A few days back I was reading blogs on how to have the best customer insights to drive better customer experience and how to utilize so much of data that most companies have at there disposal. As per a lot of studies and research being done, it has been found that none of the companies are actually able to utilize the data to the maximum extent in deriving insights.
Now I am not a student of management and may be extremely naive when it comes to management concepts but my thoughts are entirely penned on the basis of some observations.
The concepts like enhancing customer experience by data, recommendations using machine learning, change management are hot topics for every company.
But what I feel that the unorganized sector of Indian economy like street vendors whom we may see with a bit of neglect are actually the ones who have been driving these practices long back without being noticed.
1. Driving customer experience with data insights: Imagine a saree shop you visited during your childhood with your mother. I still remember the salesperson showing sarees based on her past purchase and specifically making a remark “mam I know you like sarees of cotton which are lighter in color”. Now, this is one example of how much he knows his customer. Also, the very same salesperson was smart enough to derive relationships amongst customers in a way that who are the customers who have some sort of same taste. So suppose customer A or customer B have the same taste. Customer A purchased something; salesperson. was smart enough to recommend the same fashion to customer B, as in his mind he had this thought that probably B also will buy the same. This is the same concept on which recommendation engines work for various eCommerce sites and also for the movie streaming portals.
2. The second thing is during pandemic we have noticed how companies understood what is the need of the hour and made transitions in their business in their product lines. I still remember how during the year 2016 a lot of companies rather than making bulky hardware made the entire transition to IoT products. Although all these transitions happened after a lot of meetings, stakeholders coming together and impact analysis. Now think of some local level garment shop which has a couple of branches in your city and imagine the same shop changing its stock during various seasons. During winters it will change to stock to winter garments and cater to the needs of the customers and during summers it will do the same again. Now all this is being done by the decision making of one person and without the help of any high-end tools that are in place.
In a similar way, there are a lot of micro details which if we observe on day to day basis we will realize that the unorganized sector of India has things, which can be real management examples.
Now there can be one counter agreement that unorganized sector caters to need of very few people as compared to big FMCG's or eCommerce companies which are partly true. Not true on the whole because when you are talking about a book shop near Juhu beach in Mumbai or marine drive in Mumbai we are again talking about huge volumes.
Secondly, my aim here is to not compare and say that one sector is a failure and another one is a success but rather the aim is to pinpoint that lot of customer experience related learnings we can derive from so call unorganized sector and then definitely implement the same using volumes of data we have.