Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Long Tail of Consultancy

How many times have you felt your neighborhood shopkeeper could do with some better marketing and operational skills ? How many times have you felt the restaurants you visit would do much better business if they just if they hired better people or simply showed you a better menu ?

There is a small Indian restaurant near the AIM campus called Swagath. The way they treat customers makes us wonder if the owners put in atleast some thought before making business decisions. A case in point is the bearer told us we could use the chatni only for samosas and not for parathas. Why could they not understand that spending five bucks more on chutni could easily earn them 100 bucks in paratha sales. The fact of the matter is they made awesome chutni and they didnt knowhow to make money out of it.

If this is the case in the business district of Metro Manila, you imagine the situation in India. The moral of the story is most of these small entrepreneurs just dont know anything about marketing or finance or operations. They dont need an MBA degree. But they could do much better with some inputs from guys with MBA degrees.

The issue here there is no one actually providing consultancy of any type to these guys. But these small shop-owners are at a high riskof being wiped out with the emergence of organised retailing in India. I believe this is where the the Long Tail opportunity for the consultancy business lies.

It should be a pretty good money-making opportunity trying to consult these guys. The obstacles might be in trying to impress people into paying consult fees. But may be the consultancy can identify small businesses with good potential and offer to buy equity stakes at a discount in return for consulting and actually walk the talk.

The opportunity here is huge because of two reasons. One, there are just millions of small businesses that need consultancy support. Two, as India opens up more and more, these guys better do something or they will get wiped out in no time.


kicha said...

long time no posts?

Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

Yes, similarly in Hyderabad at a small restaurant near my office called Chawla Chik-in....they didnt let me use onion raita for veg biryani, but only for chicken biryani..heheh:)..is this fourth level discrimination or something?...I'm sorry Anand, I didnt take you to this place when you were there in Hyde with me, but thats because these poor business minds could not continue the business like this for long and had shut down before you got there.