04 Sep 10 Are companies in India ready for competitive intelligence?

excitementIf I was asked this question only 5 years ago, I would have hesitated in responding. Competitive intelligence was “nice to have”, but few companies were ready to commit resources and budgets for it.

I recently had the opportunity to interact with several senior CI practitioners from companies operating in various sectors such as IT, BFSI, Pharma, chemicals, etc. in India, at the briefing on competitive intelligence hosted by ValueNotes in Mumbai on 20th August.

The enthusiastic response we received was the first indication to me, of the change in the significance of CI for companies in India. The interaction itself further confirmed my conjecture that the outlook for CI in India is most certainly changing. The high level of awareness of the attendees was reflected in the discussions that took place during the evening. The topics moved well beyond the fundamentals and benefits of CI, to issues relating to frameworks, CI tools, detailing of needs, measuring CI, ROI of CI, policies and ethics. There was a perceptible hunger for better intelligence inputs to improve corporate performance.

A key reason for this is that companies in India are facing more competition than they have ever faced before and going forward, this is likely to intensify further. As the developed economies falter, companies from around the world are turning to emerging markets. Companies in India increasingly have to fight to protect their turfs.

The multinationals in general are further up the curve than Indian companies, as far as their CI readiness is concerned. Going forward, competition will force Indian companies to seek the same strategic advantages that CI offers their challengers.

Competitive Intelligence as a discipline is relatively new in India, but I believe exciting times are just around the corner.

Varsha Chitale
Varsha Chitale

Varsha led the competitive intelligence practice at ValueNotes. As part of her drive to educate India Inc. on the merits of competitive intelligence, she often conducted webinars and seminars on CI for senior executives of Indian companies.

4 Comments
  • G.Venkatesan
    Posted at 09:39h, 11 April Reply

    Helo Varsha

    I work for a Engineering Multinational based at Gurgaon,most of the articles and discussons on CI were related to Retail sectors not on Engineering sectors. I have attended few meetings organised by CII in the last one year, participants from various companies were not willing to share the info on market dynamics. Individually they work with various research and consultancy agency’s like KPMG and Mckinsey etc.,

    Is there any systematic way of understnading the monthly sales figures of various engg products,in any case manufactured goods attracts Excise duty and sales tax.will these govt depts are accessable to know who sold what nos in a perticular month??

    Venkat

    • Varsha
      Posted at 13:09h, 12 April Reply

      Dear Venkatesan
      You have hit the nail on the head. You need to figure out which authority monitors the activity that you are trying to get information on. Since the products attract excise duty and sales tax, those two authorities will have data on volume and value of sales of the product. Or they will be able to give you data on the amount of excise collected. From this, the sales value and volume can be estimated.
      Varsha

  • Anand Gijare
    Posted at 14:38h, 04 September Reply

    Hi Varsha,

    Nice answer. If I would have to answer this question I will take you back to history of Indian business.After independence India chose Agricultural as primary source of income and privileges were given to farming. Starting a company was nightmare till opening of economy. I would rather say that today also if you are starting a business you have to go through rigorous scanning and licenses in india. This never provide time for Indian industries to compete with each other on healthy manner and competition was focused only on increasing share value in the market and bringing share value of competitors down. Field competition was left for sales people on field who will do what ever tricks they can to get business.

    After flat economy or as market has become flat now and standards of developed countries have started coming to India, Indian businesses have started understanding new rules of business. Starting with BS, ISO to Ki-zen and J D power. now they are trying to get in line with global business standards. Still I see two standards within same company. one for Indian market and another for Exports or overseas market. And proudly claimed as “Export quality product”

    CI will be accepted in India if Indian businesses start valuing healthy competition and need of originality. And steadily International companies will bring that change.

    Anand

    • Varsha
      Posted at 13:02h, 06 September Reply

      Thanks for adding your insights on this, Anand.

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