and images of those who have accepted the challenge.

People like to laugh, so keep members of your audience entertained with a video or photo that they would enjoy viewing. Keeping things lighthearted lets people connect with an organization on a human level and can encourage further engagement in an authentic way…

3. Add Immediacy :

Those asked to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge have only 24 hours to do so…If you want an idea to flourish, keep the window of time brief to propel the process forward rapidly…By giving your audience a deadline, the initiative will become a greater priority.

4. Understand the power of Multiplication :

The ALS challenge calls on participants to encourage three additional people to participate, thus creating a multiplier effect…When possible, let consumers involved in an initiative have a chance to engage with their network so as to experience the joy of others joining in. The bonus for a marketer is bringing increased exposure to a company’s brand..

5. Share on Many Platforms :

News of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is being shared on many social-media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube…

If you’re hoping for an idea or campaign to go viral, make it easy for others to share updates across multiple platforms. Don’t give people a reason to not become involved..

6. Give Participants a Chance to feel Good :

Everyone loves to feel a little better about himself (or herself). The Ice Bucket Challenge raises funds for a medical cause, and no matter the size of a donation, participants can feel good because they’re helping others in need.

Plus, the challenge gives participants a sense of unity : They are sharing positive feelings and a goal with the rich and famous…!!

Setting up an initiative like this lets participants also allows for an emotional connection with an organization and opens up an opportunity for conversation…!! 

How “Established-Companies” can “Innovate” like a Start-up ? | ET Retail

Why do start-ups seem to have an easier time than established companies do in coming up with “Break-through innovations” ?? Is it the people, the organizational structure or the culture ?? 

More than anything else it is incumbents’ obsession with “incremental innovation,” say Professor Tony Davila and Professor Marc J. Epstein..!! When a company pursues incremental innovation, for example by increasing efficiency here and improving execution there, research-and-development investments actually can end up making companies less able to make breakthrough innovations…That is the innovation paradox..

Building on ideas put forward in their best-selling ” Making Innovation Work : How to Manage It, Measure It and Profit from It “ (Wharton School, 2006), Davila and Epstein step up to offer advice on how to foster different types of innovation both for times of stability and for times of change…!!

“Incremental innovation delivers results as long as the industry structure remains stable,” the authors explain, “yet it can fail miserably when unexpected developments redefine an industry…”

The goal is to avoid being left behind, as were Nokia or Blackberry maker Research In Motion, as industries are transformed by paradigm-changing breakthroughs..The problem is that many corporations fail to realize that there are different types of innovation, and that they require different management approaches..

At one end of the spectrum, incremental innovation usually means reducing costs and adding customers by gradually improving operations and products. Incremental innovation is about managing knowledge effectively..

At the other end of the spectrum, breakthrough innovation is about managing ignorance. Pursuing breakthroughs requires the handling of a high level of uncertainty to build products for markets that might not yet exist, markets such as space tourism, nanorobots or an ageless society. The organizational design that works well for improving operational excellence often gets in the way of the kind of breakthrough innovations that leaders seek in changing times.

Nonetheless, some established companies succeed in defying the innovation paradox. IBM, for instance, completely reinvented itself after facing near-certain death. Apple revolutionized the mobile-device market after having been dismissed as a relic of the past. Nespresso, part of the food giant Nestle, created a totally new market – coffee by the cup – that is now worth several billion dollars.

To help other incumbents defy the innovation paradox, the authors develop a new model called “the start-up corporation,” which identifies the fundamental traits of successful start-ups that large corporations should adopt to foster breakthrough innovation.

1. FOSTER INNOVATION AT ALL LEVELS:

People with breakthrough ideas are likely to be found at any level of a company….Effectively managing innovations that come from below the C-suite is crucial…

2. LOOK AND REACH OUTWARD:

Breakthrough innovations often come from collaborations with outsiders such as universities, suppliers or customers. Larger corporations usually have more valuable networks, but they need to better leverage those networks to make breakthroughs…

3. BE SUPPORTIVE AND CREATE A CULTURE OF DISCOVERY:

Learn from failures, rather than punishing them… Encourage employees to take calculated risks and to go after hard, high-potential challenges. Leaders of innovative organizations trust their people beyond what many would consider reasonable limits..

