The value of dollar which was as high as 49.5 rupees per dollar a few years ago, has now come down to around 39.5 rupees per dollar. This marks over 18% degradation in the value.
This gives an opportunity to look into your business models and shell off the “non value adding” steps which are unnecessarily eating into your operational costs. In other worlds, this could be the time to go “lean”. Applying simple lean principles can give the Indian industry the competitive edge that they badly want to be competitive in the world market.
Improving the “way you work” and not only the quality of the final product or service would see the Indian business develop the competitive advantage. Probably there is no better time than this to apply the principles of Six Sigma and Lean which have given excellent results to the Fortune 500 companies.
One key question to ask is how to develop other sources of competitive advantage, such as building high-level capabilities which cannot easily be replicated by competitors, or how to change the mix of activities carried out in India versus other countries.
In order to do this, we will have to change their mindset: We will have to stop thinking of themselves as Indian companies and think more like global companies of Indian origin.
Indian companies will need to analyze their portfolio of costs and move production to where it makes the best economic sense. Already, the Indian IT firms are trying to address rising wage costs by moving production within India to lower cost regions like Kolkata or Bhubaneswar and to Tier-II and Tier-III towns.
The challenge that the Indian economy faces is not that of an economic bubble burst but of moving on to the next growth trajectory and economic development. Going by the model proposed by Porter, India has to embark on a journey that needs sowing the seeds for catapulting India into an innovation driven economy unique value.
India will have to definitely accelerate its reform processes and start working to become an innovation driven economy, as that would determine whether the country would become a developed nation by the year 2020. The focus should be on building processes that would be driven by innovation; this would make the economy resistant to external shocks and vagaries of economic cycles and currency fluctuations.
The bottom line is, our policies should concentrate on enhancing our capability in manufacturing, promote entrepreneurship, and provide incentives for innovation.