Executive Education

Customer Based Business Strategy

Programme Overview

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The Need for Change of Focus

In today’s world, macro environmental disruptions and changes in technology and regulation are frequent and affect demand, supply and costs, even as they throw up new business opportunities. Competitive offerings are blurring boundaries of product categories and showing customers completely new ways to satisfy their needs. The world of customers is fast changing too, and their expectations and requirements are being shaped and reshaped by the choices available to them as well as by their life journeys. These changes are not limited to the pandemic and its after effects but have been in evidence for quite some time, well before the pandemic.


In such an environment, it is risky to make choices of business direction or decide how to respond to external disruptions or develop longer term business strategy based on conventional supply side ideas of “industry” and “product category” and market based “just like me” competitors. Threats may not be recognized till it is too late; opportunities may be missed; and the business value may stagnate or even erode. Besides these, the instability of basing business strategy on shifting sands will weaken the organisation and responding continuously to competition moves or environmental shifts will exhaust its resources.


In order to achieve stability and deliver on goals relating to business purpose, growth and profitability, companies need to continuously create better value for customers. Their choice of business direction or paths to get to where they need or want to, and the capability to walk down those paths must be designed to achieve this.


For more information or any questions, contact Manali Shah: manali-exed@iima.ac.in | +91 70690 10183

Programme Chairperson

Participants’ Profile

CXOs, Heads of Business Units heads, Functional Heads Senior executives working with B2B and B2C companies

Companies would benefit more from the programme by sponsoring a team of 3 to 5 senior executives.

Program Objectives

Key Concept

At the heart of an effective business strategy is a clear business-market strategy or game, i.e., a set of integrated and coherent choices of

"Where to Play” (which parts of the market to operate in and with what intensity) "How to Win" (develop and design competitively superior value proposition and its delivery system)  "When to play What Game" (sequencing or staging of strategic moves).  


When this business-market game is clear and customer centric, companies do not end up as they often do with "follow the market trend" or “follow the competitor” strategies that result in their getting weaker as they pull themselves in many different directions and increase their operating complexity and cost.



The objective of this program is to enable business leaders to create strong businesses with sustainable business performance by learning how to embed customer centricity into their business strategy development and execution:


1. Shifting the focus of business strategy from ‘competitor/market/product centric’ to ‘customer centric’

2. Generating insights and to develop dominant logic to be used for developing business strategy from the view of customer

3. Developing a clear and customer based business-market strategy: where to play, how to win, and when to play what game

Program Highlights

Conceptual clarity

The difference in business direction resulting from the customer centric view versus an industry or supply sided view, hence clarity on need for customer centricity in business strategy  Review of concepts and approaches to developing business strategy : purpose, different frameworks in use,  how these have progressed and changed over time and pros and cons of each approach  Understand the concepts of customer-centric business strategy, the business-market game, its link with business strategy Understand where and how to embed customer centricity into commonly used business strategy development approaches  


Frameworks, tools and methodologies for developing a company's business-market game.


Methodologies on how to be customer centered in various elements and analyses of business strategy development Reading environmental and external shifts and trends to see how the future will unfold and to assess their impact on customers as well as implications for business strategy. Deciding ‘where to play’ in terms of customer type and customer value segments and not just product or product-market or sales geography segments  Deciding how to ‘play to win’ in terms of developing rivalry propositions and customer perceived value advantage over current consumer behaviour. Designing the organization and sequence of activities in order to win in the chosen market How to do Customer Based business-market segmentation for business market game: how to develop customer perceived value advantage over competition for achieving business purpose as well as customer centricity.