Global Supply Chain Group


Business Model Transformation: Lessons From Soccer And Hockey – Part 2

Business Model Transformation


Business Model Transformation: Lessons From Soccer And Hockey – Part 2

Business Model Transformation

In the previous blog in this series I wrote about the Brazilian soccer teams transformation from an individualistic style of play to a network style game.

In early 90s, more than two decades since the last World Cup championship title and Brazil faced an interesting juxtaposition – continue with what led to past success of PELE and his peers, or move on with the new rules of the game.

The new rules were clear – minimise the individual wizardry of foot play, dribbling and nimble dexterous touches,

All You Need To Know About Business Model Transformation

and replace these with the power-play of networks of players moving in formations to conquer the opponents by outwitting them, by outsmarting them, and by outnetworking them using a better method.

Having lived and worked in South America – Chile, Argentina and Brazil in early 90’s I witnessed this transformation and saw how Brazilians successfully lifted the cup in 1994.

Many other South American teams continue to struggle between the past and the future, despite the knowledge and example of Brazil’s successful methods. Uruguay, Chile and Colombia come to mind as good examples.

What keeps them from making a full transition to the future method? That is a topic for a future blog post.

In this blog I am thinking about another sport which I personally played growing up in Punjab, India.

Indian Hockey Crisis Business Model Transformation.

Global Supply Chain Group - aoping

Just as success stories provide impactful learning opportunity, stories of failure are sometimes provide even bigger learning opportunities. Seeing where others fall, the traps and landmines they encounter can also guide you to the right path. Take the story of India’s hockey for instance. I grew up in India which was mad with field hockey at that time. And for a good reason. Believe it or not, at one stage India was the top team in field hockey in the world. In fact, the boarding school I went to in Punjab was in a Maharaja’s palace, not very far away from a dusty village which had the unique claim of having sent 5 out of 11 national hockey players who won the a gold medal for India.

The peak of India’s hockey was from 1928 to 1956, during which six consecutive Olympic gold medals were brought home. Their exploits were legendary.

Even today you can talk to the Indian hockey affectionados – or simply google the name Dhyan Chand – to get a flavour of what I am talking about.

However, at some point in the early 50s, the nature of hockey started changing. The grass field was replaced with Astroturf; the wooden hockey sticks were replaced with the ones made of composite fibre or other man-made material.

As it happened to soccer, the way of playing hockey was also changing from individual wizardry with a stick to network of players playing in formations, passing a ball rapidly to each other in order to outwit their opponents.

For a multitude of reasons, Indian hockey players, coaches, administrators and other staff members never managed to get their act together. Many said it was a lack of commitment, pure ignorance or a rest-on-laurels attitude.

Skills That You Can Learn From Business Model Transformation.

I still remember training for hockey at a young age where the coaches emphasised individual skill, practice and dedication over formations, teamwork and game-plans.

In their mistaken belief that what worked in the past will also work in the future, they continued to tell us legends about individual players practicing barefoot for whole nights in the moonlight with misshapen wooden sticks.

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) did not encourage practicing or even building Astroturf facilities.

Moreover, instead of having the will to change, there seemed to be more of the will to blame. Fingers were pointed without any point made or scored.

Even though still considered as a national sport, field hockey has failed to capture its own golden age essence and the glory seems to have been transferred to cricket.

From being a default player in every final of hockey, India is nowhere to be seen on the world’s hockey map today. So what can be learnt from this sad tale of Indian hockey?

Are the lessons same as those from the happy story of Brazilian soccer? Which story make the lesson more graphic and useful?

Can businesses use any of this knowledge for the changing business landscape?

What is changing in the business landscape that makes transformation necessary?

Is there a better method for business transformations?

We will address these questions in the third and final blog in this series.

If you would like to read the full article in PDF format, please click Hockey-and-Soccer-5.

Share Generously :


Copyright - These concepts, frameworks and ideas are copyright of GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP from the time of their creation. Do NOT copy these without permission and proper attribution.


