“Strategy is not about copying. It is not even about being better. It is about being different.” - Avinash Bhandari

More and more companies are looking at what the nearest competitor is doing and trying to replicate that or better that. That is not strategy. Strategy is about occupying a unique position in the mind of the customer. Offering a unique value proposition. Understanding where will the company create substantial value? Where will the company have a very strong competitive advantage?

Strategy means making clear cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to everybody. You need to make a choice. Are you going to compete on the basis of low cost or based on differentiation? If differentiation, then product or service (customer relationship). [e.g.: “own the standard” kind of product-based differentiation strategy like Microsoft or “own the customer relationship” based differentiation strategy like GE].

While there is a huge focus and understanding on operations excellence in the small and midsized companies in India, the focus on creating a unique competitive position (critical to long term success) certainly can be increased.