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Insights into Digital Transformation Strategy: Lessons from Dr. Ram Charan

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A masterclass with Dr. Ram Charan is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And it leaves you full with so many thoughts and insights that one cannot help but pen some of it down, especially when the subject is so compelling and pertinent – Digital Transformation Strategy.

Insights from Dr. Ram Charan’s Masterclass

A masterclass with Dr. Ram Charan is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And it leaves you full with so many thoughts and insights that one cannot help but pen some of it down, especially when the subject is so compelling and pertinent – Digital Transformation Strategy.

Makes you think, how the game changers and disruptors are changing the social order with spontaneity and speed, making a paradigm shift in the way markets view them. Classic examples are Tesla, Uber and Google, who, with their unstoppable trends, completely changed the game in their industries.

The point being, if we don’t make a change, we become obsolete. And we don’t want that, do we?

We have to understand that every customer is unique and important, and filling price gaps gives power to the consumer. Eliminate inflated costs by adopting direct shipping and a zero channel of distribution. Harness the potential in data and analytics by studying the behavior of every consumer.

Several companies collect and sell data using algorithms and AI. Using this data, companies like Amazon began to focus on improving Gross Margins, demonstrating an upward growth of revenue. A company’s Gross Margin (GM) states the truth about their business while their brand image is being built on rich consumer experiences. Amazon revealed a GM of 40% while maintaining a growth rate of 45% with a $250 million growth in business.

Using algorithms, one can locate and scale up to a global set of customers by adopting aggressive strategies. But we have to constantly imagine our market space.

Another unstoppable trend capturing the market is the speed of innovation. And these ‘speed bursts’ should vary between short intervals and long-term strategies.

You have to always ask – ‘Are you experimenting with something that could be a game-changer for the customer?’ All good things take time. Amazon’s Alexa, for example, took nine years to build with 18 failed attempts.

What about customer retention? Points that I noted are:

  • We must observe our consumer/customer to learn their patterns and behaviors
  • Make sure you don’t talk about competition but rather talk about your customer
  • Tailor your ecosystem and tweak your algorithms, your software, and your digital strategy to place the customer on top

Another important aspect is that of a separable single-threaded team. Headed by a leader and unadulterated by external or lateral influences, this can result in a razor-sharp focus while building the product and earn the trust of the organization. Unperturbed by the failures of other teams and with no underlying layers, this approach can produce exacting results in the product space he owns.

Summarizing the key takeaways from the session:

  1. Closely observe your customers
  2. Capture  end-customer experience and identify the benefit to your customer
  3. Bridge the price gap
  4. Bring a social change; build tools to digitize data flow from retailers and consumers
  5. Ensure speed of innovation
  6. Be transparent in your processes and approach. Include a data/digital expert in all your meetings
  7. Form separable single-threaded teams, headed by a single leader
  8. Choose a captain, no democracy
  9. Create press releases for every product/concept, bring clarity to the entire team
  10. Build trust and keep the focus
  11. Improve efficiency by adopting a zero layer/zero filter approach, with one level of approval
  12. The cardinal rule of three: Focus on the three most important items for 75% of your time

One last thing. Include a digital powerhouse consultant at important strategy meetings of every company. This way companies can make sense of numbers and data in this big maddening world of data churn.

I sincerely thank my company Altimetrik for giving me this opportunity and express my absolute admiration and gratitude to the great master Dr. Ram Charan. I hope many other practitioners in this field get this brilliant learning opportunity.

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Sujatha Rajesh

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Vikas Krishan

Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region

Vikas (Vik) Krishan serves as the Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region for Altimetrik. He is responsible for leading and growing the company’s presence across new and existing client relationships within the region.

Vik is a seasoned executive and brings over 25 years of global experience in Financial Services, Digital, Management Consulting, Pre- and Post-deal services and large/ strategic transformational programmes, gained in a variety of senior global leadership roles at firms such as Globant, HCL, Wipro, Logica and EDS and started his career within Investment Banking. He has developed significant cross industry experience across a wide variety of verticals, with a particular focus on working with and advising the C-Suite of Financial Institutions, Private Equity firms and FinTech’s on strategy and growth, operational excellence, performance improvement and digital adoption.

He has served as the engagement lead on multiple global transactions to enable the orchestration of business, technology, and operational change to drive growth and client retention.

Vik, who is based in London, serves as a trustee for the Burma Star Memorial Fund, is a keen photographer and an avid sportsman.

Megan Farrell Herrmanns

Chief Digital Officer, US Central

Megan is a senior business executive with a passion for empowering customers to reach their highest potential. She has depth and breadth of experience working across large enterprise and commercial customers, and across technical and industry domains. With a track record of driving measurable results, she develops trusted relationships with client executives to drive organizational growth, unlock business value, and internalize the use of digital business as a differentiator.

At Altimetrik, Megan is responsible for expanding client relationships and developing new business opportunities in the US Central region. Her focus is on digital business and utilizing her experience to create high growth opportunities for clients. Moreover, she leads the company’s efforts in cultivating and enhancing our partnership with Salesforce, strategically positioning our business to capitalize on new business opportunities.

Prior to Altimetrik, Megan spent 10 years leading Customer Success at Salesforce, helping customers maximize the value of their investments across their technology stack. Prior to Salesforce, Megan spent over 15 years with Accenture, leading large transformational projects for enterprise customers.

Megan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University. Beyond work, Megan enjoys playing sand volleyball, traveling, watching her kids soccer games, and is actively involved in a philanthropy (Advisory Council for Cradles to Crayons).

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