We focus on three areas - building new products, building new features and reaching new customers. We do this by using strategy, data and consumer insight, these tie in very well with our collective background and experiences.
We like to start every engagement by learning about the problem at hand. This means we don’t come in with a pre-set toolbox. In other words, we are not the types who carry hammers and then see nails everywhere. However, there are some principles we follow in our work:
1. We will talk to your customers, whether there are a few of them (B2B) or many of them (B2C).
2. We will “talk” to your data. We will interrogate your data. However, we promise that we won’t interrogate your customers.
3. We will search the outside world for information, talk to experts, understand trends and connect the dots.
4. We will experiment, learn and iterate. We don’t believe in spending endless hours in the “lab” developing ideas. Instead, we will quickly prototype (or “pretotype” (pretend prototype) ) the ideas we develop together, quickly take them to the customers and market test them, and then iterate.
5. We will leave you with a tangible output. This is unlikely to be a powerpoint. It’s more likely to be a market-tested pretotype.
Here is one real-life example. We haven’t taken names, but we promise we didn’t make this up.
The CEO of this company told us that he thinks there is one segment from which they weren’t making enough revenues. So we went and spoke to some of the customers from this segment (our client was a B2B company), to find out how our client could serve them better.
These customers told us that our client has some very interesting data that could be very useful for them, and if our clients could please develop some products using this data? Then we got down to our clients’ data, and interrogated it from the point of view of developing products for this new segment. We got some product ideas, which we quickly converted to pretotypes and took back to the same clients. These clients gave us feedback on whether they find them useful or not, and what kind of changes they wanted. And then we iterated.
We finally left our clients with working market-tested pretotypes, which they could then take over and develop.
Suprio Guha Thakurta was last the Chief Strategy Officer of The Economist Group. He started his ten-year stint with the group managing India, then headed to Asia as head of circulation and finally to London to become the first Asian in the GMC (Group Management Committee), which reported to and included the group CEO.
Before that, he was with Godrej & Boyce, Bates Advertising and Lintas. He has recently completed a six-month digital business leadership program at Columbia Business School. He is a mechanical engineer from Jadavpur University and a MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
Pallavi Deb Burman loves working on innovative ideas. Through her working life she has been involved in businesses that were starting their journey in India. She was part of the initial team in Seagram (now Pernod Ricard), Airtel and HT Media-Virgin radio venture called Fever104 FM. She set up the first radio station for HT Media-Virgin radio in Delhi. Her last assignment was handling marketing for Star Plus.
She is a bachelor of commerce from Mumbai University and a MBA from IIM Calcutta.