Challenges never end when it comes to running a business. While establishing a company itself is a challenge, maintaining the momentum after it grows big on being successful, is a bigger task. In fact, the bigger the organisation, the bigger will be the challenges.
But what is the most challenging task for large and successful organisations? According to Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India, the most challenging task for big companies is to drive innovation.
According to Birla, big companies find it most challenging to drive innovation, not because they cannot, but because "there isn't a compelling incentive to disrupt themselves".
In a note written by Birla which highlighted
2020 reflections and learnings, the Aditya Birla Group chief said, "Driving innovation at an institutional level in diversified business groups is never easy." "Insurgent competitors often use this as the wedge to drive their way into markets."
According to Birla, innovation can act both as a bulwark against insurgents and as a means to penetrate and capture new opportunities.
"While we have a rich legacy of driving inside-out innovation, my learning over the last few years has been that ‘outside-in’ frameworks can also be equally effective," Birla said.
Birla highlighted in the note that through Bizlabs, its outreach programme, the company has several engagements with startups across the Silicon Valley, Israel, Europe, Singapore and India. These engagements cover a wide range of applications including logistics, packaging, sustainability, fintech and home building innovation, to name a few, he noted."As I have now learnt, innovation cannot be bound by traditional organisational cadence. It requires different incentives and often longer time horizons," added Birla.