The Consumer Buying Process

(Pic Credit: ECC Ireland)

In the simplest of terms, the customer buying process describes the process that the customer goes through when buying a product. I must confess that it came across as quite a surprise when I first read this because all my life I have only been involved in the purchase of products, never in the deciding that goes behind it! Study of such a process might seem redundant to people who are accustomed to buying goods by ticking off items on their lists (mobile/paper/mental), but the model that follows, gives quite an insight into what actually goes into making that list.

Marketing scholars all over the world, as well as the book by Kotler, Keller, Koshy, and Jha, have more or less agreed that the customer buying process can be understood as well as explained using a ‘Five-Stage Model’ which breaks up the buying process into five mini steps as follows:-

Picture1

Problem Recognition – This is how the entire buying process gets initiated. Customers or potential customers experience an unmet need, which might happen on account of an internal and/or external stimuli. The objective of the marketing department of an organization is not only to promote products but also making customers realize that they have a need for the organization’s product offerings. From the customer’s perspective, purchase might happen to obtain a new product or replenish an existing product. Advertising and other forms of marketing play a crucial role in this stage by influencing customers and getting them to desire to own those products. One point to be noted is that, the marketing communication might also trigger a latent (hidden) need which is a need that the customer never knew that he had, in the first place.

Information Search – There is a certain category of products which are called ‘search goods’, because people generally research and/or obtain information about them before deciding to purchase them – an example can be cars. This process is known as information search and it constitutes the second stage of this model. The major sources of information are – Personal (friends, family, etc.); Commercial (company websites, sales personnel, etc.); Public (product-rating websites, etc.); and Experiential (physical handling of the product, etc.). As a result of information search, a customer’s choice of brands to consider for purchase, goes on narrowing down. This can be depicted as follows:-

Picture2

The onus is on the companies to ensure that the information that the customers come across regarding their product offerings is such that they remain in the sets as the customers go down the decision-making funnel.

Alternatives’ Evaluation – Once the customer has narrowed down his choices after doing information search, he would be evaluating the alternatives that remain, and hence, this constitutes the third stage of the consumer buying process. On a broader level, what basically drives the evaluation is how relevant the product is in satisfying the customer’s need and what exactly is the customer’s expectations from the product. Of course, there is a budget element involved, which might restrict his choices. Hence, the challenge for the companies is to hit that sweet optimal trade-off between price and quality so that it becomes very attractive to its buyers. There is a model called the ‘Expectancy-Value Model’ which many consumers employ to help them evaluate their choices, especially when the product is an expensive one. Here, the customers come out with parameters in the product that are important to them and then rate all competing products on those parameters. Once they do that, they are able to make a more quantified choice. But it must be noted that this is not the only method that can be considered and most customers have their own acid tests of evaluation.

Purchase Decision – Till now the customer had only been involved with the product that he intends to buy. Now, he starts considering the auxiliaries associated with the product – for example, when to buy, which dealer to buy it from, how much to buy, which method of payment to select, should the online channel be considered, etc. So far he has had a purchase ‘intention’ which must be converted to a purchase ‘decision’, if a sale has to be made, and hence, this constitutes the fourth stage of the model. Two of the most common factors that can impede/resist this conversion are – others’ perception about the product that he has chosen; and unforeseen circumstantial factors that could not have been taken into account earlier. The companies must engage in a quick customer lock-in if they do not want to lose out on customers and prospects at such a late stage of the buying process.

Post-purchase Behaviour – The final stage of the model is that of what happens once the purchase has been made, and unfortunately, this is the one that is neglected the most by the companies. Keeping the customer engaged and involved in a positive manner once the sale has happened, is of utmost importance to ensure that he is retained and becomes a pseudo-ambassador of the product/brand. Some of the activities that the organization can indulge in are – providing after-sales service; educating customers regarding the use of the product; informing customers when they need to dispose of their product; helping customers upgrade to the next level, etc.

 

This model, just like any other marketing model/framework, is not a comprehensive one, and cannot be applied to every situation or every product. Also, it might happen that all the stages of the model do not apply for a certain product. Hence, an intelligent marketer would not try to force-fit this model everywhere, but use it as a guiding tool to better understand how customers buy a product. In conclusion, I would like to point out that customers are mere humans and their psychology, at times, becomes difficult to comprehend. Many times they make irrational or impulsive choices which are beyond any marketing model in the world. Hence, the five-stage customer buying process model is a nice way to approach towards understanding consumer buying behaviour.

 

Reference: ‘Marketing Management – a South Asian perspective’ (14th Edition) by Philip Kotler, Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshy, Mithileshwar Jha

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Dipayan Sinha

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There’s no time to stop and stare

Our world today is extremely fast-paced, competitive, and ambitious. We work hard – very hard – for money, for recognition, for appreciation, and even at times, for a better appraisal. That is all perfectly fine and that is how it should be too. We all study diligently, try to get into the best of institutes, and perform to the best of our abilities all in the hope of a great career. So when we finally embark upon that journey, it is only logical that we put in all that we have to give. But is that all? Does being successful ensure peace of mind? This is what I aim to throw light upon. Of course, my insights are completely my own and are derived from my experiences so far.

