Different Era

Disruptive Innovation & Sources of Competitive Advantage in Different Era

Do you know how the global companies dominated the market in Different Eras? Do you know how a very small airline company became one of the biggest budget airlines in the world? In this article of mine, let us discuss how the sources of competitive Advantage changed over time.

Age of Manufacturing: 1900 to 1960

When we talk about 1900, the one name that comes up first is Ford. Henry Ford was an innovator, an industrialist, and an outdoorsman—a farmer’s son who turned his mechanical interests into a global company that transformed life around the world through their excellence in Manufacturing. The impact Henry Ford had on the world is almost immeasurable. His introduction of the automobile into the mass market transformed agricultural economies in the United States and even around the world into prosperous industrial and urban ones. Many historians credit him with creating a middle class in America. His mass manufacturing techniques provided work that many people (even the less educated) could do, and he paid them well for doing it. His high minimum wages were revolutionary at the time. He was indeed the icon of that manufacturing era. Then there were GE, P&G, and Sony. All these marketers set a great example in the era of Manufacturing.

Age of Distribution: 1961-1990

Then came the age of Distribution with a great chain named Walmart. The retailer started dealing directly with manufacturers in the 1980s, giving suppliers the job of managing inventory in its warehouses. The result was something called vendor-managed inventory, or VMI, that smoothed irregularities of inventory distribution flow which helped ensure products were always available on store shelves. The process involved cooperation and collaboration with suppliers that produced a more efficient supply chain with technology connecting everything. The other two examples of excellence in the Distribution era could be Toyota and UPS, setting great success stories in the era of Distribution.

Age of Information: 1991-2010

The age of information started in 1993 with Dell. His business idea was new because he assembled all the computers according to his customer’s preferences and sell directly at a low price. He was the first to introduce the direct sales method in the IT industry. The direct sales clicked and there was a huge demand for computers. Dell knew that he could beat computer dealers by selling at a lower price with good technical service; just like every other successful people, Dell started small. And then the rest was history. Dell set a successful example in every sector of information technology. The other names in this era were Microsoft, Google, etc who exceeded in their own domain with excellent use of information technology.

Age of Customer: 2010 and beyond

Do you know amazon drone can just ship your product 30 minutes after you have placed the order? Do you know amazon ships your recommendation to you even before you order? Do you know how air Asia became the largest budget airline ever? Air Asia did not target the traditional customers of Airlines and did not compete with the strong local player Malaysian Airlines but it focused on the multiethnic population of Malaysia that included Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, etc. who never traveled or cannot afford the airline fare. Basically traditional airlines never focused on this set of customers, Air Asia founder Tony Fernandes saw a potentially untapped and uncontested market space in this category in South East Asia. They started offering cheaper budget air tickets and the rest is history. 2010 and beyond in the era of customers indeed. Companies like Amazon, Air Asia are offering services just to bring ease to the life of customers. Customers are the king in this era. Everyone, every single global marketeer is working towards one goal, ensuring the highest level of customer service, engaging customers, enabling customers more than ever. This is indeed the age of customers.

The new customer agenda has transformed from me to us, from statement to stories, selling to enabling, product to people, everything is about customers and connecting people together.

KYC Management

KYC Management; Challenges & Recommendations

In this article, let us discuss a few of the current regulations related to KYC management and also discuss what exactly is taking place in the market and a few suggestions to eradicate these issues.

We know that the MFS guideline was published by the Regulatory Bangladesh Bank in 2011. Since then; MFS providers are strictly maintaining their processes as per the MFS guideline.

However, there are few challenges that I have seen in the market. As a part of my portfolio, I visit the market often to get the views of customers and retailers. Let us discuss three major issues.

Regulation 1: Monthly P2P limit is BDT 25,000

Let us discus the first scenario. Mr. Akram works in Dhaka. His family stays in Barisal. Every month he needs to send BDT 50K home. Now as per MFS guideline he can only send BDT 25K per month to his wife’s wallet. Now what will he do? Well he can just open another wallet using another SIM of his. It’s that simple. This way he can easily bypass the regulation related to Transaction Limit.

Regulation 2: Banks shall have to use a new ‘Know Your Customer (KYC); The Bank will be responsible for the authenticity of the KYC of all the customers.

Now, let us discuss the second scenario. Mr. X wants to make some fast cash. He opens a wallet using a fake ID. Currently, there is no mechanism to validate if the ID; given for KYC is valid or not. Here the registered agent of the Bank had no way to check the validity of the KYC. However, in the end, Banks are responsible for the authenticity of the KYC of all the customers.

