Business Consulting – Leveraging Best Practices
Pavan Kumar Nair, Manager – Business Development, ZenQ
Business Consulting in a broader term includes various Engineering Consultants, Strategy Consultants, Process Consultants, Marketing Consultants, Technical Consultants and many others. Traditionally, Indian markets have been weary of third party feedbacks and have always wanted to do things in-house, but this has changed in the last decade or so. Organizations are accepting consultative practices more openly as they realize the potentials and benefits.
Earlier consulting was limited to Governments and large organizations who leveraged ideas and practices of specialized Individuals or groups, Governments mostly because they would have to utilize third party for most of the tendering processes and awarding contracts, but were now aggressively using consultative services even in the information gathering and planning stages, thereby being more transparent and accountable and more importantly getting things done at a faster pace.
Even large organizations even after having enough in-house experts rely on third parties to avoid overhead costs and reduce risks. Also, due the sheer size of the projects and various to-do tasks, it becomes inadvertent to use outside help or consultative approach.
Consulting a third party helps organizations leverage large pools of minds, while limiting costs. Consultants work as independent observers within the company and formulate best practices for the organization to consider as options. Consultants have deep industry knowledge and bring Innovative ideas to their customers. A consultant can be hired for various reasons, be it to create or improve a process, identify gaps in a process or act as a catalyst.
An organization always needs to introspect and understand if what it is doing is right, or for them to vet if the chosen path is correct or not. A good consultant will always study the requirements and existing processes, identify the gaps and propose changes. The organization needs to gear up to face constructive criticism when they choose to do this. Albeit, the consultant can take the view points of the organization and make changes accordingly and agree on a final approach. Once this phase is completed, the challenging task of implementing these changes needs to happen and then again there are specialized Change Management or Project Management Consultants who can help one achieve this. Further, monitoring and adjusting course will help attain desired results.
In the Indian IT industry, sales and marketing departments have been always following traditional methods of e-mails and cold calling when there are thousands of companies offering similar services to a customer. Then, how do you get ahead? With the advent of social media, the focus changed to the likes of Twitter’s and LinkedIn’s. There sprung a flurry of consultancies which are specialized in providing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and paid advertising solutions to companies. Many companies sooner or later adopted this either in-house or outsourced. While this is taking shape, more recently Analytics has had a big impact on the industry. One can see many consultancies providing Analytics as a service or product. Now, it is easier for a customer to come to you than you to reach out to them. A good Marketing/ Internet consultant will be able to device strategies around your profile to leverage this. Although this is a tough process and takes time to achieve results, but once it does it becomes rather clear that this is the path to go forward.
The coming years will only add a lot more consultative practices to this scenario in the Indian market, where companies would want to set up specialized shops tackling specialized issues. While the west has fully taken advantage of third party feedback and outsourcing, India is still awakening to the concept. While we see a major segment Indian manufacturing being outsourced to China and Indonesia, there is still scope and better synergies to keep these within India. With the 'Make in India' movement picking up, it opens up lot of opportunities for companies to set up consultative practices in order to help small and large corporates with ideas and solutions to follow this approach. Many companies sooner or later adopted this either in-house or outsourced. While this is taking shape, more recently Analytics has had a big impact on the industry. One can see many consultancies providing Analytics as a service or product. Now, it is easier for a customer to come to you than you to reach out to them. A good Marketing/ Internet consultant will be able to device strategies around your profile to leverage this. Although this is a tough process and takes time to achieve results, but once it does it becomes rather clear that this is the path to go forward.