Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari addressing AIMA JRD Tata Award

Shri Hamid Ansari, the (then) Vice President of India, addressing AIMA – JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award ceremony. 

Shri Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India addressing AIMA JRD Tata Award Ceremony

Shri Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India addressing AIMA JRD Tata Award Ceremony

Shri Sunil Munjal, Shri Chandrashekhar, Shri Mohandas Pal, Shri Nikhil Swahney, Shri Sanjay Kirloskar, Miss Rekha Sethi, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen. Some years back two management gurus had postulated that in a complex and dynamic global competitive environment adaptive capability is the key to survival and growth and that Indian businesses will find themselves on the road to rapid growth when they learn to think and act adaptively. The challenge before the Indian corporate sector today in the face of continuing low level of global growth and rapid changes in the technology of production and preferences of the end consumers is how to sustain their growth in times of recession that endangers protectionist regimes while competing in a fast evolving technological landscape.

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How to attain Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Mr. Arunabh Das Sharma – President, Bennett Coleman

Mr. Arunabh Das Sharma – President, Bennett Coleman

The concept of competitive advantage is slightly outvoted concept today.  What it means today and what it meant in 90’s is vastly different. In this age of dramatic & disruptive technology how can we manage the product life cycle is the main question. I have been fortunate to be associated with brands which have managed it successfully.  I have been fortunate to be a part of the journey of brands like Coke, Whirlpool & Times of India which are more that 100 yr old brands .According to me, the concept of product life cycle is dead. I think more and more people are trying to manage the brand life cycle as oppose to the product life cycle today. Because products that constitute the brand can come & go but the brand value will stay forever.

Product life cycle is an inverse s shaped curve, where you would start slow and then there’s rapid growth and then you start slowing down and at the end it would decline. Let’s take an example of Colgate dental cream. It is probably a 65 – 70 year old brand and yet it continues to be the leader primarily in same form & fashion. It is a very successful brand & product. I would however argue that the reason why Colgate dental cream is so successful is because the company has managed to figure out that there is a core set of consumers & there is a peripheral set of consumers & Colgate has been successful in focusing on both these categories by launching different products under same mother brand of Colgate, for e.g.:  Colgate total, Colgate sensitive & Colgate whitening. Continue reading

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