Sterlite Power: Technology as a Point of Differentiation
This case aims to give participants an understanding of how Sterlite Power (Sterlite) successfully differentiated itself using technology in an otherwise traditional sector in an emerging economy. Sterlite deployed technological innovations to reduce inefficiencies in power transmission projects. The major challenges for the Indian power sector are the use of obsolete technology and high cost coupled with a low profit margin model. These make power evacuation difficult and inefficient, resulting in frequent power shortages in a country that actually generates surplus power. Although many private players had entered the power sector, there were no significant changes in the way projects were carried out. Realizing that products alone wouldn't improve its business prospects, Sterlite used technology as a disrupter and a differentiator to provide solutions in the power sector. The case shows how an Indian firm revolutionized project execution to get an edge in the Indian market. Having succeeded in India, the company turned its sights on the Brazilian market. The case invites participants to explore the following questions: What could be the possible challenges that lay ahead for Sterlite and how could it leverage its learning from India in Brazil? How challenging is it for companies to use technology as a point of differentiation and to monetize it in the long run, and in different markets?