Monday, October 4, 2010

Will the replacements take over…

Last week, one business news stood out for me. Nokia lost 20% of the Indian handset market share. (ET Link). Now, THAT is not just a drop, it’s a ‘slide’. I looked at my Nokia handset, which I have been using for last one year and have no real complains.

The product is still solid. Works great but clearly has lost favor in the marketplace.

Something similar happens to individuals also. We are good at something, and we evolve, learn new skills too, but we can still find ourselves out of favor.

Why?... Because being good at something isn’t good enough, you got be ‘better’ and you got to be relevant.

Two dimensions need consideration.

  • the ‘competitive’ dimension
  • and change of pace around us.
Indian hockey is another great example of how people can loose the plot. We were the greatest, especially when it came to ‘dribbling’. However, the game changed due to movement in technology (faster turf), change in rules and rise of other nations, like Germany that excelled. Speed became more important than dribbling.

Are you the best in the field that you play in? Are you the best in the changing field that you play in? Will you “continue” to be the best in the ever changing field that you will play in?

Being good or ‘the best’ at something, also brings in a sense of complacency but that’s not always the case.

The bigger danger is the ‘inward looking’ behavior. You tend to keep looking at yourself, your methodology, your efficiency….so while you continuously improve when compared to yourself last year…it isn’t good enough when it compares to rest of the marketplace.

There are always the new kids on the block, with zero legacy and a burning desire. While they lack the experience, they make it up with the hard work and smart thinking. They change the playing field, up the ante…and every existing player needs to step up.

And, BTW, I’m a Nokia fan. Over the last ten yrs of Mobile phone usage, I must have bought over 20 Nokia phones for myself and family…but I wonder, if my next phone will be Nokia.

Will the replacements take over? We’ll see…

PS: Discalimer: I have no opinion on whether the data in ET is correct or not. It did stand out for me, being a Nokia fan.



  1. In fact last Saturday, we were asked to use VIRO framework to evaluate our personal positioning in the marketplace. What a coincidence!

    One thing that is constant in this world is Change... and that stems from substitutions /replacements. So no matter what you do, you have to embrace "change" either pro-actively or re-actively. Nokia is in a reactive mode, by ignoring the fast growing market of smart-phones.

  2. Nice one. we should adapt to changes.

  3. Well said Rahul and I would say "There is nothing permanent except change". So replacement (especially for good) should take over ...