'Hatch eggs laid by others'

CIOL Bureau
New Update

Shashwat Chaturvedi


MUMBAI: W. Chan Kim, professor of strategy and international management, INSEAD, leaves a lasting impression with his intelligent thoughts and casual demeanor. Kim has been listed in the Thinker 50, and his name is taken as one of the premier global thinkers.

Of all the keynote speakers in the three-day NASSCOM Leadership Forum, no one has received such a round of applause or generated such bursts of laughter. In fact, the audience was trying to jot down as many notes.

His speech Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Make the Competition Irrelevant (also the title of his bestseller) started off in an unconventional manner, with a five minute audio-visual display of an act by Cirque Du Soleil, a queer mix of Broadway, theatre, circus and everything.


Kim then went on to list the ways in which companies like Cirque Du Soleil have succeeded in the marketplace, by positioning themselves in a way that 'made the competition irrelevant' rather than just focusing on competitive advantage.

In the session, Kim spoke about how there are the Red Oceans, where there is heavy competition and bloodbath in the marketplace and the Blue Ocean, where a company had a near-monopoly.

"Over the past hundred years and more, in the 30 industries there have only been around 150 Blue Ocean companies," he said.


To drive home his point, Kim gave the instance of a financial software company, Intuit, which launched a business solution named as Quicken and then captured the marketplace by addressing people that did not use financial software in the first place.

He talked about how there are three kind of people in the marketplace: technology innovator (scientist, who invent); market pioneer (the first company to launch the product) and finally the value innovator, "who hatches the eggs laid by others," he quipped.

Howard S.Charney, senior vice president, Cisco, also addressed the session. He spoke about how Internet was completely revolutionizing the world. He dwelt on the genesis of technology and how in the beginning there is always resistance for an emerging technology.


"In 1952, some one at IBM had predicted that there is a total global market for computers stood at 52. When the inventor of walkman went to different manufacturers, they laughed him out. So there is always the resistance initially, but then the world comes round to it," he said.

On India's chances, "India will be an important player in the next wave Internet revolution," he said. Without any doubts, it was one of the most interesting sessions of the event. At the conclusion of the session people were seen clamoring for Kim's visiting card. Is it another flat world in the making?