Wordsworth had written, “The world is too much with us…” – there is no time to stop and stare. It is very important to take out time to enjoy the little pleasures of life. Just as we become lackadaisical and keep procrastinating the work that we have to do, there are a host of people who keep putting off leisure because they just cannot stop working (please refer to Dr Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory!) We have been always taught that we must do the things that are appropriate for our age and working is probably what we should be relentlessly pursuing. But that in no way means that it should be work and work alone and nothing else.

It is alright to take some time off and take that vacation with family or friends that you were always meaning to. It is perfectly alright to spend a day sitting on your couch, watching TV with a bowl of popcorn and a canned soda in front of you. Run in the park like you used to when you were a kid; step out into the rain and let it soak you wet; engage in a kite-flying battle with your best buddies; let go of yourself when you enter a bakery; leave your car in the garage and take your wife/spouse out on a date by availing the public transport. And most importantly, all this must be done without thinking twice about what ‘others might be thinking of us’.
When we were growing up, most of us had a penchant for painting, some of us loved rhyme and used to pen down poems at will, while a few others had their forte in the performing arts. What happened to all of that once we entered the hallowed gates of a college or a University? How did these once-favourite-hobbies end up in the back burner so soon? If you have not wondered about this so far, you might just want to do so now.

People who have thought about these reasons often come up with the excuse that pursuing their childhood interests now would render them childish in front of their friends, peers, colleagues, superiors, and society at large. But my point is, isn’t that the concern of the entire society today? Everybody is thinking through their actions keeping in mind in what light would others perceive them in. But that was never the criteria – ever. Last time I checked, it was my life and I was in charging of living it. There is a famous quote which goes as, “Never explain yourself to anyone – those who know you would not need it and those who do not would not believe you.”

In our busy schedules, it is extremely important to take time out for ourselves. Maybe an hour in a day which is dedicated to you and you only. Keep your laptops and cell phones away if possible and spend the time exactly how you want to. It is very important to read for pleasure as it keeps our creative senses well-oiled and also makes us appreciate the powers of imagination in others. I am a firm advocate of the philosophy that the one of the keys to break the monotonicity of life can be found within the pages of good literature. Meditation and/or any other form of physical exercise is also of paramount importance as far as healthy living is concerned. The underlying point is that you should find a vent to release your stress and tensions and make sure that you use it every day.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am, in no way, trying to be preachy. I am nobody to guide others on how to lead their lives. For God’s sakes, I am only twenty-five years of age! But all that I wanted to drive home was the fact that both qualitative and quantitative research across the world has shown that the Happiness Quotient of human beings is coming down and stress levels are going up. My humble request is that if we are working so hard to ensure a better world for ourselves and our progeny, let us at least take out some time to enjoy it ourselves as well.

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Dipayan Sinha

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Case Competitions in Business Schools

Before joining a B-school, I had read somewhere (probably on this forum itself) that B-school competitions are tough to crack and people ought to respect those who do. Not fully understanding the nuances of the statement, it was last December that I got into a team of three and participated in what was to become the first of many case study competitions. And today I can proudly say that these competitions have been much more than an integral part of my two years of pursuing an MBA degree. If I were to enumerate the benefits that I have received from participating in these case studies, then they would be as follows:-

• Most of the cases that the companies float as competitions are real-world problems that either they are currently facing or have faced in the past and think that they might recur again. So attempting to solve these cases, gives you an understanding the industry, the firm, its business model, its revenue model, who its competitors are, etc. Most of the times, the cases contain information that is otherwise classified and not available on public forums, and hence, serve as invaluable insights into the company. But care must be taken that such information should not be used loosely.

• Management education has a lot to do with peer-learning. It is not possible to learn all that you can only in the classes and on top of that, the duration of the programme is a mere two years. Hence, these case competitions serve as excellent means of learning from students from other B-schools. It might often happen that when some other team is presenting their analysis, you chance upon a model or a framework that might be helpful going forward – or they might have analysed the case in a completely different yet logical manner and you gain a different perspective altogether.

• Generally, these competitions require the participants to submit their solutions either in the form of a Powerpoint presentation or a report or both. Therefore, the more you participate, the more adept you become in making slides and/or reports in Microsoft Word. The research that one does simply to gain insights into how consultants and the likes make their slides, becomes extremely helpful going forward. You can also develop your signature style of making presentation decks. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to learn the different tools and techniques in Microsoft Office.

• It might so happen that your expertise lies in Marketing, while others in your team might have their focus areas as Finance or Operations. Now since the solutions to the cases more often than not entails concepts from different disciplines of management, you get to learn from them as much as they get to learn from you – and all this happens without requiring any of you to pore over big bulky books or go through open-ended Internet sources. The secret to success here is to maximise the overall output of the team as a whole because you would not be judged as individuals.

