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Strategic vision for IPI

A nice little article by a USC professor of marketing, George Tellis,
shows why the pioneers need not always succeed. He says, "We find that
market leaders embody five principles more critical to success than
order of market entry. These principles are vision, persistence,
commitment, innovation and asset leverage... Our research indicates that
the first four causes (vision, persistence, commitment and innovation)
are more important for entirely new categories..."

I do think that at the strategic level, these 5 principles (particularly
the first four) will be the ones that distinguish the effort of IPI from
many other failed efforts earlier to change India. I wish to point out
how we are actually doing these 5 things.

A) Vision: We have to spark a vision in people's mind. Ludicrously
impossible though it appears today, the repeated hammering in of the
vision of crossing over the USA must be made the key "mantra." People
must not only see this as a dream, but as a practical possibility that
we can work toward and achieve, in a century. We have to make IPI the
central 'brain-trust' that will support any effort or efforts to
mobilize people into efforts intended to achieve this vision..

B) Persistence: Most efforts do not go beyond the coffee table; others
reach the level of a book or a seminar. Some might fructify into an
institute. But we are talking of making IPI the central, coordinating
forum for debates on policy, for the next 100 years! Persistence is the
key to this effort. Being lethargic or exclusive will not work. We have
to be inclusive, even allowing terrorist groups to join in this debate,
if they can. And we must be persistent with our search for rational

C) Commitment: This is the most difficult. I hope that we can prod each
other into retaining our commitment thro' think and thin.

D) Innovation: The method used here is perhaps the most innovative ever
for purposes of policy debate. This is a virtual conference running now
for over 7 months, a debate where people are not impacted by each
other's non-verbal cues, where there is this sense of 'immediacy' (Rohit
was telling me about this: when he went to a conference to address 750
tech. professionals from USA, he asked them a question in some context
about their use of email, and they all said: that they read all the
email that they get! This is fantastic. We are talking of a major
marketing medium here.). We are talking of further innovating to make
this scalable. This whole thing's cost is so little, yet impact so high
(with archives etc.). This must be an innovative thing, surely. And the
idea is to build a brand name, and a reputation for open-ness. The
pioneers, if successful, do achieve that, if nothing else.

E) Asset leverage: We are actually doing this too, though in a very
subtle way. By providing access to high quality human assets (senior
Professors, professionals, etc.) we are leveraging, jointly, the
strengths of each other. That must be enhanced in due course by
involving more and more of the best human assets of India.


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