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A race to the middle in India

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Interesting insights into Indian Management Consulting practice by B J  Richards, am reproducing his blog here

http://www.sourceforconsulting.com/blog/2014/09/16/a-race-to-the-middle-in-india/

By B.J. Richards

The Indian consulting market, far more than most others, has a pretty dramatically polarized service offering. At one end of the spectrum, you have technology consulting, which makes up just shy of half the market. On the other, you’ll find strategy consulting, which is responsible for another quarter of all the work done here. And there’s very little happening in between.

Until recently, that was OK – India’s young businesses were generally willing to spend on help with their IT systems and in forming their master plan but were determined to do everything else in house using elbow grease rather than pricey external help. But as Indian businesses mature and seek to compete in the global marketplace, their needs are becoming more sophisticated, and those in-between services that once seemed like frivolous luxuries are fast becoming necessities.

In theory, this should be great news for consultants, and indeed it is – opportunities to build the business abound! But at the moment there’s some doubt as to who will provide these in-between services. In a market where consulting is so much about technology — and in a world where pretty much all consulting services are becoming intimately bound up with the IT function — consulting firms and digital agencies don’t look so different to the average buyer. And India’s businesses, at the moment, may not have a clear understanding of why they should choose a consulting firm to handle their (for example) efficiency project over a digital agency. After all, the client expects its efficiency solution will be technology-led anyway, so why not go straight to a provider that that has technology at its heart?

Somewhat ironically, India’s IT consulting firms have actually done a fine job of moving beyond the back office in their foreign outposts – like in the Nordics, where they’ve successfully added a strategic component to their competitively priced IT services to make a very attractive offering.  But many of India’s larger firms have been so focused on conquering the overseas market that they’ve paid little attention to the growing demand for expanded services back home.  Now India’s digital agencies – which have remained keenly attuned to the Indian market — will likely be trying to replicate what consultants have done overseas, throwing in a bit of traditional consulting as an add-on to their regular services, potentially impressing buyers with their one-stop-shop offering.

Ultimately, India’s consultants and digital agencies could find themselves in a race to determine who will become the preferred provider of those many services that lie between IT and strategy.  For India’s consultants, it is absolutely critical that they convince clients that they understand digital before digital agencies are able to convince clients that they understand consulting.  But it’s going to be tough given that these firms often have little capacity in the in-between space to draw upon.

Written by schelluri

September 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Ex-journalist dispels myths about PR pros By Gil Rudawsky

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It’s been three years since the newspaper I worked for unceremoniously shut down after pumping out news for 150 years.

Since then, I’ve redirected my skills to help reinvent myself in the world of public relations. Along the way, many myths I’d believed about PR have been disproved.

Here’s a list of some misconceptions that I, along with many of my fellow journalists, have had about PR professionals:

PR pros don’t work hard. In jumping to the PR world, I’ve seen firsthand how hard my colleagues work for clients. The idea of clocking out is just that, a nice idea. I’ve done PR work from the side of a road in Spain, in a classroom hallway at my son’s back-to-school night, and outside a restaurant on a date with my wife to celebrate our anniversary. The work never stops. At least in the newsroom, there was a lull after deadline.

There are no deadlines in PR. Deadlines rule journalists’ lives. They also rule the world of PR. In a crisis, kiss your family and any plans goodbye—it’s a steady stream of deadlines to create strategy, respond to the media, monitor social media and recap everything for the client.

There’s no stress. The same issues that keep a reporter up at night—a changing media landscape, declining business, unreasonable expectations—make for sleepless nights in the PR world, too. Our profession, like journalists’, relies on finding ways to get our clients’ stories to the right audiences. There’s an added layer of stress: Showing our clients that what we do is valuable and requires expertise and experience.

PR people don’t know how to write. It’s not unusual for me to write several thousand words a day, from press releases, to white papers, to strategy documents, to crisis plans. And it requires more insight and creativity than simply documenting what happened at a city council meeting. Plus, there’s not a team of copy editors to review everything. We have to be our own reporter, editor, copy editor, and headline writer. Sometimes we have to be our own publisher.

PR pros couldn’t make it as journalists. The line between a journalist and a PR person is very close in terms of skills. I’ve seen both worlds, and I know firsthand that many of my PR colleagues would make top-notch journalists. They know how to tell a story, ask the right questions, and can be uncompromising with their standards. They also have to have the tact to offer strategies without coming off as know-it-alls, and they stand up to clients when necessary.

PR is just spin. To the contrary, PR at its core is about getting newsworthy information to audiences, and working with the media to get the facts right and creating some balance where there is none.

Gil Rudawsky is a former reporter and editor with 20 years of communications experience. He heads up the crisis communication/issues management practice at GroundFloor Media in Denver. Read his blog or contact him at grudawsky@groundfloormedia.com.

Written by schelluri

March 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm