• Madani Sahari

GAME OF GLOBALISATION - Modern battle and its roots in tradition

The celebration of Deepavali, or the festival of lights, finds it roots from Hindu legends that romanticise the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Similar to any belief system, Islam included, religions advocate the derivation of success from overcoming negative elements, be it internal or external. It is the concept where evil is characterised as elements that distract us from a proper, or good way of life.

As we sink into our festive moods, I'd like to take this opportunity to relate this age-old concept to the modern daily and professional times we live in today.

Traditional stories of physical wars are obviously an obsolete form of competition. While the barbaric notion of wars involving massive life loss has been replaced with peaceful convention of highly civilised diplomacy, competition is still a relevant and healthy notion - the healthy competitionof ideas, innovation and industry preserves human curiosity and promotes progress of society.

Many articles in this column have discussed the need to develop internal capacities that meet global needs. However, actual quality and perceived quality are two different beasts that need to be tamed in each organisation.

While market size is an important factor, we find many businesses struggling to sell even if they are located within those markets. In a world of around seven billion people, only a handful of brands own a sizeable share of the global smartphone market, with Samsung and Apple holding more than a third of global brand loyalty.

In the 90s, a phone was used mainly for calls and text messages. The major mobile phone brands seemed content that their innovation from wired to wireless communication was revolutionary.

When the iPhone was introduced, it set an entirely new belief system in mobile phones - they traditional from mobile communication devices to a comprehensive lifestyle assistant. Apart from calls and texts, they hailed taxis, gave us cooking recipes, allowed us to watch video and listen to music on demand, and such more at the press of a virtual button.

Today, modern battles are fought to win the hearts of consumers, and those who are able to do so are the winners.

Is it impossible for us? The answer is simple. Was South Korea always known as a car manufacturing? Did Tesla emerge as a spin-off from a major carmaker? Was Alibaba the first e-commerce platform? Major brands did not emerge from just having excellent design teams, large factories or innovative supply chains. While these capabilities are undeniable, the X-factor to their success was the ability to match their products to those who needed them, creaating new blue oceans for them to succed.

In today's era of marketing, saying everything is saying nothing. As businesses, we must be able to identity, in specific detail, what are the solutions we are providing to our clients.

In the fourth industrial revolution, being a big player is no longer a proven advantage.

Technology has allowed smaller, leaner entities to find the needed wiggle room to penetrate global markets. The most important is to reach customers and markets that match the strengths of your business and develop a positioning that propagates loyalty through strong customer belief and perception.

The game of globalisation has changed for the betterment of all, and before we fight the good fight, we must believe first and foremost in ourselves.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all Hindus a happy Diwali

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