Mr. X opened this wallet with a SIM he bought with a fake NID (Here the MNO as well, doesn’t have any way to validate a real ID; since there is no connection to the national database available @ MNO end as well).

The strict KYC/ AML related regulation can easily get bypassed just because of the fact that the KYC matching/ validation process against a national database is missing.

Regulation 3: P2P or Send Money between agents is not allowed.

Finally, let us discuss the last scenario. Mr. Z wants to send money home fast. He doesn’t want to open a wallet because he doesn’t even understand how it works. He doesn’t understand English or hardly can read Bengali. Or he is just simply lazy. So he went to his nearby retailer, requested him to send money to his home on his behalf of him. The retailer already opened some customer accounts using the multiple lose sims he had. He performed the transaction, sent money to another customer wallet (Actually this wallet also belongs to another retailer, opening a customer wallet). Thus the transaction gets completed. A great example of O2C in a legal way!!!!

Now let us discus some recommendation to overcome these issues.


  1. A complete database of valid NID and access needs to be given to both MNO and MFS providers. Both need to ensure an automated validation/ matching process prior to selling a new connection/SIM and opening a wallet.
  2. Strict Market intelligence by MFS providers to prohibit retailers from opening customer wallets using their lost sim to perform over-the-counter transactions.
  3. One customer can open and maintain one MFS wallet. (This policy has already been implemented by the regulators this week). However, how would the MFS providers know that the customer hasn’t already opened multiple wallets? What will be the checking mechanism? Without an automated checking mechanism, this policy may not be properly implemented.
  4. Re-visit the Transaction limit. If possible introduce multiple sections in a single wallet (One section for Salary, One for sending money, etc). This may eradicate the issue of bypassing the transaction limit. Also, introduce TP (Transaction Profile) for each wallet. This may ensure better control as well.
  5. Increase customer awareness and open new customer wallets. Start a joint campaign with the MNO and motivate customers to open the wallet.

With the increasing number of O2C transactions, immediate action is needed to be taken to eradicate the issues related to KYC management.

This is the First Part of my series of Articles on KYC Management, Stay Tuned for the Second Part discussing some new development in the Regulatory Sector. Cheers

Bid Data Analytics

How to use Big Data analytics for Financial Service Endeavors!

Leveraging Financial Service with Big data Analytics

A few months back I was working on a paper on Customer Relationship Management; a really nice video captured my eyes, it depicted how a customer’s journey evolved from an early stage to growth and then matured and how companies must ensure continuous evolution of their product and services through disruptive innovation in order to serve the needs of the millennial and survive the new race to Gain the Competitive Edge over their competitors!

I thought, how are they gonna do it? What will be the mechanism? Then I got the answer!!!! Its Big Data!!!! Big Data has been the talk of the town; a much talked about topic on Social Media, LinkedIn etc. In this post, I’ll briefly discus a few tips to leverage Financial Service endeavors with Big Data Analytics! First of all, let’s define Big Data. As per Wiki:

Big data is the term that often refers simply to the use of predictive analytics or other certain advanced methods to extract value from a large set of data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. Accuracy in big data may lead to more confident decision-making. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiency, cost reduction, and reduced risk.

Now let’s discuss how we can use Big Data in Financial Service endeavors.

Big Data and Customer Experience

This has always been my favorite. Banks have always benefitted from customer information based on account activity and segmentation. With the advent of big data technologies, they can understand their customers in greater depth and predict their needs by analyzing all available customer information. In this Era of service excellence, tech-savvy customers want more! The Millennials are just not interested to visit the boring bank branches, stand in the queues, and wait for service. They’d rather just dial a USSD code or visit an App or website to fulfill all their Financial Services need. As a Bank, you need to analyze the customer data, their age, their preference related to the placement of your service.

Customer preferences for interacting through multiple channels and using mobile devices; are driving banks to adopt a mobile digital customer experience strategy that makes the most of big data. Mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, are overtaking branch touchpoints, a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Mobile interaction represents an opportunity for banks to provide their customers with the ultimate multichannel/ omnichannel experience of doing business anywhere, anytime using ubiquitous cellular technology.

To foster lasting connections with customers, banks need to expand capabilities to capture and manage data across all touchpoints and implement the most appropriate marketing, social business and mobile technologies. Now if we take the example of Bangladesh, our banks are far behind this strategy! They are just focusing on providing basic services such as SMS Banking or Banking through Apps when they can do even more!

Big Data and Customer Relationship Management:

When you are a Bank, you are indeed sitting on a gold mine of data. You know every single detail of your customers. Where they eat, how much they spend, what they buy, when is their birthday, how much is the EMI of their cars, apartments, etc. Now what to do with all these data? Let’s discuss.

