Doing business in the global economy has become far more challenging than ever. Start-ups can generate ideas to disrupt markets and compete for customers against enterprises, whilst the brick-and-mortar store down the road now finds itself competing against international retailers who can ship products to customers quicker and for less money than these companies are able to. Moreover, customers are more informed and thanks to mobile technology, the internet, and social networks are now empowered with the ability to make or break brands through viral service and customer experience feedback.
A big part of surviving and even thriving in this challenging operating environment is the ability of businesses to innovate: To come up with new ideas that will keep operations, products and services fresh and distinguishes your company from its rivals by offering a unique value proposition or benefits for both existing and prospective customers. But what is the state of innovation in South Africa? Do South Africans see themselves as innovative and what do they deem to be their barriers to utilising their creativity to the benefit of their companies?
These questions forms the basis for Philips South Africa’s Innovation Research study, in which Philips asked people across South Africa about their perceptions of innovation, the barriers to innovation, and areas where successful innovation can improve communities and lives.
According to this study, six out of every ten South Africans interviewed (base of 1000) claim that they are innovators, whilst 20% feel that they are not reliant on others to come up with creative solutions to challenges. Almost half (46%) feel that their idea will be the next big thing in their industry.