While I ended up doing many meetings through the time I stayed in Tokyo, not all meetings had the same level of usefulness. Over time, I have learnt not to worry about the success rate of meetings – new opportunities creation requires many meetings, and one should not aim for a 100% success ratio.
As I put forth my ideas to people I met, I also found me talking to myself. Each meeting helped refine some element of what I was proposing – either via a question that was asked, a comment that was made, or a criticism that was voiced. I like that approach of building up ideas because one can only do so much in a vacuum.
Given Japan’s leadership in broadband and mobile space, the context that I was exposed to was very different, and that helped in improving on my thinking. Too often, we end up with a very narrow perspective because we don’t tend to meet people with experiences and cultures very different from our own.
I am convinced that all of us involved in the process of ideation and innovation needs to take some time to travel. What I accomplished in these few days of meetings in Tokyo would probably have been impossible to do sitting in an office in Mumbai. Of course, ideation is only one part of the process – execution is what also finally matters.