CATALYST INDIA

Management Consulting Services – Capability building for growth

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Blog

Welcome to our blog page where you’ll find articles and posts on managing, growing, building capabilities and transforming your business

Impact of Innovation

Impact of Innovation

Just read that interest in dishwasher (DW) search in India has multiplied many-fold. It was not feasible until now to manufacture DWs in India (a mkt of only 60K per annum). The major manufacturers globally are btw, Whirlpool-USA, Haier-China, Electrolux-Sweden, Japan, Korea, German companies, and surprisingly Turkey!! During the pandemic middle income Indians have calculated that it costs Rs 500-800/month to run and maintain a DW. It now uses only 6 to 7 litres water/wash. So, housemaids...

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SMEs should scale using Digital & Industry 4.0 technologies

SMEs should scale using Digital & Industry 4.0 technologies

Problems during strong growth: Small and mid size companies typically face a number of problems when it comes to scaling using technology. Everything works well when business is steady state. But during a steep economic upcycle like we have now, there is a hustle to rush production and suddenly they are unable to use data effectively to gain visibility; products don’t move out on time, WIP spikes due to problems, product development targets seem to have been missed, they lose customers to...

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Transform Customer support into a value generating function

Transform Customer support into a value generating function

Marketing & sales focus on customer acquisition and essentially the buyer. Customer support focuses on the user and is required for customer retention. This is valuable in businesses where customer lifetime value is significant; (ex: we keep visiting amazon repeatedly to shop); Especially, online retailers, automobile companies (who depend on significant revenue through service), hospitals, machinery/OEMs, technology products, SAAS products and other such businesses where delivery,...

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Is marketing evil or good?

Is marketing evil or good?

Evil marketing Well, It’s is just a tool. But it is the marketer and the goods being pushed that really matter. If it’s drugs, or cigarettes, then yes, certainly it is evil. Then there are cases where the marketer started out with a good reputation and has turned malefic. Recently, a very large reputed mutual fund in India that holds tens of thousands of crores of people’s money in trust to invest on their behalf in certain types of funds (allegedly safer!) faced extreme redemption pressure...

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Hybrid Innovation Strategies

Hybrid Innovation Strategies

Innovation now needs Second wave technologies to be integrated Digital is no longer about digitizing bits and pieces of workflow in the company to usher in automation and be productive. There is a more serious disruption at play involving innovation in products, business models to transform the entire business itself.  It’s not just using IT, but also adopting many second wave technologies like IOT, AI, AR, and machine learning across areas like product, training, customer support, you...

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How to use permission marketing to grow business

How to use permission marketing to grow business

Fundamental tactics of digital marketingThe tactics for digital marketing strategy are essentially advertisements, social platforms or direct mailing. The first two will allow us to market to an audience for a certain payment. They give temporary permissions to target certain audiences. In the case of ads, its like an interruption in the consumer’s flow of consuming media (like a TV ad), though, in the case of digital ads, the consumer is given a choice in whether to click on the ad. In the...

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Thoughts for Strategy – post opening of lockdown

Economic and work changes due to the pandemic The virus could recur, and severity could wax and wane, if predictions that it will follow the influenza virus pattern is something to go by. Also, how long will it be before everyone gets vaccinated? Future pandemics cannot be ruled out. Strategists will be worrying about these now. There is already a thinking that dangers from climate change could be worse and irreversible compared to this pandemic. It would be much harder to invent a cure and...

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Transforming the business for growth, sustainability & scale

Transforming the business for growth, sustainability & scale

Owner driven small and mid-size companies grow quickly, but may at some point, consider professionalizing the business, to allow the next generation to take over, or scale up the business, or to bring in strategic investors. Reasons could be many. Owner led firms usually depend on preferential access to clients (by virtue of the founder’s relationships), talent & capital. Clients would know them well, their bankers lend because of their track record, and talent within the company sticks on...

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Strategies of best performing companies

Strategies of best performing companies

Difference between the best companies and the rest Surveys have revealed that most senior executives believe that their companies do not have a winning strategy, nor do they have the right capabilities to execute the strategy. Companies that are great at both strategy and execution don’t necessarily follow existing industry practices. Below are a few things they do that contradicts conventional management wisdom, but if followed in your respective industries would lead to long term sustainable...

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Building core management capabilities in companies

Building core management capabilities in companies

Most people think of Strategy as intellectual and exciting, while execution is considered mundane. It is often left to lower and middle level managers to handle on a day to day basis, and not much thought goes into it, especially among small and medium enterprises. Execution means effective management and this means challenges in the form of processes and people. Unless companies actively make necessary investments in these areas, execution is bound to be mediocre at best.  Today, as the bar...

