JEDDAH: A workshop organized by the Makkah Economic Forum has called on local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to embrace innovation across their business platforms to remain successful in a competitive market.
Addressing the “Leadership through Innovation” workshop, Roberto Wyszkowski, partner at global management consulting firm Sia Partners Middle East, said even giant companies have ended up declaring bankruptcy or losing market share because they did not take innovation seriously.
Some companies, such as Netflix, Google and General Electric, have achieved resounding success by adopting innovation, he added.
Innovation does not just involve changing products and services, but also considering new business models, partners, customer experiences and markets, he said.
Studies by Sia show that some companies, such as Apple, YouTube and Enterprise, have achieved success by changing their business model and the way they manage services and products, he added.
Others have remained successful by adopting innovative technologies across production processes, Wyszkowski said.
He urged local SMEs wishing to achieve innovation across services and products to adopt new business models, penetrate new markets and provide new customer experiences.
He stressed the importance of choosing the right location and adopting the right technology for brand-enhancement.
It is important to focus on a certain segment of customers to provide innovative services and products, Wyszkowski said.
He cited McDonald’s, which introduced innovative products targeting children, and services such as “Drive Thru,” to survive in a competitive market.
Rana Bakhsh, certified innovation management ambassador for the Global Innovation Management Institute (GIMI), also emphasized the importance of innovation in taking a business to the next level and remaining relevant in a changing market.
The workshop was part of a series of activities lined up by the Makkah Economic Forum throughout the year to involve the private sector as an active partner in the region’s development programs, and to help realize the objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plan.