Sunday, 13 August 2017

Projects can give a turning point to students

Sanju a B School Student has taken up a project to do an analysis about the consumer preference and opinion about a model of CAR. He has 3 other team mates in the project but not so keen on the project. the problem was to get the data of car buyers. Sanju used his contact and convinced a car showroom to part the email ids of about 1000 car buyers. He designed a google form and sent it to all email ids he has. The form was well designed to take the inputs of car users, It was having 10 questions with option to choose the desired answer and an opinion column. He got good response. Out of 1000 emails sent he got about 320 inputs in the first attempt. He made repeated efforts and successfully collected about 520 response. That was a good attempt. Later Sanju collected all the opinions and tabulated the information.
Summary of the information showed some stunning outcome:
  • Happiness index : 61% of the respondents told that they are very happy, another 24% they are happy(OK), Another 9% said they are not happy, 6% said, "cannot say".
  • Mileage (Cost Index) : 68% of the people marked Very Fuel Efficient, 21% said some what efficient, 11% said their vehicle is not fuel efficient. (about 58 car owners said they are not happy with the fuel efficiency)
  • Maintenance Index: Showed 37% are fully satisfied, another 23% said they are somewhat satisfied, whopping 40% ( 212 owners) said they are not happy. Reason: maintenance is too expensive.
  • An opinion section was given to respondents to express their opinion : It was having about 212 opinions. Since it is an open section Sanju came across various opinions. Divided into three sections: 1. Problem related 2. Suggestions & 3 Technical inputs
  • Out of which there are more than 140 opinions about one issue: that the car's ground clearance. The model is having a low ground clearance as a result it hits the road humps frequently. This is one of the major problems vehicle owners are facing.
Sanju prepared detailed analysis and report, submitted to the HOD. the project got the attention of HOD. He found it is interesting. He called Sanju and told him to submit a copy to a business analyst and obtain the review. As a result it came to me. I went through the project and how it is done. It was done very precisely. I checked most of the email response as i wanted to ascertain that Sanju has received response from 520 car owners. It was true that sanju got response. I was more interested in the analysis. It is also throwing light on various issues that are essentially required for a car maker. Then i contacted the GM of the car manufacturing company and sent a copy of the report and said i need to discuss. I got prompt response for an online call. I engaged in the call and analysed the report and it was an eye opener for the company, as their sales figures are going down in the same way as reflected in the report.
The car model was an initial hit. This created overconfidence in the team. As result company was focusing on sales instead of customer satisfaction. It was doing well for 6 months and later sales figures started sliding down. But team was giving some excuse and the management was blind. When they saw our analysis, it was in accordance with the customer feeling and slide in sales figures. This was an eye opener to the company and company started damage control exercise. Some times even MNCs will go blind listening and believing to team.
But the real part of the story is next: The company wanted to know who has done this R&D . I promptly spoke to company about the Sanju and told them you need to hire him to a senoir position as he deserves such encouragement and he was hires as a senior analyst for their sales division and he will be reporting directly to GM sales.
I hope you understood the importance of the project and how can your project give you better options to your career. Some points about your project:
  1. Project and Internship are very important steps that connect you to the industry.
  2. Choose your project carefully and involve 100% in that.
  3. While choosing project be clear about what your doing and why you are doing. Do it as per your interest and passion. Use your discretion power wisely while choosing a project.
  4. Involve in your project complete whether your team mates will support or not. If they don't support take it as an opportunity and do their role also. It gives you more exposure and confidence.
  5. Don't do the project just for the sake of exam and marks.
  6. Many more points we will discuss do contact on Or Call on +9845429122
Dr. Guruprasad T N

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How to Approach a Startup Idea?