Granted, changing a corporate culture and an organizational model is not easy, especially for large incumbents set in their ways. Large incumbents bring their accumulated resources, their networks and their abilities to execute, however. As a model, the start-up corporation is designed to leverage incumbents’ strengths, adding start-ups’ agility to meet future challenges…

The alternative is to cling to a let’s-hope-my-industry-stays-the-same-forever strategy, which opens the door for New or More Aggressive-Players to redefine the rules of the game – or start a new game altogether…!!

“Amazon to Partner” with “Narayana Murthy of Infosys”, for E-commerce Business in India | The Economic Times

We had recommended a similar venture-structure to some of our clients that we work with, within the Indian Modern/New-age Retail brands..

This JV announced between Catamaran Ventures (Family Office of N.R. Narayana Murthy) & Amazon-Asia, is a testimony of the business-model & concept of the J.V we had recommended early this year….wish they had put some serious thoughts behind that recommendations..?? I am positive, they would realize what, opportunity they missed..!!……M.P

Narayana Murthy to partner with Amazon for e-commerce business in India – The Economic Times.

 

“Fitness on Demand” : a “service at Gym/Health-clubs” that allow members “24-hour access to High-Quality Fitness-classes” | Club Solutions

Technological advances in the Fitness, Health-Club & Leisure clubs across the landscape is evolving and adopting to the Newer #Innovative developments in this space…

This has to become an imperative integral-part of any existing OR new-developing facilities, that wants to differentiate from their competition and also provide their club-members an flexibility in utilizing the club-services at their convenience and Not being bound by a pre-scheduled time…

With this flexibility on accessing such services at their clubs as and when they find time…they will stick to their Fitness regime and continue to incorporate them into their day-to-day Lifestyle and not find reasons to skip their exercise / fitness regime..which is the core-reason for any Gym OR Health-club existence..!! and when this area of concern is addressed, you could see this directly making a positive impact and add-value to your company’s bottom-line and sustainability…

THE PROBLEM : 

Any full-service 24-hour fitness-center…In a heavily #CompetitiveMarketplace, looking to differentiate its club from the pack…should be able to offer Live #GroupFitness options, early in the morning, but lacked additional options for club-members to make these times…It is essential to offer something that would allow members to have 24-hour access to Quality Group Fitness classes while keeping cost low….that would allow members “ wanted that freeing-option to come in and choose whatever they like”…!!

THE SOLUTION :

Of the several options available in the market that could help vamp up its #FitnessOfferings, to set them apart from competitors…FOD™ seems to out-beat its peers,because it encompasses all the Clubs & Members needs : #Technologyinnovation, #ScheduleFlexibility, and something that could Sell-itself…!! 

THE RESULT :

Having Fitness On Demand™ in a Gym / Health-Club would allow it to differentiate and stay competitive in the fitness-realm… with competitors in their area Not having this technology, “It definitely has its wow factor ”…!!

Fitness On Demand™ also helps sell more memberships…“ It allows them to raise their Ticket-average because they are offering a product like Fitness On Demand™ … it really has become a great sales tool for many Clubs…Fitness On Demand™ offers FREE Marketing-tools, making it easy on Club-owners to keep current-members informed and draw in New-members..

Members now have 24-hour access to top-rated #GroupFitnessClasses…. 55 % of Fitness On Demand™ classes are played during hours that Clubs are un-able to offer ” Live Group Fitness-Classes. This allows them to serve 15-30 more members per day… Members can choose what they want, when they want it…!!

KEY TAKE-AWAYS :

  • Added flexibility and class variety to satisfy members..
  • Added flexible top-rate group fitness classes
  • A sales tool that speaks for itself
  • Available 24 Hours a day
  • Technology innovation is a competitive advantage
  • Supplement live fitness classes to decrease unoccupied studio time

“Tekla India & RICS promote” Building Information Modeling “(BIM) Technology”, to “Engineering & Construction Markets”| Realty Plus

“Tekla India, a leader in bringing Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to the engineering and construction markets of India, today announces its strategic alliance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the RICS school of Built Environment….” 

