Lessons from TI: Turning Potential into Realities

Date:   Friday , November 30, 2007

Beginning as a small development center at Bangalore in 1985, Texas Instruments was the first multinational company to bet on Indian R&D prowess. TI India has today become a vital business generator for its parent company in the Texas, U.S. The company is now betting on the Indian electronics and semiconductor market.

The innovations that have rolled out of TI India over the last two decades demonstrates that engineers at TI India firmly believe that they have the power to create the kind of impact, that really makes a difference—helping turn the potential of human creativity into practical reality.

Now it has a grand goal: To impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people in India through the electronics and semiconductor technology.

While this is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, the company knows that it operates in a world of uncertainties—the rules of the games are not defined; regulatory policies are not clear in certain segments; the way in which market swings is an unknown factor; there is no clear data points about who is gaining market share or losing.

When we sat down with Dr. Bobby Mitra, the Managing Director of TI India to understand how TI deals with the challenges of a developing economy like India he did mention there is an element of fun and excitement when the playing field is unknown. Very often leaders play in the unknown, sitting in the conference rooms of their offices. That’s the worst mistake they could do.

There is a great leadership lesson one could learn from TI India’s strategy to gain share in this ‘extremely’ fragmented market. It anchored its strategy around the customers. However, reaching out to many small and new customers require a very courageous leadership mindset as the success of many of these is shrouded in uncertainties. In each segment the company operates, it identified customers who could be the torchbearers of the economy—reading the minds of consumers, seeking out insights that directly drive their new product strategies. By working closely with such customers, TI has effectively managed to deal with uncertainties.

Customer-centricity is the way to go. There is no room for irrational exuberance! Are you plugged in to your customers?
Please do let us know what you think.

Pradeep Shankar