Kerala Government banned multinational companies retail entry to the state.
People attack Reliance Fresh (A retail arm started by Reliance) outlet in North India..
Maharashtra state government is planning to ban retail stores..
Other side of the coin...
Bharti-Walmart joint venture acquire floor space to setup their retail shop..
Mahindra and Mahindra joins retail bandwagon...
These are the news captured my attention in last several weeks. As I started analyzing this situation systematically, there seems to be an interesting contradiction coming out from the overall problem. Considering the nature of this, many will consider this as a “Wicked problem”. However, if we can see a inherent contradiction in this, TRIZ is a way to go according to me. Before defining the contradiction, let us apply IFR.
Looking this particular problem, what stands out is the number of stake holders involved in..
- Government of India – Doing good by opening up the foreign investments in retail
- Consumers – End customer so attached to the “mall culture” now
- Companies – Successful rate of growth, growing economy, purchasing power of individuals – There lies the gold mine..
- Finally, what we see as the problem element (from the above news clipping) – The poor old “kinarawala” shop owners (Owners of small shops besides the foot path)
Let us try defining the problem using Ideal Final Result briefly..
Each stake holders has their own ideal final result
- Government – Attracting foreign investment
- Consumers – Cheap, one-stop-shop, experience of shopping etc..
- Companies – Of course money..
- The small shop owners – better day-by-day living
If I start thinking about the ideality, what really popping out here is the change in consumer mindset; they would like to experience the swanky shopping mall, getting their goods cheaper, and not just shopping, but a “shoppertainment”. This is an opportunity for the big companies, since the purchasing power of consumers are growing, and the current infrastructure growth in this area (new shops, facilities) is not so good, investment is this sector is like entering to a gold mine. Between, there are the traditional shop owners living their lives for several years completely depending on the consumers shopping needs.
It looks like the consumers will have to reside in the super-system of our problem.
Look at this issue from the retail investor’s (big companies) perspective. They know the consumers are not completely satisfied with these small shop owners, and they enjoy shopping malls, cheap, quality services etc. They also want to make money from the untapped potential market.
From the small shop owner’s side: They can not influence the consumer behavior. They will also have difficulties in protesting against the government for a long time. They do know that they have the problems providing the consumer one-stop-shop, mall atmosphere.
Having analyzed the problem from retail investors and small shop owner’s angle, we can assume the solutions can come out from the government. As a growing economy, for encouraging investments, government can not put a hold on the issue of displacement of several small shop owners. At the same time, people elected the government, and it is their duty to protect the people, where the small shop owners are among them. There comes a physical contradiction: Allow investment in the retail area Vs does not allow them to setup the shops.
Before getting into the solution space using principles, we can expand the IFR asking more questions favorable to “Allow investment question” so that we have better solution space created.
- What is stopping government (or what is the obstacle government should solve)
o SOHO’s are displaced, and they protest against the entry of big companies
- Why is it stopping?
o The SOHO’s are displaced because they are not able to satisfy the need of growing consumers, better facilities like the big retailers.
From the “Does not allow investment…”
- What is stopping government to not to allow investment
o Economy is growing, purchasing power of consumer is growing, not enough infrastructure etc..
Now, having got this physical contradiction, let us ask some questions as;
Where do we (as a government) want to allow investment in retail?
- Where maximum potential in terms of consumers spending money
Where do we want them not to allow to investment in retail?
- Where maximum displacement will happen w.r.t the SOHO’s.
When do we want the investment to be allowed?
- When there is an enough opportunities (Growing economy, purchasing power, consumer demand, need etc)
When do we want the investment not be allowed?
- When the SOHO’s can satisfy the need of consumers, give the taxes etc back to the government
Well, the process described here needs further elaboration using 9-Windows, more IFR process and resources. I’m doing them in my mind…
Now having got a bigger dimension to the problem, we can perhaps jump into the solution space using TRIZ principles. What we need to keep in mind is about the parties involved in the physical contradiction for solutions. Remember, we need solution without compromising any..
As a physical contradiction, we have the following category:
Segmentation in space – Principles provide here are, segmentation, taking out, local quality, another dimension, other way around, curvature, nested doll, flexible shells/thin films, asymmetry, intermediary, copying
Segmentation in time – This set of principles should be considered as an improvement steps for solutions generated by the above principle set.
Ok. Without using TRIZ principles, I’m sure you all have generated several solutions by now. If you have, then map them back to any principles if you can, otherwise read on..
I’m not trying to describe solutions using each principle here, but here are something interesting from my view.
Taking out : Take out the “kinarawala” shops. Well, take out means, not just taking out, but take out them and do something good for them as well.
Nested Doll: Put “Kinarawala” shops to big malls.. (I’m excited with this solution from practical point of view..)Using segmentation along with this, a big retail company can provide facilities inside their mall for the SOHO's to sell their goods..
Another dimension: Use the “Kinarawalas” expertise in dealing consumers inside the mall. Use them as sales people
Other solutions I have in my mind is perhaps from a consumer point of view, and I do not know the implementability.