Hybrid Business Models Look Ugly, but They Work

When the Microsoft Surface first appeared, many critics panned it as a clumsy move into hardware — a device that was stuck in the middle, a half-step behind the hot market for tablets and only a half-step beyond the dying market for PCs. When the Surface then took off and gave new life to the Microsoft turnaround, it seemed to reinforce the upside-down logic of the company’s digital transformation. However, what few people realized was that Microsoft leveraged an old but often overlooked tool that has remarkable power to manage such transitions...Read more

online-market-placesImproving Results for Customers through Collaboration

Process ownership is widely recognized as one of the cornerstones of process excellence. The principal thought leaders in Six Sigma, reengineering and continuous improvement have all extolled the virtues of process ownership.

In “The Six Sigma Way,” the authors wrote “Perhaps the most essential step in the transformation to process management is the designation of process owners.” Dr. Geary Rummler, arguably one of the earliest and the most articulate proponent of process ownership, wrote that a process owner is “someone with clout who is … taking action to improve the performance of an entire cross-functional process” Dr. Michael Hammer, the foremost vocal advocate of reengineering, wrote that “every process in a process enterprise requires a process owner – a manager responsible for ensuring that the entire process keeps flourishing …”...Read more

Why Leaders Who Listen Achieve Breakthroughs

As a leader, communicating can sometimes feel like Groundhog Day. No matter how hard you try to get your message across, it is all too easy to find the next day that you face the same blank stares, predictable objections, and questions that indicate that you failed to make it stick — that people just aren’t getting it. One reason leaders find themselves in this cycle is that their approach to communication is based on an outdated mental model. It’s a model best described as a “post office.” They view themselves as the sender of a message and others as the receivers. If problems arise, leaders look for disruption somewhere along the route...Read more

Why the 21st Century Will Belong to Family Businesses

I was recently asked to give a talk about family businesses, and the conference organizer told me not to even mention the “three generation rule.” As he put it: “Everyone already knows that family businesses don’t last.”...Read more

online-market-placesGovernment Permits 100% FDI in Online Market Places

The government on Tuesday clarified that 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed in online marketplaces, a move that will ostensibly come as a relief to ecommerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal but the conditions imposed have been hailed as a victory by their brick-and-mortar rivals. Critically, a clause bars marketplaces from offering discounts on their own — these have to come from the vendors on the platforms — and the policy also seeks to end "predatory pricing" by online companies.

Overseas investment will be automatically permitted subject to certain riders such as the above, the government said in a press note, clearly defining 'marketplace'...Read more

600-crore-for-expansionPride hotels lines up Rs 600 crore for expansion

Pride Group of Hotels will invest over Rs 600 crore over the next 2-3 years to strengthen its portfolio through greenfield projects and acquisitions, said a top company official. The investments will include a new project in Goa, acquisition of a hotel in Mumbai, and addition of inventory to its existing property in Nagpur.

"When we started off in the 1980s, we grew by greenfield projects and by acquiring existing properties and renovating them to our specs. In the past five years, we went into management model for faster growth and have built a portfolio of 12 operational hotels," said SP Jain, managing director, Pride Group of Hotels. The company has all its hotels under three brands —Pride Plaza (5-star), Pride Hotel and Resort (4-star) and Pride Biznotel (3-star). ... Read more

In Business, Risk Never Goes Away, It Simply Evolves

One thing I’ve learned along my entrepreneurial journey is that business is evolutionary. Risk in particular, never really goes away. It just evolves and takes new and different forms. To understand the evolutionary nature of risk is to understand the life cycle of your business. Good leaders understand how risk changes and can focus their skills and efforts accordingly... Read more

Plans Afoot to Make India 100% e-vehicle Nation by 2030

The government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars on zero down payment for which people can pay out of their savings on expensive fossil fuels, for becoming 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030... Read more

How to Build a Strategic Narrative

It’s a common refrain in executive suites these days: “We need a new narrative.”

It’s not enough any more to say “we make widgets.” With changes happening so quickly from so many directions – competition, regulation, technology, talent, customer behavior – it’s easy for one’s story to become generic or outdated...Read more

family-businessDeveloping your next CEO for the Family Business

A good book on CEO succession is The CEO Within by my Harvard Business School colleague Joe Bower. Bower studied how companies perform after hiring a new CEO, noting whether the successor had been recruited from inside or outside the company.

