Government to roll out Aadhaar Pay for cashless transactionsGovernment to roll out Aadhaar Pay for cashless transactions

NEW DELHI: The government has enabled the Bharat Interface for Mobile (BHIM) app with Aadhaar and plans to launch the biometric based Aadhaar Pay payment module in the coming weeks, minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.

Aadhaar Pay service will enable people to make and receive payments using their Aadhaar number and biometrics.

"We are going to start Aadhaar Pay. With this people will not require to carry their phone for payments. They can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar number and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money," Prasad said...Read more

The Hyperloop mission: Mumbai to Pune in minutesThe Hyperloop mission: Mumbai to Pune in minutes

What would you say to sitting in a capsule hurtling through a tube in near vacuum at 760 miles (1,216 km) per hour? If Bibop G Gresta has his way, many a traveller between Mumbai and Pune will be able to do so in a few years.

Gresta (45) is chairman and co-founder at Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in Los Angeles, California, attempting to build such a rail system. He argues that India is a country that can do with a high-tech transportation system like the hyperloop and let it scale up rapidly...Read more

Research: Family Firms Are More Innovative Than Other CompaniesResearch: Family Firms Are More Innovative Than Other Companies

Family firms aren’t typically thought of as particularly innovative. More often, they’re viewed as risk averse, traditional, and stagnant.

However, many family-owned businesses are among the most innovative in their industries. Consider Herr’s Potato Chips and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. There are countless other examples of family firms that have brought innovations to market. We wanted to determine how family firms actually compare to their nonfamily counterparts when it comes to being innovative. Our research, conducted with Patricio Duran and Thomas Zellweger, suggests the answer is not simple...Read more

Now, an iris scan can help create a bank accountNow, an iris scan can help create a bank account

DCB Bank will soon let customers carry out transactions, including opening bank accounts across all its branches using iris scan for Aadhaar authentication. The bank ran a pilot programme at around 10 branches in rural or semi-urban branches over the past three weeks, processing about 200 accounts, including opening 100 fresh accounts.

“More than 100-crore Indians have Aadhaar. Many customers complain about not receiving the debit cards or PIN. We already have an ATM which does not require debit card or PIN, and can operate with only the person's Aadhaar number. In addition to fingerprint, you can also use iris scan to authenticate a person with Aadhaar," Murali M Natrajan, DCB Bank CEO told ET...Read more

Midsize Cities Are Entrepreneurship’s Real TestMidsize Cities Are Entrepreneurship’s Real Test

When it comes to entrepreneurship-driven regional growth, a few big population centers garner the glamor, whether Boston, Northern California’s Bay Area, Bangalore, or Beijing. This is not mere optics: the large portion of the $50 billion global venture capital pie fueling entrepreneurial growth is concentrated in or near a few big urban regions. Furthermore, mega-cities seem to be natural hotbeds for growth: as just one example, London, with around 10 million people, currently has a 50% greater incidence of high growth firms compared to other UK regions, and a quarter of the high growth firms in the nation overall...Read more

Tata Motors launches electric,hybrid busesTata Motors launches electric,hybrid buses

PUNE: Witn an aim to push green technology in mass public transportation vehicles in India, Tata MotorsBSE -0.05 % today launched a fully electric bus and a hybrid one, with indicative prices ranging between Rs 1.6 crore and Rs 2 crore.

The company, which is leader in the commercial vehicles space in the country with a market share of around 45 per cent, also showcased its LNG powered bus.

Besides, it also unveiled a bus with fuel cell technology and electric versions of its light commercial vehicles SuperAce, Magic and Magic Iris...Read more

Ashoka University, IIMA to design an entrepreneurship curriculumAshoka University, IIMA to design an entrepreneurship curriculum

NEW DELHI: Ashoka University and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), have joined hands to design an entrepreneurship curriculum to be delivered at Ashoka University.

IIMA’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and the Ashoka University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) will design and teach the minor in entrepreneurship to undergraduate students at Ashoka, according to a release.

“We are delighted to collaborate with IIMA for this minor in entrepreneurship. We are positive that this will be a holistic experience for liberal arts students who envision themselves as entrepreneurs,” said Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder, Ashoka University...Read more

Women Entrepreneurs Who Ruled the Startup Space in 2016Women Entrepreneurs Who Ruled the Startup Space in 2016

Women have always handled the two extremes so well. From being a mother to being a high level professional they have always played all the roles to the fullest. From early 20's to mid 40's these women are changing the dimensions of the startup world. Just like a woman raises her baby, similarly their ventures are no less than a baby for them.They have grown their virtual babies with dedicated motherhood towards them. They have given a perfect blend of creativity and grace in the industry. Be it e commerce or fin-tech, no circles are untapped...Read more

The 5 Stages Startups Must Go Through to Make That First $1 MillionThe 5 Stages Startups Must Go Through to Make That First $1 Million

We all want our startup businesses to hit that coveted $1 million per year in revenue. The unfortunate truth is that only 4 percent of us actually make that goal.