The main objective of this partnership is to build a critical-mass of  “Quality Talent Pool” and create better Employment Opportunities for Young professionals across the construction and infrastructure industry, in the region..!!

This collaboration will help reach out to the student and education community to educate them on BIM technology using Tekla Structures through the Real estate and Construction Management courses offered by RICS School of Built Environment in their campuses in India…

As a part of this 2 year course, the program will provide students with a firm foundation on Tekla Structures Building Information Modeling (BIM) software…. Tekla India as a strategic partner will also be part of RICS’s conferences and workshops through the year across the major metro cities of the country..

The construction industry is the second largest industry of the country. It makes a significant contribution to the national economy and provides employment to large number of people…!!

The use of various new technologies and deployment of project management strategies has made it possible to undertake projects of mega scale. In its path towards automation, the industry has to overcome a number of traditional and technical challenges. 

Hence, professional training opportunities in this field is a must as this will help them do their jobs better, while achieving greater accuracy, efficiency, and cost management”.
Nirmalya Chatterjee – COO & Business Director, Tekla India said, “We are very proud to announce this one of its kind industry-academic partnership with RICS India. Volume of construction and infrastructure is only increasing in India and use of BIM technology can lead to enormous gains for the industry. 

“Qualified BIM professionals are the need of the hour. It is thus important that we train the younger generation joining the construction & infrastructure industry in their nascent stage…

This tie-up is a step forward to benefiting the student community as well as providing the industry with a larger talent pool. We along with RICS ensure that the best of professional education is offered to aspiring students keen on joining this vibrant industry”…!!

Sachin Sandhir, Managing Director, RICS South Asia said, ” We are honored to be associated with Tekla as it will further enhance our education curriculum at the RICS School of Built environment by providing our students with expertise and knowledge to improve their skills and giving them an edge in an increasingly competitive market ” ….

With advancement in technology, a new era of automation in construction industry has rolled in which clearly shows a huge growth from the manual representations to the 3D modeling and digital level of engineering. The introduction of the newest version of Tekla’s BIM software has improved construction workflow efficiency by providing the means to better organize models, manage tasks and avoid structural clashes..

Construction is about collaboration. As BIM penetrates construction industry processes, architectural trends produce increasingly complex shapes, and buildings include more refined technology, information exchange becomes progressively more important…!!

While information management remains at the core of BIM, building today’s structures requires more information than ever before. The new professionals need to well equip with the latest developments and technologies in the rapidly growing sector..

“Online Pricing”; the “Dilemma before #ConsumerElectronics Brands” | Shyamanuja Das | ET Retail

” If they do not keep up with the times, someone else will…Maybe, that someone is already here…??

Ironic it may sound ; but even as “electronic products” have emerged as the ” Top selling category “in ” #IndianRetailE-Commerce, the top electronic brands are engaged in a proxy battle with the online retailers, ostensibly on behalf of the brick-and-mortar retailers and distributors. The contentious issue is, of course, the pricing of products by online retailers, which are offering huge discounts to consumers. The offline / Brick and Mortar, Retailers, are finding it difficult to compete and the OEMs are taking on the E-tailers / E-commerce companies, on their behalf…!!

But the difference in “approaches of Two sets of OEMs is hard to miss”…

The first group, for whom consumers are just one of the target segments-such as Lenovo, Toshiba, and even Canon-has come out in the open with war cry against e-tailers. Some of them have issued advisories to consumers saying they may not be getting warranty and services while buying from online retailers. Many have even warned consumers of the possibility of ending up with fake products.

The other group, consisting mostly of #ConsumerFocusedBrands (read phone makers) like Samsung, Apple and Nokia, is far more measured in its approach. These brands understand the criticality of online channels and selling and strengthening their brand through those channels and hence have preferred the path of discussion and negotiations with them, without coming out in the open.

