After a gap of couple of years, I have started using a smartphone.
The first smart phone device I bought was a HTC Wildfire in 2010. At that time, Android was at its infancy and a smart phone was look at in awe. Having used that for three years, the screen got smashed one fine day when Srivaths accidentally dropped it. Then, I switched to a basic Nokia phone that served the purpose for the last couple of years. The only thing I missed during my non-smart phone days was the Twitter. Although I haven’t been actively tweeting, the amount of information that I got and the way it helped me to kill time while waiting for something was phenomenal.
In the last couple of years or so, WhatsApp seems to have replaced the email and I seemed to have been blissfully unaware of this. Accidentally, I got to know that quite a lot of communication among my college mates are happening on that platform and even a get-together is being planned at my backyard. It coincided with the timing that someone decided to gift me a smart phone and I was presented with Lenovo A6000. A nice, little toy to play around. Having habituated with the bare bone Nokia mobile for the last couple of years, I am still yet to come to grips that this stuff is an extension of me. Hopefully, will be there in due course.
A week ago, I was buying tender coconuts from a street vendor. I asked him for his mobile number, so that I can call him if I need more and ask him to deliver them home. As I was trying to make note of his number in my mobile, he quickly thrust his flashy new business card that contained all his coordinates. “If you are from one of the nearby apartments, you can also email me if you want it home delivered. I check my mails at least once an hour”, pointing to his Micromax phone.
My jaw dropped and that bloke made sure it stayed there by saying “In 2 or 3 weeks, our Android app will be ready. You can order from your app as well”.
On speaking to that guy, I learnt that he has studied until Class 8 and has been doing lot of seasonal jobs. Apparently, he had sold tender coconuts last summer as well and figured out that there is a good demand for the home delivery of the above. A shrewd guy that he is, it didn’t take long for him to work out that the neighbourhood is dominated by those who work for IT companies – the kind of lazy bums with tablets and smart phones, who wouldn’t bother moving their posterior unless there is a very real need. To serve the above kind of clientele, he decided to make himself reachable over email, as that sets him apart from the competition. How about the smart phone app? How is he developing one? One of his regular customers is a smart phone developer. Impressed by his service, he decided to help him by developing the app.
I was mighty impressed by his entrepreneurial efforts. Although his product is something that is sold by every Kuppan, Suppan and Subramani – he clearly differentiated himself with his services. An infectious enthusiasm has lead him to offer and market his services through a smart phone. This is innovation. I doubt if this would be taught at any of the B Schools out there.