Mar 3, 2003



Reliance overall is a great case study for how a company can
master "radical growth" as a Prof of mine puts it.

That reliance has been able to define the concept of "core
competence" from an industry to a process is well chronicled.

What is not so well chronicled is the way reliance has mastered the
art of

(i) Knowing its business web
(ii) Mastering the +ve feedback cycle (also known as the virtous
cycle)

Let's look at the business web...as said earlier, Reliance views its
competence to be an executor of large, challenging projects, and it
knows how to mastermind partnerships (either with Du Pont, L&T,
MorganStanley) to execute these projects.

When it comes to feedback loops lets take two examples..

Reliance has quick delivery schedules, which leads to a low customer
inventory, which result in savings to customers, which results in
two things : (a) A larger customer base (b) the customer willingness
to pay a premium...both these result in substantial profits over
competitors, which is ploughed as investments into locational and IT
facilities which results in quick delivery schedules...thus driving
this virtuous cycle faster and faster, grnding away all the
competition :-)...


Or the second virtuous cycle it has mastered:

Investments to assimilate talents and IT infrastructure, leads it to
have knowledge of global sources of funding, which gives it access
to low cost capital, which fuels growth and expansion and drives
profits and surplus which is invested in more talents and
infrastructure :-)

These virtuous cycles trigger "the law of increasing returns"
something not too many economists would agree with ;-)
But it is not enough to know and master these virtous cycles...and
therefore it needs to bet on the correct technology standard...and
that is what we are witnessing now...the war between GSM and CDMA
standards...and it is the side that bets on the winning technology
that comes out the winner...and the irony is that the technology
does not have to be the better technology or even more matured
technology...:-), hence an organization that can foresee the
technology and standard waves and can ride that is always the
winner..

In fact, it is quite amazing to notice the commonalities between
Microsoft's strategy orientation and Reliance's...both always keep
their eggs in different baskets...experiment in the market (not as a
test:-), listen to the feedback and constantly keep improving based
on that..speed and size of launch is valued by both of them
(Reliance Infocomm's 28th Dec launch reminds one of Windows 95 !!)

Warm regards,
Gautam