Halal Business

Where Is Your Innovation Focus?

The work of innovation is a work in progress, but that doesn’t mean it will never yield any results along the way. But wait, before I get there, let’s define, what is innovation?

My favorite and I think an appropriate definition of today’s innovation comes from Clayton Christensen, “Innovation is a change in labor, capital, materials, and information into products and services of greater value.” 

There are a lot of companies focusing their innovation that enable them to be more nimble during today’s unprecedented situation. They are able to switch their business model so quickly and transform their supply chain to help them stay in the game. 

Take for example Abang Udin. He sells kuih (Malay desserts) near my area. In normal days before the Malaysia Movement Control Order (MCO or more commonly known as lockdown), he will open his stalls and showcase all the desserts he has from his suppliers (some of which he made himself with his wife). During the MCO, he was unable to operate.

Did he lose income? Yes, for a while. He stopped for about one week, he calibrated behind closed doors his supply chain and he is back in business. He now offers delivery service (with a small fee) to deliver kuih and nasi lemak (Malay coconut milk rice). 

Prior to this, Abang Udin never had any delivery service because he doesn’t need to. All of his customers went to this stall every morning. They bought from him and paid him cash. When other passersby saw his stall with a lot of people, they will go there as well. It used to be crowded in front of his stall. Now, it is no longer there. 

If I were to take the concept of Innovation Focus and map what Abang Udin did, you will get a better idea. Let’s take a look. 

Prior to the MCO, most companies innovation focus is on Stability, including Abang Udin’s. Just ensure the business stable and float. Make some products and services, make some profits and it goes on like that. There’s little thinking or planning about doing other things or other channels. It doesn’t have to be because there’s little need and there’s some cost to spend. Why bother?

Your Details are Our AMANAH
Get our weekly newsletter

During the MCO, many businesses were caught unaware, including Abang Udin’s. He stopped for a while and came out with a plan to change his business model. This time around his innovation focus is on Adversity. During this situation, he had to make a drastic change to ensure his business stayed on. He had to do more work and get paid slightly more (often the same or less because customers are no longer able to see his crowded stall). But he still makes some products, created a new service and make some money for his family. 

Now the MCO is partially lifted, he plans to maintain the delivery service because he noticed the customers’ behavior changed. Just like any business that has been given a glimpse of the future, his innovation focus now is on Survivability. He needs to ensure the roadside stall and delivery can go hand in hand even it means he will have to fork out some expenses to maintain those services. 

But, a thought come in his mind. What if he could make this permanently with more effective routing service and efficient production? How can he build this new channel as part of his new offering? What does he need to do? What does he need to let go of? What does he need to acquire? Now his innovation focus is on Sustainability. Ultimately he will continue his innovation focus is on Humanity – where his reason for being is to serve the communities around him. 

Don’t you worry about Abang Udin, he has now found a new joy in growing his “new” business. But your business probably not as smallish as Abang Udin. Your business also not a 1,000x greater than his. Your business is unique and your customers are far different. 

You need to ask, where is your innovation focus now? 

Recent Posts

Saudi Arabia launches Nusuk, a digital platform for visitors with info on umrah visa and holy sites

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the launch of Nusuk (nusuk.sa), the official Saudi integrated digital platform that… Read More

September 27, 2022

MIHAS 2022 Halal Trade Exhibition Theme on Diversifying Halal Potential

The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) is held on the 7th to the 9th of September, 2022 in Kuala Lumpur.… Read More

September 9, 2022

Correct Tajweed and Happiness Hormones

Researchers have found that humming can significantly improve your health and happiness hormones. Wait for a second, what does this… Read More

August 27, 2022

What Angel Investors Look For Before Investing – Tips from an Angel Investor

Have you ever wondered what an angel investor looks for before investing in a company? If you have, then you… Read More

August 15, 2022

Ethis Launches Super Angel Syndicate for Islamic Startup Funding

Ethical and Islamic investment, and social finance platform operator, Ethis Group has re-launched the Ethis Super Angel (ESA), rebranding it… Read More

August 11, 2022

Eradicating Internet Poverty with Breakthrough Latest Wi-Fi Technology

The coronavirus has exposed the digital divide like never before, so much so that Internet poverty is said to be… Read More

August 8, 2022