Founders and CEOs of five different companies assembled at IBS Hyderabad during the first ever business meet on September 9, 2016.
ICFAI Business Studies (IBS), Hyderabad was delighted to host the first ever business meet on September 9, 2016 highlighting the topic ‘Value Creation and Surviving Hyper-Competitive Markets’. It was the most amusing moments for all the IBSians, when the Founders and CEOs of five different companies assembled for a momentous event.
The Business Meet, which was focused around the topic ‘Value Creation and Surviving Hyper-Competitive Markets’ was one that the students approached with enormous zeal. The event started with the official lighting of the lamp by the guests and faculties. The guests were each gifted a bouquet to appreciate their involvement with the meet. One of the Marketing faculties, Prof. Mukesh Mishra, welcomed the guests to the event and expressed enthusiasm about learning a great deal. He also shared his thoughts about today’s evolving market and how economic globalisation is commoditizing products at a rapid rate. He urged the existing companies to never back down from a fight and as he handed the meet over to the guests, he hoped to have all his questions answered.
The first guest to speak was Mr. Narayana Peesapaty, the Managing Director of Bakey’s Food Pvt. Ltd., who found the topic of the event so appealing, he couldn’t say no to be a part of it. His company specializes in making edible cutlery, and he was confident enough in saying that it was a far superior product to what the other competitors were offering. He elucidated that the company’s USP was ‘cheap product creation’ and a fully automatic manufacturing process. The latter ensures that the end users are the first human hands to touch the product. He ended his speech by shedding light on the fact that their mission was to reduce the prices as much as possible, and that’s how they were not only surviving, but thriving in the market.
The second speaker was Mr. Sanjay Jesrani, the Founder and CEO of GoNorth Ventures. He had a very unique way of putting his opinion forward as he used three real-world examples to highlight the importance of standing out. The first case was of Paper Boat, a company so crazy, he said, that they decided to compete against the uber giants in the beverage industry, Coke and Pepsi. But this penchant for craziness was the ultimate difference creator as they used innovative marketing strategies and attracted nostalgia to gain a niche for them.
The second focus was Urban Ladder that used ‘customer obsession’vas an angle to penetrate the market. Their production is 100% in-house and have terrific design-utility and aesthetics. Their biggest challenge is to compete against IKEA, which is slowly gaining entry into India and are opening their first centre in Hyderabad. The third and final case was Tesla which was able to make a mark in an Auto Pilot industry, as Mr. Jesrani put it. With all the giants already present there, it was simple, yet effective technological creations that disrupted the industry. Elon Musk introduced the supercharger and that helped them ignore being bullied by their competitors.
The third guest to deliver his message was Mr. Naidu Darapenani, the Co-Founder and CEO of MeraEvents. He talked how, when he entered into the market in 2009, there weren’t many tools available in the event industry. He built one of India’s largest DIY event technology platforms. But the key is to understand why customers choose you. He implored that start-ups fail because of a lack of value-based differentiation. “Me-too” start-ups are doomed to fail because they offer nothing new or better. Very few entrepreneurs admit that their product is not too different. And when the going gets tough, leaving the market has almost become a strategy for start-ups.
He elucidated three steps that start-ups can follow to build differentiation:
- Define customer expectations.
- Focus on customer experience from all angles.
- Think outside the box.
Mr. Darapenani ended his speech by giving a two-word mantra to start-ups – “Take risks!”
The fourth guest to speak was Mr. Abhay Deshpande, the Founder and CEO of Martjack. He started by asking the audience, how many of them wanted to build a start-up. About 40-50% raised their hands and Mr. Deshpande was quite pleased with that. He opined that a tipping point has come in the digital world. India product $7 billion through start-ups in the last year and another $10 billion is expected from digital economy. He shared that any good idea which can be built around a space is an opportunity. People fail to see the amount of effort that gets put into making it successful. Martjack went from asking Rs. 399 a month from its customer to Rs. 39 a month. It’s all about how you present yourself to your customer.
The final speaker was Mr. Yeshwanth Nag Mocherla, the Founder of the Thickshake Factory. He was different in the sense his product was not in the space of e-commerce, but something that consumers can hold in their hands, drink and pay. He used the “Blue Oceans Strategy” to build a consumer-base as he created a new market when he had a unique product. A lot of Market Research was involved, and the trick, as he found, was that consumers often don’t know what they want. Starbucks didn’t invent coffee – they simply took a product and built an organisation. The definition of a “Milkshake” was different in the minds of the consumers than it was in the mind of the company. He simply realized the need to create value and positioned effectively. The bottom line – “If we provide value and information, survival is simply not an issue!”
The entire meet was filled with wisdom to the brim. That sentiment was shared by one of the faculties, Prof. GK Shrikant, who gave a rousing review for the event. He also had a few questions for the panel and wanted to learn what industries would give the most return in today’s scenario. The panel agreed that education, IT, and specially the health sector hadn’t seen as widespread a revolution as necessary and start-ups should look into them.
The audience and the faculties then thanked the panellists for the wonderful session and couldn’t express their gratitude enough. Everybody went away with more than a few insights into how they, too, can become a success in the self-business world.
Source: Maverick IBS, HTCampus Specialist
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