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Tata Power undertakes benchmarking on strategy formulation & deployment with Tata Technologies and Tata Chemicals

Published on April 20, 2021

Tata Power’s strategy planning process has matured over the years and undergone multiple evaluation and improvement cycles. With a view to bring an outside-in dimension and absorb best practices from organisations within the group and outside, the company wanted to connect with process owners of identified best practices in the domain of strategy planning and implementation.

Tata Power identified the following areas for the strategy benchmarking process:

  1. Competition analysis and intelligence
  2. Framework for evaluating strategic fit of adjacent/new business avenues in the existing portfolio/organisation
  3. Integrating strategy of individual distinct lines of businesses in the organisation-to-organisation level strategy to result in higher synergy and a better overall outcome
  4. Developing innovation strategy in a utility business scenario
  5. Aligning stakeholders’ around strategic vision
  6. Developing B2C strategy/transition from a B2B oriented company to a B2C company

The journey started with a desk study of the comprehensive ‘Know Your Competition 2020’ study report published by Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG). The report highlighted some of the best practices in the areas of competitive intelligence (CI) within the Tata Group and helped Tata Power narrow down and focus their discussion and interaction with potential partners for best practices. With the initial aim of getting insights on multi-industry CI processes, Tata Power shortlisted and TBExG facilitated the following best practice sharing sessions:

Session 1: Competitive Intelligence with Tata Technologies (TTL)

On November 26, 2020, Santosh Singh, SVP & Global Head - Marketing & Business Excellence; and Hardik Rami, Lead TBEM, from TTL, shared their market insights and CI programme with Tata Power. At TTL, the CI mechanism concentrates on performance comparison of TTL with its competitors in both quantitative and qualitative KPIs spanning across identified strategic focus areas covering financial, customer, process and capability domains. A quarterly report is released and discussed with the global leadership team and a specific theme-based annual Deep Dive is conducted for industry competitor analysis and benchmarking.

Session 2: A joint session with TTL on the SPOTLIGHT tool at Tata Chemicals

On January 8, 2021, a best practice sharing session was facilitated on the SPOTLIGHT tool for CI. In the session Dr Richard Lobo, Head - Corporate Strategy and Business Excellence; and Shivang Mahadevia, Head - Strategy, from Tata Chemicals, elaborated details of their practice.

The SPOTLIGHT tool provides inputs that impact decision making and help businesses shape their processes to become future ready. These insights are delivered through the following four segments of a newsletter:

  • CI: This segment updates the recipients with information on products/services, pricing, marketing/branding, partnerships/network, and M&A
  • From the Think Tank: The idea behind this is to promote the culture of thought leadership. This segment shares disruptive management thoughts in the areas of leadership, innovation, business excellence and customer which might influence or change the way business is done in the future
  • What’s Making News: A deeper analysis of any significant event or news that can impact the industry, or a Deep Dive study of a market trend or an area of interest for the business is shared through this segment
  • Ideas for Tomorrow: A new segment that shares happenings relevant to the future of businesses. This could be related to technological innovations relevant to current or future revenue streams in existing businesses or incubation businesses.

This newsletter is released on the first day of every month and is shared with board members, MDs, business CxOs, business strategy teams and business excellence teams. TTL and Tata Power are leveraging salient features of this tool to improvise their respective practices. 

Session 3: Strategy development and deployment with SAP

On March 15, 2021, Utkarsh Bahadur, Global Head - Go-To Market Strategy and Customer Success Board Area at SAP, shared his practices on strategy development and deployment. SAP’s strategy is built on the input of their most important stakeholders, analysis of the future trends, CI, and answers three important questions:

  • What is stopping us from winning?
  • What does a win look like and what does it entail?
  • What are we willing to trade off to win?

The session was divided in four parts:

  • SAP’s story: SAPs strategic transformation into a cloud company, role of inorganic growth, organic growth and strategic partnerships
  • Competitive Market Intelligence: How SAP decodes the pulse of their competition, the market and customers
  • Strategy to execution: How SAP executes strategy and ensures its success
  • Grow and win together: How SAP has enabled customers to become an intelligent enterprise. How SAP has co-innovated to open new market possibilities for both sides

Going forward, practices like annual Deep Dive on competitor analysis through collation of versatile data on competitors over a time period (Tata Technologies), dissemination techniques and coverage of industry and competitor insights (Tata Chemicals) and prioritisation and resource allocation during development of strategy (SAP) are being studied in detail to be integrated with their next cycle.

While select practices have been identified for implementing in the coming cycle, the exercise has also given Tata Power a database to look back into for carrying out evaluation and improvement over the course of time in its internal process.

Participant Speak

As part of our efforts for benchmarking Tata Power’s strategy process, we reached out to TBExG for their support and help to connect with the right partners for learning best practices. Over six months, with support from TBExG, we engaged with practice owners from Tata Technologies, Tata Chemicals and SAP. Each session helped us gain insights on a best practice, the potential advantages of the same and also the potential pitfalls and ‘things to get right’ for reaping the benefits. Post completion of the exercise, we internally evaluated the process for identifying macro practices that we would be attempting to adopt in the next cycle of strategy development and deployment. We would like to appreciate TBExG and the teams from Tata Technologies, Tata Chemicals and SAP for sharing their practices and engaging with us.

Mithun Chakraborty, Head - Strategy & Corporate Planning, Tata Power