Taking India to the experience economy

Published: March 14, 2016 12:17 AM

The economy of the future will be an economy of experience. In this new economy, the way we experience a product has more value than the product itself.

The economy of the future will be an economy of experience. In this new economy, the way we experience a product has more value than the product itself. This is the sustainable innovation model for entrepreneurs, businesses and nations. India is in the process of building a strong and sustainable future, economically, ecologically and in human terms. This future is closely tied to the digital revolution. By leveraging the possibilities offered by digital innovation and collaboration platforms and by the industrial system’s ‘digital twin’, India will be able to create new pathways for innovation and growth.

Products are no longer enough

Products are no longer enough for today’s consumers, who value experience over all else. This value shift is the fundamental phenomenon underpinning the new economy. We are at a juncture in India where consumer engagement and loyalty count far more than features and benefits alone, and where consumers expect to interact with or even influence. Apple and Nespresso are the global leaders precisely because they lead the way in creating unique experiences for consumers. ‘Experience thinking’ is a system of thought and action that concerns the entire company, from corporate positioning and design concepts to how the company relates to its customers. This is the meaning of Dassault Systemes’ 3D Experience approach, aimed at achieving better harmony between product, nature and life.

The power of the ‘digital twin’

The key to making consumer experience the true focus of innovation is to capture insights and expertise from across a business’s entire ecosystem. Shaping the right consumer experience requires not only the involvement of all roles within a company—from engineering to marketing and sales—but also effective collaboration between them. Only by connecting all the dots between people, ideas and data can a business drive sustainable consumer loyalty, engagement and value. Digital innovation and collaboration platforms enable us to use the virtual realm to invent new usage patterns, the products underpinning them, the associated production tooling and all the transformations needed for companies to achieve leadership. In other words, it is the ‘digital twin’ of the entire company system. These platforms can help businesses meet some of the critical imperatives of sustainable innovation in a country of 1.3 billion people.

The new economy is marked by ‘disintermediation’ between consumers and manufacturing systems. This is made possible by the Internet of Things, the automation of services, the agility of the cloud and the science of data.

E-commerce, online services and the ‘makers’ movement are an initial expression of global ultrafast value chains.

They also point to how industry is going to shape up in the future.

Innovation must become an inherent factor in our products and production systems and indeed in our thinking. It’s about developing intelligent manufacturing systems, where products, machines and manufacturing systems communicate with each other. The factories of the future will then be able to achieve ‘mass customisation’ at the same cost as mass production.

India is already making significant strides in its efforts to realise the call to “Make in India”. The country has a strong IT industry and can add real value to the development of the Internet of Things. It is also in the country’s interest to further develop this know-how as it applies to the manufacturing industries. Dassault Systemes is contributing to the move to ‘Make in India’ as well as major industry transformation initiatives in Germany, France and the United States. Digital innovation and collaboration platforms are fostering the emergence of a modular, system-driven and interconnected production environment based on ‘manufacturing as a service’ as well as additive manufacturing and the use of new materials. Innovation and competitive manufacturing also depend on the incorporation of collaborative tools, enabling us to tie together the industrial and research ecosystems and all the necessary skills.

A culture of innovation

Beyond the technology, the digital revolution is a journey of transformation and a major project for society. While many technology companies are now responding to this shift in market dynamics, innovation is seeping into many other sectors of the country, including telecoms, healthcare, education and governance. Inclusive innovation, the proliferation of technical and technological knowledge and the ability to embrace these at every level are key to the process of economic growth.

The new economy will be based on a new generation of operators, technicians, designers and services, with new, more highly qualified job profiles. In this transformation, India can rely on what is undoubtedly one of its most powerful industries: education. With the digital age, learning and training are also changing. Here as well, collaborative approaches are the catalysts of innovation. This is why Dassault Systemes is involved in the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) launched by the ministry of human resource development to improve the employability of young graduates.

For each of us, the digital revolution is unlocking our imaginations and capacity for innovation. At the heart of the experience economy, 3D technology brings holistic value to all industries, enabling traditional industries to reinvent themselves and new ones to extend their reach. It contributes to progress in the economy and in society as a whole.

By Bernard Charles

The writer is president and CEO, Dassault Systemes

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