5 Rules for Success

2. be the best
There are only two possibilities to be succesfull in business:  beeing the best or beeing the cheapest.  It is not possible to follow both strategies.  Try to be the best and focus on quality.

The 5 rules for Success
Financial Express, India

Management Gurus share ideas that will make business work in the 21st century
Dr. Ralf Andreas Thoma in an interview with Malabika Sakar, Financial Express, India

We all are living in a fast-moving world and we will face substantial changes within the forthcoming years. Therefore the rules for business will change, too. I would like to try to define five ideas rules for succesfull business in the 21st century, especially focusing on India, but Europe too.

1. be authentic.
As a company it will be more important to be authentic. Your customers want to know who you are, what principles you are standing for. Dont try to think twice about what you are doing. Define your guidelines and follow them. If your customer knows who you are, he will follow you, too.

2. be the best.
There are only two possibilities to be succesfull in business - beeing the best or beeing the cheapest. It is not possible to follow both strategies. Beeing the cheapest meens to align your hole company to save cost whereever it is possible. The problem with this strategy is: there is always somebody who is cheaper than you. In our globalizing world your competitors are all over the world. The only argument to buy your products will be because you are cheaper than your competitor. Beeing the best, of course you have to watch your costs, too. But what you are focusing on is quality. Quality of your products and quality of your services. Your whole organization has to be aligned on quality, every day, every second. Always think about: can we do this better. I strongly believe, this will become an important strategy for companies in India.

3. know your core competence.
A core competence is a specific factor which drives your company and which differentiates your company from others. A core competence provides benefits for your customers and is not simple to imitate by your competitors. It is very important to know your core competencies, because these are the strengths of your company on which you can build your strategy.

4. know your target group.
Their are a lot of differences between customers and it is almost impossible to fulfill all their needs. The needs of the customers has to be right in the center of your strategy. If you know your customer well, you will understand his needs better. Don´t only think in terms of what your company can produce and supply. Think about the needs of your customers and adjust your products and services to these needs. If you concentrate on a specific target group with similar needs, similar situations, similar aims and problems, it will be much easier for you to fulfill their needs. Don´t change your target group once you are succesfull. You will understand your target group better from year to year - and they will trust you more.

5. guiding principle. A wellknown architect has said something very important: Make no small plans. They do not possess the magic to stir man's blood and will remain unrealised. Make big plans, aim high in hope - and work! Of course, it is indeed very important to have big dreams, visions and hope. However, this is not enough. The most important reason behind all success stories in the world is quite simple: it´s just hard work.

published in The Financial Express, Delhi, 07 February 2010