In this competitive global market, survival for companies has become extremely challenging. Every decision taken can either make it or break it for a company. Apart from several strategic tactics like expansion, diversification and a change in the distribution channels, it is vital for companies to understand the importance of another tactic – innovation. Innovation is equated with evolution of an idea and its effective execution. It’s a technique of survival that involves being different and moving away from what may be mainstream in an industry. It is about putting a vision of bringing in a transformation, into action.
Considering innovation by Indian businesses, there are four success stories that highlight how innovation not just leads to survival of a business in an industry, but rather a revolution in the industry itself.
- Tata Ace- Transforming the commercial vehicle industry
During the late 1990’s, a recession had befallen the commercial vehicle sector. Tata Motors were having approximately 60% of the market share, thereby making recovery seem tricky and hard. The top management began thinking of new ways to tackle with the challenge and protect the company from future downturns.
By having set up four cross functional teams and understanding the market requirements and the customer needs, Tata Motors was able to come up with the idea of bringing in four-wheeled small sized trucks, Tata Ace into the market. These trucks were affordable, more stable, provided all-weather protection and could carry a greater load too, which perfectly dealt with problem of recession cycles in the truck sector and has changed this industry completely.
- Bajaj Auto- Transforming the two wheeler industry
Bajaj Auto became the world’s first company to make two-wheeler engines with two spark plugs in the combustion chamber. In the early 1990’s, the situation of the Indian two-wheeler industry was such that the makers relied upon large multinational companies to share equity and profits with their Indian partners merely in exchange for knowledge of the local territories, market and customer. Bajaj Auto had a tie up with Japan’s Kawasaki, but the dependency was for fulfilling only the technical purposes. Bajaj was one of those very few two wheeler companies that invested money on their R&D. As a result of which, they were able to come up with the DTS-i technology.
Researching on this technology would have been risky for any company as its experimentation involved several complicated techniques and processes. Moreover it would have led to high expenditure on research and development. DTS-i gave 18 per cent more fuel economy and 12 per cent more power. The biggest sign of DTS-i’s success is that it is being adopted rampantly by two-wheeler makers in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.
- Indian Premiere League- Transforming the cricket industry
It’s not been a decade just yet, but the IPL has made a significant difference in how we view domestic cricket. It has helped cricket boards around the world understand just how powerful T20 cricket can be, and while the Test traditionalists might be against this modern form of cricket, IPL’s staying power has been something quite extraordinary. The tournament itself has undergone a number of changes since then. It has also had a number of scandals. The problems the IPL has cannot be polished over, but even with all its flaws, the IPL has changed cricket perpetually.
Marketers and administrators now understand the power T20 has, not just in terms of generating revenue, but also as a way of introducing new fans to the game. It was the first time an Indian cricket event was covered live globally. It has also helped players gain financial security and has turned them into superstars. Now players could earn a good living from the game even if they did not get into the national team.T20 has gone from struggling for an identity to becoming the epitome of entertainment. With the involvement of cheerleaders, Bollywood stars and international players, the IPL transformed a game of cricket into something marketable.
- Ola Cabs/ Meru Cabs/ Taxiforsure/Uber- Transforming the taxi rental market
Indian taxi services market was majorly an unorganized sector; however, the organized radio taxi services market has been witnessing robust growth over the last five years. With changing lifestyle of expanding middle class, the radio taxi market in the country continues to grow. Number of radio taxis plying on Indian roads has witnessed a tenfold increase between 2009 and 2013. Start ups like Olacabs, TaxiForSure, Meru and Uber are making a positive impact in India’s taxi-rentals market with an estimated revenue of about $ 9 billion. They have expanded their network with more than 4, 00,000 cabs and serving over 6, 00,000 customers on daily basis.
In the process, they are changing the lives of thousands of drivers. Monthly income of several taxi drivers has almost tripled ensuring job security for many. These startups use technology to manage the network of their drivers and link them to the customers. Rapid urbanization, changing lifestyle and technological improvements in commutation would cause an increase in the Indian radio taxi market both in terms of value and volume.
These four innovations have changed the dynamics of different industries and have initiated a revolution of change not just on a national scale but on a global scale too. It all comes to down having an idea and proficiently implementing it. India definitely has potential of growing and impacting other nations globally and these above mentioned examples act as an evidence for this. All it needs is a vision and the courage to take the risk of taking an untrodden path.
Vedika is a student at SSCBS, DU. The views expressed are based upon the analysis and research that the writer did on the topic from various books, reports and web articles. The writer regularly writes for Corporate Monks as a research associate. The writer takes personal responsibility for the ownership of the content shared and incase some sources have not been given credit, you can directly mail the writer email@example.com