Technology today has taken over every aspect of our lives in a way that we could have never imagined it to be. From the way, we order food to entertainment, household functions, and even our business operations. Everything we do today is data-driven, and solution-based, analytics, and machine-generated information. However, what will always remain timeless, is one’s instincts and the importance of domain knowledge, especially in the realm of entrepreneurship.
The entire startup innovation seems to be driven by young entrepreneur’s out of college and one keeps wondering what’s happening to the existing entrepreneurs who already have a steady successful business. Shouldn’t they be innovating, especially when they had a head start in entrepreneurship? Why is it that existing entrepreneurs fail to create disruptive businesses when they have the domain knowledge, experience and resources to create a disruptive business?
Let’s take a non-attractive industry as air-conditioning, all of the service providers including the large ones are family-owned. These businesses are profitable but not scalable to be super large enterprises. It involves partnering with large air conditioning brands and offering customers system integration for air conditioning. A mom and pop shop business of consulting, contracting and customer services.
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With technology disruption, the question you want to ask is, what would disrupt such a business and a whole lot of fears set it for someone in this business. Disruption by itself is such a negative thought that most running businesses fail to understand how to deal with the situation. Such thoughts are parked aside with a thought that, we will deal with it when it happens.
Now let’s change the thought of disruption to,” What can transform the entire industry to become efficient and scale-up”. This is the positive approach where existing businesses can get thinking with all the domain experience. Competition is not seen as a threat but a resource that can be aggregated. A non-attractive business-like air conditioning looks exciting, consider the inefficiencies a customer, a service provider and a manufacturer has to deal with.
Can we use technology to fix these problems? A customer has the challenge of identifying a reliable service provider, an IoT device (Internet of Things) can solve this by auto-generating trouble tickets to a platform that auto allocates to a skilled technician based on Location. Service providers can track their trouble tickets, human resources and customer data on a tech platform.
A manufacturer who never had access to the equipment once installed can now get real-time data and do product improvement based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. To top it all you ask a difficult question why is it in a tropical country like in India only 8% Indians can afford air-conditioning. With an efficient services ecosystem can we increase the air-conditioning penetration to 45% by offering Cooling as a Service.
For existing entrepreneur’s, the need is to believe in their domain expertise, to dream bigger, overcome their fears of technology disruption, let the youngsters be the disruptors. We have the opportunity to be technology enablers to transform our industries with our domain expertise, experience and create large enterprises.