3 Big Positive Disruptions
As I talk my way through my Corporate Keynotes ( I am chugging on my 14,271 st hour to date) , if there is one subject that everyone is wary of, but excited for sure, it is this title that says “Get Disruption +ve”! Typically in these talks, I am wearing my trend-spotter’s hat and picking 16 big trends that shaped India, its business environment, marketing, and most certainly everything that revolves around the world of marketing. Let me pick just 3 Big Positive Disruptions of recent years then as an introduction:
PM Narendra Modi and the demonetization of HDNs:
On the evening of the 8th November, 2016 PM Modi dropped a bombshell on Indian homes, businesses and individuals from every swathe of life, who live their lives with the currency of the nation, the Indian rupee. The most popular tweet of them all that struck true to what Indians were doing on the 8th November,2016 :
“As the US counts votes, India counts its notes”
Rang true for sure. The demonetization of HDNs shook every business of India, domestic or commercial. Told us loud and clear that nothing can be taken for granted. The sky can fall on our heads and the floor can be yanked off beneath our feet. And all this in nano seconds. Positive Disruption happens. And how!
Mukesh Ambani and the Jio moment
In comes a telecom revolution called Jio. In comes a piece of telecom technology that believes in VOLTE. And the allure of all this for free, for a long long time! The telecom ground is shaken, stirred and churned. This is positive disruption in a nation of a billion connections. Business models, revenue streams and everything that surrounds an enterprise that makes money have been questioned. To an extent, today, every business, whether it sells tea or telecom or toothpicks, needs to prepare for a Jio moment of its own. Cocky consulting outfits are going around telling everyone an “I told you so”! I am one!
Baba Ramdev and Patanjali Ayurved
Baba Ramdev started it all out in 1995. The enterprise of Acharya Balakrishna with the ultimate brand ambassadorship of Baba Ramdev has turned a small Haridwar based ayurvedic firm into a business engine of mass repute. With a sales turnover nudging 10,560 Crores today, the enterprise of Patanjali has caused a positive disruption of no mean repute. With consumption shares of Patanjali Ayurved products deepening, every MNC and his Indian cousin has launched a foray into ayurveda, organic and the chemical-free domain. The credit for this positive disruption goes to Baba Ramdev for sure. Today, there is a clear trifurcation of Indian FMCG business. At one end is the MNC of yore. At another is the Indian MNC that touts the fact that it does not repatriate profits overseas. And now, we have the third frontier opened up with a robust set of companies promoted by our very own Indian Babas. The Baba Cool companies. Baba Ramdev, SriSri Ravishankar, Baba Ram Rahim. And the list is endless. Remember, every Patanjali ‘Dant Kanti’ toothpaste that has made an inroad into any Indian home , has actually displaced a market leader of yore. That’s disruption for sure. As an endnote, I must say that what’s positive disruption to some will be negative disruption to many. Indian business needs to sit up and smell the burn of disruption. Businesses need to prepare to challenge it all . Your model needs to be ready, if not rolled out already. What then can you do to stay ahead of this disruptive game that has just begun? How then does one plan for the year and indeed the years of the Unconventional ahead?
Bumper-sticker answers on this one:
1. Never say this will never happen to me. Denial is also the easiest form of postponement of positive action.
2. Andy Grove was right: “Only the paranoid survive”! Buy into positive paranoia. Buy it from wherever they are selling it.
3. Adopt the tool of Scenario Planning actively in your enterprise, big or small.
4. Believe in impatience marketing. The consumers are essentially young and marketers and marketing is really old. Surprisingly, even the young think old. Marketers are good at marketing to patient people.
Learn the art, science and philosophy of marketing to the impatient generation. There are no patient people left around anyway. Today, patience is a sin and impatience is a virtue.
5. Look at everything around you as competition. Everything competes with everything really. It’s the money silly! Your Bata shoe competes with a Parle G, just as a Parle-G competes with a slab of Amul butter.
The years ahead sure seem to be exciting ones to track.