Winners in a Down Market A Case for Innovation

When company executives hear words such as “Economy declining” or “Market slow down”, there is the inevitable move to tighten belts and weather the upcoming storms. Discretionary spend is reduced or altogether removed, and company executives scale back their grand plans of conquering markets. These market slowdowns usually last a few quarters, and once the market picks up again, company executives hope that the company’s position in the industry is where it was before the slowdown. In these chaotic times when markets pick up and slowdown with increasing frequency, and for shorter durations, there are some visionary companies who behave differently. They do not belong to the “wait and watch” brigade; they are instead actively shaking up their industries through innovative thinking and action. We often hear the excuse that innovation is for the young and/or immature industries, and might not be applicable in mature industries. We beg to differ and think that innovation is equally applicable across all industries. As Joe Tripodi, chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola, said “if you do not like change, you will like irrelevance a lot less”.

The example we have chosen for this report is from an industry that is considered to be one of the most staid and mature industries in the world – cement. Read on to discover how innovative thinking has disrupted the industry and yielded enormous benefits for a visionary company.