Insights from Three Headed Lion

The development of you Go-to-India strategy cannot be left to the analysts in the Home Office.  This is the first and most crucial point of consideration; get this wrong, and you will inevitably fail.

Second, your India strategy, by definition will be a state-by-state strategy. What works in Bengal does not work in Gujarat and vice-versa – and that is an understatement.

Third, treat your Indian initiatives as if they are innovation projects. The key early on is to focus not on detailed financial estimates–which will always guide companies toward the markets most hostile to innovation–but on how well the innovation fits the pattern of success. It’s also crucial to encourage flexibility: Companies must be willing to kill projects that are going nowhere, exempt innovations from standard development processes, and avoid burdening project teams with extra financing, which can keep them heading in the wrong direction.

Fourth, make sure you have a brand integrity process in place, before you start dealing with your partners and suppliers. Supply chain risk management must be established core competence of your overall strategy.

More details shortly, stay tuned.

Guar Gum 2012

[updated: September 2012]

THL’s comprehensive field update on India’s Guar Gum supply chain highlights the latest industry risks and opportunities.

While overall Guar Gum production is still expected to be over last year’s level, the forecast for production has now been lowered. Read the press release here >>

THL’s Supply Chain Integrity Solutions are designed to mitigate and manage risks arising from unforeseen external factors that impact the ability of the suppliers and the plant to meet their performance targets. Our solution elements include an early-warning system, dossier, de-briefings, and information and access to stranded shipments in remote and difficult terrain.

On the retail side, Supply Chain Integrity means monitoring partners, suppliers, and even employees.  For businesses entering India, transparency and compliance are not trivial issues. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits making, and offering to make, payments to foreign public officials, including members of political parties, to further business interests. It also requires that accurate books and records be kept for all transactions. The importance of mounting an effective offensive against FCPA fraud when operating in corruption-prone countries, such as India, is a key focus of our Supply Chain Integrity solutions.

In this Harvard Business Review blog post, we ask businesses to listen to the voice of the non-customer.


  •     What opportunities are we missing?
  •     How can we listen to our future customer?
  •     Can we involve them in creating the product? How?
  •     Are their aspirations and hopes integrated into our design process?

Above all, our advice to businesses looking to create new products and services at the Base of the Pyramid is that they must treat these future customers with respect, not as a charity case.

In India, consumer product brands face serious challenges from spurious products. These spurious products proliferate by riding on the strength of the original brands. The risk emanating from spurious products not only damages the brand’s reputation but also results in significant revenue loss to the original brand. THL’s Brand Integrity Services are designed to not only help manage this risk better but it also assists in driving sustainable business value. Our approach enables world’s leading brands to maximize their market participation and seize competitive advantage by:

  •     Improving risk intelligence
  •     Knowing what actions are required to mitigate / remove risks
  •     Establishing an effective field risk monitoring system
  •     Strengthening decision making and business strategy
  •     Enhancing business value by providing real, on the ground intelligence to help develop localized business models

Brand Integrity
Three Headed Lion has conducted numerous traditional risk-assessment projects in various industries and sectors. We’re working on a retail survey now, collecting “kirana-sentiment” metrics to build a impact index for Indian Retail.