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Be-Quick-or-Be-Down-
Dhiraj C Rajaram
Friday, September 1, 2006
Imagine Maradona going past opponents, passing the ball across five players, to the one within striking distance of the goal post, and yet failing to score!

That’s precisely what is happening in the Indian IT, BPO and KPO industry today. Like in football, in the final stages two things are of utmost importance— energy and motivation. Indian service providers across the board fail to give that impressive finishing stroke.

The ingenuity of the India employee base enables them to seamlessly travel through 80 percent of the solution in the event of an adversity; the problem arises when the finish is disheveled. A complete and structured work ranks above a hastily accomplished fragmentary work, which is plain satisfactory.

And what possibly contributes to this lack of credible finish is a ‘bottom-up-thinking’ approach. When faced with a marketing problem what most Indian analysts do is analyze who the target audience is, what data they have at hand and what software could be used to carry out the work efficiently. By thinking top down, what they could probably do is study what data is required and what are the key hypotheses that need to be tested. Based on that, they could frame relevant questions to test the hypotheses. Such inductive thinking is imperative to obtain a real solution, not just a technical solution.

Being customer-oriented is key to success in the services business. In order to establish a healthy rapport with customers, one needs to know how the industry functions and what the customer’s end goals are. Additionally, they should be able to deal with conflict, both externally with customers and internally with fellow employees, in a healthy manner. A common trend that is particular to Indians is reverence to hierarchy that acts as a deterrent to intellectual honesty in companies.


The author is CEO, Mu Sigma
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