• Once you are in a B-school, you are bound to be bitten by the placement bug – be it your Summer Internships or your Final Placements. CVs are the primary keys to shortlists and string resume points are quintessential in order to make you stand out from the rest. These case competitions are one of the best ways to fill up your CVs. Not only are most of them sponsored by well-known companies (many of which actually turn up in your campuses for recruitment), but also they are conducted on a national level which makes them all the more prestigious. But the only disclaimer is that you need to either come 1st, 2nd. Or 3rd in them in order to create the impact that you intend to. Merely participating in them might fall flat on your resumes. However, unless you participate, there is no chance that you can win – hence, enthusiasm is what matters!

• Lastly, almost all B-school case study competitions are well-funded and have quite a bounty up for grabs if you crack them successfully. And who on this beautiful planet does not love to earn a little extra while still pursuing an education! This serves as a wonderful motivation for putting on our thinking caps and coming up with break-through recommendations in order to resolve the companies’ issues!

I am not saying that this list is exhaustive. Many others might perceive these competitions differently, while there might also be people who consider them to be nothing more than distractions in their MBA life. There is nothing right or wrong about them. But people who have voluntarily participated in such competitions and have enjoyed them, would identify with the high that you get while presenting your analysis before a panel comprising the company’s top management. It does not take much to form a team of three, register, and give it a shot – at the end of the day, there is truly nothing to lose!

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Dipayan Sinha

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The Whereabouts of the Next Big Innovation

We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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Message Author

We, as a group of human beings, always tend to believe that the best things are lying ahead of us. Whatever has happened was good, the present scenario is not that great, but the future is what will alleviate all our sufferings. With this line of thought, it is only normal for us to think that the next big thing is yet to come up – and I do abide by this. Now, when I talk about the next big ‘thing’, I am referring to an innovation that would not only be disruptive but also inclusive. To add some context to what I am talking about, it would be pertinent to recall how the great Mr Dhirubhai Ambani revolutionized the mobile telecommunication industry in India. Putting a mobile phone in the pocket of every Indian citizen was a dream that he dreamt and also brought to fruition.

It would be difficult for me to pin-point exactly what the next big innovation is going to be, which sector would it be catering to, and when can we expect it to see the light of day. But what I do have a little idea about is where we can expect the innovation to come from and what would be its impact on society at large. It is very easy to identify the sectors which are seeing the highest growth rates and put our money on any one of them. It would also make sense to some people to go through the disciplines where the most number of Nobel Prizes have been awarded over the last two decades, and say that one of them would spark off the next big innovation. But that does not always work out. Hence, that debate would be an endless one.

My understanding says that the innovation is going to come from people who need it the most. A logical approach would be to identify nations plagued with problems yet having a flavour for research and scientific discovery. If that be true, then the developing nations come under the purview of such countries. An interesting new trend that has come up in recent times is the fact that the adjectives used for the word ‘problem’ have become fusion words. For example, in a global or a societal context, we no longer use terms like – ‘political problems’, ‘economic problems’, or ‘technological problems’. They have been replaced by terms like – ‘socio-political problems’, ‘socio-economic problems’, or ‘techno-political problems’. This suggests that the realms or spheres affected by a particular problem are broadening and the same time also overlapping. Hence, the next big innovation is going to have to be a panacea for multiple issues.

Now, let me talk about the effect(s) that this change should have on the people. If I were to summarize it in one sentence, I would say that the next big innovation would seek to unify the masses rather than discriminate among them. It would serve as a frame of common reference that would be accessible and more importantly, affordable for the majority of the populace. This is in line with what I had mentioned previously – that the change mandatorily needs to be inclusive. If we take the example of a country as diverse as India where the society is both horizontally and vertically stratified, then it needs to percolate and positively impact people from all those strata. In other words, it should be a means to try and demolish the incumbent diversity in society.

Another very important aspect that needs attention is recognizing the innovation when it happens and giving it the due support. This support needs to be in the form of financial backing, technical expertise, regulatory clearances, etc. It is very easy to dismiss ideas as either too ambitious or too redundant and in doing so, we might have already lost out on a million viable ones that were worth pursuing. The spirit of entrepreneurship needs to be rekindled at the earliest and it needs to be done everywhere in the world, especially in places which are not very familiar with it. More tolerance towards entrepreneurial ideas would imply more people putting creative thought into solving persistent problems and consequently, would imply better solutions and enhanced productivity levels.

I have always maintained that entrepreneurship would be the means for both job creation as well as wealth creation, and hence, investing in it is non-negotiable for any country. Once this is taken care of, the next big innovation would just be a matter of time. The only flipside to it would be the fact that we would realize its impact only in hindsight. But that should not be a major deterrent at all because, at the same time, it gives all of us an equal opportunity of becoming great and making it to the pages of history.

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Dipayan Sinha

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