Any new creation begins with an idea; and who can understand this better than a business owner.
For running a business, growing a business and making it successful, we constantly use ideas and modify them to fit our needs.
In a nutshell, we constantly innovate. In today’s world, the leading business houses across the globe are successful because of their innovation. Innovation not just in terms of technology but in all aspects of their business; whether it is sales and marketing, business strategy, operations, ethics, work culture or environment.
Internet giants Google and electronics giant Apple are the biggest example of the quote ‘Innovation as Growth Catalyst’.
INNOVATION IN INDIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR
Innovation is the backbone of the manufacturing sector of any economy. It was Dhirubhai Ambani’s innovative strategy that without investing much he created an empire called Reliance Industries. Without innovation any and all business will become obsolete over a period of time.
Innovation in manufacturing sector is not limited to technology and products but can be in terms of the business strategy, manufacturing process and management as well. It is difficult to believe at first but been proven with real-life case studies.
Innovation in manufacturing via
In the year 2011-2012, Godrej Appliances in the effort to create an affordable refrigerator for the rural India came up with “Chotucool”, a 43 litres refrigerator that is assembled with 20 parts vis-à-vis 200 in a regular refrigerator. The product is customised in order to penetrate successfully in rural India, which peculiarly faces power shortages. The product has an option of operating on battery, and the high insulation enables it to remain cool for hours even without power.
Even though the product was targeted towards the rural Indian population but as of today it is proving to be a great success in Urban India as well.
Ranked at no. 18 in the Forbes list of most innovative companies of 2016, Asian Paints has come up as the most innovative manufacturing business of India. The company boasts of robust and innovative products not just in the line of paints and décor segment but recently has also acquired a bathroom fitting company, making it a hub for home décor and improvement. The company has a robust R&D department and encourages its employees to do extensive research. A huge list of these employees have also published papers in various national and international journals.
All this is resulting in a massive increase in the demand of their products which is resulting in the need to double its paint manufacturing capacity in Bangladesh and in its north Indian plant in Rohtak, as well as setting up a factory in Sri Lanka.
(2) (http://www.forbes.com/companies/asian-paints/, n.d.)
What better example than Dhirubhai Ambani’s initiation of Reliance Industries and his journey to grow it and create an empire with using very minimal of his own financial resource. Started in 1960, in less than 40 years the company had crossed more milestones than most companies across the globe could anticipate. At present, it is the 2nd largest revenue generating and the 3rd most profitable company in India.
Another example that can be used in this segment is of Hindustan Unilever, currently at no. 31 according to the Forbes list of most innovative companies of 2016, this FMCG company of India operates in 7 segments and covers most possible day-to-day requirements of a consumer. As of March 31, 2012, the Company had over 35 brands spanning 20 distinct categories. Its portfolio includes household brands, such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Surf Excel, Rin, Wheel, Fair & Lovely, Pond’s, Vaseline, Lakme, Dove, Clinic Plus, Sunsilk, Pepsodent, Closeup, Axe, Brooke Bond, Bru, Knorr, Kissan, Kwality Wall’s and Pureit.
(3) (http://www.forbes.com/companies/hindustan-unilever/, n.d.)
Manufacturing Process (from procuring raw material to creating the finished product)
There are 2 companies in India that have shown great innovation in this area. 1st being ITC which in 2000 started its E-Choupal, an internet kiosk for farmers for direct transactions, for the company to directly source the required raw material, to eliminate the middleman and to educate the farmers on best practices for their crops as well as the cost and availability of raw materials (seeds, fertilizers etc). This innovation is helping the company save more than a million US dollars in raw material procurement annually.
The 2nd example in this section is of Mahindra and Mahindra which introduced a new process (Integrated Design and Manufacturing) while developing its multi-utility vehicle “Scorpio”. The process involved cross-functional teams (including Tier I suppliers) which collaborated extensively in the product development process – designing, testing and marketing. The result was a shorter product development cycle. M&M was able to roll out “Scorpio” on an investment of USD 120 million in the project – one-fifth of the average spent on similar projects globally.
(1) (http://www.ibef.org/download/Innovation-in-Indian-Manufacturing-310512.pdf, n.d.)
Innovation in management of a company is the trickiest as it just doesn’t redefine what a manager does but also how he/she does it, which creates a ripple effect in the entire organization. Toyota has so far had the best and the most drastic innovation in its management system called the ‘Toyota Production System’ which works on the basis of empowerment of the workers as the centrepiece of human resources management system that fosters creativity, continuous improvement, and innovation. Thus, the company encourages its employees to participate in all aspects of decision making and it engenders high levels of employee loyalty. A major hallmark of Toyota’s success in the world market is attributed directly to the synergy in its policies in human resources management and supply chain networks.
(4) (http://in.kpmg.com/pdf/Innovation-in-manufacturing.pdf, n.d.)
While both large firms and SME’s in India have shown and are still showing a lot of innovation; according to the Government of India’s National Knowledge Commission, the Indian SME’s have shown a much higher intensity and variety of innovation as compared to its larger counterparts. India being a heterogeneous market with diverse needs gives more opportunities to SMEs towards innovation in various aspects especially in terms of products and services and the target audience.
The Make in India and Startup India initiative of the government further encourages the need and desire of innovation in Indian entrepreneurs and economy on the whole.
Getting innovative ideas is fun but being able to execute it successfully is what makes a business better.
Recently, one of our team members suggested to build something that will help our users get multiple outputs with few quick actions – this is how we developed our new quicker way to Send Message.
The beauty of it all, once you select your desired options, a pre-filled message is created to send to the business listing; your requirements are generated and alerts are set for your future matching business opportunities. With just a few clicks, you are all set.
Feels like magic, isn’t it? We believe the same.
NOTE FROM OUR TEAM MEMBER
Being a niche business with a business idea still very novel to our countrymen; we constantly innovate to benefit our users.
Ideation, Innovation and Implementation is the core of our organization and we would love to hear your views on the same.