Bower makes a strong case for making “Insider Outsiders” your next CEO. These internal candidates with some outsider views have a more objective and independent view about how your company needs to change and adapt. Executives with the right mix of Insider and Outsider attributes, Bower claims, are likely to do a better job and create more economic value as CEO. I agree but CEO selection is more complex for family companies...Read more

Becoming CeosMore Insiders Are Becoming CEOs, and That’s a Good Thing

Last week, Joann Lublin reported in The Wall Street Journal that more CEO jobs are going to internal candidates. According to her story, a survey by executive-search firm Spencer Stuart found that about four out of five S&P 500 companies that chose a new CEO last year promoted insiders. That’s the highest proportion since the firm began conducting the survey in 2004, and a big increase since 2012. That is good news for the companies involved. My research on succession, summarized in the book The CEO Within, revealed that CEOs brought in from outside the company succeeded less often than insiders even when the company’s poor performance would seem to have justified going outside for a new leader...Read more

tata-steel-expectsTata Steel expects Rs 20,000 cr investment in Gopalpur SEZ

Tata Steel is in discussion with foreign companies for investments up to Rs 20,000 crore in heavy industries over the next five years at its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project at Gopalpur in Odisha.

"We believe we should be able to get foreign investment between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore over the next five years at the Gopalpur SEZ," Tata Steel SEZ Managing Director Arun Misra told PTI here last night.

"We are currently in discussions with 13 to 14 different investors. Talks are at various levels," he said at the 'Emerging India Forum 2016' in Singapore...Read more

Data analytics is key to successful transformation

Infographic outlining current and future benefits to competitiveness from data and analytics, companies' main sources of data and data management approaches used for data analytics ...Read more

10 Principles of Organizational Culture

How often have you heard somebody — a new CEO, a journalist, a management consultant, a leadership guru, a fellow employee — talk about the urgent need to change the culture? They want to make it world-class. To dispense with all the nonsense and negativity that annoys employees and stops good intentions from growing into progress. To bring about an entirely different approach, starting immediately ...Read more

Collaborative InnovationWhy B2B Companies Struggle with Collaborative Innovation

Collaborative innovation is a hot topic in the B2C space, where it overlaps with crowdsourcing, but we see B2B players taking an interest as well. Of course, the two contexts are very different: Companies usually engage with few customers at a time, not a large online community; they use traditional face-to-face interactions, rather than a technology platform; and their choice of partners is driven by specific business goals, rather than by engagement and passion for a brand or product category.

Nonetheless, innovating with customers should work well in B2B, as it should give companies a deeper knowledge of their customers and promote a trusting relationship. Unfortunately, it seldom turns out that way. Over and over again we’ve seen resources and time wasted on initiatives that die on the vine, destroying the trust that collaborative innovation ought to deliver while doing little to improve companies’ knowledge and performance. ...Read more

Innovation AwardsFour changes the Real Estate Bill can bring

On Friday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill. Next it moves to the Lok Sabha and to the president for assent before it is notified and becomes law.

The Real Estate Bill should at best be seen as an enabling legislation, as land and land use are state subjects and states have the right to enact laws as long as they are not in conflict with central legislation. The onus of setting up implementing agencies has also been put on states. Expect that to take at least 12 months after the Act has been notified.

The new legislation ought to clean up the business and make dealing with developers easier for buyers. Understandably, developers are not pleased. Here’s what could change: ...Read more

Innovation AwardsIndia second Biggest Investor in London

India has emerged as the second biggest investor in London after the US with country's tech firms investing in the British capital at an unprecedented rate, according to latest official figures.

Since 2005 there has been a 117 percent increase in Indian companies across all business sectors investing in London, with a 133 percent increase in tech companies investing in the city, which accounts for 46 percent of all projects, according to the latest data released by London & Partners, the official promotional company for London...Read more

The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders Around the World

What makes an effective leader? This question is a focus of my research as an organizational scientist, executive coach, and leadership development consultant. Looking for answers, I recently completed the first round of a study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global organizations. Participants were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership competencies from a list of 74. I’ve grouped the top ones into five major themes that suggest a set of priorities for leaders and leadership development programs. While some may not surprise you, they’re all difficult to master, in part because improving them requires acting against our nature....Read more

Amazon Wants to Replace 'Awkward Passwords' with Smiling Selfies

Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) is looking into allowing shoppers to pay with a selfie. The online retailer has filed a patent application for the technology, saying it is more secure and less "awkward" than traditional passwords...Read more

RIL arm to invest Rs 1,300 crore in Haryana for Electronics Hub

Reliance Industries' wholly-owned arm Model Economic Township Ltd will develop an electronics manufacturing hub and footwear park at Jhajjar, Haryana with an investment of Rs 1,300 crore...Read more

Innovation AwardsIIT-Kharagpur wins Maximum Number of Laurels at Innovation Awards

IIT-Kharagpur has outperformed 276 institutes from across the country who participated in the Gandhian Young Technology Innovation (GYTI) awards in Delhi by bagging maximum number of laurels.

