Here's the second episode of my podcast ContraMinds - Mediocrity Epidemic

In this second episode of my podcast ContraMinds, we explore how mediocrity is one of the greatest epidemic facing people and organizations. It explores how a mediocrity mindset sets-in, what differentiates people who strive for excellence versus people who want to be mediocre and what needs to be done to quarantine ourselves or organizations from mediocrity.

 


Will AI replace Elite Consultants?

Recently, I read a very provocative and interesting article in HBR - 'AI may soon replace even the most Elite Consultants'

As I read thro' the article, the key question that came to my mind was- really, how close are we to this reality? Leave alone consulting, there are several industries like legal, medical, design, fashion, movies, media & creative fields where human mind, intelligence & experience plays an important role in discovering, exploring ideas and making decisions.

I felt AI may support and  aid decision making more & more not just replace everything that humans do, mostly replace repetitive tasks that may not need human intervention and improve efficiency but will be used in areas to help people take better & informed decisions. AI will be successful only if there is a strong human collaboration between AI tools & platforms. As I read a little more about this, I came across a lovely interview with MIT Media Lab's Sandy Pentland who talks of complementary relationships between man and machine for higher level results! Here's the video link:

 

Would love your thoughts & feedback!

 

 


 


Unilever buys Dollar Shave Club - Is this the emerging era of direct mass marketing?

Last week, Unilever announced it had acquired Dollar Shave Club.  Tech Crunch carried an interesting article on the $1 billion acquisition and the challenges reputed & established FMCG brands face with the onslaught of innovative and emerging brands. 

FMCG companies have been living in an era of mass marketing for over 100 years now. They have working on the premise that if they  create a great brand and have an efficient supply chain, then the sale is done. Hence, over the last few decades, they have been working on building an efficient supply chain and ensuring the stocks are placed ahead of competition and replenished efficiently. As far as the customers were concerned, if they had a top-of-mind recall about the brands and if there was availability when they landed in a retailer's store, the sale was completed. However, digital disruption and democratization of technology is transforming the  FMCG industry. Leaders like Unilever, P&G, Nestle, L'Oreal and the like have been reeling under this disruption.

The thinking of FMCG companies has to move from managing the supply chain to building a robust demand chain. The FMCG companies' supply chain approach  is about 3P strategy- " Place, Push & Purchase". However, the demand chain approach requires a drastically different mindset which is a 3F strategy " Find, Fill & Fullfill". The customer behavior here is about "Discover & Buy" rather than "Reach & Buy". Also, it is no more about replenishing retailers'' stock but it is about replenishing customers' stock. This for FMCG companies turns their marketing thinking on its head. However, the customers are lapping it up, as they are able to get value & convenience like never before. This also throws-up new big data opportunities about customer purchase behaviour for FMCG companies as new direct-to-customer digital channels are emerging to engage with customers and they now need to understand the insights that arise out of these huge data sources.

The era of direct mass marketing is around the corner for FMCG companies and they need to serve these customers in new ways in the future.