Entrepreneurship – the tool to survival

The article is being shared by Arjun Pratap, IIM Kashipur 2nd Runner Up in Evolve 1.0

Introduction

Growth is one of the basic instincts of human race. We don’t like stagnancy and always try to do something that keeps us going. When the human race was in its evolutionary state, the primary reason of growth was survival. In the modern context, survival is the vehicle that drives this instinct of growth, particularly in the perspective of organizations. But now it has become more of a statement that portrays the zenith of human endeavor to achieve the best for the benefit of common good. Large organizations like General electric, Unilever, Apple etc. all have this attitude to allow their companies to make what they believe that is best in the interest of the company. Welcome to the era of organizational entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur or intrapreneur?

Both intrapreneur and entrepreneur refer to the same idea of developing a new idea, executing it and finding ways to make it flourish and reap the benefits out of it, be it monetary or otherwise. The only difference lies in the relation as to “where” they execute the idea. On one hand entrepreneur work from the bottom up on the ground to make their idea work and later on create an array of systems and processes around it which later on moves in the direction of organization formation and on the other hand intrapreneurs are given the required resources so as to come up which is contemporary and innovative enough to sell, all within an existing organization. In both the contexts, the bottom line is to find out the gap between the requirement of the customers and supply from the market side. The important thing to notice here is that the objective for both is to provide something to the customers that can fulfill the customer need and it requires skill, talent and a lot of risk appetite because it is possible that of all the idea that you are working on, merely 1% turn out to be successful.

Organizational growth engine

It has been seen that as organizations become huge, they became very rigid when it come to their day to day operations. If you look at Xerox which in its initial days was making copier machines fixated on its product and as soon as their patent expired, things went awry for them. Similarly, Kodak was the first company to give a camera to the world but they had to file bankruptcy in 2012 because they failed to see the impending challenge posed by the digital camera. It is very essential to constantly innovate because there are various players in the market and the big giants though they have their big pockets, the kind of disruptive change that is happening in market, it becomes utmost necessary to innovate and to find the status of current scenario and adapt to it accordingly. Companies like Google and Facebook are constanly working hard to find new products to make themselves sustainable in the long run because it a matter of their survival among everything else.

Quick reaction

Due to globalization, the markets are now connected and it is because of this an innovation at one end of the world will not find it difficult to reach other parts of the world. For example, in Nigeria, plastic bottles instead of bricks are being used to make houses. Now this innovative idea is a million dollar lottery for the organizations that understand that importance of quick reaction. If we see in a country like India, where 60% of the population lives on agriculture and almost half of the population lack proper housing and toilet facilities, this idea can solve a lot of problems. Here, the companies must react fast to commercialize this idea and also they should work in-house to make it more implementable and nuanced.

The ever-changing market scenario

If you look at the ecology of the industry, the changes that happen in the marketplace at this moment are very disruptive in nature. The incoming of cellphones almost killed the market of alarm clocks and watches. Similarly, telegram went off the radar of Indian postal department because technology changed. It is essential to understand here, that changes in the market place rapid and it is not uncommon that the product in which you have competency currently. If you take examples of companies like Xerox and IBM, they are not in the business in which they had started in their initial days. Xerox was a copier company and right now provides IT solution and similarly, IBM was a computer company and right now they are providing innovative technological solutions to bug corporates. The innovation budget of these corporations is as high as much 7 % of their sales revenue.  A mere 12% of the companies that were in Fortune 500 in 1955 remain today. For any industry is essential to understand that if they didn’t adopt to the changes that are happening in the environment, they will certainly perish.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurship has always been the cornerstone of any organization that wants to remain ahead in its field. All those organizations that have borne the brunt of time and have emerged successful have always relied upon entrepreneurship. In the recent times it has become a buzz word because people of the current generation believe in working for their passion and want to figure out for the gaps that are not filled by the big corporations. Also a sense of making something that is their own baby gives them the creative push to take the road less taken. Of course not many startups down this road won’t survive but those who did, will create history and later become the greatest contribution to mankind.

– By Arjun Pratap. IIM Kashipur

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