"After four rounds of evaluation, 19 teams have been selected for innovation awards and 24 for appreciation. Of the 19 awards, 15 awardees in Medical and Biotech innovations category will get Department of Biotechnology sponsored (BITAC-SRISTI) grant of Rs 15 lakh each to further their prototypes," an IIT release said.

Held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday, GYTI 2016 was a pan-India competition with over 2,363 innovation entries in 50 technology domains from 276 institutes from 26 states and two Union Territories. ...Read more

These are the Most Valuable Start-ups in the World

The term "unicorn" was introduced in venture capital circles to denote a start-up whose valuation had reached the rare milestone of $1bn. These companies are no longer all that rare, with some fledgling firms reaching valuations in the tens of billions. These are the 20 priciest of them all.

These companies are all still in the venture capital stage, which means that other successful start-ups with multi-billion dollar valuations which have already gone public or been sold (such as Beats and Just Eat), are not included...Read more

Great Companies Stay True to the Spirit of Their Founders

Companies still run by their founders have a certain magic. That’s not just a hunch — among public companies since 1990, returns to shareholders were three times greater at firms where the founder is still part of the management team. ...Read more

Going Global With Entrepreneur Ecosystems

Startups: Those are the things that only happen in Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, right?

Maybe once, a very long time ago. Today, entrepreneurialism is a global phenomenon, and as a result, there is hardly a developed part of the world that lacks some sort of startup scene to speak of. Some locales are much further along than others, though, and some are stronger in some characteristics and weaker in others. Do an easy Google search and find numerous startup ecosystem rankings from think tanks and media outlets, based on this or that formula (see to the right for two examples)....Read more

computer-age-possible The Man Who Made the Computer Age Possible

Excerpted with permission from From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives, by Jeffrey E. Garten (HarperCollins, 2016)

In From Silk to Silicon, a colorful history of globalization, Jeffrey E. Garten, former dean of the Yale School of Management, has identified 10 people who fundamentally changed the world over the past millennium by making it smaller, more connected, and otherwise better. The roster of characters includes military genius Genghis Khan and Cyrus Field, the pioneer of the trans-Atlantic telegraph. The individuals profiled were not just thinkers — they were doers. And each ushered in an age that continues to echo loudly today. In the following excerpt, Garten tells the story of former Intel CEO Andy Grove and the dawn of the third industrial revolution.

Andy Grove was not a pathbreaking scientist. He did not author anything so important as the law associated with Gordon Moore. He was never a household name like Bill Gates. Unlike Steve Jobs, he was not a design genius, nor did he have the same intuition for consumer sentiment. But no person had as much to do with making possible the third industrial revolution as this Hungarian immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in 1956. ...Read more

digital-technology7 Ways the Rise of Digital Technology Impacts Process Excellence

When was the last time you opened an encyclopaedia to answer a trivia question? Or used a payphone to make a call? Or had to stop and ask directions? Even just 20 years ago – before Google, compact mobile phones, and affordable and easy to use GPS – all of the above would have been a common part of everyday life. But advances in digital technology have changed all that.

While the march of technological progress has resulted in wide sweeping social and cultural changes, it has also had a profound impact on business processes. Many manual and labour intensive processes have been digitized and automated, resulting in increased efficiency, speed and accuracy of output. Many companies – certainly most large ones - have introduced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems which help with planning and optimization of everything from inventory through to sales and marketing....Read more

customer-serviceLearning from the Front Lines of Customer Service

The responsibility for exceptional service cannot be limited to frontline employees. At Disney Institute we know that however complete your overall service program, your efforts will collapse if managers do not reinforce the right behaviors.

What do we mean by “reinforce the right behaviors”? It is not only letting others know when they are doing things correctly or incorrectly. We have found that leaders who reinforce the right behaviors through their own actions set the tone for high expectations throughout the entire organization and establish a degree of accountability at all levels...Read more

Lupin Completes Acquisition of GAVIS Pharma

Drug major LupinBSE 0.31 % today said it has completed the acquisition of privately held US-based GAVIS Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories (GAVIS).

