#Freedom@70: Consumer focus building successful firms, big or small

As India celebrates its 71st Independence, enterprisesdemonstrate that they can build success stories by delivering quality services and products to the consumer

Mid-sized consumer companies to benefit from consumption boomIn the last decade, two home-grown companies — Flipkart and IndiGo — have redefined services that have become the benchmark for consumers.

Captain Gopinath’s Air Deccan, not IndiGo, was the first low-cost airline in India. But IndiGo redefined flying for consumers, bringing in an assembly line approach to ensure on time performance and connect crucial routes, which became the benchmark that passengers expected airlines to deliver.

The same goes for Flipkart. It is not the first e-Commerce firm, there were dozens before it. Flipkart’s customer service and promise to deliver goods made it the biggest e-Commerce company in the country.

As India celebrates its 71st Independence, both Flipkart and IndiGo demonstrate that they can build success stories by delivering quality services and products to the consumer. 

There are other success stories, too. Take Paytm, which is looking to redefine digital payments by grabbing the opportunity during the demonetisation exercise, or Quess Corp, whose focus on providing manpower, managing facilities, and delivering services has made it a large profitable venture.

If the success stories of the crop of companies such as Infosys and Wipro that shone in the previous decades was focused on tapping global customers, the large new corporates are striking gold in servicing the domestic market.

There have been firms, both local and multinational, that have begun delivering services and products to Indian consumers, the cream of whom have been exposed to global brands. The success of Flipkart has made Amazon set up shop in India and become aggressive in grabbing marketshare.

Seeing Ola’s success, Uber began to invest heavily. Local mobile brands such as Micromax and Lava, and retail brands such as HyperCity have made their mark.

While traditional leaders such as the Tatas and Reliance expand into newer areas, there have been several entrepreneurs who have built successful firms, but not really billion-dollar bets. But that is okay, say analysts.

It would be a tragedy if India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem’s focus is on nurturing unicorns. We need to focus on value, not on valuation, and have ventures that are solving real problems. These could be $10-50 million firms but having hundreds of them across the country would be of immense benefit to the nation,” says Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, IIM-Bangalore.

The opportunity in India is unlimited. “We have to unlearn the offshoring business, unlearn investing in proven business models, emulate China, and relearn how to develop products for Indian customers,” says Bhagavatula.

Source: Business Standard

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