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The tale of two biryani

Biryani image by Pixabay

Before we begin, let us address the elephant in the room - what is a Biryani? Those who have not yet faced globalisation at the scale the world is moving on. Biryani is a dish in which succulent pieces of meat are cooked to perfection sandwiched between multiple layers of rice that is lightly spiced with thirty-six different spices. Those who have had the pleasure of meeting me (before March 2020) know that I have this persistent dream of having all types of biryanis in the world.

But this is not a food post. This is a post about observation and the value of change management in business. I had a favourite biryani shop on my way home from work. I had to ration my travel to make sure I do not eat there every day. The chef had a knack for making Biryani. However, he had no business acumen. He decided to keep his shop low-key, he offered no credit/debit card facility.

He only offered Biryani, and he was good at it. There were queues outside his shop that blocked the entire pavement, to the annoyance of the travellers. Needless to say, he was popular.

His sous chef started a completing Biryani shop in 2019 in the same area. He was a good chef but he was not the best. His entire marketing strategy was to jump on the tailwind of the original Biryani restaurant. He upgraded the infrastructure, offered credit/debit card payments. He negotiated with food delivery agents. Still, there was no business, nothing compared to the original biryani shop.

And then everything changes. Someone tried to eat a bat or a pangolin or there was a freak accident in a lab somewhere. But Covid hit the world, faster than Sterling runs with the ball towards the goal post. And as lockdown shut the places and people crawled back into enclosed spaces, the original biryani shop started feeling the brunt.

The new Biryani shop already had the habit of deliveries, his revenue model changed, it was a very short trip for him to prep for the pandemic. I could now order biryani from the comfort of my house. No need to stay in the queue, no need to carry loose change to give in the shop. And by the time the original biryani shop caught up, it was already too late.

Few of the regular customers had changed their palette and moved to the new biryani shop. And as I gobbled on the succulent meat, I could not help but wonder. Having one good thing about your business is not enough in modern times. The one thing that you are good at is the icing on top. The cake is a robust infrastructure that is hazards and pandemic proof.

Now, a pandemic is a once-in-a-life event, and you cannot prepare for such a calamity. But using the tools that support your business process will open your business to better avenues. Falling behind the technical curve because you are unfamiliar is not an excuse. We live in an exceeding post-pandemic world.

If the pandemic has been hard on your business, you have fallen behind on the technology curve. Like it or not technology is now penetrating our life deeper than the needle of COVID vaccines enter. People are wearing devices on their bodies, we have come a long way from that lone telephone kept in the corner of our houses. Sixty years ago we used to carry a cheque book in our pocket, now we carry the entire bank in them.

It is time to reinvent your business for the modern world. Because in this world, doing one thing is not enough. You need the technological backbone behind your talent, else like the first biryani shop, you end up losing to the next big thing!

What do you think?


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