Published on February 01, 2017
With a view to provide further impetus to the competitive intelligence (CI) agenda within the Tata group, Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG) conducted a two-day workshop on ‘Competitive Intelligence – How to do it?’ About 30 CI practitioners from 10 Tata group companies attended the workshop held at Vivanta by Taj - President, Mumbai, on January 23 and 24, 2017.
The workshop focused on the ‘how to do’ aspects such as the steps to follow while starting a CI function, the factors that contribute to CI’s success, identification of data sources, models and techniques used, report design and analysis, implementation of knowledge management systems and using CI in strategy.
The workshop also included focussed sessions on how to use social media intelligence effectively and harnessing the war gaming technique for a company’s competitive intelligence needs.
This programme was designed as step 4 in a series of steps taken to establish competitive intelligence practice within the Tata group. Earlier, the launch of the Know Your Competition (KYC) manual, a one-day CXO-level conference and gaining Enterprise Membership of SCIP (Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals, USA), were a part of the series.
The workshop on ‘Competitive Intelligence – How to do it?’ taught participants about ways to incorporate CI in daily work, and techniques and methods to track and analyse competition which could then be incorporated in the strategy planning process on a sustained basis.
The workshop began with a session by TBExG consultants Siddharth Bhatt and Meena Almaula who enlightened the participants about setting up an intelligence function and the key factors that needed to be considered. Several real-life examples were shared to bring the concepts to life.
It was followed by sessions on how to structure and write a report, and how to work on a CI project when information was scarce. These sessions were conducted by Arun Jethmalani, Head, SCIP India Chapter, and Managing Director, ValueNotes.
Sivaram Yadavalli, Director at Strategy& (erstwhile Booz & Co), conducted a session on how CI can be used to help formulate strategy and the important role CI places in the Strategic Planning Process.
This was followed by a presentation by Rajarshi Puryakayastha, Head - Market Insights, Tata Communications. He provided an overview of how Tata Communications uses CI to approach customers, differentiate itself from competition and also to provide more compelling offerings.
The day ended with a session by Shwetam Sinha, Vice President, Evalueserve, on how his company uses a combination of data analytics and business research to provide CI.
A session on using social media to mine information to bolster CI was the highlight of the second day of the workshop. The session, conducted by Amir Flaishman, a specialist in social media intelligence and Founder of Tel Aviv-based Cicom Global, informed the participants about harnessing social media tools and various techniques which can be used to enhance competitive advantage.
Major General Neeraj Bali, SM (Retd), then provided a perspective on how to use social media for internal security. He also provided an overview of war gaming technique used by the Indian Army and how the simulation tool could prove relevant for business strategy and highlighted its use in the corporate world.
The workshop ended with a team exercise where the participants divided into 5 teams were provided with competition case studies on diverse sectors like automobile, telecom, retail and fintech. The teams were required to develop a competitor profile and identify key information sources, which were subsequently presented to the audience.
Some key takeaways identified by the participants were:
- CI Approach and Structure – steps required to set up a CI function.
- How to use hypothesis and conceptualise a CI report?
- How to develop a strategy to win in the marketplace?
- How to create a CI culture within an organisation?
- Cull out rich information from social media and tie it up with information from other traditional resources to arrive at actionable insights.
- How to conduct a War Gaming Exercise?
"Congratulations for the excellent workshop! There are a lot of actionable new ideas that have been learnt and large scope to apply them on the job." – Anand Shanbhag, Tata Capital
"Appreciate the effort put in by the entire TBExG team for organising such an interesting workshop with speakers who brought in such diverse perspectives on the subject of CI.Looking forward towards engaging with your team, the speakers and the participants on a CI cross-learning platform". - Abhisek Moulik, JUSCO (Tata Steel)
“Please accept my sincere thanks to the entire team for putting up this informative/insightful programme. We will definitely use the learning to better our performance. Let’s keep the interaction alive and share the learnings. Hope to have many more such programmes. - V Karthikeyan, Tata Power Solar
"Looking forward for further interactions as we move forward in our CI Journey at TSL (Tata Steel)". - Ajay Verma, Tata Steel