Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Innovation in Emerging Market: New Business Models

In Economist's recent report on innovation in emerging markets here, the article "Here be dragons" talks about three specific business models that - "are not only important innovations in their own right but have serious implications for the way that Western companies run their affairs".

The three business models discussed and shared below are designed for the culture and society that is under pressure of growth and has a deep desire to fulfill its aspirational goals. The West cannot copy and paste these. It can only succeed if the society is willing and driving its own transformation. Will it? In another article from the report, "The power to disrupt":

"Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman of the eponymous family firm, says that these days when Indians go to bed at night their dreams about their country’s future “are not just colourful but steroidal”. His compatriots are at last beginning to believe that “the sandcastles we build in our minds are not going to be simply washed away by the morning tide.” The same is true across the emerging world, whose “sandcastles” are now being built on the solid foundations of business innovation. They will endure, changing not just emerging markets but the rest of the world as well."

Business Models -

The first business model is "scaling out, which means involving a wider range of people in the process of production and distribution, something that has been made much easier by mobile phones and the internet. The most successful examples of this are clinics on wheels, but there are plenty of others. Nutriset, a French manufacturer of fortified food for malnourished children, has outsourced production to local franchises in Africa. The company maintains quality control and the franchises are close enough to the children to make distribution quick and easy." This is in comparison to "scaling up".

The second business model is "“pull” model ..., designed to help companies mobilise resources when the need arises. Hong Kong’s Li & Fung or China’s Chingquing Lifan Group can use their huge supply chains to produce fashion items or motorcycles in response to demand. Taiwan’s Quanta and Compel can produce cheap computers and digital cameras for a fashion-conscious digital marketplace." this is in comparison to the "push" model.

The third business model is "the application of mass-production techniques to sophisticated services. This started with India’s outsourcing firms, which demonstrated that economies of scale and scope could be reaped from services that used to be highly fragmented and geographically rooted. These outsourcers are still expanding and moving upmarket. Indian consultancies are now challenging Western ones in complex services, not just dealing with customer complaints."

And it is the third model that is creating impact beyond the traditional information technology driven growth: "[Indian entrepreneurs] see a huge market for legal services requiring a high level of expertise. Dr Shetty is only one of many Indians who are applying Henry Ford’s principles to health care. LifeSpring has reduced the cost of giving birth in a private hospital to $40 by looking after many more mothers. Aravind, the world’s biggest eye-hospital chain, performs some 200,000 eye operations a year. It takes the assembly-line principle literally: four operating tables are laid side by side and two doctors operate on adjacent tables. When the first operation is done, the second patient is already in place."

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