Distribution is king

We heard a lot about Microsoft and Apple during the PC War, their tech innovations, and how they defeated IBM, a titan of the industry. But it was a different company, who forced IBM out of the leading position - DELL.

DELL's DIRECT approach was the first to cut out the middlemen in the distribution channel. They used the internet for direct distribution, order tracking, issue tracking, and customer relationships. It was the first D2C experiment at scale on the internet, and it quickly dethroned the tech giant IBM from the top PC position.

IBM was beaten by distribution model innovation rather than tech innovation.

fast forward...

In the current Indian context, several of our financial giants, such as HDFC and LIC, continue to use conventional offline distribution channels for loans and insurance products, similar to the IBM distributor model. Any new financial business that can successfully execute online D2C in finance leveraging government-driven initiatives such as UPI, e-NACH etc, may quickly replicate what DELL did to IBM.