Thursday, August 21, 2008

Indian R&D :The 3 Imperatives

The three imperatives of the Indian R&D are Packaging, Marketing & Selling. The rule of the hour is Market or Perish. Increased competition & sophistication of customers' requirement followed closely by technological advancement, have forced the R&D organizations in the country to rethink their approach. Moreoever, it has been rightly said "If you are not market savvy these days, you are out of the market."

Despite the best technology on vaccines, drugs or polymers, to name a few, Indian R&D organizations' efforts have been botched on an international scale. Undoubtedly they are rich in scientific expertise,and possess sufficient potential for knowledge creation, but they need orientation for market savoir-faire and competitiveness. These organizations are yet to create a high brand equity in the global scenario. As Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPOs) flourish, it is essential for our desiR&D organizations to realize that even the best of the ideas need to be attractively packaged and sold.Simply creation of knowledge is not the of knowledge is equally important.

The modern market forces have changed the role of R&D from a isolated function to a more integrated one in the product development process. This facelift changed the emphasis from technology push to market pull and makes R&D a strategic issue that demands apposite alignment with all other components of corporate strategy. Post liberalized India has witnessed free foreign entries and investments resulting in superior quality of products (automobiles /electronics, etc). Therefore, there is an urgent need to take more initiative and increase brand value of Indian R&D institutions.Scientists should make wider use of ICTs, create suitable websites and modernize the technology itself. Despite the strong presence in NASA and renowned companies like Microsoft / IBM, India continues to lag behind in the field of inventions. Knowledge needs to be treated as an intellectual property or a marketable product and it has to be strategically sold. The R&D organization must not only invent but market it too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Marketing : The changed paradigm

In the words of Philip Kotler, the Marketing Guru, ‘Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.’ Now let us post mortem the concept keeping in mind the modern products/ services….say Bachhna Aay Haseeno starring the most wanted bachelor of Bollywood- Ranvir Kapoor, sizzling Deepika, sultry Minisha and of course the bong bombshell Bipasha; every now and then we log on to any TV channel, or surf the pages of print media we see the 3+1 “selling their product”, trying to reach their target audience which is offered to us on the 61st Independence Day of the nation. In fact, this has become a practice…any Bollywood blockbuster ready for release, we find the filmy celebs, taking advantage of their status pull crowds not only to the multiplexes, but also in reality shows/news channels and also by visiting the shopping carnivals taking place very frequently in malls. Well… B2B marketing, you know. We may refer SRK’s efforts to promote OSO during a cricket match, which later helped him to land on certain controversy. Flaunting emotional tie ups/ break offs are the promotional strategy, these days. Well that’s modern marketing and the marketing communication tactics…oops (the social and managerial process to satisfy needs and wants of the viewers / readers, i.e., the target audience) these days. Even the ruling UPA Govt have hired a private agency to promote their party, highlighting their (USPs) i.e. activities performed in the recent past. Well …we can say that a beginning of the political marketing has taken place. Earlier too, if we remember the previous election campaigns, BJP and their counterparts had benefited immensely from the celebrity appeal at least to gather crowd, if not impinge on the ultimate output These days it is no more the monopoly of the FMCGs / Electronics / Apparels to draw on the celeb appeal to bring to light their USPs, occupy the media space and create value in the mindset of the prospective customers in order to earn desirable brand position.The stage is set for the non conventional products/services to parade in the ground of marketing-creating value in the minds of prospective customers, be it the audience or the voters, exhibiting their flamboyant traits.

Lets wait and watch what more MARKETING has in store for us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Health Tourism: India Marching Ahead

Health tourism can be broadly defined as provision of 'cost effective' private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing surgical and other forms of specialized treatment. This process is being facilitated by the corporate sector involved in medical care as well as the tourism industry - both private and public. It is a developing concept whereby patients travel from one country to another country for medical treatment in order to save costs, or get treatment faster or even to avail of better medical facilities. It has become a common form of vacationing, and covers a broad spectrum of medical services. It mixes leisure, fun and relaxation together with wellness and healthcare. People desirous of seeking such treatments need to contact either the medical centers of such countries or the travel agencies who work in conjunction with some medical centers to provide healthcare tourism services. Among the various healthcare tourism destinations, India, Singapore and Thailand have emerged as most the popular ones. With cutting edge technology in the health care sector at disposal, India now has the wherewithal to offer comprehensive medical solutions to the world and is poised to become the preferred global healthcare destination. The Apollo Group, Escorts Hospitals in New Delhi and Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai are to name a few which are established names even abroad. Corporate hospitals such as Global Hospitals, CARE and Dr L.V. Prasad Eye Hospitals in Hyderabad, The Hindujas and NM Excellence in Mumbai, also have built capabilities and are handling a steadily increasing flow of foreign patients. In fact, India has much more expertise than Thailand or Malaysia. India's healthcare industry is growing at 30 per cent annually and the Apollo group alone has so far treated 95,000 international patients, many of whom are of Indian origin. If estimates are to be believed at, the medical tourism industry will be worth US $2 billion by 2012. India is providing “first-class service at a third-world price”, citing the low death rate for coronary bypass operations as evidence of quality healthcare. The immense potential of the industry has resulted in more healthcare investments in such countries offering the service. The Indian government is leaving no stones unturned to make it a global healthcare destination. The government is offering one-year medical service visa as an incentive to international patients who come to India for treatments and plans to collaborate with private sector to promote “Internationally Competitive” doctors and make India the medical service center for the world.

Undoubtedly the medical tourism industry in India has had a brilliant run in the past and is expected to maintain the momentum, but the market of health tourism still lies highly unveiled and is still in a very nascent stage. Apart from countries like Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, etc who are offering their services, some of the Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Philippines are all big players in the market. India however has some distinct advantages which guarantees preference above many of its’ competitors in the continent. Prospective consumers are still not very clear on what exactly is on offer and at which destinations. Efficient marketing techniques and awareness can create a favorable environment for the medical tourism sector and provide an opportunity to avail superior quality medical treatments at fair rates.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Papa my best friend…

First Sunday of the eight month of our calendar is celebrated as the friendship day…people all around exchange SMSes wishing their buddies all the beautiful thoughts that might have thumped their mind. Well for me, my papa is my best friend…thank u papa for being there always for me…probably you are the only one who understand me so well. Always you stood beside me, whenever I laughed you enjoyed with me, on my sorrows, you shared my woes… you were there to guide me always…even now when the world shirks me, you are there to shore me up…. Wish you a very Happy Friendship Day!!!