7 principles of Homeopathy that can be used in Business Management
Homeopathy is a school of medicine that provides an alternative to the allopathic school of medicine. It was created in 1796 by the German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. Its practitioners, called homeopaths, believe that a substance that causes symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people; this doctrine is called similia similibus curentur or in simple language the “law of similarity.”
Often doctors and marketers make mistakes while diagnosing (analyzing) a patient or a product. For instance, if a patient has caught a cold & cough, the doctor would say it is because of the change in weather, similarly, a marketer would say it’s because of the change in the external business environment that we aren’t able to sell more of our product. The science of Homeopathy believes it’s not because of the change in weather that caused a patient to catch a cold, if that would have been the case then every single person in the locality would have caught a cold. The patient never asks why he/she is suffering while his/her neighbor is fit and healthy. It is less to do with the external environment, but more with internal immunity. Likewise, in business, Toyota performs so well whereas GM performs badly in the same sector (environment).
In this article, I will share 7 principles of homeopathy that can be used in business management.
In homeopathy, the doctors look for what is uncommon in a patient and not what is common. Similarly, every business needs to have a differentiating factor. For example, the differentiating factor between Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp is the design of motorcycles. Hero MotoCorp motorcycles are considered having high mileage whereas Bajaj Pulsar motorcycles are considered being powerful with cool design.
In homeopathy, there is a concept called "posology" meaning how you give the dose to the patient. Similarly, in management, we need to constantly review and improve as you go along. For instance, the functioning and approach of Apple and Microsoft have a stark difference. In the last decade, Apple has been leading the curve whereas Microsoft has been following the curve. Similarly, in recent times, P&G is leading its iconic brand with social causes with its campaign #TouchOfCare.
What makes me who I am? In management, the business model should be unique to the company and not mere replication of others. Often, businesses replicate the business model of the west, ignoring the fact of the demographic features in the local market. For example, Airbnb has been a success story in the west, but in the middle-east, they are yet to make their mark. One reason Airbnb has been unsuccessful in the middle east market is because of the market-specific laws that don’t allow people to sublease the property. In this market, Airbnb needs to adopt a unique business model that’s different from the existing model used in the west.
A holistic view of the situation
Understanding the market is important. Companies need to take a step back to analyze what’s happening and where they are heading? With Bajaj Auto, Rajiv Bajaj asked its thousands of laborers to take up voluntary retirement and still get paid until the retirement age. This was necessary as the existing workforce (the ones that used to make scooters) wasn't capable of manufacturing word-class motorcycles.
In Homeopathy, we are all born with an internal force and a natural ability to heal. This is known as our vital force. In business, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), vitality is the capacity of a company to explore new options, renew its strategy, and grow sustainably. Preserving past advantages and position does not thrive in today's complex and dynamic business environment. In a fast-changing world, only the vital will survive. As per Rajiv, Bajaj Auto was weak in its R&D as they depended on their Japanese counterparts to bring innovation. He strengthened the R&D at Bajaj Auto with only four engineers, and that resulted in the Pulsar brand.
Homeopathy is based on the core principle that ‘like cures like’ i.e. a substance which can cause symptoms if taken in large doses, can be used in minute doses to treat similar symptoms. For instance, a snake bite is treated by its venom. While growing the business, the company should first enter a similar market, then a challenging market, and eventually, focus on the most challenging market. Bajaj Auto entered similar markets to India such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and then moved to more complex markets.
Homeopathy has a principle, all the locals should be present in that global. When Bajaj Auto introduced the Pulsar motorcycle, it had everything a consumer wanted such as fresh design, powerful engine, decent mileage, and affordable. According to Rajiv Bajaj, the biggest mistake start-ups make today is taking big jumps and not measured steps. Today, brand Pulsar is the output of small measured steps over the years.
A talk by Rajiv Bajaj inspired this post. You can check the full video here. Subscribe to my blog for more educational posts.