I remember an old incidence when I was staying in a hostel. On my day one, when I moved into my room, it was occupied by only one person in a 3-seater room. His stuff was lying all over the room.
When I started claiming my space, he became pretty uncomfortable. For once he thought I am causing trouble to him. But after some time, things became smooth. We had similar experience, when our 3rd roommate moved in. But having undergone a similar experience earlier, we handled it better this time and became good roommates and friends. We just had to accept the fact that there is enough space for all 3 of us.
Now, this is what pretty much happening around us. I will discuss a few examples below to make it clear.
First example is the burning issue between Auto drivers and Ola / Uber. If I were to analyse the Transport Infrastructure of Mumbai (I am currently sticking to Mumbai as this is where I practically see things happening), we would realise that all the Transport Infrastructure of Mumbai put together (Local Trains, Metro, Autos, Taxis, Private cars, BEST Buses etc.) still falls short to carry the entire load of Mumbai, especially in the peak hours. This means that there is a definite need for more infrastructures to support the commutation needs of Mumbaikars (and visitors).
However, all these years, Road transport was “dominated” by the Auto drivers. They could choose where they want to go and where they don’t want to go (Although they are not legally allowed to refuse). So they assumed that this space totally belongs to them. All of a sudden, they got swept by these App-based taxi services. They thought that this is injustice as it is going to “Kill” their business.
Honestly speaking, we still have lot of Mumbaikars (including myself), who might choose an Auto rickshaw over an app-based taxi (provided it agrees to come). So, the Auto-rickshaws still have enough on their plate, in spite of some commuters getting served by app-based taxis. But this resistance to co-existence is costing them. The day they go on strike, the app-based taxis get even more business.
So the day they accept co-existence, they will understand, that there is enough business for every transport carrier. App-based taxis are just adding some convenience to the customer and not really “Killing” their business. Competition can just take away their arrogance, not food.
Another example is the hot story of Jio Launch. The day Jio was launched, the shares of the competitors tanked. I don’t know if people noticed, that even the shares of the company who owns Jio, also saw a downfall in price.
The wider perception was, now Jio would eat away all the market as it has come up with so many freebies, which competitors may not be able to offer.
Let’s understand this in light of co-existence. Be it Telecom industry, Airline industry or any other industry, there are times when lot of players perceive that this is the booming industry and they enter. After some time, the dust settles, the weak players either quit or are bought by stronger players and consolidation takes place. It is very unlikely that a single player has “all” the market share.
So my take on this is, people have started analysing if Jio could be a better choice for them. At the same time, the competitors are working out to come up with competitive plans so that they can at least retain their customers (if not expand). So not “Everyone” will move to Jio for sure.
Moreover, we have more than 1 billion mobile subscribers in India. The first question is, can Jio (or any telecom player) serve 1 Billion subscribers smoothly??
If your answer is no, then there is definitely a place for co-existence. The weakest players might quit or merge with stronger. And the stronger will prevail. Obviously they will have to come out with innovative strategies to show their strength. So we will be left with some strong players who can co-exist.
Towards Conclusion I want to share a picture with you. This picture is becoming popular in social media. This is a picture of a village called Ranbodi. The people in this village have accepted the co-existence of a tigress and thus, the Tigress also doesn’t harm them back. While this can be one of the very extreme examples, but it gives us some food for thought.
Human mind assumes supremacy over the territory around him. And when somebody else tries to share the territory, it becomes uncomfortable and starts resisting. We have to train our minds to learn this Principle of coexistence which can resolve many “issues” that are just in the mind.
While our mind is forcing us to make it “You OR Me”, let’s make it accept that it can be “You AND Me”.
We look forward to your valuable comments and feedback.
The Author Prof. Saurabh Bajaj (BE, MBA, FRM, CFGP) is CEO with Nidhi Investments, Mumbai. He may be contacted on CEO@nidhiinvestments.com if you have any questions.
(The views mentioned in the article are personal opinion of the author)