Yet, they also seem to be worried about the phenomenon. The Economic Times reported some time back that senior official of the #TopThreePhoneMakers, met to discuss the issue, even as they keep fighting fiercely in the market place. That itself is a good pointer to how serious the issue has become for them. As the article rightly points out, it is similar to the situation which united the book trade in the US when it faced the Amazon challenge..

One up in Pricing:

But what enables the e-tailers to offer such huge discount? Part of the reason-and this also happens to be the more politically correct part to quote in this big debate-is the inherent efficiency of their model. With no brick and mortar stores in prime real estate, their overheads are low. This, coupled with tight supply chains with little inventory, make them more efficient.

The other, that cannot be ignored, is the scale. Many of them such as WS Retail-the retail arm of Flipkart-have a much larger scale, say in selling mobile phones, than any of the offline stores, modern or traditional. That allows them to be aggressive on margins…!!

But is that all ?? Come to India, circa 2013-14 and you have the harsh reality-harsh for offline retailers, that is. Unlike them, many of the large online retailers are backed by huge VC money…Offline retailers accuse that they use part of that money to buy market share-by offering huge discounts. The accusation is not entirely untrue, though it may not explain the entire phenomenon..

Actually, it is a Combination of All THREE and possibly more…

One of the factors – and which is the official line taken by the sites like Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal-is the marketplace model. These sites maintain that being neutral marketplaces, they do not have any control over end-user pricing, as that is decided by the numerous retailers who sell on their platforms. However gamesman-like it seems, the claim is factually correct. Of course, they vehemently deny the accusation by some OEMs that fake products get sold on their platforms. Many of the sellers, it must be pointed out, are small time offline retailers who see online as yet another inexpensive new channel to sell their products..

To the uninitiated, it must be mentioned that the ” #Marketplace-Model “, which has “emerged as the default model in India for retail e-commerce”, has less to do with any inherent strength in the model and more to do with FDI regulations, which stipulates no FDI in retail (B2C) e-commerce.

Most e-tailers changed to the “marketplace model” to comply with this “marketplace”, where they do not sell directly to the end users..

The brand at stake :

While for the IT OEMs such as Lenovo, Dell and Toshiba, the battle is all about protecting their long time loyal offline partners, for consumer brands like Samsung and Nokia, it is also a question of brand dilution, to be sold at such heavy discounts. At the same time, they also do not want to be seen by consumers as fighting with the channels (online retailers) against something that is clearly in consumer’s favor-low prices. In the day of # TwitterAndFacebookCconsumerActivism, it could even do significant damage to their #BrandPerception.

Instead of coming out with aggressive, sometimes unsubstantiated statements, the OEMs must be seen to be acting in a fair manner that is in the interest of the consumers. Some of the questions that they need to examine and answer to themselves, consumers and the community at large is as follows…

How are the advisories that they have issued urging the consumers not to buy from online sites in the interest of consumers ?

Why should they withdraw the warranty that is offered with the products, whether it is from online or offline channels? Is it legal to do so ? Why should they make the consumer suffer ? They may probably offer additional warranty if consumers buy the products from offline stores. But how and why should they withdraw the basic warranty ?

Can they substantiate the claim that some online channels are selling fake or smuggled products ? If they can, they must come out in public with specifics and, with the help of legal system, must take strong action against the erring sellers. This will establish their credibility. The failure to do so will put serious question marks on their credibility.

They must seriously examine if online retailers are doing any price cutting using VC money to buy market share, as many offline retailers accuse. If the e-tailers are resorting to any unfair means of competition and violating any provisions of The Competition Act 2002, they must be dealt with using the law of the land. In any case, it is not a single player who is using its market power or staying power ; it is a large set of players which are accused of buying market share…

The future is already here:

But more than just fairness and long term brand dilution fears, the top phone makers have a bigger challenge at hand-something that regional middle level managers can be made to appreciate much better-market share…Many executives in the consumer electronics companies-especially phone makers-admit that it is a choice between the present and future. They have no doubt that online is here to stay and is increasingly going to take away market share.

