Programme PGP Term VI Academic Year 2021-22

Course title Customer Based Business Strategies Area Marketing Credits 0.75

Prof. A.K Jain (VF),
Prof. Amit Karna,
Prof. Rama Bijapurkar (VF)

Course Description & Objectives
Delivering profitable, sustainable, revenue growth is a key strategic objective of most businesses because of the weightage it has in creating business value (and in driving business valuations). This holds true for most businesses, whether young or mature, new economy or old economy, services or manufacturing, B2B or B2C. This requires a good business strategy (defining the best path to deliver this) to drive the business and a good business model to operationalize it . Even in the case of early stage startups , investors invest in the business strategy and business logic of the entrepreneur and his or her ability to deliver the same.

Interestingly, while delivering profitable sustainable revenue growth is not possible without the customer’s cooperation, most businesses develop their strategies based on supply-side thinking and with little or no customer understanding and analysis – of the kind that is needed for developing business strategy. Even the idea of ‘market disruption”to achieve breakaway rates of growth are strategized from the supply side whe, in fact, disruption actually means providing discontinuous value to customers as compared to competition, usually with a breakthrough benefit and / or price. Every company and entrepreneur dreams of a blue ocean strategy, but blue ocean strategies are not just about supply side creativity, they require a very sharp understanding of how customers value. Well known strategist Kenichi Ohmae has said in 1988, talking of how Japanese companies had won, that the heart of strategy is not about beating the competitor but about adding value to the customer and avoiding the competitive battle altogether. Today this is something we see frequently in the strategies of new economy companies.

Boundaries of industry and business lines are also blurring as diverse companies are targeting consumer needs and finding very different ways to fulfil them. Uber and Maruti are competitors, Fin techs and Banks are competitors, Swiggy, Nestle and cloud kitchens using local couriers are competitors, Jio and Airtel may not actually be competitors if their strategies diverge and so on.

This course is designed to equip participants with the orientation, tools and frameworks to understand and develop business strategies which can deliver disruptive , profitable, sustainable growth, through bifocal vision – superior customer understanding and superior business design to create wealth for the company through creating value for customers.

This course builds on participants’ prior understanding of business strategy and of customer understanding as it straddles both the disciplines of marketing and strategy.

Prepare for the likely role of strategy developer, sooner than later, as organizations are atomizing into smaller and smaller empowered, independent business units and the strategy development processes also getting more bottom up than top down or even more quickly in a startup.
  • Understanding the difference in business direction resulting from the customer centric view versus an industry or supply sided view and hence clarity on need for customer centricity in business strategy
  • Review of concepts and approaches to develop business strategy: purpose, different frameworks in use, how these have progressed and changed over time and pros and cons of each approach
  • Understand the concepts of customer-centric business strategy, the business-market game and its link with business strategy
  • Understand where and how to embed customer centricity into commonly used business strategy development approaches

4. For Learning from ProjectOverall:
Includes a mix of
● discussion of Cases, and required and suggested readings
● Presentation cum discussion with practitioners from industry.
● A group project (of 6 participants) on designing CBBS for a business of choice by the group