Lupin had announced the acquisition on July 23, 2015...Read more

ikeaMan vs. machine

Lee Se-dol, the global Go champion, lost his first game against Google DeepMind's AlphaGo program on Wednesday in Seoul. The South Korean is scheduled to play four more matches against the computer, and could still emerge victorious in the best-of-five series.

The stakes are high. If Lee wins the series, he gets $1 million and reasserts his title as global champ; a convincing win by AlphaGo would signal another technological advance by scary smart computers. (Google will donate the prize money to charity.)... Read more

ikeaIKEA to Invest Rs 2,000 cr in Haryana

Swedish furniture retailing giant IKEA today signed a memorandum of understanding with Haryana government and said it will invest an estimated Rs 2,000 crore to open its stores in the state.

"IKEA India today inked an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the state of Haryana as a major step forward towards establishing retail stores in the state. IKEA will invest an estimated Rs 2,000 crore for its retail expansion in Haryana, will employ about 1,000 coworkers directly and engage around 3,000 more for providing services such as furniture assembly, delivery services among others," the company said in a statement...Read more

SBI Among Four Foreign BanksWhy Every Startup Should Bootstrap

As the past few years have shown, raising money for a startup is easy. But building a profitable, sustainable business is still really hard. Public and private markets alike are starting to remember this, correcting for years of overly exuberant startup funding. As financing dries up, entrepreneurs would do well to remember the benefits of bootstrapping.

Though taking money from investors might seem like the path to success, bootstrapping has several advantages. First, it helps you to stay scrappy and to realize talents you may not know you even had. Second, and counterintuitively, it can help attract the right talent. And, finally, it helps you maintain control of your company while finding the right partners to help you scale... Read more

Failure is the Mother of InnovationFailure is the Mother of Innovation

Invention has another mother: failure. It may seem counterintuitive, but repeated failures can, and often do, lead to success. Every time we try something new and fail, it provides valuable information about what went wrong and, as important, what went right. From that, we can make small changes and try again, continually learning and innovating. “If you’re trying to solve a problem there are potentially hundreds of possible pathways to take, but only a few are going to lead to the appropriate solution. And the only way to discover that is to try and fail and try again,” says Baba Shiv, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business whose research focuses on innovation in the workplace.... Read more

SBI Among Four Foreign BanksSBI Among Four Foreign Banks Allowed in Myanmar

The State Bank of India is among four new foreign banks given preliminary approval to open 100 per cent-owned branches in Myanmar, the latest move by the Southeast Asian nation to woo investment to the country long ruled by the military and hit by Western sanctions.

The four new banks that have been given initial approval by the Central Bank of Myanmar are Vietnam's Bank for Investment and Development, Taiwan's E.SUN Commercial Bank, South Korea's Shinhan Bank and the State Bank of India... Read more

How SunSource Energy Emerged as one of the key players in How SunSource Energy Emerged as one of the key players in India's solar Energy Space

Bathed in the artificial yellow light of a New Delhi restaurant, the dainty dumplings lay unattended. Not a ray of sunshine was peering through the cracks but my mind was getting fuzzy with the zeros of the sunlight. At any given moment, the sun emits 174,000,000,000,000,000, or 174 quadrillion watts. Phew! .

The solar energy hitting the earth exceeds the total energy consumed by humanity by a factor of over 20,000 times. If one were to harness solar energy, the purest form of renewable energy, it would mean zero greenhouse emissions and lower electricity bills...Read more

How Trade is Bolstering Indian Economy

Trade accounted for 49% of India's GDP in 2014 as against 41.5% in the case of China ... Read more

The Best Leaders Allow Themselves to Be PersuadedThe Best Leaders Allow Themselves to Be Persuaded

When we think of great leaders, certain characteristics come to mind: They have confidence in their abilities and conviction in their beliefs. They “trust their gut,” “stay the course,” and “prove others wrong.” They aren’t “pushovers,” and they certainly don’t “flip-flop.” But this archetype is terribly outdated. Having spent three years studying many of the world’s most successful leaders for my new book, Persuadable, I’ve learned one surprising thing they have in common: a willingness to be persuaded...Read more

Green Manufacturing is Going StrongGreen Manufacturing is Going Strong

Clean energy gets attention from around the world. In June, the United States, Brazil and China made new commitments to fight climate change. In August, President Obama unveiled a Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution, specifically to “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.” And in December, a United Nations climate change conference will take place in Paris.