Related: 11 Mistakes Standing Between You and Your First Million

This past year my company scaled LeadQuizzes, our lead generation software, past the $1 million mark in less than six months. Having hit that sales mark, I now know how important it is to maintain an awareness of where you are in your business...Read more

A case for continual learningA case for continual learning

For years, I have done the following thought exercise with groups.
1. Think of a person you think of as a great leader.
2. Write down three reasons why.

I have done this exercise in multiple countries, with people from over 30 countries, I’ve done it with students, and executives. I’ve gotten a broad range of answers to the question, and I count on one hand the number of responses I’ve received that included one of the most important attributes of all. When I ask people whether their exemplary leader had this quality, nearly all agree, and yet it isn’t a quality that comes to the top of our minds...Read more

Systematic Problem Solving StrategiesSystematic Problem Solving Strategies

Problem solving strategies are common place in business and it is essential that the right tool is used for the specific problem in hand.

Process improvement and effective problem solving strategies are two weaknesses of many companies. Every company has problems. Every single one. The difference between the outstanding, world class performers and the average companies is how well they react to issues when they arise. More importantly, how well they put to bed issues that have risen, so they do not come back.

The better performing companies have also found ways to get better at what they do – continuously...Read more

Digital Transactions through UPI & USSD Grow ExponentiallyDigital Transactions through UPI & USSD Grow Exponentially

The number of digital financial transactions made through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) mode has grown exponentially by 3,574 per cent and 10,603 per cent respectively till 18th January 2017, Union Minister of State for Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology, Mr P.P. Chaudhary said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today...Read more

Fintech Companies Could Give Billions of People More Banking OptionsFintech Companies Could Give Billions of People More Banking Options

Much has been made of the fact that a new breed of financial technology (or fintech) companies is unbundling banks in the developed world. Startups are attacking all of the components of the traditional bank value proposition (e.g., accounts, portfolio management, mortgages, car loans, person-to-person payments). Over the past five to six years there has been a rush of capital and talent into startups; investment in them has grown nearly eightfold since 2011. While their innovative products have been a boon to consumers in mature economies, the resulting efficiency and security benefits have largely bypassed the 2 billion consumers in the developing world who lack formal banking services altogether...Read more

Being a Strategic Leader Is About Asking the Right QuestionsBeing a Strategic Leader Is About Asking the Right Questions

If you asked the world’s most successful business leaders what it means to “be strategic,” how many different answers do you think you’d get? Consider this number: 115,800,000. It’s the number of unique links returned when I searched online for “strategic leadership.”

There’s a good reason for all of those links: Strategy is complex. Thought leaders from all over the world have created sophisticated frameworks designed to help leaders grapple with their own strategies at an abstract level. But the reality is that strategy succeeds or fails based on how well leaders at every level of an organization integrate strategic thinking into day-to-day operations. This is less about complexity and more about practical focus...Read more

India Value Fund Advisors to invest 90% capital in four sectors

MUMBAI: Homegrown private equity fund India Value Fund Advisors will now invest 80-90% of its capital in four sectors such as financial services, consumer, healthcare and technology products & services. Amidst this realignment, the fund has been rechristened as True North, reflecting the strategy the 17 year old fund is going to follow going forward, senior company official said...Read more

Going digital is the fourth industrial revolutionGoing digital is the fourth industrial revolution

Technology could be the major differentiator between companies operating in the same sector and having access to similar customer information. This was the major takeaway at the second edition of Forbes India LeaderSpeak—The Digital Transformation Series, held in Pune on November 18.

To enable the creation of thought leadership around the theme of digital transformation in the country, Forbes India, in association with Microsoft, organised a series of panel discussions with senior executives of companies. The panellists in Pune were Tapan Singhel, MD and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co, Shirish Patwardhan, co-founder and chief technology officer, KPIT, Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, Mritunjay Singh, executive director and president – services, Persistent Systems, Arun Nathani, MD and CEO, Cybage Software, and Abhrajit Ray, director, enterprise strategy, Microsoft India...Read more

Why Innovators Should Study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian EmpireWhy Innovators Should Study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian Empire

Most organizations would be happy to last for centuries, as the Venetian Republic did. From 697 to 1797 AD, Venice’s technological acumen, geographic position, and unconventionality were interlocking advantages that allowed the Most Serene Republic to flourish. But when change comes suddenly, it can turn strengths into weaknesses and sweep away even thousand-year success stories.

