Embracing Digital Transformation

“The MBA program at IMD is not only front loaded but also focussed heavily on delivering through group work. After months of classes and extensive group-work, CEP was the time to apply myself in a real-world setting, where every recommendation has consequences.”

Today’s CEP guest entry is written by one of our Indian participants, Rahul Adhyapok.

CEP is the perfect opportunity to attempt to find your calling. The very process of finding one parallels venturing into the job market. The plethora of choices available doesn’t ease the decision either. Personally, I needed to decide what I wanted to do – go back to the industry I was familiar with or find something aspirational but alien. Whereas one choice has the certain lure of familiarity but maybe runs the risk of entrenchment, the other gives the opportunity to experience the challenges of working in an environment with no functional experience. The apprehensions of not being able to deliver in an unknown environment are unfounded – the classes, the cases, the assignments, and the discussions have all helped develop one’s perspectives in ways one might not be consciously aware, yet.

My company engagement was at KONE, a leader in the elevator and escalator industry. The task at hand was helping KONE with its digital transformation – defining new digital revenue generating services.

This was the occasion to explore digital strategies beyond customer experience and operational processes, and envision business models by embracing new ways to bring people, process, and data together.

The initial discussion at KONE’s headquarter at Helsinki with the Director of New Business Concepts gave an outline of expectations. The endeavour needed answering two primary questions:

    1. Whether this new service can be structurally attractive?
    2. Whether the market for the service can be sufficiently large and profitable?

Now, a new service which doesn’t yet exist, must be substantiated through assumptions derived from trends based on a multitude of data-points drawn from diverse areas. Not only you have to identify who will buy and why, but also answer how to deliver, and at what cost. Additionally, one must be creative to paint a picture of the future possibilities, and the potential to leapfrog. And, to succeed in digital transformation, I believe a well-integrated team across the enterprise, rather than each function designing its own digital strategy, is what is needed today.

Overall, after almost a month of research, field-study, scanning though vast literature, drawing upon the vast experience and insights of the Director of New Business Concepts, and after considering multiple facets of every option the business case was presented, and well received. Hopefully it will aid KONE’s journey to transform from being an equipment supplier to an Ecosystem Driver in the industrial internet of things. And, I must thank KONE for the complete freedom granted and the commitment displayed even during the peak holiday season.

At the advent of this digital age, where one must brace for constant rapid change, I must invoke Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

Rahul

 

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