Member Sanjay Bonde Speaks: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

The Challenge:

In the situation at hand, with years of strong growth established, Alliance member & CEO Roman Kaplun of ZoolaTech was eyeing his next phase. He was exploring whether to stay the course or attempt to productize his services to fuel further growth.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

If I were in your situation, I would ask myself two questions. First, where can my company add value for customers in the most impactful way? Secondly, how can I maintain alignment with my values as a business leader? In some circumstances, a growth model seeking to productize a service can meet the needs of both the company and the client. For example, Airbnb made home rentals a product and expanded the offering across the world, bringing widespread value to travelers and hosts alike.

However, such growth via headcount or geographic footprint is not always necessary, nor the best solution for every company. I can think of several brands that have become remarkably profitable by focusing on developing quality and intellectual property. Examples of this approach could include a process for delivering outstanding service or a proprietary method for delivering excellence. Consider the small team that produces world-renown Cartier watches.

If I were to decide to productize and scale, I would ensure that this path presents itself organically rather than solely as a means of achieving growth. Is my service well adapted to becoming a product? If so, I would likely seek a co-founder with a proven record of creating products that are highly valued in the market.

No matter the direction I choose, I would continue to keep my eye on the ball – increasing value for my current and future customers. I would also continue to check in with myself as a business leader about what makes me excited about what I do. The convergence of the two is the winning recipe. Best of luck!