Venice’s military technology and the city’s pivotal location on the main trade routes of the time gave Venice several strong, mutually reinforcing advantages...Read more

World’s top tech companies amongst the greenest as well

The most environmentally friendly tech companies in the world are those whose power consumption includes a high percentage of renewable energy. They are also transparent about the same. Here is a look at the tech companies that are the greenest...Read more

The World's Most Sustainable Companies 2017The World's Most Sustainable Companies 2017

With 2016 being the second-warmest year on record, and with issues like high executive pay and diversity gaining more awareness, you may be curious to know what companies care most about sustainability. Since 2005, Toronto-based magazine and research firm Corporate Knights has put together the Global 100, an annual list of the world’s most sustainable companies. Using publicly available data, Corporate Knights rates large firms on 14 key measures, evaluating their management of resources, finances and employees...Read more

Automation and modern times

Recent developments in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning have put us on the cusp of a new automation age...Read more

How you can Hyperloop from Chennai to Bengaluru in 30 minutes

If plans of US-based company, Hyperloop One, take off, you could travel from Chennai to Bangalore in just half an hour. The company, which has embarked on an ambitious project to revolutionise the way people move from one city to another, has set its eyes on Chennai and would like to zoom people to Bengaluru...Read more

India will remain one of the fastest growing major economies in 2017India will remain one of the fastest growing major economies in 2017

Moody's Investors Service and its Indian affiliate ICRABSE -1.16 % said India will remain one of the fastest growing major economies globally in 2017, although GDP growth will moderate in the first half of the year, as the economy adjusts after demonetisation.

India is rated Baa3 positive by Moody's.

Moody's also believes that the government will likely achieve its fiscal deficit target of 3.5% of GDP for the current fiscal year ending 31 March 2017, the international rating agency said in a statement on Monday...Read more

A brief introduction to impact investing in India

The year 2005 saw the beginning of the exponential growth in the emergence of impact enterprieses. this is where they stand now...Read more

Bharti Airtel to spend $441 million to set up payments bankBharti Airtel to spend $441 million to set up payments bank

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel LtdBSE -0.50 % , India's top wireless carrier, on Thursday unveiled a so-called payments bank, committing an initial investment of 30 billion rupees ($441 million) to build a nationwide network.

Airtel Payments Bank is the first among several such niche banks to start operations, after the central bank handed over new permits to bring financial services within the reach of millions who still lack access to formal banking.

Payments banks can take deposits and remittances but are not allowed to lend. This new set of banks is expected to increase competition in the sector by offering higher interest rates on deposits...Read more

Analysis: Reputational Risk in the Supply ChainAnalysis: Reputational Risk in the Supply Chain

While it has long been known that corporations face reputational risk related to their own operations and the behaviour of their employees, they are increasingly being held to account for the operations and behaviour of their suppliers as well – a fact recently brought home by the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh. Research Fellow Amanda Moss Cowan looks at the implications.

The Rana Plaza death toll of over 1,100 made the incident the deadliest in the history of the garment industry, and the worst industrial accident worldwide since the Bhopal gas leak in India in 1984. With workers forced to remain inside by management even after cracks had been detected in the building, it was a scene tragically reminiscent of the 1911 fire at New York’s...Read more

Why Entrepreneurs Need to H.A.L.T. Before Making Important DecisionsWhy Entrepreneurs Need to H.A.L.T. Before Making Important Decisions

Entrepreneurship is a journey that often illuminates parts of your personality that you may have been unable or unwilling to see in yourself. Throughout my six years as the CEO of BodeTree, I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself.

One such realization is that I am a naturally stressed-out person. People who don’t know me well might be surprised by this revelation. The truth, however, is that as long as I can remember, I’ve been a worrier who thrives on stress.

Over the years I learned to both mask this stress and turn it to my advantage. As a leader, I often take on the stress of others upon myself and use it to fuel my ambition. This internalization of stress has enabled me to (hopefully) cultivate a team where people are relaxed enough to perform at their peak...Read more

Online retail consumers to cross 100 million by 2017: ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India studyOnline retail consumers to cross 100 million by 2017: ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India study

MUMBAI: The number of consumers who purchase online is expected to cross 100 million by 2017 end with e-retail market likely jumping 65% on year in 2018, an ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India study said on Monday.

