TECHNOLOGY TO BUSINESS:
The Invisible Gap
By Harish C. Rijhwani
The greatest example of this is the story of Apple. Founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple is the largest company in the world because of the extraordinary vision and marketing genius of one man – Steve Jobs. And this is the challenge before everyone who works in the technology industry – how to start thinking a little more like Steve Jobs?
What was unique about Steve Job’s approach? He was not just a visionary in creating a product; he was able to identify a need. Apple’s products have always been more expensive than those of its competitive products. But the need created by Apple’s positioning in the marketplace and their advertising campaigns has drawn hundreds of millions of customers towards it. And therein lies the success of both the man and the company.”
“Technology to Business: The Invisible Gap” aims to relay the message that even technology needs to be packaged well. Through ample anecdotes, case studies and bite-sized chapters, it compels one to think about the classic what-why-how-when questions of your solution/idea/product. The book covers three important touchpoints of the business of technology: its technology, business and marketing:
From the technology touchpoint, the book covers how technology has evolved from the early days of COBOL and Mainframe, to present-day technology like big data, analytics, AI, ML, etc. and how business have benefitted by it for operational functions like understanding consumer behaviour, growth metrics, forecasting projections, etc.
From the business touchpoint, it explains how entrepreneurs must primarily address the most critical aspects of a business – the what, why, who and how – by breaking down concepts like target market identification, entry and penetration, the use of psychographics to create a “need” or “pain” in the mind of the consumer and addressing it through innovative products and growth and pricing strategies.
The book even delves into key marketing and communication touchpoints like brand positioning, advertising and public relations to complete the overall effectiveness of the product/service.
Combining all of these touchpoints, the book provides a holistic view of how technology and business work symbiotically, and not independently, to fill a social or business gap.
RELEVANCE OF THE BOOK
FROM THE HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY CONTEXT
How relevant is this book in current times, especially from a Health Technology standpoint?
Let’s take the example of Telemedicine in this context: Telemedicine was actually conceptualized about 100 years ago. Hugo Gernsback wrote an article around a device called as “teledactyl” which would be invented after 50 years (1975). In Greek, ‘tele’ means ‘far’ and ‘dactyl’ means ‘finger’ and the literal meaning would “feel at a distance”. Using this device, a doctor could view the patient through a viewscreen but could also touch them using robot arms. Telemedicine/Teleconsultation has been around for some time and is being leveraged in rural areas. But look at the current situation (COVID-2019) – no one is visiting a doctor unless absolutely necessary. So now, the need for Telemedicine will skyrocket, not only even that other sectors are going Virtual. “Going Virtual/Remote” is the business need, and many solutions would tie back to this need.
What are some of the key aspects of business to keep in mind while innovating technologies in the Healthcare space in India?
In any solution/idea one of the main aspects to consider is “Who is the end user?”. In healthcare, the primary users, especially from the perspective of a hospital, are physicians, nurses and other hospital staff. In Business/Marketing terminology this is the “target market”, and the solution needs to appeal to them.
When we talk about new-age technologies, we can’t leave analytics anywhere behind can we now. Especially in the current scenario when everyone is working towards answering so many questions around COVID-2019, be it around medications, forecasting, scientific discoveries and many other areas. But we can specifically talk about something simple like identifying fraud using analytics. If you have a solution focused on identifying possible fraud, we need to speak in terms of numbers, eg: “Identify and Save $2 Million in Potentially Fraudulent Claims.”
Can you share some examples of how some new-age Healthcare technologies have bridged the gap between Technology & Business?
In the past 2 years, I have had a chance to interact with lot of start-ups from the healthcare space. I remember interacting with an organization by the name of “Doxper”. They addressed a challenge most physicians face – trying to treat maximum patients in a minimum span of time. If you visit an OPD, a physician can see anywhere between 10-20 patients in a single hour. What impedes their speed and process is the physical and manual writing of prescriptions for each patient, and most physicians are most comfortable with the standard practice of pen and paper and would be reluctant to use the digital structure of typing on keyboards or tablets all the time. However, a question that they constantly battle in their mind is: “Will I be able to save some time or money or both? Will I be able to plan my staff in a better way? How can I generate better ROI?”
Doxper, created an innovative solution of a digital pen, by which a physician need not change their routine/habit of using a pen and paper. Doxper has done a good job in this aspect as the end user need not fear change.
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“There is a constant tug of war that technology professionals face when they enter managerial roles. Harish has used this book to provide a very simple chronicle of his journey to bridge this gap. Drawing from ample examples, he weaves a simple narrative that allows every reader to assimilate core marketing and business principles”
Dr. Rahul Mirchandani, Chairman and Managing Director, Aries Agro Ltd. and Founder President of Commonwealth-Asia Young Entrepreneur Alliance (CAAYE)
“Harish captures the essence of management in a simple yet exhaustive manner that would make it understandable for a layman with no background in business. The narrative style keeps you engaged. The plethora of examples enables the reader to relate the concepts to practice.”
Dr. Kaustubh Dhargalkar, Ph.D (Innovation Management), founder, Potentials & Possibilities
“The book is exceptionally well written and keeps you engaged. Harish through various examples – gives us a glimpse of his keen interest in “Business” side of things, problem-solving, keeping the user (customer) viewpoint before anything else – and manages to beautifully link this to his knowledge of the Marketing and History (of Marketing or otherwise) A MUST-READ for all professionals.”
Rajesh Manuja, Sr. Information Technology Professional
“Harish has cited many examples that help us to focus on the business use case and eventually lead to customer-centricity rather than just focusing on the Technology solution. He has articulated the topic by connecting use cases back to the concepts learned in his management classes with a touch of his humorous style. Clearly demonstrates “Clarity of Thoughts”
Swati Phalke, Sr. Information Technology Professional
“The book is simple, relatable and a very very easy read. Some cases were interesting, some brought back memories, and some helped me learn a thing or two. Its written “Dil Se”, capturing your memories as is and presented as a good “beginner’s guide”.
Imran Shaikh, founder, The Event Studio
“To explain the Business and marketing to technical geeks is a tough task. Harish has done a laudable effort to explain business in a short, concise, and lucid manner. He has used a lot of examples from business and his own life to bring clarity in the ambiguous concepts off business. A commendable job!”
Sanjay Salvi, partner, Abacus Infosystem
Harish C. Rijhwani is an IT professional with 17+ years of experience, particularly working with US-based entities in the healthcare sector, delivering value to clients through technology and business services. He helps organizations to leverage technology to meet their business goals and optimizing business processes.
Owing to his domain expertise, Harish has been a speaker at multiple conferences, such as at NASSCOM, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and at Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) University, where he has spoken extensively on the theme of how healthcare delivery organizations are using technology as a game-changer.
Given his passion for teaching and knowledge-sharing, Harish is a visiting faculty and judge at various institutes viz. Welingkar Institute of Management, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, Symbiosis Institute of Management. Teaching since 8+ years and counting, Harish teaches subjects like Healthcare Informatics, Business Analytics and Advanced Analytics to 1400+ management students. He has also been affiliated with UpGrad as Program Curriculum Consultant.
Born in Pune and brought up in Mumbai, Harish completed his B. Engineering (Electronics) from Thadomal Shahani Engineering College and MBA in Systems from SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.
In his free time, Harish enjoys watching movies, walks, yoga and solving Rubik’s cubes.
14 MAY 2020
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