1. These ideas and concepts will be usually expressed by our thought leaders in multiple forums - conferences, speeches, books, reports, workshops, webinars, videos and training. You may have heard us say the same thing before.

2. The date shown above the article refers to the day when this article was updated. This blog post or article may have been written anytime prior to that date.

3. All anecdotes are based on true stories to highlight the key points of the article - some details are changed to protect identification of the parties involved.

4. You are encouraged to comment below - your real identity and email will not be revealed when your comment is displayed. Insightful comments will be featured, and will win a copy of one of our books. Please keep the comments relevant, decorous and respectful of everyone. All comments represent opinions of the commentators.

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management

Part of our new “Quick Notes” series – this report answers your most pertinent questions of the topic.

USD 20

. What are the five flows of SCM?

. Why are they important TO YOU?

. How can you map, track, and optimise these flows to serve YOU?

. What is the importance of difference between "Supply Chain" and "Value Chain"?

. What are the stellar case studies of each of the five flows?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Table of Contents


Today, Vivek and his partners are among 20-30 people on the planet earth who have this deep understanding of supply chain systems, practices and tools. CEOs, COOs, executives and Boards call them in most challenging situations once they know the full potential of supply chain based transformations. Following are key milestones in Vivek's journey:

  • Started in 1983 as a merchant navy cadet at 18 years age, worked his way to qualify as a Captain – qualified to take command of any merchant ship, worldwide.
  • Earned a top tier MBA from UNSW at the top of his class.
  • Joined highly regarded strategy consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, consulting to the CEOs, Boards and senior management of global corporations within Australia.
  • To learn and specialise in supply chain – against all odds, sought out the co-inventor of supply chain in Germany and convinced him to be a partner in his firm, GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP, launched in January 2000.
  • More than 500 successful blue chip projects with high impact business transformations in large corporations using the full power of SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.
  • 4 Seminal and path breaking business books IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT – these are available in bookstores and universities and libraries worldwide.

Limited Time


This offer expires in

Our Quick Notes On Five Flows Of Supply Chain Management




Our Clients say it better than we ever could:



Our Clients come from a variety of industries – yet they have a common element. They rarely rest on their laurels, and are always looking to do better.


In the last 20 years we have completed more than 500 projects. Click below to see a sample of our projects.



Our Books



If you are deeply passionate about the world of business and supply chain networks as I am, and enjoy digging answers to critical questions that will help build and steer your business with wisdom, then join me. This book is a journey of exploration through the world of business networks that run along the veins of today’s commercial world.



The trend of outsourcing continues to grow unabated with the whole gamut of services, from simple to mission-critical tasks. There is not a single company on earth that does not outsource anything. It is not just about cost arbitrage, it is also a finer expression of division of labour at the organisational level. Like all leverage, outsourcing is a double-edged sword too. On one hand, it allows you to do more, faster. On the other hand, if it goes bad, it can easily kill your business. If you do not believe that is possible – you can google the Fox Meyer saga from the 90s and see for yourself.



Businesses Are Chained By Unseen Chains. If You Are Looking For Ways To “Unchain Your Corporation” A Successful Business Transformation Is Required.

Successful Business Transformations Are Difficult, Yet Rewarding.

Business Transformation Is Fast Becoming A Question Of Survival In The Modern Globalised Era.

Modern Supply Chains Integrate Businesses And Economies Faster By Systematic Information Sharing From Internal And External Sources.

Companies Can Multiply Profits By Progressively Ramping Up Cohesion And Collaboration Of All Moving Parts In B2B Network To Achieve Tighter Integration.



It is generally accepted that environmental consciousness is now changing to environmental proactiveness as organizations are discovering that it makes good commercial sense.

Boards are asking the management to review their policies related to environmental norms, not only to bolster their corporate social responsibility aims, but also because consumers are asking for greener supply chains

It is also widely agreed that consumers will increasingly prefer to buy more and even pay more for products or services provided in an environmentally sound manner.



Scroll to Top