The retail and consumer goods in India has gone through a lot of euphoria.
Around mid 2000s, everybody wanted to venture into retail and figure out the operations later on. Consumer industry in India had players who had been around for more than 50 years and several of them thought that they understood Indian consumer. The session on – ‘How to launch a fast growing consumer company: Opportunity identification and Business Planning’ moderated by Shubhendu Roy, Partner, AT Kearney along with panelists - Dhruva Chandrie, COO, Shop CJ; Mahendra Surekha, MACJ and Kupalakshmi, evangelist, Zoho Corporations brought forth some of the fresh business ideas that are confident to pass the litmus test at the consumer market.
What’s the trend?
India is a huge market and consumerism is on an upward swing. When we want to take any idea forward there are some of the macro and micro trends that we need to be aware of. The session brought forth three extremely fresh and innovative business concepts that address the some of the unmet necessities in the Indian market. While tele home shopping has been around for quite some time and happens to be a high growth driver, the concept of home inspection is something that the consumer market needs to be educated about. Surekha shared about the gaps in the Indian real estate industry and the opportunity latent in the home inspection market which is a newbie in India and a thriving 3 billion dollar industry in the US. Same goes for cross functional products for small businesses and start-ups. Kupalakshmi representing Zoho which caters to small businesses and start ups says, ““We started with what we could offer to the customer and what could be the challenges face by someone who wants to set up a business which entails everything from the seed capital to operations, recruitment and employee management; and every aspect of a start-up enterprise through the various user-friendly applications.”
The Matrix of Success
Indisputably, the dynamic consumer market and the ever growing demands are creating room for fresh business concepts. However, what is the matrix of success still remains the million dollar question and each one has his own answer for the same. Roy, however emphasized on the unit economics. He explains, “Whenever you get into an opportunity, there is a fair amount of uncertainty. Hence, you need to have a very good sense of unit economics. One unit, one outlet, one box is making money. And money making also defines as how the investors defines his financial matrix. If we can justify the unit economics, we have the right to do scale up.”
As we talk about the matrix of success, we cannot ignore the 3Ps – product, people and processes. While all the three elements are interlinked and crucial to the business, these can’t be put in a linear fashion. An entrepreneur has to constantly juggle all the three elements to ensure smooth functioning and sustainability of a business.