Build-Scale-Transform (BST) — how to?

Yashraj Erande
2 min readJan 1, 2022

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Build Scale Transform
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

I find senior business leaders, founders, promoters in one or at times more of these three business stages.

Build. Prove an idea works commercially. 0 to 1.

Scale. Take the idea from 1 to 100x.

Transform. Re-purpose for a different strategy.

To succeed at B S or T, avoid three common behavioural mistakes.

  1. Time warp mistake: Dont get engrossed in the problems of the past when its time to pick new problems to solve — value has already shifted
  2. (Un)Real world mistake: Dont see the world you want it to be instead of the way it is and hence pick an approach that wont work in the real world
  3. (Mis)alignment mistake: Dont underestimate the continuous effort required in ensuring Risks and Rewards of all important stakeholders (employees, investors, business partners/counter parties, customers) are lined-up as much as possible

If not handled well, businesses can face three problems (nb: not mutually exclusive and intensity can be different):

  • Investor reject | “Why is my company not valued as much as another one?”
  • Customer reject | “Why is my company struggling in the market?”
  • Employee reject | “Why is my company unable to attract and retain great talent?”

World is complex and i want to avoid being procrustean. However, i have found that enforcing a mental discipline to *regularly* apply following lenses helps:

  1. Am I solving a problem that a lot of people value currently (customer/investor/employees)?
  2. Am I offering a solution, that I would like my family and me to use (if reqd.)?
  3. Which component of the business stack am I disrupting and where am I getting disrupted/exposed?
  4. Do I have only one bet or can I place multiple bets towards the goal?
  5. What resources are required?
  6. Am i efficient in using my resources?
  7. Does my team share a common world-view of the problem+solution(s) while bringing different and valuable perspectives on them?
  8. Are the risks and rewards aligned for my team appropriately? Do they understand the risks and rewards?
  9. Are the risks and rewards aligned for the capital providers and business partners? Do they understand…?
  10. Am I competing in the market with good actors or bad actors? What is my reputation?

PS: Views are personal

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Yashraj Erande

MD and Partner BCG | Former Founder Growth Source / Protium (NBFC FinTech) | Economic Times 40 Under 40