Dr. Anil Gupta, 4th speaker, first started on a lighter note, commenting that Africa is both “the oldest and the youngest continent on earth.”
He then clearly stated that his speech focus would be on growth drivers and obstacles at the organisational level.
He began his presentation by stating that in a country, there are four sets of actors that matter the most. They’re namely;
- Organisations (companies)
- The Community (the family, church, etc)
- The Government.
He stated that as for economic growth, the individual and the company – the enterprise – are the drivers of economic growth. The community and the government, he mentioned, actually matter a lot as well but using the analogy of a train, he likened their role to one that makes sure that the tracks are in place, to make sure there’s fuel in that engine.
He then distinguished The People and The Enterprises as the drivers of the economy, those who drive the locomotive if that train.
With this, he moved on to mentioning and explaining four major reasons a company should ensure to grow faster than economy;
- Economic Value
- Attracting and retaining top talent.
Having said this, he explained the causes of attempted growth that turned to be ruinous as being first of all, like a case of someone who tries to take food from another person is outdone by their competitor. The second reason is that these companies try to do something different from their DNA which involves a serious risk of making mistakes.
The third reason, he mentioned is that they try to launch too many product lines at the same time thereby preventing them from learning about and monitoring how each product grows or not.
He stated that there are a million ways a company can grow even though some of these ways cannot pass what he calls “the smell test”.
He talked about how a comparative advantage could come from certain things namely; The Power of Scale in an economy. This is what makes it hard for a new entrant to come in.
Followed by this, he mentioned The Power of the Network – a factor which makes the rich richer.
The third he mentioned is The Location Advantage and lastly, he mentioned Culture, that is the culture of the company, e.g Amazon and Customer Obsession, Toyota with the Lean Mean Machine.
He went on to treat the area where a company tries to take nouveau products.
He went on to treat areas where the company can think of “complements”. He gave instances like Kellogs selling cereal, Colgate selling tooth brushes, Booing creating services for flying and maintaining airplanes, etc.
He talked of globalization, where companies go into different parts of the world. He talked also about how Hubris and deep pockets will not help a business.
He spoke extensively of companies passing the “smell test”. Then he introduced the”Comparative Test.” This category would ask the question of “can we win?” The next thing he mentioned is The Cost of Entry which is, how expensive it’ll cost us to succeed.
He talked about how companies transition from an old business to a new one. One of the many examples he used was Honda shifting from making motor cycles to cars.
He stated that no company can grow outside its industry if it has not done well with creativity.
He talked about how Corporate Leadership can make a thousand flowers bloom. Here he concluded by emphasizing on who the drivers for the locomotive are.
Being a professor in the area of strategy, Dr. Anil Gupta’s session was filled with knowledge and also powerful. You can continue the conversation by clicking Here