Taking the leap with additive manufacturing | Part 1: Uncertainties

Taking the leap with additive manufacturing | Part 1: Uncertainties

Samkitt Shah

A firm believer in creating a larger marketplace for Additive Manufacturing. Samkitt with his 10+ years stint in 3D Printing sales and strategy brings a sound understanding of the technology and its potential. His passion leads him to educate, advise and encourage new users, new applications and new entrepreneurs to drive the adoption of Additive Manufacturing.

Uncertainty; a situation most of us want to avoid, foresee and mitigate, and amongst many outcomes it has also been one of the most important reasons when people or organizations turn to introspection.

 

The world has been privy to this situation for the last 2 years. I completed a decade in Additive Manufacturing (AM) / Digital Manufacturing (DM) and decided to move on from my prior role without hopping on to the next one. The intent behind this was to take a step back to energize myself for the next leap, I wanted to utilize this time to introspect, have a third person view of everything around, connect to a wider set of colleagues/adversaries, unlearn, contribute and derive a vision for the next decade.

I have always been a believer of the importance of creating a larger marketplace. In case of AM/DM, primary objective being whatever it takes to educate, advise, spread and encourage new users, new use cases, new entrepreneurs to get excited about Digital Manufacturing (DM) / Additive Manufacturing (AM). Objective being, higher education, leads to higher awareness, leads to new developments and application, effectively converging to a larger market place. If the pie is bigger, then positioning yourself well and building a strong go-to-market strategy in order to seize the opportunity rather than “sell”. I have never really connected with how sales is depicted or perceived. If it were for me, I would designate every “sales” oriented workforce as “promoters” not to represent the ownership side but I strongly believe that sales is about promoting. A clearly defined role within an organisation can bring a very high sense of understanding of goals, purpose and responsibility for the person in question. This also empowers, the individual to think about a cause & effect decision making and create a win-win situation with prospective customers which can yield benefits for both the customer and the provider with long-term profitable and sustainable outcomes.

Last 50+ days have been absolutely engaging. Yes, there were feelings of uncertainty around what next, when will I start my next chapter, will I be employed, how will it be and some more intense thoughts. However, I can say life had a surprise planned for me; it presented me with an opportunity to connect to the lengths and breadths of industry not just in India but also globally. Being in a no man’s land (not representing any organization) and having built a great relationship, camaraderie and trust with global industry peers resulted in insightful and candid discussions around collective vision, unit economics, scale, profitability, problem areas and the next frontier. A rather more interesting take away has been the transparency with which this transpired and it has been a humbling experience.

This article is not about me, but its about why I chose to use this medium. It is when my discussions with Aditya Chandavarkar (Managing Editor, AM Chronicle), lead us to see, if we can do something to pump up the sentiment, highlight how synchronized many in the industry are, highlight some key notions/myths and give our most sincere attempt to try and raise the bar. It is our attempt to emphasize how it is important to go all-in on this new industrial revolution and seize this global multi-trillion dollar opportunity.

I realized, that there is a lot of common synchronized vision, objectives, issues and many more interesting themes but despite all of this there is a lacuna. Despite all optimism there was a single most concerning element which was common and a reason for the lacuna: “CONFIDENCE”. Despite all the ideas, experience, finance, qualifications and validation, it seems everyone is wanting to take the leap but everyone is waiting for someone to start. With this thought provoking article series on AM Chronicle, I want to take this opportunity to bring up some themes which I am supremely confident will lead to more conversations, planning, execution, assertiveness and much more. Why? Like I said before:

  1. First and the most important mission is for larger awareness and confidence which are the pillars for larger interest and adoption. Making the pie bigger.
  2. Hustle up! The rush has started

Everyone’s waiting for someone, but without fully realising that someone has already started the first steps and its time to introspect, set out an ambitious vision and lay down the path for 10x growth. Anyone in AM/DM already present for more than 1 year at least should consider any growth of less than 10x in the coming decade to be a below-par performance.

This article is part of the series – taking the leap with additive manufacturing. This article series is not sponsored, not paid for, not supported by, not intended for promoting any particular brand/company/individual but for bringing in a collective conviction for the AM/DM community to seize this once is a life-time industrial revolution.

Stay tuned to the next one !

 

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Samkitt Shah

A firm believer in creating a larger marketplace for Additive Manufacturing. Samkitt with his 10+ years stint in 3D Printing sales and strategy brings a sound understanding of the technology and its potential. His passion leads him to educate, advise and encourage new users, new applications and new entrepreneurs to drive the adoption of Additive Manufacturing.