– CI is a must-have practice for any organisation, and works best when done on a regular basis

– ‘On-time’ information is a very important criterion for an effective CI practice

– Without a buy-in from the management, CI will remain just a formality


New Delhi, 24 Nov 2010: While insights on the external business environment are vital for a company’s success in the current competitive scenario, information overload is a key issue faced by senior management. Identifying the key inputs required for effective decision-making and focusing on those, is the cornerstone for doing efficient competitive intelligence (CI). As CI departments in companies have limited bandwidth, they need a robust system for selecting from among the competing requests for information they receive. They are required to identify and prioritise those that will yield maximum dividends in terms of corporate performance.


These were some of the issues that were discussed and debated at the briefing on ‘Competitive Intelligence Framework for Strategic Advantage’, hosted by ValueNotes in New Delhi on 24 November 2010. The session began with a brief introduction to ValueNotes and our credentials in CI by Arun Jethmalani, Managing Director, ValueNotes. This was followed by a presentation by Varsha Chitale, a Director at ValueNotes who leads the company’s CI practice. Her interactive session warmed-up the participants with a discussion on the fundamentals of competitive intelligence. She took them through the process of conducting CI, and finally delved into the key steps in setting up an effective CI function in an organisation. The session, which elicited enthusiastic participation from the attendees, was followed by a Q&A and panel discussion.


The briefing was well attended by CI practitioners and enthusiasts from across various industries – IT, ITeS, telecom, insurance, electronics, manufacturing, etc. They included business heads, heads of strategy, marketing, operations, and business analytics, and CI professionals from companies such as ACC, Comviva, EI Dupont, HCL Technologies, Max New York Life, Philips and Virgin Mobile. Active and constructive participation by all the delegates contributed greatly to the rich discussion that carried into the cocktails and dinner that followed.


The main topics debated during the Q&A session included ethics in CI, ways to demonstrate ROI from CI, coping with competing demands for tactical and strategic CI, and coordination of CI activities undertaken by different departments in a company.


The topic for the panel discussion was “Challenges in doing CI in India”. Rohit Agarwal, Max New York Life was a panelist and felt that “CI is a must-have practice for any organisation and works best when done on a regular basis. Of the various challenges facing CI, expectations setting of the key stakeholders and top management’s buy-in are the key ones. ‘On-time’ information is another very important criterion for an effective CI practice.”


Varsha Chitale said, “It is tricky, but important for the CI practitioner to weigh the effort in gathering intelligence against the value that the organization will derive from it, at every stage.”


The panelists all agreed that without a buy-in from the management, competitive intelligence will remain just a formality.


As experienced CI practitioners and participants and speakers at conferences, including those hosted by Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), our endeavour is to create a CI community in India. We propose to host many more such events, where CI practitioners can share and discuss the issues and challenges that they face.


About ValueNotes

ValueNotes is a leading provider of business intelligence and research, with expertise across industries, particularly in financial services, media, engineering, healthcare, IT and the outsourcing industry. The company provides a wide range of bespoke business and financial research services about specific markets, industries, companies and competitive environments. ValueNotes serves leading global corporations, consulting firms, research and B2B publishers, PE and VC firms, and money managers. The company is based in India. For more information please contact research@valuenotes.co.in

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