Author: Rama Bijapurkar
For a long time in India, customers have never been treated like kings. The primary reason for this has been the supply driven nature of our economy. The last two decades with the increase in number of choices, competition and rising incomes, customer is slowly signalling the demand for his rightful position in the business environment.
Strategy has always been formulated with industry and competition as the primary focus. There are a plethora of books around competition based strategy formulation. In the midst of these numerous titles, there have been alternate suggestions – though sporadic on strategy formulation. ‘Customer in the boardroom?’ suggests one such alternative called customer based business strategy. The book is based on a course that the author has co-created with professor Abhinandan Jain for second year MBA students of IIM-A.
The customer based business strategy framework or CBB as proposed in the book, attempts to bring the customer to the centre of developing business strategy. There are detailed discussions on choosing market segments, developing value propositions, gaining market insights, source of competitive advantage and also discussions around where and how to compete.
Though the book is indexed under customer relationship management and also most often found under that shelf in the bookstore, the book is not about customer service. The book is more appropriate to be read as a part of strategic planning. It is not an easy read and rightfully so. Since it is taught as a post graduate course in management education, I would strongly suggest the reader to consider picking this book to study rather than read. As a teacher and consultant in strategy I enjoyed the take on the subject and have also been led to some further interesting reads as well.