One of the most common questions on all start-up and business-related forums is centered around the need for innovation.To get a clear understanding of why innovation is essential for start-ups, one must look at their most important need. Apart from solving a problem at hand with a new solution, start-ups need to create a distinct identity and brand positioning.
In the modern scenario, most business verticals are brimming with companies offering products and services that serve the same purpose as those of their competitors. However, it is the value addition byany new player in the form of innovation which makes the cut. Technological evolution and changing customer dynamics are disrupting the markets. For instance, the one brought about by Uber in the public transportation domain or that by Facebook in the customer service industry. The social media platform gives a customer incredible visibility and helps them share their feedback and concerns on a real-time basis.
Innovation is the key
Just coming up with a new product or service because there is a dearth of options may not always result in success. Rather, the focus must be on creating a product that offers some distinct features and functionalities unlike none other, is efficient, futuristic and is solving a problem or addressing a demand. Everyone might be making red shirts and selling them, but to be a brand that stands out of the crowd, the product must be unique.
Whether it is the ideology, business model or product manufacturing process; everything today is driven by innovation.We came up with the idea of creating trend-inspired fine jewellery designs to match a woman’s western wardrobe because no one else was doing so. We decided to address common issues faced by other players through technological innovation. For instance, eliminating the need for inventory has allowed us to offer a much wider range of designs and we are able to constantly refresh the products on offer in sync with the latest fashion trends.
We also do not face issues such as an inventory of old designs. Even our manufacturing process involves cutting-edge technology such as 3D printing and direct casting method thereby reducing production costs.
Mantra for Success
For an entrepreneur, more so for the leader of a start-up or an emerging company, it is important to have an innovative mindset. It is only the ability to think and execute things differently that would make someone create a niche product or solution. The key is to understand the need of the target audiences. Only innovative entrepreneurs can assess the need and visualize the product/service that will fulfill it. That is what Steve Jobs did before he created Apple, Mark Zuckerberg before Facebook, and Reed Hastings in the case of Netflix. It is this ability of an entrepreneur to innovate alongside constantly running the daily business activities that makes all the difference.
Today India is among the leading economies of the world. The markets have opened tremendously over the years and Indian entrepreneurs have access globally. By leveraging the power of innovation, an entrepreneur can come up with disruptive product ideas, business practices and customer-centric processes that make the brand a global success. The time is ripe for Indian start-ups to innovate, evaluate and validate their products and services. With the right acumen and knowledge as well as persistence, many Indian start-ups have become internationally acclaimed brands. Innovation is the key to start-up success. Through constant innovation of products and services, it is possible to transform a company from a start-up into a start-up success story!
The article has been penned down by Ms Saroja Yeramilli, CEO and Founder, Melorra