All of these initiatives can impact the manufacturing sector, whether it is specifically in automotive fuel efficiency standards or simply in consumer awareness...Read more

The Economic Survey 2015-16

The Economic Survey 2015-16 takes a wide-ranging look at diverse issues affecting the Indian economy...Read more

Tata Steel LtdTata Steel Gets Green nod for Rs 1,877 cr Expansion Project

Tata Steel Ltd has received final environment clearance for its Rs 1,877 crore expansion project to be carried out at Jamshedpur Steel Works in Jharkhand.

"The Environment Ministry has considered the application based on the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee (Industry-I) and decided to grant environment clearance (EC) to the proposal for expansion of crude steel production at Tata Steel Works," a senior government official said...Read more

Your Margin of Power

The most overlooked factor in effective leadership is capacity: the time, attention, and energy that you, as an individual leader, can give. You cannot manage people, projects, or priorities without it. You cannot remain engaged in the development of others without it. And leadership capacity is a necessary enabler for completing all of the elusive and important tasks on your plate, as well as for influencing others over whom you have no authority, navigating complexity, and dealing with the unexpected...Read more

Exclusive Q&A: Apple CEO Tim Cook

In an interview on Feb. 12 at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., CEO Tim Cook spoke expansively about the state of Apple AAPL 0.22% , Fortune’s most admired company for nine consecutive years. He talked about how Apple behaves in a down cycle, how the company’s once-sacrosanct only-in-Cupertino mind-set is evolving, and the importance of services to Apple’s product mix. Without acknowledging its existence, Cook also shed possibly contradictory light on Apple’s widely rumored efforts to build an iCar: He suggested that Apple ultimately may decide not to make a car at all, yet he implied that if it did, it could utilize contract manufacturers to do so, just as it does with computers and phones....Read more

The Rupee’s Journey

Tata Steel LtdBudget 2016: The Rupee’s Journey...Read more

BEML Bags Rs 900 Crore Kolkata Metro Order

BENGALURU: Defence PSU has bagged an order worth Rs 900 crore for the supply of Metro Coaches to Kolkata East-West Metro Line...Read more

3 Leadership Lessons From Warren Buffett

3 Leadership Lessons From Warren BuffettWarren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, released last Saturday, is scrutinized worldwide for economic and investing insights. Understandably so; in 2015 Berkshire had, guess what, another knockout year. Yet I can’t recall ever seeing it read as a leadership document. That’s what it is, though, and this year’s letter shows why Buffett has been so extraordinarily successful not just as in investor but also as a business leader. Three traits stand out.

-He’s optimistic. What comes through most strongly, as it does almost every year, is a powerfully upbeat attitude. No one has ever answered the call of someone who says, “Our situation is hopeless. Follow me.” Effective leaders have figured out how to be optimistic while simultaneously confronting reality, regardless of the circumstances. Buffett does that this year by responding to the presidential candidates, who “can’t stop speaking about our country’s problems (which, of course, only they can solve). As a result of this negative drumbeat, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they themselves do.” Nonsense, Buffett says: “The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history"...Read more

How to Bring in a New CEO for Your Startup?

How to Bring in a New CEO for Your Startup?Most startup founders are deeply committed to the companies they have launched and heavily invested in the dream of leading the company to long-term business success. Not surprisingly, they often have a hard time asking themselves if their talents are best suited to lead their company as it transitions through the various stages of its growth life cycle. They have an even harder time admitting that the answer might be new leadership.

Research shows that only a small percentage of founder-CEOs have the skills and experience needed to ensure company growth and shareholder value beyond a startup’s early stage. As a venture begins achieving a solid foothold in the marketplace, it needs different leadership capabilities to create maximum shareholder value...Read more

Budget at a Glance

Budget at a Glance...Read more

Union Budget 2016: Highlights

Union Budget in Parliament Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday presented his Union Budget in Parliament.

Key takeaways:

Global economy is under serious crisis:

The risks of global slowdown and turbulance are mounting India must must strengthen its firewalls against these risks India must rely on domestic demand to ensure its growth doesn't slow down The country must continue with its economic reforms

The government is committed to ensuring the passage of the GST bill... Read more

Five Steps to Formalizing Forward Thinking in Your Organization

Many organizations include the phrase “forward thinking” in their core values or vision statements, but few have a formalized process for this practice.

In the innovation space, forward thinking is more than a generic phrase: It refers to organizations and the way in which they proactively look toward the future to identify opportunities. And there are some specific tactics that can help companies capitalize on future trends ... Read more

How Manufacturing Companies are Accelerating Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence is a continuous improvement journey facilitated by optimizing people, processes, and technology.

Parsec and LNS Research recently identified the best paths to Operational Excellence... Read more