The moment a new idea is conceived the enthusiasm level goes up, creates restlessness in the person who conceived the idea. Mind start working on various calculations and thoughts. Excitement peaks. This is the usual sign when you got into a new thinking, new idea or an innovation. This is a good sign. If an idea is not allowing you to sleep and creates restless in you, that means you are very much carried away by the idea. But how you take it forward matters. Let's see how we can take it forward, what you should do and not do, how to convert it into a workable proposition and finally into a feasible business.
  • Discussion with peers: when you conceive such idea, the common mistake we do is: start discussing with friends, peers and family. Every time when you discuss such ideas you get some inputs, mostly positive. Your people wont give negative feedback even if they feel the idea is not so useful. This will make you over confident about your idea. This may be detrimental to your business.
  • Don't discuss your ideas with a common man or a friend who is not a professional. Approach a business guy, or an analyst or a seasoned professional. When you are going for such discussion, do share your purpose and the document before meeting, so that you will have right feedback.
  • Evaluate your idea: Your child is always the best for you. But you should come out such emotions to review the idea from an user/customer perspective. Have a practical thinking while evaluating your idea. Your idea/innovation may be very useful, there may be a need for that. Still you need to ascertain does it have a commercial viability. Does it carry a commercial need? Are users/customers will pay for your solution? is the answer you need to find. Remember : All problem solving ideas cannot be commercialized. To be a good start up your idea need to have a market and market potential. Be sure about this, this is a critical step. You need to do with the help of professionals, not yourself.
  • Don't be an all rounder: Most of the startup enthusiast try to do most of the initial steps on their own. You need to work on various steps to get your idea into a workable business. 1. Idea to plan 2. Presentation 3. Market Test and Market Research, 4. Business Plan, 5. Financial Plan 6. Prototype/working model 7. Funding 8. Market potential 9. Implementation plan etc. These are the tasks to be done by professionals not by you. But most of the times promoters of startup try to do most of these things on their own. Very important: you just work in the area where you have the expertise. Don't waste your time in the areas where you don't have an expertise. I have seen this as a common problem,when the startup is promoted by young guys and software professionals.
  • Initial Cost: It's sure that when you float a startup, you have various spending. You/team should be ready to do such initial investment. Like company incorporation, Market test/research, business plan and projection, prototype, developing a web page etc. This shows that you have risk taking ability. If you don't have capacity or ability to spend on some of the initial cost don't take it forward. Chances of success are very little.
  • Funding needs: Every startup looks for funding. But most of the startups die because they don't get funded. If this is the case you may end up in loosing few years while experimenting on funding. Please understand one important development: Funding will happen only to the proven business models. You need to prove that your business works. you need to setup the business and run it and show that it works, then there will be many takers for your business. Business of FUNDING has changed the game. Funding is done for scaling not for converting your idea to business. Even though many funders say they will fund innovative ideas, in practice they won't. They ask for proof of earnings.
  • TEAM : Two things funders are very specific: 1. Is the business proposed has the need and market potential 2. Does the team of promoters have the capability to build business. That means you should be sure of two things. One the market potential of your proposal and the team who accomplish the task. Unless yo are sure about these don't venture into the funding. If you do so you are wasting your time.
Startup process needs various other ingredients to be successful Let's discuss these in the next session. Keep your view/comments/questions posted to

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Building a Global Business

I was going through a small manufacturing unit of CHINA. It is a tiny ceramic manufacturing unit, in a remote part of China. Having facility to manufacture ceramic cups and other domestic ceramic articles. Quality of the ceramic items manufactured is ok but not very good. But they are supplying to various parts of the world, including India. One small unit with 25 workers is creating a big impact in International Market . Growing @ 300% every year, for the past 5 years.
I wanted to understand the Indian Market and studied few such facilities. Similar unit in India with double the workforce, better quality and price advantage are just doing only local business. Surprisingly it is produced cheaper in India than China. Quality is much superior but Indian manufacturers have not made any impact in the global market. Even in Indian market I saw China products are competing in spite of higher price and lower quality. 
Why is it So? This is the case with many manufacturing units, who produce best quality items and won't sell in International market. I spoke to some of the manufacturers and producers. Met few entrepreneurs, analyzed the available information and data. Found an interesting fact. 
CONFINED MINDSET is the main reason that is blocking the growth of business. When their counterparts in China are growing at 300% every year local business owners are happy with about 10-15% growth. Why is this so?. They have price advantage and quality. Still they have not made up their mind to participate in international market.
  1. Most of them i met gave various reasons, for not growing as per their counterparts in China. but the fact is "all such reasons are just excuses."
  2. They have market, they have opportunity, they have investment, Government encouragement . But still if they are not willing or made up their mind to compete. It's the confined mindset that is stopping them from competing globally.
  3. Surprisingly, most of the manufacturers are willing to take it to the international market. But they have not done it. This is just an opinion but not a decision.
  4. They are aware how china is en cashing on opportunities. They know that China is exporting inferior quality & charging double. But still they have not made up mind to expand, are not keen on venturing into the international market.
how to Change the CONFINED MINDSET? is the biggest challenge.
  • Changing the mindset and preparing a person to think and act big is very tricky task. We need to break the mindset that thinks with in a boundary. We have to bring the mind out of comfort zone. Prepare the mind to accept the change. All such exercise has to be done, after understanding his business and related factors. There is no common formula to achieve this result.
  • This has to be done after understanding the person, his industry, how it is currently running, what are the road blocks etc. All these exercise should be done in relation to the specific business.
  • We need to figure out the areas that are blocking the growth. We need to work with the thinking of business owner as well as team.
  1. Changing the vision and bringing a clarity on the new vision is most important exercise we need to do. Clarity on vision will help us to fix the goals. Once goals are set, we can draw the path (activities) to reach the goal.
  2. But this requires the help of an expert analyst who can understand, analyse and help business owners to think different. It is not just analysis that helps. Later there should be various exercises to be carried out to bring in over all changes in owner as well as in the team. There should be a constant monitoring of activities and goals. Doing this over a period of time can bring in changes to the organisations. This helps them to create a global enterprise.
Business owners/decision makers may approach for more help. We are glad to be associated in mutual growth.
Dr. Guruprasad TN +919845429122