• Saurabh Bhandari

Can your Business be Disruptive ?

Every time a new giant was born, especially in the tech sector, it brought along with it a whole new ecosystem for many tertiary businesses which leveraged upon the products or services of these giants. The classic examples like Microsoft, Google, Facebook etc., may have never imagined the collective scale and impact their products/services would have on humanity. What these new age firms were doing was in a true sense disrupting the older way of doing things and were rightly termed as disruptors of their times and industry domains.

Here we have a few case studies of few businesses which disrupted the Indian markets :


Back in the days when the mobile phones were introduced in India, the mobile communication space was dominated by CDMA enabled phones and Reliance communications was the dominant player in the market then. CDMA essentially meant the customer had to pay a fixed monthly charge whether or not he uses the service, the other side of the story was that since it was the beginning of mobile communication era the tariffs were insanely high and customers had to pay for the incoming calls as well. That’s when Airtel entered the mobile communication scene and after carefully researching about customers and customer needs devised a clever plan of providing affordable prepaid services which instantly clicked with the customers and Airtel soon reached the top spot among telecom providers in the country.

It takes a lot of courage for a fledgling company to do something which has never been a norm in the whole industry and that is how Airtel disrupted the initial telecommunication market.

FLIPKART : The e-commerce opportunity was a massive one but there were many challenges which e-com companies in India had to face- first was operational aspects of having an efficient logistical network which could fulfill and deliver the orders within time and second was the unwillingness of the Indian customer to pay online. Solving the first problem was just a matter of time but the second problem involved a deeper dive into understanding the customer pain points and devising a plan to address it.

On the face of it the problem of online payments was two folded, one was that still a large chunk of population did not have cards or netbanking facilities associated with their accounts and the ones which did have those facilities faced frequent glitches which hampered their over shopping and paying experience. That’s when flipkart took all the risk on itself and introduced cash on delivery(Cod) and that risk paid off handsomely. This strategy has greatly helped flipkart in getting a larger number of customers under it’s umbrella and customers have been shopping online with more trust.

PAYTM: Before becoming this omnipresent online payments platform whose recent valuation is supposed to reach $10bn soon, Paytm in it’s initial days was in a sweet spot-solving the problem of having to visit a physical retail shop to recharge their prepaid mobile. Paytm never shied away from reiterating their product or seizing new opportunities which were coming up in the Indian market; that’s how their e-wallet came into existence after toiling for close to ten years. Indian market still has a lot of players in the e-wallet segment but Paytm is surely a leader among them with 100+ million customers and managing $20bn worth of transactions in last one year alone. This massive adoption among the masses has made paytm take a bold step into venturing into other areas and even attract top level investors who are convinced in the growth proposition that Paytm holds for the future.

What separated paytm from other e-wallets, was it’s importance on creating newer and newer use cases for every segment of customers and merchants across varied industries like travel, wellness, retail etc,. Paytm not only built the use cases but aggressively executed on those use cases and acquired hordes and hordes of merchants and customers to use their product. Their biggest seize the opportunity moment was when they presented their perfect use case during the demonetization period and needless to say millions of people got onboard their app in a snap. Key Learnings : Disruption or the term market disruptors is finding mentions on every second pitching deck of aspiring entrepreneurs while presenting before the investors. So how can your business be disruptive? To summarize, following are the learnings which can be implemented within a business new or old in order to become disruptive :

- Have the courage to challenge the norms, even if it means doing something which is never done by anyone in the industry. - Any business should pay close attention to it’s customer pain points and resolve them to build trust among the customers. - Once that trust gets built it will pay dividends throughout the lifetime of a business. - Every business has it’s share of ideal customers, a great business will always be on the lookout to find ways of reaching the ones who are not yet their customers. - Never be complacent and have an eye for new opportunities coming in the market. - Build plenty of use cases for your product and also have the audacity to execute on those use cases. - Seize the opportunity the moment you spot it.

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Saurabh Bhandari




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