Business / Opinion

Time to do something different in China

By Saurabh Sharma (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-16 07:07

There are also opportunities in marketing niche luxury brands. While the market for big name luxury products and services still exists and is growing, there are many buyers who have just made their first luxury purchase. This includes bags, premium whiskey, exclusive tea, resort hotels and more.

People are now looking for something more exclusive. Something that very few know of. This calls for creating or introducing lesser-known luxury brands in China and market them through small and exclusive channels - almost to the point at which people have to make an effort to find the products. "Members only" and "tell your own story before you qualify to book a item" are some of the ways to ensure that people add value to the brand and its fraternity and not just buy it as a label to carry and display.

Another opportunity is technology for life. No, I am not talking about household durables and appliances. I am not talking about things at all. I am talking about applications and software that can help people do things more efficiently, more conveniently. It may be monitoring the air quality in the living room or watching your child play with grandparents or the nanny through an appliance on your mobile phone, 24x7. There are opportunities in "useful for work and life" applications and wearable technology.

For instance, an app or device that can measure and visualize how stressed you are at a given point in time and correlate it with your eating habits, exercise regime and sleep cycle and thus map your lifespan on a daily basis could be a big hit among busy urban dwellers.

Imagine a mobile dashboard of electricity consumption of your various domestic appliances. Also, watch it correlated to your monthly and annual household utility expenses. And on top of it, watch all of this mapped to the number of trees that you cause to be cut in a day and your per capita fossil fuel consumption - suddenly you see that you have important data than can really change your behavior toward saving and conservation. And if all of this could be linked with your level of happiness, you could actually see the relationship between consumption and happiness.

Such quantification, correlation and visualization of everyday activities that we do in the physical and virtual world are fertile territory for technology. Individual-level application of software that makes life in the real world convenient is a powerful new frontier. Developing ideas that are software (and not hardware) dependent can also ensure that we keep the overheads down. Such an opportunity is free of inventory hassles, too. Didi Dache (famous location-based app to find taxis) is an example of utility in everyday life.

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