This blog post is a follow up to the earlier one I did upon my return from the European Utility Week held last year in Amsterdam. Since then I have also been tracking some of the initiatives run by European Utilities in terms of startup engagement.
European Utilities (most if not all) have seem to got the formula right when it comes to engaging with startups (spotting opportunities). I think a lot of them have realised the importance of looking “outside” when it comes to acquiring new business line or developing something that helps them service their customers better.
Things that utilities in SE Asia and Asia Pacific region can learn?
- Open up– Instead of asking a startup what you can do for us, throw them a certain challenge or a problem statement. You know what to do when they accept the challenge and then go on to overcome that or solve the problem statement.
- Beyond barriers– Helps if a part of the organisation can go beyond barriers, think as if there is no box. Astounding that when utility professionals ( thats because of the available solutions) talk about customer engagement they often limit themselves to residential customers. For most utilities, consistent revenue stream would come from small, large and multi site businesses. If they can engage better with them or offer them suite of add on services, there is nothing like it. Startups are the perfect way to beta test that hypothesis, few top/difficult customers is all you need to get started.
- Embrace– There are some ideas that can only be tested by trying, thinking too much on trying to justify the reason to do it, may not be beneficial. There is so much happening in the utility space that you never know what might as well work out better, there is always an edge if you have that “Ace” card. There are things that every company would do, there are things that you might want to launch as a market leader.
Would love to know your thoughts on the same?