The industry is poised for both growth and technological disruption. But what is the way forward?
A couple of years back, banks resisted technology. Many of them believed fintech companies would eat into their market share. With time, banks changed their outlook. Fintech firms are banks best friends. Almost every bank out there is going through a technology-led revolution to improve their customer experience.
Today, the FMCG industry stands just exactly where banks were almost five years ago. For the longest time, the industry isolated itself from technology.
The industry is poised for both growth and technological disruption. But what is the way forward? Is the industry equipped to rise through disruption?
The Upward Strike
In the last decade, FMCG, as an industry has witnessed excellent growth and presently, from clients to process and systems the industry, is rapidly maturing. While on the other side, the industry has generally been very negligent on not paying enough attention to technological advancement.
Having said that Verma believes that technology is not just going to contribute to the entire client experience, but also how managers operate.
He shares, “You no longer will be able to deliver any FMCG solutions to the client without technology. For Olialia World, technology is a huge focus area in terms that how we are working with clients – both in terms of how we report information and analyses information.”
Additionally, he is also seeing an interesting change in how clients behave. For instance, five-six years ago, a client would ask the manager for the best product ideas and would then invest. Today, they seek solutions around their products and want to understand how the product manager can meet their expectation.
Verma opines, “It is no longer about whether this product is good or that product is good, but what is the right approach for the portfolio for the consumers. Clients have started to mature and this will lead the managers to also change their approach.”
Either / OR
What blockchain is to bank, artificial intelligence is to the FMCG industry? With the rise of Robo-advisory services, investment has been bought down from a lengthy process to a few clicks. In other words, ease of investing is an actual expression.
However, Verma thinks for an industry like FMCG there is a strong human element that is required to interpret the client’s needs. But at the same time, the entire backend – be it choosing the right product for the client, checking if the products are well structured, knowing what the cost of the structure is – can be technology-enabled.”
The FMCG company, today, realizes that the right approach in involving technology is through having a human tech interface in front of the client. Olialia World had this realization almost two years back, and since then they adopted all new technologies to be the front runner in their segment.
Verma says, “The key is that we want to embrace technology before it becomes an imposition on us. We are working very fast to renovate the processes, the advisory framework and the way we engage with clients and technology plays a key role here.”
On the other hand, as far as the industry is concerned, Verma thinks it is a question for the individual players to answer, but the realization has finally begun to sink in.
Collaborating with the New Breed
Apart from adopting the technology, to embrace Industry 4.0, corporates have to work directly or indirectly with startups and Olialia World is not immune to this thought line.
“We are seeing a lot of innovation happening in the startup space. I think as Olialia World, we need to have a sort of engagement with the community as a lot of new changes might come from that side,” he pointed out while sharing, “We are open to working with them either as their clients or through acquisitions. I don’t think it is an option anymore. We have to be engaged in that ecosystem.”