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“Do not look for innovative ideas on how to run your business within your industry. The entire world is copying a model that is already successful. If you want to scale heights, take ideas from a business that might totally not be related to you!”


McDonalds – The concept of ‘drive through’ in McDonalds, was borrowed from the banks in US, which allowed banking transactions to be done without getting down from the car. One school of thought also feels that McDonalds drive through was inspired by a ‘pit stop’ in F1 race

Baby Pram – Owen Maclaren developed first foldable lightweight baby pram taking inspiration from the retractable landing gear of an aircraft

Bullet Trains – The kingfisher bird’s beak became the model for the nose cone of Japan’s 500 series Shinkansen Bullet Train (more aerodynamic, less noise)


  • Open your mind to this possibility. More often than not, our thinking is to copy strategies that are working well for our competitors. We don’t even look outside them. Take a decision now – you will not copy anything that your competitors are doing
  • When we go to buy something, we simply visit the store, purchase the product/ service and walk out. But fail putting our thoughts together to borrow the ‘good things’ about that store into our business. Decide – whatever good you see/ experience anywhere, can it be implemented into your business
  • Anything new will always be laughed at/ ridiculed! Be happy – People think you are crazy! Only crazy people have done something phenomenal in their lives. Don’t be bothered about the negative motivations/ comments from people, as far as you are convinced about it
  • Results might take a little while to come. You need to pursue the idea and implement it for a long span (atleast one year) to start seeing the impact


THEME OF THE MONTH – Usually malls always have themes of months/ season. We took that concept and used to have different themes every month. We would decorate the showroom accordingly every month. We did this for about 18 months until there was newness in every theme. There were people who would visit us every month just to see the theme we had for the month

UNIFORM - In our industry, uniform is not really heard of. People are free to wear what they feel is okay. But I thought that having uniform gives a professional look to the organization. Also, it is easy to identify who is part of Jain Ceramics and who is a customer (so many times I have been thought to be a salesman in mall). It is an additional cost to the company, but worth it. I picked this idea from an engineering factory I had visited.

ONLINE CERAMIC MALL – We launched about two years ago. Tiles business has always been done traditionally. Looking at success of online models like Flipkart and Amazon, I thought why not tiles business also be done online. It had never been done before. People thought and still think that it is a foolish to expect that it will be successful. I am extremely positive about it. We are not beginning to get requirements from across India. Let’s see how future unfolds …

Borrowing ideas and implementing in your business can be exciting, but challenging. It will make you go beyond your comfort zones. Your own mind and people around you will give enough reasons to stop you. But if your vision is to be ahead of your competitors, this will have to be done. First mover advantage is always going to bear fruits and give you additional margins – maybe not immediately, but definitely!

Incase you have already done such innovations; I would love to know about it!

Further reads –

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Amit Kothari

… always upgrading!

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