The Initiative on Choice, Competition and Innovation at the Centre for The Digital Future and the USC Marshall Initiative for Digital Competition are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion on
The role of technology platforms in facilitating entry of start-ups
On December 21, 11 AM – 12 Noon IST
The discussion will feature
Daniel Sokol, Professor of Law USC Gould
Shantanu Dutta, Dave and Jeanne Tapan Chair Professor in Marketing, USC Marshall
Viswanath Pingali, Associate Professor of Economics, IIM Ahmedabad
This discussion will explore how technology platforms are useful to small and medium enterprises in an emerging economy context. Established research in economics shows that fixed costs are a strong entry deterrence. One of the important elements of fixed costs is the ability to identify the right markets for the products, especially if they are niche.
Niche markets are generally thin and geographically spread out. As an example, for several producers from the emerging economies, where there is a significant diaspora in various countries across the world who demand those products, markets can extend beyond geographical boundaries. However, reaching such markets could be an expensive proposition. Ability to identify and target these markets would result in a significant reduction in entry costs.
Another element of fixed cost is establishing brand presence, especially when a small enterprise is competing with an existing behemoth(s) in the industry, whose brand is well established in consumers' minds. For the customer, the problem of lemons is a massive concern, and the brand image of the firm acts as a potential signal of quality. Social media platforms can potentially help firms establish this brand.
Finally, setting up logistics to enable interaction with potential customers (payment gateways, transportation logistics, etc.) is the other important element of fixed costs. For small and medium enterprises, this could be a substantial outlay. Platforms turn what would essentially have been a fixed cost for the business into a variable cost.
The session will include a Q&A where attendees can interact with the panelists.
Head of Research
Centre for The Digital Future &
India Development Foundation