Saturday, September 18, 2010

SST - The Expandable Indian Business Model for Sustainable Business

It has been here since time immemorial. It was part of our thought process and cultural values. To us it is the way we perceive things as consumers. If we can take forward this concept to better heights as a process of continuous improvement, there is no looking back. I am talking about three beautiful words that mean the way an Indian consumer defines his needs precisely -- Sasta, Sundar, Tikaoo -- meaning cheaper (cost-effective), beautiful (presentable) and reliable (value added). In the days where vernacular terms like "Jugaad" (meaning make-shift arrangement) gets active references from mentionable places such as Harvard, I feel SST also merits equal (if not more) attention.
Sasta – Cost Effective
This is one reason that keeps India a preferred outsourcing location: our products/services are cheaper at cost. In the era of biggies like US threatening to pull the plug on perpetual outsourcing efforts, Sasta is the most preferred way to contain business risks. Many times there is no valid reason why we charge a premium to over products or services if we can extend the assembly-line process to include value-for money components that share our business value.
Sundar – Presentable
That you are marketing a cheaper solution is not a valid reason to hard-sell products of unacceptable look and feel. This applies not only for the hardware (electronics, communication items, fabrics), but also for the software and services. Organizations need to put emphasis not to make their products look cheap and visually repelling. The quality of material used in manufacturing, the design process, all have to keep up with a certain acceptable standards.
Tikaoo - Reliable
Not just in India but customers around the world prefer a reliable product than just something else that serves the purpose. Organizations should emphasize on providing lasting solutions to customers, and at the same time encourage them to provide feedback about what more would they like to see in any given product line. This would help the product define and expand its target audience, and at the same time establish itself as a reliable brand before its target market. This is conventional wisdom for the Indian customer and the Indian way of running business. This is something we all know as customers. However the story does not end with this. SST should not be considered an end by itself but a reliable tool for continuous improvement, instead.

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