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A new kid on the block may not be only be competitive, but may even give you a run for your money

Innovation based on insights leads to glory

Many organizations take pride in what they've created and how they've crushed competition in the past to rise to and remain at the top, and how they will remain untouched by the small newcomers.
 
Cricket today showed how inaccurate that fallacy can be. How it is so foolish to ignore the warning bells and just keep looking within and at big teams like yourself thinking you're away from danger.
 
Unfancied Ireland today chased a huge 300+ target with exceptional ease and over 4 overs to spare against two-times world champions and one of the ICC World Cup Tournament favourites, West Indies.
 
West Indies would've surely assumed that they had the match in their pocket after scoring 304. However, a great top order batting performance by Ireland made world class bowlers like Roach, Taylor, and company look totally pedestrian, and Ireland romped home with 4 wickets and 4 overs to spare. This was not just a victory, it was a humiliating defeat beyond comprehension.
 
Reminds me of 1983 when Kapil's Devils showed to the world that cricket can produce Davids who will not only take on Goliaths but also conquer them.
 
Today, traditional brick and mortar businesses are facing a similar threat to their very existence due to the growth of eCommerce companies. These newcomers are rewriting every rule in the book - whether it is about range, or about pricing, or about customer service - and are finally making consumer the king. 
 
Those hit hardest are the traditional trade stores. Whether they're the neighbourhood mom-n-pop stores or whether they're mall-based modern retail chains, the story is the same. These businesses just did not see the snow coming down, and now it's an avalanche that's hit them so hard that they're finding it difficult to even survive. Such is the storm that even huge global brands like HP and Samsung are at their wits end as to how to ensure that their traditional channel partners remain profitable and loyal to them. Their retail partners can't match the deep-pockets of the eCom giants on marketing, can't match their reach, and definitely can't match the prices or the product range & availability given their huge costs for high-street-retail infrastructure, limited shelf-space, limited shop-floor inventory and front-end staff.
 
While one the one hand it can be said that these businesses did not expect eCommerce to grow so big so fast in India, the truth is that they simply ignored the threat perception and did not prepare themselves for this.
 
Today, some brands have learnt their lesson the hard way and are quickly making amends. Tatas have already invested in snapdeal.com, thereby ensuring that their brand Croma doesn't suffer so much and, in fact, benefits from the growth of eCommerce. Croma mentions that products across various electronic categories like mobiles, tablets and laptops, that are available at its physical stores will be available for purchase on Croma's brand store on SnapDeal, taking Croma's reach far beyond their 101 stores in just 25 cities.
 
Other traditional retail majors like Arvind and Reliance have also made forays online. In August last year, retail firm Arvind launched an online site Creyate, which retails customizable apparel. After a quiet foray in eCommerce for their grocery business restricted to Mumbai only last November, Reliance Industries announced its plans to start online sales of mobile phones, laptops, televisions and hope appliances within a month in December, 2014. Finally, the realization has dawned, and big businesses are coming around to the fact that David can beat Goliath with its nimbleness and with public on its side, and they need to move fast to counter them or be left behind.

Guess, it is the season of small guys winning against mighty giants!