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Tactics or Strategy

Tactics or Strategy
Tactics or Strategy – Ethical Considerations Give a man a fish everyday, his appetite is sated. Teach him how to fish; you have fulfilled his appetite for an entire life time. This is strategy. To make it work, to make the impossible, possible. There is no drawn out template for success or for that matter strategy. But both of them go together when the right strategy is used at the right time and you can bang on your target. Neither the same strategy fits the bill for everybody. Your smart approach to that particular situation backed up by your knowledge and experience does the magic. It cannot be taught, it comes from within when the situation warrants for action. It is more like “Survival of the fittest”, if you want to retain your niche in this business world you act fast and think wise. Tactics: How many of you are bold enough to think differently to make a difference, to make others feel your presence. Never implement tactics which is short lived and don’t make your presence felt either by imitation or by unethical competitor criticism. That will paint a greasy picture on your firm. That is of course strategy but cheap strategy. But always be on the run to know your competitors’ weaknesses and shortcomings which will make you improve your product or service. That is acceptable business practice where competitor spying gives us an edge in terms of identifying unexploited niches of the market. Resort to  Constructive Strategies: Strategies must always be constructive and it assures success in the long run. Tactics or gimmicks will prove to be fruitful only for a short while and that is not your aim also. Will you be satisfied if you are able to sell your product or service as hot cakes only for a season! Is that going to cover your profit margin for the entire accounting year? True, strategies are always associated with making profits, boosting up the sales, for retaining the market share and maximizing the share value. But it should also make your business perennial and viable. Strategic Framework: Many of us forget that strategies are applicable in every activity of a firm that forms a compact framework which gives your business a solid foundation upon which you can build your empire of success without looking back. Right from framing your vision, mission, policies, procedures and programmes including recruitment, selection, training, evaluation and empowering your employees, strategies play their role in giving clarity and direction to the firm.  Long-Term Planning: Although strategies are meant for long term planning, a periodic review and appraisal of the company’s strategies to all the employees concerned is a must to keep them informed. Strategies are secrets but not to the employees of your organization. Strategies are born out of compulsion, a compulsion to survive in the market and have an edge over others. So they must be meticulously planned after brain storming sessions and expert consultations. Sometimes even a small idea suggested by one of your employees might become the basis for a turnkey operation. So keep your eyes and ears open and also be open minded to accept ideas even from the lowest level as they are your pillars of strength and they know the pulse of the market and people better. Strategic Action Plans: Success is not a cake walk, it has to be achieved with great hardships and the taste of success will be sweeter. Strategies are formulated in every step of your business plan, remember it is an ongoing process; you have to revitalize your strategies every now and then to be in the scene, to make...
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Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces
PORTER’S FIVE FORCES Porter’s five forces analysis-draws upon industrial organization (IO) economics to derive five forces that determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a market. Survival of the Fittest: True to Darwin’s theory “Survival of the fittest”, only competitive firms survive in the business market, provided, they have made the right strategic choice by comprehensively analyzing their position in the industry. Every organization is part of the industry and almost all of them face competition. Thus, industry and competition are the vital considerations for making a strategic choice. All the firms in a particular industry vie for the same set of customers by offering identical or similar products with minor variations. The analysis of the external environment in relation to the context of industry attractiveness thus becomes essential. A Critical Evaluation of Michael Porter’s Five Forces Framework Industrial Analysis: Industry analysis helps a firm to also fix long range plans, by gauging long term growth opportunities present if any. Strategic choice is nothing but, to screen all possible strategic alternatives followed by narrowing down the choice to the best suited and feasible alternatives and ultimately choosing an optimum strategy. To explain it in more clear terms, let us look at this example. Say, if there are three big players of car manufacturers in an automobile industry. Each follows their own strategic style to capture the market. What are the threat factors? Threat can be in the form of four-wheeler manufacturers like trucks and jeeps, but these cannot be competitively priced. Threat can be in the form of suppliers who dominate the industry by having a grip on the supply of components, sub-assemblies and accessories. Threat in the form of new entrants, but the growth might be restricted due to government regulations. A thorough analysis of the automobile industry thus made can make things clear to the firm, as to where they stand in terms of market share, what are their strengths and weaknesses, who pose a threat, what are the potential opportunities for growth and to tap market segments whose needs are unidentified. Still, it will be a seller’s market where the buyers have no bargaining power. On the other hand, if the weather does not favor its growth, the firm has to immediately decide on its next course of action, calling for diversification. The possible threats for a firm can come from five directions as mentioned below: Potential threat from new firms entering the market Threat from substitutes available in the market Threat from competitors Bargaining power of the suppliers Bargaining power of the buyers The structure and dynamics of an industry has to be analyzed in order to determine the intensity of competition and profitability. As the market is very dynamic, it becomes mandatory for firms to evolve strategies embracing a modern approach, with emphasis on reappraisal of existing strategy in the light of changing external conditions and formulation of alternative...
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Game Theory

Game Theory
Game theory and strategy What is Game Theory: Set of concepts designed for decision making in situations of competition and conflict under specified rules. The prisoner’s dilemma: The prisoner’s dilemma is a canonical example of a game, analyzed in game theory that explains why two individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so; Albert W. Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence payoffs and gave it the “prisoner’s dilemma” name. To solve many practical problems that are encountered in economic, military or other disciplines, one has to deal with situations in which there are two or more conflicting parties striving for the same objective and the outcome of each action of one party depends solely on the opposite parties choice of a course of action. As we all know only one horse can win the race ultimately and the other parties only can prolong the race or see to that they make every possible move to delay the opponent’s success.  So, what’s this game theory all about? This is a special mathematical method that was evolved mainly to analyze conflict situations where the number of competitors is finite, each participant has a definite set of actions to choose and there is a conflict of interest between the competitors. So it helped the participants to reach a decision that would put them in the winning post. This theory has spilled its implications on business situations where success is the motto and conflict and competition the order of the day. Only the best among the best survive. Darwin’s theory, “Survival of the fittest” applies not only to biological organisms but also to business organizations which are also abuzz with activity. Chance Moves: Games like chess, checkers are played according to a definite set of rules laid down and these game patterns has inspired business persons to introduce strategies in business, where the concentration is mainly focused on the chance moves that defeats the opponent. Big business corporates mainly concentrate on the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors to have an edge over them. A real game is controlled and regulated by the statutory rules to be followed but a business game involves lot of killer instincts and intuitions combined with rational thinking and logic. Optimal Strategy: The first party always puts himself in the shoes of the other party and tries to perceive how the other party would react in a particular situation. Although the aim is to win, choosing the optimal strategy is what matters. It will at least keep you in bay. Precise solutions can be arrived at if you plan your game fittingly. The anticipation and thrill that is involved in a strategic game is matchless.  We witness a lot of firms imitating what the leader of the market does. The risk is borne solely by the firm introducing the change and the firm takes the major share of profit as it is the pioneer and if it loses the next strategic move is planned for. For a company with sound financial position, the chance move is worth giving a try, head or tail doesn’t matter. The stalkers are benefited by the waiting period during which they come to know of the pros and cons of the strategy employed by the leader. Games are played in the true spirit of sportsmanship, but a business faces cut throat competition. There is no space for any courtesy or liberal approach. If you are quick enough to pick the pulse of the people by gauging their preferences, analyzing the market conditions and employing timely strategies you will at least survive in...
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