Simple things.. Are they Really Simple ?

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Art of Reinventing..

Re-invention - a buzz word from the mouth of all business gurus and thought leaders. I am really able to understand what is reinvention from the text book. The term looks really glamorous sitting along with other powerful words in the articles and theories, But I am not able to feel that. When asked for real time case, I get loads of US examples. Amazon did in that way and Dell did in this way. But please I want a localised one. Got really fed up hearing and reading about US cases.

Recently in a B-School convocation function Mr. Sunil Mittal of Bharti said that his B-School were on the streets. It is true that when we look around the streets we can learn lot of business concept applications. With the 'Re-invention' term bugging me I was just looking around the roads while riding my bike and yes I got few real time examples :

1. Petrol Bunks : The petrol bunks we see today is the real case of reinvention. Just think of the petrol bunks some 5 to 6 years before. It was least cared one and nobody never thought of the utilising the space a petrol bunk. You can find a shade only on the top of the petrol pumps.


Today, petrol bunks is no more a place just to fill fuel for the vehicle. This has now become a place for shopping that too in a decent super market. There is a ATM center and to go few steps further, I could see a petrol bunk having 'Sri Krishna Sweets'.

In the core business of Petrol, they have now come out with different versions of petrol. It shows very well that they have invested a good amout in R&D. Without R&D Re-invention cant be taken forward in the true sense.

I now get a very good understanding of Re-invention. Few years back we never would have thought about this and would have laughed loudly if somebody told about this in the idea form.But now it has been implemented successfuly.

2: Satyam Ciniplex

I work in Chennai and movie goers cant ignore Satyam cineplex. They have just redefined the movie going experience. Same old cinema thetre business, but they did it all. There is no thetre specific ticket counters. Just peep in any of the couters and get the ticket for the movie you want to go. Once you enter the internal premises, it looks totally different. You have friendly people around you inside the theatre to help you to find your seats. Their parking area is larger than the theatre area.

Once when I came out of a cinema hall in Satyam I found a decentl looking guy with tie and file in his hand redirecting the crowd to a different exit path.Such neatly dressed executives were never seen in the places like theatres. Even now many theatres are working in totally unorganised way.

3: Fruit Shop on Greams Road:

Juice shops are the places where they use third quality ice and the quality unknown water. But these are the places where they are suppose to provide clean substances. To my knowledge Fruit Shop on Greams Road is one good example where they provide a real good ambience with array of juice varieties and above all, good water and safe ice.

So the above cases are my understanding of 'Reinvention'. Reinvention involves lot of product, process and people transformations. But once it is put in place, and the business keeps reinventing itself, there is no way of becoming a company of world class.

If you have a different meaning of reinvention and if you feel my interpretation is not correct, please share with me !!


  • At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your piece on Reinvention is quite timely and provoked me into sending this comment.As you said rightly it is used widely - sometimes abused as well.That is what happens to any concept that has high level of relevance.But use we must if we want to take advantage of that.
    It is all about "inventing the future".Future can be invented obviously through invention.But that is not the only route.There are two more ways of inventing the future.One,by replicating the successful experments,businesses or business models.If it can work in one place it could work in some othr place also.But one can not guarantee success in all the cases.Many are context-specific.
    Two,by reinvention,we can create a future.Here it essentialy means breathing new life into something which worked so well in the past but due to some reason or other it has lost its relevance or vibrancy.Identifying and isolating those things which can be reinvented by applying modern technology or concepts is the key here.My favorite examples are:Touring Theatres in the rural areas and Weekly Chandies in the rural and semi urban areas.Interestingly,ITC is trying to reinvent the Weekly Chandies now.The Touring Theatres languishing in the country are clamouring for similar kind of reinvention.
    But what really interests me is the need and the scope for reinventing the " Sangam " concept practised some 2000 years ago at Madurai.It can be considered as one of the greatest innovations of the time aimed at promoting each and every aspect of Tamil language and literature.Now, can it not be reinvented today in the name of "Sangamam" involving all the four languages of the region leveraging the power of Internet?
    I am sure I have supplied some fodder for you to think.
    S.Gnana Haran.

  • At 3:12 AM, Blogger Raj said…

    I would like to give my piece of mind on this reinvention. The best example of reinvention is nothing but blog itself. Earlier it was called as "Kaiyeluthzu Prathi" what Bharatiyar was so interested, and also many of the prominent Journalists have practiced their writings in the initial periods by using this. By the use of ICT now it has become an electronic version.

    Keep blogging such interesting views.


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