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A lethal combo tool to grow business

A lethal combo tool to grow business

Many mid size companies in India have good calibre sales men. In some of the older companies, these sales people acquire technical capabilities and are long timers in the company. They are pretty good in talking the customer’s language and closing deals. Unfortunately, 70% of a sales reps time is spent scouting for leads and in trying to get an appointment. They just don’t seem to have enough of them. The common complaint I hear from senior management is that the sales team is warming the...

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Leveraging messaging platforms for marketing

Leveraging messaging platforms for marketing

Marketing has evolved from being personal to being generic and finally onto algorithmic personalization today. Marketing culture today is obsessed with digital technology. People are just data points and subsets of various online communities, profiling logic, databases etc., The outcome of such micro targeting has still been a hit and miss. Going forward, this could be a thing of the past. Messaging platforms are expected to make marketers do a U turn and get up close and personal with their...

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How to design a channel strategy

How to design a channel strategy

After segmenting, targeting, understanding customers, positioning ourselves and exploring new markets to enter (subjects discussed in my other blogs), comes the task of reaching out to these markets. Channels are routes to reach customers,  Customers can be reached through a spectrum of channels ranging from a direct sales force or indirectly through distributors, volume resellers, value added resellers, service and support partners, solution partners, partner retailers etc., each providing...

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Strategies to re-engineer and grow your trading business

Strategies to re-engineer and grow your trading business

Trading companies are the most widespread form of businesses and act as channels for manufactures to reach into far flung markets. Trading companies are complex organizations that have their own culture, diverse functions and customer relationships. They can range from small entrepreneurial set ups to professional companies with focus, and there could be large global trading companies like the Japanese sogososhas. In India, despite trading being controlled by business communities, as the size...

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The future of our work life

The future of our work life

Articles going around on Amazon’s work culture talk about companies (including many start-ups) envisioning a new workplace which is fluid but tough, with employees staying for only a short time (meaning temporary) and employers demanding the maximum. Many are places where blue collar workers work in difficult physical conditions, while white collar workers feel driven hard, but get no empathy from their employer. A request for leave to care for a loved one who has fallen ill or a need to...

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Tuning the Sales engine

Tuning the Sales engine

Many a times, the sales of a firm  starts off from the founder’s personal contacts and then expands into newer territories. As firms grow and expand, there is  need to diversify and derisk customer base, both in terms of revenue from a particular segment and percentage of contribution from a the top few customers. However, most companies find this desired state alluding, for many reasons. Sales structure, team reporting, carving of markets and sales measurements are the major roadblocks that...

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Need for B2B branding

Need for B2B branding

Is branding required in the B2B context? In the B2C context companies like Coca-cola and Pepsi persuaded consumers that sugar water with some acids and colouring was better than water, and the in-thing to keep sipping all the time. If branding worked for them, it must surely have relevance in the B2B context as well. At the same time, surveys have shown that most industrial brands are just labels and do not really have strong correlation with the qualitative attributes of the product. What...

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Aligning sales & marketing

Aligning sales & marketing

Most companies in traditional industries during the formative years typically have marketing and sales managed by a single department. On the marketing front, companies usually make rudimentary investments as part of sales efforts. They at best participate in related industry events or advertise in local media. However, as organizations grow, the need to manage marketing and sales as independent and yet complementary functions becomes necessary. In our observation, most companies run into the...

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Developing second level leadership

Developing second level leadership

Most heads of organizations, founders and owners express that grooming engineers or professionals to be leaders is their greatest concern. Heads of organizations realize that they need to be able to groom these technically oriented engineers to become good managers and capable leaders, if they really want to grow and scale the business. Most of the technical staff have an engineering or professional background and are very happy solving technical problems, and getting immersed in their own...

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Enabling employees to perform

Enabling employees to perform

Management is not just about strategy and systems. It is all about doing & managing people as well.  Managers make grand plans, but fail to get teams to work effectively to produce greater output. Often, there is a tendency to do everything themselves – individually. This is understandable, given today’s situation – resources lack competency, freshers have no clue what they are supposed to do, high churn among trained resources, etc. But despite this, if work is largely individual and team...

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Pointers to building a Go to Market strategy

Pointers to building a Go to Market strategy

Companies need to evaluate their go to market plans every year. Whether it is SMEs or Family businesses wanting to reach new markets, expand reach and grow revenues, or large companies trying to align according to changes in products and markets, everyone needs to re evaluate their go to market plan at least once a year. This basically involves choosing the target markets or even exploring new markets, aligning with customers, and developing the plan on reaching out to customers. Choosing...

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