Q: What makes imperfect things succeed more than the perfect? Look at
‘Kolaveri Di” for instance. It is as imperfect as can be, and yet it is a
-Rohini Mullick, Kolkata
A: Rohini, a very perceptive and
intuitive question for sure.
Media and mediums have evolved. In the old days we had mediums which were
totally top-down. These were typically television, press, radio and Outdoor.
Today, mediums have evolved with the consumer. Today, mediums such as the
internet are all about peer-to-peer connect and peer-to-peer communication.
Youtube is one such medium. Any
Tom, Dick and Harish can get popular. Never mind that the content is not as
perfect as traditional mediums typically expect. The Internet in many ways
encourages the imperfect.
Take blogs for instance. They allow anyone and everyone to publish and
broadcast, never mind whether you are a good writer or a good thinker or not.
There is a certainly a celebration of democracy and a most certain celebration
The same goes for Youtube. There certainly is a strong and vibrant celebration of
the fact that the largest numbers of the masses are imperfect, and perfection itself
is but a small island. Perfection is a minority, whereas imperfection is the
majority. Let's celebrate!
‘Kolaveri Di’ thrives in such a classic environment.
How do you see the gems and jewellery market in India shaping up? Are we on track?
-P Radhe Shyam, Delhi
A: Radheshyam-ji, this has been an exciting decade. Lots has changed.
We have moved on and the industry has largely kept pace with the needs and
wants of the Indian consumer at large. The industry has however missed the bus
of keeping ahead of the consumer need and want curve. In the arena of customer
desires and aspirations, the industry has been a step behind. I do believe
there has not been enough investment in trend forecasting and scenario planning
in the industry. This is a big missing element, which if bridged, could add
sparkle to business volumes and value.
The last decade has seen investments in the back-end and India has been
home to facilities that are global in standards. There has been an investment
on the front of design as well. The number of jewellery designers of repute has
grown by leaps and bounds. Design
studios have emerged in both the organized sector, and individual designers
have spawned outfits of repute of their own.
If at all there is a lack in any arena, it is the investment in the
arena of forecasting consumer trends. Unfortunately we still do depend on
western forecasts, which limits the market and limits imagination and scope at
Q: What are the latest trends
you see in the space of luxury retail? Asking this as we intend to step into
this space in a big way in 2012.
-PP Johnson, Kochi
A; Johnson, let me list the stop
5 trends I forecast for now:
retail moves out of the 5-stars: Expect retail to move closer to the customer
in formats that are not necessarily defined by 5-star hotel lobbies.
Expect luxury retail on the not-so-exciting high-street. Expect luxury retail
in a cosy little bungalow tucked away in a neighborhood even.
2. Luxury retail embraces e-commerce: Expect ‘solus’ portals that will
promote themselves vigorously. Expect the luxury brand aggregator portal as
well. Expect a quiet and personalized selling format from these.
3. Luxury retail will go custom-made and bespoke: Want something specific, ask
for it. Your luxury retail brand will deliver. Bespoke options ahead!
4. Luxury retail goes tier 2: Expect Vijayawada, Bhopal, Indore and a
Vishakapatnam emerge as possible new locations form a bouquet of Tier II towns
ahead. The prosperity is here. The propensity to buy is here as well.
5. Kerala retail goes big: And that’s in your backyard. Baby steps are being
taken just now. This is particularly so in jewellery. Expect the Kerala gold
retailer to be big. Very big!
Q: Dhoni is down for now. What would your advise be to him for now?
-Victor Paes, Goa
A: Victor, Dhoni is typically
going through a double-dip recession in his career. Corporate India has plenty
to teach him. Just as corporate India has learnt a lot from cricket-India, time
for Dhoni to take note of some learnings as to how one re-bounds.
Firstly, leadership is never a given. Leadership is what leadership does. Your
team members are really on the morph all the time. There is nothing static
about it at all. Times change, and people change. Look within for support, but
look for that support with new strategies that promise the earth and deliver
the earth for sure. A leader and captain is only as good as what he delivers. It
is important for Dhoni to focus on his delivery. Time to be single-minded in
this. Time to focus on delivery above all else.
Recession is a cycle. It comes and goes. If you are to push it away faster, you
need to be proactive, and you need to have planned for it. Time to focus on the
fundamentals of cricket rather than the cosmetics of cricket as well. PR is
good when the going is good. When the going is bad, hollow PR gets you nowhere.
It is results, results and results. Grab the leadership mantle once again dear
Dhoni. By the horns.
Bijoor is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.