The question that they are really struggling with is : how far is tipping point ? But big changes seldom happen without a disruptive challenger. A new challenger has no legacy and hence pushes the new, more efficient model to create an advantage in its favor.

That may already be happening-ironically spearheaded by a company, which is the oldest mobile phone company in the world, though now starting almost afresh. Motrola Mobility, now owned by Gooogle, and now the challenger in the mobile phone market, has probably taken the most decisive step in this direction. It has chosen to sell its newly released Moto series of phones in India exclusively through Flipkart, India’s biggest online retailer-ironically, at a time when other electronic brands are fighting a turf battle with the online retailers…

It is not an entirely new strategy though. Others have tried out similar strategy. Noted among them is Nokia, which tried it out in China. It had signed a deal in December 2012 with second largest Chinese e-tailer 360buy.com (now JingDong).. whereby the latter agreed to procure 2 billion yuan ($320 million) worth of mobile phones in one year..!!

The change is already happening…The choice before the brands is between accepting it gracefully versus accepting it bitterly…Trying to stop an idea whose time has come is unfair and is against the spirit of competition…

Ultimately, it is against the interest of customers. It is like forcing metro rail services to increase their fares because private bus services are getting impacted…Why should globally respected brands be indulging in something like that …?

The “Next #SmartPhoneWar” is going to be “Cheap” not “Nasty” | ET Retail

In 2009, a battle line was drawn. One that would create “deep” divides in the #SmartPhoneWorld, even within brands themselves, and will have a significant impact on the next phone you’ll buy….!!

What happened back then ? #Smartphones got good. Processing power reached the point where you didn’t have to choose between spending a year’s salary and having a decent experience browsing the web on the go, opening up the tech to a wider range of users.

As you’d expect over the years, that performance has been built upon to give us octa-core handsets with more RAM than a over-zealous farmer, putting truly phenomenal power in our pockets.

But that line, the one that showed a baseline of  “‘#acceptable-smartphone-performance” has translated into phones that cost hardly anything to produce and could lead to the biggest change in the smartphone market to date.

And it’s not just the lesser-known brands that are championing this cause either: with the launch of the Moto E, Motorola has proved that the bigger brands have realised the true value in making a smartphone that’s within financial reach of as many as possible…

#Samsung has a similar view : while the company is pushing hard to convince the world that its flagship #Galaxy S5 is the phone most should own, the company is looking to launch its #Tizen handsets into more developing nations like Russia and India.

The Reason for the Shift is Simple : the high end smartphone market is stagnating, with smartphone shipments actually starting to decline in countries like Japan (according to researcher IDC) as saturation levels kick in, users embedded in two year contracts who understandably don’t need to buy another handsets.

So connecting the next-wave of smartphone users has become crucial if sales are to continue – and the best way to do this is to entice users on price…..!!

This is already happening, with the #AveragePriceofaSmartPhone, practically halving from $450 in 2012 to $260 by 2018 – which means the profit margins of the big brands are going to get hit hard.

The only way to keep high revenues afloat is to increase the number of handsets sold, and that means attracting more and more users the smartphone pie…

What is a “cheap” Smartphone ?

There are TWO strands to the “cheap smartphone” sector that will have a big impact on the success of brands like Samsung, HTC and Apple in the years to come…The first is the reasonably-priced smartphone for the developed nations with high smartphone penetration, something that offers a similar experience to the likes of the iPhone 5S or Galaxy S5, but without the hefty cost.

That’s where companies like Motorola & Nokia are targeting, and it appears to be working : Moto went from almost no presence in the UK to taking nearly 6 % of the market according to Kantar World Panel with the Moto G, which offered impressive performance for a Fith-of-the-cost of a top-end Android handset.

Nokia’s Lumia 520 managed a similar feat world-wide, proving popular in both Western and developing nations to become the #Top-SellingWindowsPhoneOnTheMarket, and doing so at a price around 25% of the cost of a flagship-phone..

This section of the market is going to get quickly filled with brands from Asia muscling in, able to offer low cost, high quality handsets thanks to a focus on specs over headline features.

