I was invited to be a panelist in a session on “Defining value proposition” as a part of NASSCOM’s EmergeOut Conclave, exclusively for Emerging companies in the IT industry. I shared the panel with Sanjeev Agarwal, now with Helion Ventures, and earlier a co founder of Daksh.
The session was moderated by Ankur Lal, CEO, Infozech.
The format of the session was interactive, and we invited the audience to share their own companies’ value propositions, and articulate the challenges they faced in sharpening the same.
We focused on two key stakeholders- the customer and the employee.
There were a lot of ideas generated, Ankur also presented a framework he had garnered from a HBR article on this subject.
It was clear that creating a proposition that resonated with the stakeholder- be it the customer or the employee, prospective or existing – was the biggest challenge.
While Sanjeev pointed out the importance of credibly articulating the proposition – for example, the management team including CEO engaging with the customer, I argued that understanding the customer context is important in highlighting the right attributes, and identifying the correct levers. For instance, most companies would tend to drop price as a tactic to enhance their chances of closure without understanding if that is a relevant lever for that customer.
Also, I gave examples of Prayag clients who had, even within a services context, where differentiation is not easy, had identified areas to differentiate themselves. Example, look at ways to augment customer’s revenue rather than focus only on cost reduction. Or, offer to share some risk.
Sanjeev also eludicated, from his Daksh experience, the importance of presenting the gains well – he contrasted the way Daksh had presented the gains ( by guaranteeing service level adherence) to that of a competitor from Phillipines, who had translated the same to monetary gains- and won the deal.
We also spent some time discussing how to create and articulate a value proposition for employees. Some of the important points that came up were the need to identify what ticks for the entry level vs what works for the senior folks. Also, we emphasised the importance of candid and regular communication with employees.
Sanjeev also underscored the importance of measurements in understanding if your value proposition is working for you.
It was a great session, with a lot of debate and discussion. I enjoyed myself and look forward to more such interactions with the industry.
Also check out the post http://blog.nasscom.in/emerge/2008/09/29/emergeout-conclave-2008-defining-your-value-proposition/ on this session.