Notes from call with Aditya Ghosh, Ex Indigo President / now Oyo Board

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Another in the #DavidsVsCovid Series. Great to learn from Aditya every single time I have met him in the last. Though today was the deepest set of learnings across all the last times. 

Moderated by Karthik Reddy & in attendance, a lot of us on his invite list. Excerpts re what I found most relevant/ super useful:

What is that one big objective that you are chasing? 

With Indigo: Scale of Market, Southwest example 

The drive towards larger goal + thought process around ‘Why’ – should be translated to every single employee over the years 

Low cost has nothing to do with low quality 

Stupid Q: what customers want? 
Right Q: what customers need & what are they willing to pay for? 

TALK ABOUT WHAT THE CUSTOMERS “REALLY WANT”

^^ this example weaves in beautifully with how we @leverageedu rebranded our entire narrative to focus on the “goal” – fit us: crossing the line / what’s next in higher ed for the student / simply “getting in” to the University 

Post Lockdown: 

(a) those who are able to focus on their core competency, 
(b) solving a fundamental need of the market, 
(c) be able to come at an affordable price range / reinvent their cost structure 

.. are the ones who are going to be successful 

….

Competitive Advantages Vs Structural Advantages 

^ problem with competitive advantages is that it’s a rat race – and even if you win, you are just the fastest rat. A more competent management team can beat you out. 

Ve Structural Advantages are those that a competitor can watch but not copy or not copy straight away – aka “what the hell just happened to us”

(Eg Indigo buying those planes ✈ in 2005)

⭐ WHAT IS THE MOAT?

^ build Structural Advantages 

👆🏼deep bets when you have fundamental beliefs 

The best companies take time: to be young and enthusiastic, not young and impatient

Q: Whether we need to scale, when we need to scale up, & why we need to scale up?  << should be chasing the fundamentals of the business — what is that scaling doing for you: (a) reducing cost structures, or (b) building a moat, (c) creating operational efficiencies ..

👆🏼imp: need to know when to run that sprint within a marathon 

Important to have periods in business where there has to be deep focus on building consumer insights. 

2014 Story: About taking airplane deliveries not all at once, but staggering it in batches of 10-12 every year. < this was important not to conserve capital / cash, but “focus on building internal processes / improvements / giving that experience to the team” + “focus on external conversions – with the authorities + GMR, to get ready for that scale” —- and only then did they move towards the big scale of doing one plane/week // 60 planes a month etc. 

♟Business with most shock will trigger the fastest 

♟Anything with discretionary spending will take more time to recover 

>> Govt will play a larger role post this / and not in a bad sense; government will think more about how to prevent the next crisis 

>> Countries will move towards brig more self reliant / – which will create opportunities for domestic companies given the consumption scale in India. 

⭐ Businesses with high variable cost need to be mindful of it — imp to play with it in the present to make it work for you long-term. 

Culture is set top down. Burden on leadership. Need to set the right examples always. 

👆🏼story about dress culture > why are operational folks in full make up, tied up – but corporate employees in top neck; why are trays and planes supposed to be clean but employees’ desks, whiteboards and chairs against walls taking off the plaster, not? 

👆🏼founder / CEO’s ‘culture responsibility’ to expect things only that they DO themselves — building systems and processes that celebrate acceptable behaviour ⭐ 

✈ recognising and rewarding acceptable behaviour 

🌟 Extremely Important – know who is the best at what, and that independence + respect, for who is the best in that area, needs to be built within a management team

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