“Motorola was nowhere in Europe before the Moto G launched in November last year, but the new model has since boosted the manufacturer to 6% of British sales,” said Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at analysts #KantarWorldpanelComTech.

“It highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market. The same pattern can be seen in France with “Wiko”, which has 8.3 % share, and “Xiaomi” in China with 18.5  % “…!!

1. China calling – One of the leaders here is “OnePlus”, a Chinese brand that’s brought out the OnePlus One, a phone with the spec list of the Samsung Galaxy S5, but dropped features like a super-bright AMOLED screen, heart rate monitor and waterproof casing to offer the One, a phone that costs half the price…

OnePlus isn’t alone : China has multiple brands selling millions of devices in their home territory who are able to use these economies of scale to churn out decent phones internationally – this move has started, and is only going to continue…

These phones are still north of 200 / $350, which is a yearly salary to some people in developing nations. But this market features billions of users who don’t just want a smartphone ; the technology and connectivity it provides can open up new ways to conduct business, enabling rapid shifts in economy that simply weren’t possible before…

” The#MotoE may prove useful for first-time smartphone buyers in Europe and some parts of the Middle East, but it won’t make a difference to first-time smartphone buyers in other developing markets such as Africa,” said Amr Shady, CEO of Middle East and African telecom provider…!!

“Motorola needs to knock another 80 off the price tag before it can even begin to be attractive to most Africans…The belief that the ” budget ” offering will continue the momentum that the #MotoG hand-set built in developing markets when it was launched last year will not be realised on this continent for some time “…!!

2. ” Retro” is in – And this is where the effort of five years ago come into play, as that same level of processor is being used to create a phone that could cost as little as $25 / 15….Mozilla’s Firefox OS was announced in 2013, designed specifically to target this next wave of smartphone users. The idea was to offer low-cost handsets, low on specs but with acceptable functionality, in partnership with networks world-wide.

Instead of resource intensive apps, HTML5 would be used to access to the same services on the web, enabling simple tools which perform vital services.

The project seems to be bearing fruit, as there are a number of handsets on the market from #Low-costPhoneManufacturer’s, ZTE, Alcatel and Huawei, with the likes of Sony and LG promising to deliver phones in the future..

According to analysts Ovum, “there have been 425,000 unique visitors to the Firefox OS Marketplace since July 2013” which is a strong uptake for a platform that’s only been going for a year, highlighting the growing need for devices in this category.

While these phones still retail for around $80, a deal between Mozilla and Chinese processor manufacturer Spreadtrum to enable 75% cheaper-phones by creating a reference design for a chip to use in all Firefox OS-powered handsets…

This will enable faster and cheaper production of phones, and will increase the ability to bring smartphones to developing nations dramatically…

3. What does this mean for me ? – Well, if you’re someone who likes to use #High-endSmartphones, the good news is you’ll probably be paying less in the short term or getting a better device…

The Galaxy S5 was cheaper on average than its predecessor in a bid to maintain attractiveness, where other brands are extolling the virtues of more technologically advanced features to keep those wth more disposable cash interested in buying phones that command a better profit margin.

Apple, the most notorious brand for high margins, has already been forced to clip these slightly in bringing out the iPhone 5C, and there’s every indication that the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen and all-new design – and enabling this tech will either eat into the company’s profits or force an even higher premium on one of the most expensive phones on the market…

And it’s not just Apple that’s reacting – HTC has been pushing hard at making attractive, but expensive, casings for its One range and LG is set to bring a QHD screen on the G3 in a bid to convince consumers that the latest tech is still worth paying for..

The rise of the #Mid-RangePhone will directly impact the price and performance of 2015’s flagship-models, forcing brands to compete with the likes of OnePlus on cost or offer genuinely attractive features that warrant the extra pressure on this pocket…

The next Half-decade will see more of a push into both “cheap and ultra-cheap smartphones” to enable more users to join the #smartphone-revolution – as the battle for your “pocket space” intensifies, ultimately, it’s the consumer who’s going to win…!!