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how a consultant helps companies in developing concepts for futuristic products

Submitted: January 11, 2018

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Submitted: January 10, 2018



A friend of mine has visited me with a special request, as he is retired and likes to discuss his second career initiative. We settled in a cozy corner for formal well-wishing niceties. Then my friend has briefed his future plans, which sounds like to set up a consultancy. After few hours past-by, we sat at the dinner table, he turned to me and asked "So what does your firm TAMS do. Do I love to discuss my success, actually who doesn’t?

To make things easy for him, I broke down my consultancy services into bits as best as I could. I told him that we help and associate Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies try to create new ideas that become new products and services. We help with new product and service discovery, refinement and identification. Briefly, I told my friend about how I help them with the innovation of new products or innovate an improvisation of manufacturing techniques for existing products for better compliance, quality, and affordability.

He thought about that for a while, and in his own inimitable way said: "that sounds wonderful". Actually, it can be. Also, he went on to add his future plan could be in the same way provided if I could help him with a prototype. But I advised him to add value himself more before starting a consultancy and he should learn to lead himself in proportionate to present existing customer intelligence in any gamut, he is specialized and interested in. The first principle before goes into new gig is to keep abreast of evaluated self- intelligence and turf of industry’s future needs.

I have tentatively described my consultancy firm's specialized gamut and how I had envisaged future a decade earlier. Also, I explained to him the modus Operandi I followed to conduct a research before starting the consultancy and deep dived into myself for prospects and failures of eventualities. And explained further about what it is that an innovation consulting firm does, How I've managed to break it down into at least four significant offerings that help about what I do and hopefully expect that what an innovative firm endeavor is directed at for a positive outcome.

Primarily, At my consultancy, “TAMS”, how I help organizations rediscover their inner entrepreneurship. Every company at one time was based on a single idea. The founder/founders had an idea that they could offer value - products, services or business models - those were unique and different. Over time what happens is that the business becomes much more intense and focused on keeping the existing businesses profitable and loses the focal point on the creation of new things. In fact, keeping the existing business manageable for profit becomes such an effort that new, different and disruptive things are shoved aside. So our first job is to remind firms that they were once innovators, and have to be innovators again in order to be sustainable in the line of business. We remind them of helping company's teams create a strategic vision and communicate that vision. We help by establishing goals - for example, company’s goal that 50% of its revenue must come from products generated in the last 7 years as that product’s life cycle may close to end-up. Generally, goals and strategies don't have to match, but you must have a specific goal for innovation, just as the initial founders did. Asking for innovation isn't enough.

Second, we remind people of the future. All new ideas will launch in the future that's not quite the same as today. Having a "future orientation" is important because innovators need to identify the needs for new “market intelligence” ideas into abstracts, creation, prototype, selective customer intelligence on that prototype and address them before others do, otherwise you are simply a fast follower at best. In the hustle and bustle, large corporate enterprises worried about losing sales to better edged-competitors. The early bird advantage of new products will compensate as they create a new market as the market dictates for new products. Very few people are worried about a 2 to 3 years horizon, but that's what will make or break the company. The future is already here, although it's just not widely distributed. And with some luck, we can create new products and services that allow us to take advantage of the unfolding future.

Third, we create a conduit for ideas. As a consultant, I've yet to enter a firm that doesn't have lots of ideas, and in many cases, we'll encounter not just "lots of ideas" but some actual good ones as well. The problem isn't ideas. The problem, strangely enough, is the process for ideas. In most cases people with good ideas simply give up, frustrated with the fact that there appears to be no way to present a good new idea and move it to marketability.

Some companies have the huge amount of financial accruals over years of profit accumulation but waste away for presumptive assumptions of positional dominance in the pharmaceutical industry through acquisitions instead of investing in R & D, innovation or on improvisation keeping in view of future. 

One simple example without cognitive bias and corporate prejudice is Sun Pharma acquisition of Ranbaxy.

Note that I didn't say good innovation consultants "create" ideas. My belief is that we assist teams with curiosity, imagination for creativity to innovate a needy product/service that did not come early than others. If innovations do not happen in stipulated time, we enable companies to have a backup plan to use R & D data at least to improvise on existing products.

But a drawback to companies is if they rely on innovation consultants to "give you" ideas, they've outsourced their strategic thinking, which is bad for companies in long run.

Interestingly, I personally think, consultant, who helped companies tell success stories to influence customers. But stories have a way of reminding people about core values of the inner circle and inner truths of mutual dependability between consultant and client company that often can't be confronted directly. As a consultant, I have to help clients thinking through the rationale of evaluation, recognition, and compensation as tied to innovation work. Most companies prefer to reward actual, measurable results while giving lip service to the importance of innovation. Once again, consultants need to try to encourage clients to balance requirements and expectations between commitments to innovation and uphold the dignity of company's reputation.

How does one summarize all of this into one simple statement? I've yet to know that how this long and explained upfront gift of gag has influenced my friend? Certainly, my narration does not intend to motivate him, these are true to the salt of consultancy ethics and professionally what a good consultant does. I think for myself as a true and ethical consultant wishes to \disclose these victories to youngsters as basics. As an innovation consultant, one needs to help clients to succeed. I do like to think and offer all of those skills, but I find it hard to create a short and sweet description of final success in the nutshell here. Some ideas materialize successfully while few perish quickly. Whatever is the outcome but make it happen early as we have to proceed to next endeavor.


The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry has long been a secured and siloed in India. There is no innovation-drive in proportionate to patient-centric importance by giving an utmost assessment on medical treatments. Indian pharmaceutical companies are not commanding enough to transmogrify the industry into a nimble, innovative and modular ecosystem to serve patients.

In Western economy, the future is directed to a patient-centric and consumer-facing industry as treatment and healthcare system will focus increasingly on paying for the value rather than the volume of medical care. So, keeping in view, their pharmaceutical and healthcare industry has taken all measures to include the shifting demands and expectations of patients, who are looking for a greater role in their own care to decrease cost pressure hence called for pricing reform. There, their respective governments are positively promulgating laws.

But in India, It is altogether different and vice versa. The pharmaceutical industry is over-pricing and regulatory body is just negating without substantiated laws on a set of postulated foundational principles. Hitherto, the present govt. in power is not showing any intensive drive for a patient-friendly ecosystem. The cause for predatory drug pricing owes to lack of drive-in research and innovation drugs. We do not have such pipelines on agenda nor do we have any agenda for such pipeline.

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