The Taxi That Crossed the Blue Ocean
The Taxi That Crossed the Blue Ocean
19 // July // 2015 Zion B.
Traditional companies in the food and other industry are always looking for the next goal. The road leading to this goal has changed in recent years, and the sentence 'We should put the consumer at the center" is no longer a slogan sent in a brief to the ad agency. Zion Balas, CEO of Strauss Israel, describes the inspiration he finds in companies which are the first to identify the need and leap forward.

Wilhelm Baron, a German, is regarded as the person who most influenced the taxi industry. Being the inventor of the meter in 1891, Baron effectively enabled the industry to develop into the model we know today. I am a CEO in  a long-standing company, not a regular consumer of taxis. I also haven't established a startup company to-date, and yet something in the young company Gett, known to most of us as Gett Taxi, sparks a sense of solidarity in me.   Gett managed to overpower the noise of the meter invented by Baron, as well as the background noise "Who is available on Jabotinsky street" ... and gave us quiet. Shachar Weiser and his partner rode the enormous tidal wave produced by the sharing economy, and gave us peace of mind. They are currently translating this success into additional categories and entering the worlds of on-demand economy, expanding the range of options for service-providers and potential customers, and primarily cutting the time frames we have grown accustomed to.     My solidarity with Gett stems from the fact that the eco system in which they operate is not strange to me. Gett started out as a startup company, but from day one it has been operating in an old, stagnant industry, not in Silicon Valley. Expansion of services for staples such as food products connects to the content world in which I operate. This industry and the food industry both managed to maintain their status over the years and were almost unaffected by the mobile trend and widespread use of the Internet.     The saying 'We should put the consumer at the center" has long ceased to be just another slogan used by marketing managers in a brief to ad agencies. It is a business strategy that connects to ground-breaking ideas such as "The Internet of Things" which changes the way people consume products and mainly the speed with which they meet their needs. E-commerce innovation allows direct access to new audiences, and Big Data facilitates all of that while increasing our challenge as managers. Despite the short time span in which Gett has operated, it managed to establish activities in 12 countries, overpower noises from its competitors and create continuous value for its clientele.     I believe that the food industry is also heading in this direction. Those of you with sharp memory will notice that my previous post also addressed the sharing economy, and as an example I chose the crowd funding website Kickstarter. I said then that businesses must recognize the trend and follow the rules it sets in order to remain relevant. Every person or business, through a digital platform and given the fact that people use mobile phones, can remove barriers and communicate directly with consumers without intermediaries. I am happy to tell you that Strauss, too, took a step further, connected to the sharing trend, and using a new application it had launched is now connecting directly with consumers, providing them with benefits and contents according to the information they share.     In their book " Blue Ocean Strategy", the authors  Prof. W. Chan Kim and Prof. Renee Mauborgne call on companies to "move from the bloody-red ocean of unprecedented competition that makes competition irrelevant". Moves that characterize the food industry these days, both in Israel and globally, and the recent move by Gett, provide a direct and significant value and enable companies to contend with the competition by creating a new blue ocean of possibilities.   *First published in the Brands Index of Globes  
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