Innovation needs a different mindset, as we discussed in Chapter 4. But more importantly innovation begins with a customer. Without a comprehensive understanding of customers, innovation by a company is essentially its own private imagination. And, more often than not, such imagination is not commercially fertile. As we discussed in Chapter 3, a substantial disadvantage for innovation by Asian companies is that they are far removed from the sophisticated and leading markets in industrialized countries. Japan, the US and some of the leading European markets, are geographically far away and culturally different from Asia. Asian markets are perceived to be small and unreceptive to innovative goods and services. Even if attempts are made by Asian companies to offer innovative goods and services in such markets, customer irresponsiveness is a significant hurdle. In the survey described in Chapter 3, we saw that the lack of reliable market data and sophisticated customers score in the top six hurdles for innovation for the whole group of respondents. Lack of customer input during the development phase, the inadequate number of early adopters and the absence of customer feedback affect the quality of innovation. There is also a lack of reliable market data in most markets in Asia. Finally, the heterogeneity of Asian markets is a formidable challenge.
KeywordsMobile Phone Early Adopter Asian Company Iodine Deficiency Disorder Asian Market
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