Innovation Mindset and Challenges to Growth

Innovation Mindset and Challenges to Growth

Innovation Mindset and Challenges to Growth 150 150 Exist Software Labs Inc.

I’ve been hearing about “innovation mindset” for the past 5 years. The economic downturn definitely caused its upturn. BUT isn’t man innovative by default, and that sometimes he’s just being complacent or apathetic … I couldn’t quite place the word.

Lately, I’ve been involved in several activities including the PhilDev forum, Cebu IT BPO conference, and discussions with people from the ICT industry. I’m seeing the politics left and right and sometimes, I’m not sure if I should shield myself from getting involved or step right into it to finally understand things better. For now, I will take it one step at a time…

Back to the “innovation mindset” — I’d just like to share notes from Dickie Gonzales’ presentation in the last general meeting of the Philippine Software Industry Association which was themed, “Innovation Mindset and the Challenges to Growth” — but before that let me throw something to the table:

See I’ve been looking at events to join for the Exist team (some of these events include healthcare IT events given Exist’s experience on application development for hospitals) and I always check if there’s a fee to attend these events. Often, you’ve to pay to attend, pay if you want to sponsor. And mind you, the prices are a whoppin! BUT there are other events — FREE, nothing to pay for and you know these are those that are often tied with being more innovative, organically grown events such as DevCon and TechTalks Cebu. IF we know this and know that people would rather not pay to attend especially if he’ll get the same thing in the free event, why are these events still being promoted? I’d like to find out how I can put up a healthcare event that wouldn’t entail a single peso — but is that even possible — and if it is, then is that being innovative? If it is, where’s the business in that, where is the money? And what’s the point of trying to become innovative if eventually businesses won’t earn more?

OK — I’m ranting again. Let’s go back to the topic. Here’s the lowdown on targets: $1.5b in 3 years for IT outsourcing, increase revenue per employee from $17k per year (yes that’s $8 per hour) to at least 3/4s that of India’s, which is at $35k per year, produce higher ratio of qualified science and engineering experts, be like the next Singapore, so on and so forth.

I’ll go into retrospect while I let you chew on Dickie’s comments and questions below:

  • Metrics are dollars per FTE, are we still selling bodies? Or solutions?
  • If we’re going to hire a lot in the next coming years, then we’ll have to interview a lot too and this will be a business in itself. Online testing!
  • What skills do we need? Do we know which way we want to go?
  • Industry doesn’t move as a single godzilla. What are the specific capabilities within each sector? How many small companies are there? How many large ones? How many are really making money?
  • Where are you in the value chain, with respect to your customer? The closer you are to your customer, the better you have the chance of growth and expansion.
  • Is BPO and ITO competing for the same set of bodies?
  • Honest to goodness assessment of barriers to growth, can we do it? What are the barriers? > Can you increase your share of purchase (with existing customers)?
  • Start tracking your customers’ growth and needs. Your customers are also growing … what is the job that they really want done? What is the big job? And can you provide for that big job? How do you move up the value chain?
  • Sign up your customers for existing products and services. Upsell.
  • New products for new customers, opportunity spotting, blue ocean strategy, go where the competition isn’t present and break new grounds
  • Speed to market, re-develop your skillsets, industry collaboration
  • Are we giving away opportunities because we can’t do this, but maybe if we collaborate, we would have won the deal?
  • How do we get to be top of mind? Is it a country sell, or an enterprise sell?
  • Do we have reps in key cities, should we rely on our consular offices?
  • Should we have presence in business incubators? Ideas are always being generated in these places.
  • How do we start thinking like a VC, instead of just an owner of the enterprise?
  • How do we put more value, rather than bring up cost?

Dickie Gonzales is affiliated with the Philippine Emerging Startups Open, PESO for short. I might be able to get his prezo so stay tuned.

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