"The year 2017 will see large scale growth in the Indian e-commerce sector with increased participation from people across the country. This industry will continue to drive more employment opportunities and contribute towards creating more entrepreneurs through the e-commerce marketplace model," the report said...Read more

Finding the Healthy Tension Between Being Confident and CollaborativeFinding the Healthy Tension Between Being Confident and Collaborative

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with people doing extraordinary things: inventors, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and even a Buddhist master. They are pioneers who shatter norms, change paradigms, and delight us in new ways. Despite vast differences in their styles, personalities, and fields of endeavor, they have striking parallels in what made them successful. Namely, they combine their talent with an important balance between self-confidence and collaboration...Read more

Industry 4.0-as-a-service for digital manufacturingIndustry 4.0-as-a-service for digital manufacturing

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution after the earlier waves which were mechanization with steam, mass production with electricity and automation through computers. It is also referred to as ‘smart manufacturing’ and ‘connected factory’. Industry 4.0 has received a lot of attention recently beyond the CIO’s office. CXOs, political and business leaders are aware of it, due to the business benefits it promises to deliver.

The four broad tenets of Industry 4.0 are:

1. Interoperability of connected equipment. People, products and processes to talk to each other, enabled by Internet of Things...Read more

How solar rooftop plants are cheaper backup than DG setsHow solar rooftop plants are cheaper backup than DG sets

NEW DELHI: Solar rooftop units could be a much cheaper option for large apartment complexes, which usually depend on polluting diesel generator sets for power backup. A new study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found that the cost of using solar plants is less than half of what one would spend on a DG set.

The study released on Tuesday reveals that the cost of power generation from a DG set, including the capital cost, is Rs 27-33 per unit, compared to rooftop solar tariff of Rs 10 per unit. Though most consumers perceive solar power to be expensive, prices of panels have fallen sharply in the past few years, thus bringing down the cost of rooftop projects.The cost of solar panels account for 50-55% of the total project cost...Read more

The Ingredients of Great Leadership

Historian Nancy Koehn explains...Read more

Number of online shoppers may cross 100 million by end of 2017Number of online shoppers may cross 100 million by end of 2017

MUMBAI: The number of consumers who buy online is expected to cross 100 million by 2017 end compared with 69 million last year, boosted by the rise of, among others, better logistical infrastructure and broadband and Internet-ready devices, an ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India study said.

The Indian e-retail market is likely to jump 65% on year in 2018 to $17.52 billion, the study released on Monday showed. The market was at $3.59 billion in 2013 and $5.30 billion in 2014.

"The year 2017 will see large scale growth in the Indian ecommerce sector with increased participation from people across the country...Read more

Keys to unlock corporate innovation and creativityKeys to unlock corporate innovation and creativity

In today's corporate environment, regardless of the industry, if you don't encourage a culture of innovation you will be left far behind. This is a key reason for flatter organisations, with fewer layers of management, becoming popular in recent times. As there are fewer levels of decision making, it is easier to take the risks needed to stay innovative.

There are several benefits of cultivating an innovative culture.

  • Lesser turnover, improved retention: Employees like to work in innovative and challenging jobs that promote team work and problem solving
  • Your business model will continually match the dynamic and rapid changing environment...Read more

Innovation Is ManagementInnovation Is Management

Every entrepreneur wants to be Steve Jobs. But the Steve Jobs they want to be is the Steve Jobs on stage presenting the new iPhone at an Apple event. Not many entrepreneurs want to learn how to be Steve Jobs the day-to-day innovation grind. Innovators in large companies are not any different. I have found a tendency to value ideas and creativity over systematic management processes. But as Eric Ries rightly points out entrepreneurship is management. Ditto innovation. It’s not all fun and games. In fact, transformational innovation is a brutal ‘two steps forward three steps back’ process that is an everyday gut check...Read more

Why Being Unpredictable Is a Bad StrategyWhy Being Unpredictable Is a Bad Strategy

My clients and students assume that competitors should surprise one another with their strategies. Your competitors, they think, should have no idea what you’re going to do.

I predict many of you will say: Of course. Being unpredictable is a competi­tive advantage.

Not so fast.

