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Digital Disruption

The generation before mine has seen a wide spectrum of change in technology. Right from transistors to smartphones. It has fared well with these life-changing scenarios but is still having certain rigid ideologies. I am going to use a traditional family-run brick and mortar merchant shop as an example here. But its fairly applicable to even large enterprises who operate in silos.

In a world full of ‘Amazons’ and ‘Flipkarts’, people are still focusing on the old-school ways of doing business, with handwritten inventories and registers. Tech-savvy customers ‘do’ and ‘will’ prefer the digitized way of doing business.

To further explain the point, let me demonstrate with an example. Let’s say, today an ideal client who buys from a traditional brick-mortar shop is a 30-year-old. She has the money and the need to buy from this shop. 25–30 years from today, the shop’s ideal client will still be a 30-year-old. However, this future 30-year-old will be born in 2020, which is a fully digitalized world consumed by social networks, digital payments, driver-less cars, etc. Hence, the future 30-year-old will be discomforted when dealing with a traditional brick-mortar shop.

Another issue the age-old family business faces is when the next generation in the family is not keen on joining the existing business. Reasons can be several, but the most prominent is “I want to do something different”. The new generation will always find it annoying when they are able to book-buy-sell everything on the internet, other than their own business. Sitting and waiting for the customer to arrive at the shop ain’t going to be easy either.

Tech-savvy customers and next-generation not keen on entering the business can be a setback to traditional family-oriented businesses.

A disruption in business can be a lifesaver here!

Disruption can be defined as 10-times change in the one or more following factors -

1. Time (say, time to service a customer; delivery time; time to produce)
2. Cost (say, reusable material; less expensive labor)
3. Value (say, highly convenient, extremely engaging)

To elaborate, let’s take three examples:

Time: On a busy Saturday evening dinner time, an already packed Pizza Restaurant can take up to 3 or more hours (go-wait-eat-comeback). However, if the same restaurant delivers the same pizza in less than 20 mins, it has struck GOLD!
Cost: A manufacturing industry, automates a process to create the product, thus bringing down the prices substantially.
Value: This is the single most important factor that can bring a difference in the customer experience. Cab aggregators like OLA and Uber are the perfect example. An OLA cab can neither reduce the commute time nor the cost by 10 times, but it brings a significant value — “convenience”!

In today’s world, digitization can add significant value to any possible business out there. One can use digital transformation for

a) selling services or products (used by OLA, BigBasket, Flipkart)

b) find new customers or markets (you can use Website, Blogs, Facebook, and Google)

c) create and retain network (you can use LinkedIn, Newsletters)

d) improve services or products (create your own mobile apps or customized software

Digital Transformations can have ‘the butterfly effect’ for the end product/service.

A slight change in the mode of operations, from manual to digital, can affect the time required to develop a particular product as well as it’s accuracy.

This, in turn, can help in delivering more value to the customers, and improvise the outlook of the customer towards that particular business.

Digital Transformation in family run business can give a sense of “new and different” to the next generation in the family. The new generation won’t feel the digital gap between their family business and personal lives.

Businesses need to be on a continuous lookout for the changes in the ecosystem and adapt to it. As the customers’ needs change, the business can choose a disrupting in either or all the factors.

Moreover, businesses cant escape it. Digitilization is a one-way street!

No one wrote a letter when their phones went out of service! (they got the phone working ;-)

Thanks for the inputs Shri. Sharad Heda

Thanks & Regards,
Saurabh Gawande

Founder & CEO,

NonStop io Technologies Pvt Ltd,

saurabh@nonstopio.com