Disruptive Innovation Opportunity Identification

The CDO of a European lifting equipment manufacturer was building their innovation roadmap to support continued growth in Asia with a 3-to-7-year time horizon.
The core products of a European lifting equipment manufacturer were becoming commoditized by low-cost Asian competitors. They needed to evolve both their solutions and business model to maintain strong margins and stable growth. Competing on traditional metrics such as lifting capacity and reliability was losing its effectiveness as low-cost local competitors caught up. The CDO realized that future differentiation would be largely based on the development of custom solutions for specific job types, backed by software to automate processes and improve efficiency.
Asia Growth Partners supported the CDO by systematically scanning the Asian market for growth opportunities, and then evaluating the underlying pain points and ‘jobs to be done’. Since many industries require lifting equipment, the discovery scope was broad. We explored the construction, maintenance, marine, forestry, and agriculture industries across China, India, and SE Asia. Focus was placed on long term growth opportunities rather than quick wins, with the goal of entering new markets early and securing market share with innovative, user-friendly software solutions.

After prioritizing market opportunities, Asia Growth Partners next evaluated the core technologies behind potential solutions, including sensors, robotics, and machine vision, among others. These enabled us to identify solution development capability gaps that needed to be addressed. We then identified startups with expertise in key technical domains who could serve as agile solution development partners. Startups were preferred over traditional vendors due to their ability to move fast and their acceptance of the risk associated with new category development.
  • Scan the Asian market for growth opportunities across multiple verticals.
  • Evaluate customer and distributor pain points and ‘jobs to be done’.
  • Prioritize market opportunities based on customer desirability, business viability, and technical feasibility.
  • Break down the tech stack and determine make vs. buy vs. build decisions.
  • Engage startups to access expertise in key domains.
  • After a rigorous analysis, the global CDO and the APAC president prioritized 3 new growth opportunities for development.
  • More than 200 local technology startups were assessed as potential partners, with 15 short listed for collaboration.
  • One platform-based concept was highlighted as the “opportunity of the year” by the global CEO and fast-tracked for development.

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