Keeping secrets can protect competitive advantage. Imag­ine the D-Day invasion of Normandy if the Allies had announced dates and locations...Read more

Execution is a People Problem, Not a Strategy ProblemExecution is a People Problem, Not a Strategy Problem

Paul,* the CEO of Maxreed, a global publishing company, was having trouble sleeping. Publishing is an industry that’s changing even faster than most other fast-changing industries, but Paul wasn’t awake worrying about his strategy. He had a solid plan that took advantage of new technologies, and the board and his leadership team were aligned around it. Paul and his team had already reorganized the structure — new divisions, revised roles, redesigned processes — to support their strategy.

So what was Paul worrying about? People.

Which is precisely what he should be worrying about. However hard it is to devise a smart strategy, it’s ten times harder to get people to execute on that strategy. And a poorly executed strategy, no matter how clever, is worthless.

In other words, your organization’s biggest strategic challenge isn’t strategic thinking — it’s strategic acting...Read more

Top 12 Inspirational Leadership Quotes For 2017

Do you want to become an inspired leader in 2017—one who makes a big difference in your team, your organization, and society?

A good place to start is to review the qualities and practices of exceptional leaders, which have remained the same since the beginning of civilization, as summarized in a book M.A. Soupios and I co-authored, The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership...Read more

Report: Doing Business 2017Report: Doing Business 2017

Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 14th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits,..Read more

The Best Strategic Leaders Balance Agility and ConsistencyThe Best Strategic Leaders Balance Agility and Consistency

As a former consultant, I have a deep and abiding love for the use of 2×2 matrices in business strategy. My favorites are those that highlight two factors that seem, at first glance, in conflict. I find these particularly relevant to personal development, as individuals often must resolve the tensions between competing values and traits and must carefully monitor their own strengths so those strengths don’t lapse into weaknesses...Read more

Designing an innovation process for organizationsDesigning an innovation process for organizations

In the realm of creativity research, there are two schools of thought: the ‘tension’ view and the ‘foundational’ view. Please describe them.

Most people are familiar with the ‘tension view’—although they probably don’t call it that; it is also referred to as ‘diversity of thought’ or ‘recombination of ideas’. The underlying idea is that new ideas are in tension with how we currently think. We get so embedded in one way of thinking about the world, that it is very difficult to break out of it. Within this view of creativity, if you want new ideas, one solution is to bring in a bunch of diverse people from different backgrounds, brainstorm, and do some form of recombining of their ideas to get to a breakthrough...Read more

What So Many Strategists Get Wrong About Digital DisruptionWhat So Many Strategists Get Wrong About Digital Disruption

“Digital is coming and it’s coming fast”; “No industry sector is immune to disruption”; “One thing is certain about digital transformation: It will be a big change for your entire organization”; “Digital will disrupt your industry.”

Judging by the headlines and opening lines of recent articles and business books, digital is about to disrupt your industry and you with it – unless you act now (and buy the book)...Read more

Five ways to take baby steps to leadershipFive ways to take baby steps to leadership

Moving into a leadership role for the first time need not be difficult — but it does mean changing your focus and adjusting your goalposts in a way that you can do justice to the new role. Sreeradha D Basu speaks to experts to find out how you should go about it.

1. Be a Mindful Leader
“It’s absolutely a deal-breaker if you are not a mindful leader,” says Nina Chatrath, founder of Enhance Consulting. “Know yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your drive and lead mindfully. Self-aware leaders go a long way, as they know how to build themselves, build the team, build their function and business,” she says. Invest in understanding your team members: Each member in your team is unique and considers himself unique...Read more

Paytm Payments Bank, NPCI's BHIM app, sign of rising digital finance in IndiaPaytm Payments Bank, NPCI's BHIM app, sign of rising digital finance in India

Paytm Payments Bank Ltd has been given the final go ahead by India’s central bank to start a payments bank, which can take deposits and offer other mobile money services at very low costs to the country’s poor.

The permit adds another significant shoulder to the wheel of digital finance in the country, as Paytm, the largest mobile wallet provider in India, seeks to expand its services.

