Frontline: Playing the Market Right

An IEEE Innovation Nation 2018 Workshop
Attendees at Innovation Nation, Sri Lanka 2018 listen to a workshop

Frontline: Playing the Market Right

By Tharushi Perera

“Frontline: Playing the Market Right” was the theme of the third installment of IEEE Innovation Nation 2018 workshop series which was held on 26th of September 2018 at WSO2. This workshop, like the previous ones, was open to both the public and the selected teams in INSL to guide the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The speakers who invited to discuss Market Analysis were Mr. Shafraz Saleem, Strategy Manager at Fonterra and Mr. Thilina Fonseka, Co-founder and Director at Simplex. The two competent sessions which focused on different aspects of the market managed to be interactive and knowledgeable at the same time. Right after the welcome speech, the workshop commenced with Mr. Thilina Foneska’s session on ‘Market Perspectives Inside Out’.

Mr.Thilina Fonseka Co-Founder and Director at Simplex, Sri Lanka’s fastest last-mile logistics services provider for e-commerce businesses, opened the workshop with his discussion on ‘Market Perspectives Inside Out’. In his session, he majorly covered the two approaches which are used to handle and understand the behaviour of the market, as Inside-Out and Outside-In. He was successful in explaining the fundamentals of Market Analysis and ensured that all the participants comprehended the concepts. As for the first topic of his session, the Inside-Out approach was mainly about the strengths and weaknesses of the company. The concepts like WHW (Why, How, What), the future (adapting to change), and the strategy (Cost, Revenue and profit) were included within the Inside-Out approach.

As for the Outside-In approach, it was said that it covers the factors that are not in the Company’s control. Therefore, when making an Outside-In approach, the unbiased analysis is important to evaluate whether the business can sustain or not. This approach gives much more importance to Customer value creation, like Opportunity, future and landscape. Our speaker then explained the significance of the synergy between those two approaches. Besides, he was generous enough to guide the audience on the angel networks that could provide seed-funding for their startups as well.

Our second speaker of the day was Mr. Shafraz Saleem, Strategy Manager at Fonterra discussing on ‘Enterprising in a VUCA world’. His session was based on the VUCA world, which insinuates that it is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. The world with rapid changes, uncertain environments, smart and complex and opinionated people could be successfully conquered by being ‘Ultra-Informed’. The tools to be ultra-informed are 5Cs as Consumers, Categories, Customers, Competition and Country. Our speaker elaborately analyzed the 5Cs with examples and case studies that involved top brands like Fonterra, Nike, Adidas, RedBull, V8, paper boat and more. His session widely covered the strategies used by top brands and how they analyzed their market and delivered the products. In the world of information, ignorance is a choice. Thus, as per our speaker, in order to survive in a VUCA world, being informed is vital for entrepreneurs.

Soon after the second session, the workshop was winded up with a Vote of Thanks and the audience was provided with the refreshments and asked to network among themselves. The day ended with the satisfaction of having delivered another remarkable experience to mold the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.