A few days back, I saw an excellent advert on TV. It was an advert for a Bank located in the USA. They were giving away awesome gifts to their customers while they were using the ATMs. Gifts like a free tickets to visit home, or Gifts for Grandparents for their grandchildren. All these were possible just because of Big Data.

Now let’s discuss another simple example. Mr. Akram who’s been banking with bank A recently bought an apartment. He just took a personal loan for marriage. (The typical south Asian weddings are hella expensive!!!). Right after his marriage, he hit a jackpot. Got a job that pays double. Hence he started to make more money than before. Now the bank has all this data!!! What can they do??? Well, they can offer him a home loan based on his excellent track record with them. They can offer him Car Loans etc. These are just basic examples! I am sure our Bankers are already doing these.

Now let’s give a little more!!!! As a banker, you need to analyze your customer’s daily usage!!! Their Financial Needs!!! Where they buy, what they buy, where they eat etc. Offer your customer customized value propositions just for them. Crowdsource your value proposition for your customers, let them chose their benefits, Use your existing data for CRM!!! That’s the key! Finally, in this Era of digital customers and service excellence, we are already seeing that the banks are slowly changing: becoming increasingly innovative in what products and services they offer. We see banks innovating with enhanced banking, namely, providing access to new services not offered to their customers in the traditional channels; and financial products such as insurance, credits, etc. These are natural extensions of today’s banking experience. In addition, we are also seeing that some banks are leveraging CRM systems and Big Data big time, enhancing customer experience, ensuring that they are catering to the customer’s needs; be it special discount coupons, special interest rates, special day surprises, etc.

This ends the first part of the series on Big Data and Financial Services. Stay Tuned for Part 2. I’ll be discussing how to leverage Mobile Financial Services with Big data Analytics!

Social Media

How to lose your Mojo on Social Media in 2 Months!!!

I have read so many articles on Tips explaining how to excel in Networking on Social Media. So I thought why not test those myself!!! I did it, in the last 2 months!!! and got the proven result!!! As you can see from the graph above I used to get approx. 200 profile views every week, I just wanted to test, hence started to discontinue what I used to do, and you can clearly see the result! The profile view came down to 38!!! 150 Views Gone!!! How!!! Let’s discuss what I needed to do in that 2 months period to ensure and keep my stardom on LinkedIn!!!!

Be engaged:

2015 and onwards are all about engagement. The more engaged you are in your social circle, the more people will know you and you’ll be a star! Hence be engaged. I have tested this myself. In that 2 months period, I have refrained from writing, posting, commenting, liking, updating, and sharing content. And my profile view went down by 3% and I have lost 100 followers on Twitter as well….It’s a fact, you need to be engaged on social media to be visible, to ensure that people will follow, read, like, share your content. Join the relevant groups; share your content with the members of the group. Visit the groups and read the content of the members. Just be engaged and active! You’ll see the result!!!

Write Often

This is another fact! I have not been writing on LinkedIn lately. My last article was published almost 3 months back!!! and you can see, my profile views started dropping. Just wanted to test this fact! And yes it’s true! If you don’t write, people will stop following you. You’ll lose your valuable asset, your followers! Hence write often, share your content, what you know, what you believe, share your expertise and grow your network!

Title Says it all

So you have written awesome content! But your title is dull!!! Well, I have seen great content lacking visibility just because of the Title! As an example; I can cite, one of my content that I have written a while back, listing examples of some of the great marketers and their smart content. At first, my post was almost invisible, very few readers read, liked it. Then I thought about it; changed the Title and Wallah!!! The content started to gain visibility and finally ended up on a Daily Newspaper as well!!!! You may find that article here.

Appreciate your network

Social Media is all about networking, connecting with people. In this era of Digital Marketing and excellence through networking, you need to be engaged, and one of the keys to engagement is to appreciate your network. This doesn’t mean that you just add people and then forget about them. It means more! It means you need to read their content, give them recommendations on their profile for their excellent work, post comments on their post, share their content, and thus appreciate them. In return, you’ll be amazed to see how you are becoming a Star on LinkedIn!

Debate (of-course with what you know)

It’s amazing to see the comments on some of the posts. Sometimes, I click on the link of a post just to read the comment section! So much to learn from each other, so much great knowledge people debating over great content!!! Do the same, debate with what you know, what you believe! The key here to write about something that may raise some debate as well!!! Hence; Go ahead, just write about something unconventional and see the result!!! Your content will surely get Viral if you do it right!

Finally, it’s totally up to you! You need to be engaged on Social Media Especially on LinkedIn to be a Star!!! Happy networking People!!! Don’t forget to check my other posts on LinkedIn