“Our aim is to build a new business model in banking industry, focussed on bringing financial services to hundreds of millions of unserved or underserved Indians,” Vijay Shekar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications Ltd, which operates the Paytm wallet business, said in a blogpost on Tuesday...Read more

3 Popular Goal-Setting Techniques Managers Should Avoid3 Popular Goal-Setting Techniques Managers Should Avoid

In 2002, professors Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, two of the best known academic researchers on goal-setting, wrote an article in American Psychologist summarizing their 35 years of research. Among their findings:

  • Setting specific, difficult goals consistently leads to higher performance than just urging people to do their best.
  • High goals generate greater effort than low goals, and the highest or most difficult goals produce the greatest levels of effort and performance.
  • Tight deadlines lead to a more rapid work pace than loose deadlines
  • Making a public commitment to a goal enhances personal commitment.
  • Whether the goal is set by mutual agreement or by the boss alone doesn’t make a big difference in goal achievement...Read more

Knowing and recognizing leadership blind spotsKnowing and recognizing leadership blind spots

The mark of a great leader is that they are constantly trying to improve themselves. They understand that they are human, not perfect and often don’t know what they don’t know.

In our anatomy, the blind spot is the point of entry of the optic nerve on the retina. Insensitive to light, it is considered to be an area where a person’s view is obstructed. We have visual blind spots while driving a car, those parts of the road that cannot be seen through any of the mirrors. Similarly we also have psychological blind spots: Aspects of our personalities that are hidden from our own view. These may be annoying habits like bragging or interrupting, or they may be deeper desires or fears that are extremely threatening to acknowledge to oneself...Read more

SBI pushes merger of 5 associate banks, BMB to next fiscal

MUMBAI: The merger of the five associate banks with State Bank of India (SBI) will be postponed to by a quarter due to the demonetisation exercise, acknowledged SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya who for weeks had said that the merger is as per the schedule. The bank had announced in May plans to merge its five associate banks with itself by March 2017 to emerge as a global bank in order to compete with peers in emerging markets...Read more

Instead of Optimizing Processes, Reimagine Them as PlatformsInstead of Optimizing Processes, Reimagine Them as Platforms

Process optimization can transform user experience. Rethinking process optimization — visualizing processes as platforms — can transform your business model.

One applications outsourcing team, for example, proposed a clever UX tweak to help optimize a global fulfillment process their company managed for its biggest client.

The idea was simple: Instead of making buyers go through the entire online ordering sequence only to find stock-outs or delivery delays, why not alert them to product availability upfront? A little dab of inventory data would enhance both customer expectations and process efficiencies. Surely this cheap, customer-centric, and data-driven innovation would impress the client...Read more

Geolocation is changing the retail business model yet againGeolocation is changing the retail business model yet again

In category after category, Amazon has steadily eroded the market share of traditional bricks-and-mortar retail chains, which seem to be in a state of irreversible decline.

Much of the online giant’s competitive advantage is based on its access to and mastery of rich customer data. Traditional retailers know relatively little about their customers, unless they have a loyalty card and actually buy something – and even this knowledge comes late, after a purchase is made. They have no way to cross sell, recommend new products, or target advertising. Unlike Amazon, they can’t tell if a potential customer visits the store or passes by it without buying anything...Read more

Top 10 Visionaries that Changed the World

What if you could sit down to dine with some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and have a conversation with them? What would you ask them? What business ideas and life lessons would they give to you? Of course, it was not possible to deliver any one of these rock star entrepreneurs to your dinner table- no matter who was doing the cooking or what you were serving...Read more

When Large Companies Are Better at Entrepreneurship than StartupsWhen Large Companies Are Better at Entrepreneurship than Startups

Big companies starting businesses from scratch has become a big deal. In many cases, these volatile big bets create bigger movements, up and down, in the stock price of a company than its (more stable) core business.

For example, Google’s restructuring into Alphabet highlighted just how much the company is spending on new businesses, from self-driving cars to space exploration and more. Ford recently announced that a unit called Ford Smart Mobility, headquartered in Silicon Valley, will build new businesses like car-sharing and parking-locator apps. David Kenny, the new head of IBM’s Watson, defines that business as “AI (artificial intelligence) as a service,” a central part of the data analytics market that IBM CEO Virginia Rometty says is a $2 trillion opportunity...Read more

Innovation and emergent strategies for competitive advantageInnovation and emergent strategies for competitive advantage

Strategies broadly fall into two categories: Corporate strategy, or “where to compete,” and business strategy, or “how to compete.” Often companies trip and fall awkwardly somewhere between where to compete and how. Today, we’ll adjust that trip to more of a fashionable skip.

Innovation strategies are emergent, not planned.

Finding a strategy

Articles that highlight concepts of strategy are plentiful, but there are few that define the boundary between having a strategy and not having one. Donald C. Hambrick and James W. Fredrickson help us identify what a strategy is not. Outsourcing is not a strategy. Being a low-cost provider is not a strategy. Chasing a global footprint is not a strategy. Surprisingly, operational effectiveness is also not a strategy...Read more