The Micro Effect

Over the last one month, somehow, I got pulled into several discussions on the micro aspects of entrepreneurship in India. I discussed the topic of ‘delighting customers’ with two promising FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) entrepreneurs. An upcoming entrepreneur in the health and wellness space suggested that a lot of global research that has been done on pricing of consumer products might just not be relevant in an Indian context. The best ‘micro-effect’ discussion of them all was with two fairly seasoned, interesting entrepreneurs who speak their mind on almost anything! At The Smart CEO, we were so excited about this final discussion that we decided to make it the cover story of our next edition that’ll be out on March 25th, 2012. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for further updates on this lead story.

Fairly often, as a business magazine, we tend to focus on macro-level strategic issues. Then, we say, the difference between success and failure lies in the execution. But there is a layer in-between that can make all the difference. It is the micro-level decisions that act as a bridge between strategy and execution. Over the last one-month, we’ve emphasised on the importance of including these intricate aspects of a business into our mix of stories.
This edition, we feature one of India’s most famous and successful entrepreneurs on the cover. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw needs no introduction in India or for that matter almost anywhere around the world. Her 33-year-old company, Biocon, now India’s largest biotech company, is a case study of sorts for entrepreneurs to emulate. While there are myriad entrepreneurs starting up companies in the web, Internet and mobile spaces, we’re calling for entrepreneurship activity outside of these domains. We need more and more role models in the pharmaceutical and healthcare space, in the automobile industry, in energy and infrastructure, in food and agriculture and last but not the least, in the manufacturing space. The barriers to entry into such sectors are fairly high. Yet, if somehow enough buzz can be generated around role models in each of these sectors, we’re certain to see more entrepreneurial action outside of the technology domain. This entrepreneurial activity across sectors can just be the beginning of a revolution in India – a change that can transform our country completely.

In our conversation with Mazumdar-Shaw, we decided to delve deep into the finer nuances of Biocon’s business. To me, what stood out was the company’s ability to balance its strategy with a variety of business models. The Rs. 2,800 crore company offers both products and services, sells biosimilars, novel molecules and generics, and operates in emerging and developed markets. Mazumdar-Shaw also opened up to us on how to engage in alliances all over the world and how risk can be balanced in a highly uncertain environment. She even discusses what oppourtunities there are for upcoming entrepreneurs in the biotechnology space. Mazumdar-Shaw’s journey is one filled with tremendous hard work, where time is spent on both cutting-edge research and formulating financial strategies. It is a journey we’d like people to emulate. We want entrepreneurs to push the boundary and be creators of novel products and services and implementers of completely new ideas. And we want this to happen in each and every sector relevant to India.

Hope you enjoy reading this edition of The Smart CEO. And stay tuned for a big announcement on the launch of a new supplement magazine from our stable.

Prem Sivakumaran is co-founder & CEO of Growth Mechanics, a leadership and entrepreneurship-focused business content company in India. Growth Mechanics publishes The Smart CEO, a publication focused on enabling peer-to-peer knowledge exchange among C-level executives and board members. The platform reaches over 1.2 lakh CXOs across its website, app, print publication & CEO Round Tables, and has featured on the cover India’s leading business leaders/founders from Infosys, Mindtree, Tata Sons, ICICI Bank, Biocon, Yes Bank and several others. In addition of Smart CEO, Growth Mechanics also organises the Startup50 Conference & Awards, an annual event to recognize India’s top 50 startups every year. Startup50 Alumni include Freshdesk, Oyo Rooms, Urban Ladder, Capital Float, Paperboat Beverages, among others. Growth Mechanics’ primary business model revolves around linking CXOs and Brands around engaging content and has worked with India’s leading companies including Mahindra Group, Godrej & Boyce, BASF, Airtel, Tata Docomo, Fiat, IDA Ireland, Yes Bank, Prestige Estates, Frederique Constant, Indian Terrain