The Movie that taught me Blue Ocean Strategy
Two years back i was introduced to the Blue Ocean Strategy. I loved the theory and quickly added W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne (the authors) to my People-who-have-cracked-it list.
I marveled at how such a simple theory could result in such astounding results. Or as the website aptly puts it.
Wow. Such power.
Of course anything with such obvious power is always met with some skepticism and i found myself wondering if it was actually possible to implement it?
How does one start for instance? Do all of us get into a room – PLOT the competition on a white board (as the book explains and recommends) and just have a go at it? Is it something you can test? (Question : Dear consumer – if we reduce the cost but increase convenience will you like us more than CompanyA, CompanyB and CompanyC)? Is it trial and error (reduce this and watch and then eliminate that and watch)?
It was only while watching one of my favorite movies of all times – ‘Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year’ that the theory finally became clear.
The movie is about Harpreet Sing Bedi who after graduating with 38.72% from Mumbai University, joins AYS Computers as a Salesman. There he is amazed by all the malpractices (bribery, overcharging clients etc) and when he refuses to follow the AYS way of doing business he is mocked, insulted and fired.
He then starts his own company based on what he thinks is the right way to do business and before you know it his firm ‘Rocket Singh Corporation’ is giving AYS Computer (the market leader since years) a run for its money.
And the owner of AYS Computer is left wondering how suddenly the entire business model seems to have changed. All his old tricks, his quick fixes – nothing seems to work anymore. And he can’t understand WHY!
Well we know why. Rocket Singh Corporation’s Blue Ocean Strategy had made the competition (including the market leader) irrelevant.
Based on the film i have drawn up a Strategy Canvas that shows the strategy that Rocket Singh Corp. used.
- Profit margin
By typing up with a local whole saler they made the same computers for a lot less and deciding to give servicing for half the cost.
While they did benefit from word of mouth and client recommendation, the concept of wining and dining the clients was completely dropped
Deadlines were met, order delivered on time, quality of products maintained – sounds quite basic but AYS computers never saw any of these are priority
- Product Knowledge and Market Understanding,
Rocket Corp. hired consisted of 6 partners all of whom had expertise
- Employee Motivation
Everyone in the company was given profit share – from the receptionist to the chai wala and given due respect and stature. Led to immense sense of commitment and personal accountability that no performance bonus at AYS Computers could match.
- 24*7 Service offering
In addition to understanding the basics of the Blue Ocean Strategy what the film also taught me is that a unique strategy not only needs brains but a heart and the sheer will to innovate.
For the rest, watch the film! 🙂