Rapid Business Growth Must Not Be At The Expense of Quality, Safety, and Reliability

The Perils of Rapid Growth as Exemplified by the Indian Aviation Sector

Any for profit entity exists to make profits and grow quickly. Whether such entities grow organically wherein they clock record growth during their independent operations, or inorganically, through mergers and acquisitions, they must not compromise on the safety, quality, reliability, of their products and services.

Indeed, in the desperate race to growth, there are many corporates who sacrifice these aspects smug in the belief that since they have a large base of loyal and committed customers, they would be willing to overlook minor lapses and inconveniences for comfort level and assured service.

A case in point is the Indian Aviation Sector which is among the fastest growing sectors worldwide in its own niche as well as when compared across verticals.

This sector which has grown at a blistering pace now faces issues related to the safety of its passengers, quality of services offered, and the reliability of its flights taking off and landing on time.

Indeed, in recent months, there have been several reports of airlines in India lagging behind on punctuality, which can be a minor inconvenience, when compared to the more serious issues of passenger safety arising from defective aircraft being in service.

Businesses Which Ignore These Issues Tend to Lose the Loyalty of Customers

Of course, one might very well argue that once a sector clocks rapid growth, some downsides are inevitable as headwinds in terms of accuracy and consistency are sacrificed at the Altar of Growth.

However, given the fact that businesses exist due to the customers and their loyalty towards them means that sooner or later, such firms that neglect these issues tend to lose out as happened with Jet Airways, which was one of the pioneers of the Indian Aviation Sector in the Post Liberalization phase.

Once feared by competitors, and which also inspired awe among flyers, the airline is now facing an Existential Crisis which threatens its very survival.

On similar lines is the State owned carrier, Air India, which is afloat mainly due the successive bailouts that the government has done for it.

Thus, the lesson for other Airlines and any corporates is that once safety, quality, and reliability go for a toss, then customers too flock to their rivals rather than waiting for it to correct its mistakes, with their patience already thin. Indeed, this is a lesson that is leant the hard way by many business leaders over the course of their careers.

Reasons for Businesses and Business Leaders to Lose Their Way after Growth

Among the reasons why large organizations and huge corporates often fail to meet the exacting standards that they set for themselves and which defined their operations in the initial years is that inertia and clogging of organizational arteries happens which leads to Entropy setting in and which results in the Atrophy of the Brand or Product or Service.

In other words, as long as they are Lean, it is easier for the leaders and the senior execs to track and monitor these aspects whereas once they become behemoths, certain lethargy, as well as an acute sense of loss of control over such large and humungous operations manifests leading to overall sense of decline.

This is where astute and visionary business leaders who make Excellence a Habit have a role to play in ensuring that no matter how fast their firms grow and how big they are, they still deliver results on a consistent basis.

Further, the very real aspect of Hubris and Arrogance that comes with size can lead to large firms Losing Their Way once they have acquired size and scale and command the loyalty of a large and dedicated customer base.

The Tech Titans as Examples of Such Malaise Not Being Limited to One Sector

This phenomenon also extends to Tech firms where we have seen how Facebook, Google, and Microsoft (to some extent) are struggling to make sense of their astounding growth and are trying to keep their Platforms from turning into Free for All disinformation tools for nefarious business and political entities.

Indeed, while the going was good, the media and for that matter, most management consultants often “goad” them into growing faster and larger and once, the Music Stops, the “shoe is on the other foot” and the praises turn to criticism and outright negative coverage.

For instance, the Tech titans who were regarded as Demigods now find themselves at the receiving ends of regulators, the judiciary, and the other stakeholders concerned about their sheer size and the monopolistic behavior that is exhibited by them.

Indeed, some experts believe that in time, some of them would face the same regulatory action that was the case with the earlier era Telecom firms such as the Bell Conglomerate.

Thus, the implication of this is that despite growth, businesses must and should keep an eye on the very basis for their growth and must not forget that their ultimate arbiters are the consumers whose loyalty they cannot take for granted.

As History teaches us, there are very few corporates worldwide that have stayed in the Fortune 100 rankings and among the first Twenty consistently over decades.


Lastly, as can be seen from the points made so far, growth brings with it its own set of challenges and hence, this is more the reason for the internal structures of the corporates to mirror the external strategic imperatives.

If your business is growing rapidly in a real time changing market, then adopt a systemic structure and be flexible to fast changing trends and most importantly, be responsive to the customers and listen to the pulse of the market lest you forget the very reason for your existence.

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