We are a very young nation – just over 55 years since independence – setting out on a path of sustained economic growth, for decades to come.
We already have over a billion fellow Indians. Within the next 20 years, we will have 400 million people below the age of 35 years – more than the entire population of the United States! Each person, in this bold new generation, will be in the prime of his or her life, striving for a better tomorrow – creating, in the process, new growth opportunities, for budding entrepreneurs!
On the most conservative basis, our domestic consumption, in virtually any sector, has the potential to at least double, or treble, from current levels – perhaps, just to catch up with a country like China!
Then, there is the entire global opportunity, across diverse sectors internationally, the "Made in India" tag is now an increasingly respected brand, valued for quality, reliability, and competitiveness.
Truly, with economic reforms in the country, and with the virtual removal of all trade barriers, the world is now our market – and our opportunity!
The pursuit of these opportunities requires an indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship!
Entrepreneurship is ubiquitous and is reflected in all the major dimensions of civilization viz. social, political and economic. It involves creativity that is consistent with the healthy edge required to change the basis of competition.
Entrepreneurship is a creative human act involving the mobilization of resources from one level of productive use to a higher level of use. "It is the process by which the individual pursue opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled."
Entrepreneurship involves a willingness to take responsibility and ability to put mind to a task and see it through from inception to completion. Another ingredient of entrepreneurship is sensing opportunities, while others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion. Essence of Entrepreneurship is going against time with maturity and serving as a change agent.
In a country like India, social (value system) and cultural issues hold their importance besides issues related to infrastructure. Any innovation to succeed in our society needs to be accepted by our value systems and cultural issues. It will not be wrong to say that Dot.com (or any innovation) will not succeed until and unless a high level of awareness is achieved and the idea is taken to the common people. An acceptance by the mass in itself is a kind of social innovation. Further, in our country, where the population is more concerned about making both ends meet, entrepreneurial activity will achieve sustainability only when support is provided both at the societal and governmental levels.
Scope of entrepreneurship development in India
In India there is a dearth of quality people in industry, which demands high level of entrepreneurship development programme through out the country for the growth of Indian economy.
The scope of entrepreneurship development in country like India is tremendous. Especially since there is widespread concern that the acceleration in GDP growth in the post reforms period has not been accompanied by a commensurate expansion in employment. Results of the 57th round of the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) show that unemployment figures in 2001-02 were as high as 8.9 million. Incidentally, one million more Indian joined the rank of the unemployed between 2000-01 & 2001-02. The rising unemployment rate (9.2% 2004 est.) in India has resulted in growing frustration among the youth. In addition there is always problem of underemployment. As a result, increasing the entrepreneurial activities in the country is the only solace. Incidentally, both the reports prepared by Planning Commission to generate employment opportunities for 10 crore people over the next ten years have strongly recommended self-employment as a way-out for teaming unemployed youth.
We have all the requisite technical and knowledge base to take up the entrepreneurial challenge. The success of Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley is evident as proof. The only thing that is lacking is confidence and mental preparation. We are more of a reactive kind of a people. We need to get out of this and become more proactive. What is more important than the skill and knowledge base is the courage to take the plunge. Our problem is we do not stretch ourselves. However, it is appreciative that the current generations of youth do not have hang-ups about the previous legacy and are willing to experiment. Theses are the people who will bring about entrepreneurship in India.
We can take the example of Vikas Kedia - one of India's most eligible entrepreneurs; he was barely 21 when he had turned his back on a possible $ 100,000-a-year job. Vikas Kedia, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, is much in demand. He has also created history of sorts in the IIM circuit by starting his own dot-com company in Bangalore, now he has his own company which is a California and Kolkata based GRMtech.
At present, there are various organizations at the country level & state level offering support to entrepreneurs in various ways. The Govt. of India & various State Govts. have been implementing various schemes & programmes aimed at nurturing entrepreneurship over last four decades. For example, MCED in Maharashtra provides systematic training, dissemination of the information & data regarding all aspects of entrepreneurship & conducting research in entrepreneurship. Then there are various Govt. sponsored scheme for the budding entrepreneurs.
Recognizing the importance of the entrepreneur development in economic growth & employment generation, Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC) has identified entrepreneurial development as the one of the focus area for Council activities two years ago.
Various Chambers of Commerce & apex institutions have started organizing seminars & workshops to promote entrepreneurship. Incidentally, various management colleges have incorporated entrepreneurship as part of their curriculum. This is indeed a good development. This shows the commitment of the Govt. & the various organizations towards developing entrepreneurial qualities in the individuals.
In India, where over 300 million people are living below the poverty line, it is simply impossible for any government to provide means of livelihood to everyone. Such situations surely demand for a continuous effort from the society, where the people are encouraged to come up with their entrepreneurial initiative.
Encouragement at attitudinal and social level
In the future, innovation and entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged at Social levels, Governmental levels and Managerial levels. There must be a social attitude that views innovations with positive attitude and reject an innovation only when it is not acceptable.
Encouragement at physical level
At this level the encouragement will refer to two aspects necessary for entrepreneurship to thrive, one is the provision of venture capital and the other being infrastructural support. A real example is Export Processing Zones which are performing extremely well when given the support.
What will be the qualities needed to succeed in this new world?
First and foremost, we need the entrepreneurial spirit. Outside India, this spirit has been very evident in the IT industry. 35% of the start-ups in Silicon Valley are by Indians. We need to have similar risk-taking ability within the country as well. Entrepreneurs need more than technical talent, more than business savvy. What they need is the indefatigable energy and incurable optimism that enables them to take the road less traveled and convert their dreams into reality. It is a force that beckons an individual to pursue countless opportunities. Entrepreneurs must learn how to overcome the risk of failure, or of vulnerability. The institutions can give them valuable insights and also support them in this.
1) Dhirubhai Ambani
A proud son of this glorious state of Gujarat, and a man with long ties with this wonderful city of Ahmedabad, was the greatest example of this spirit of entrepreneurship!
In a short span of less than 25 years, and without even the benefit of a formal education, Dhirubhai Ambani built Reliance, a first generation enterprise, into one of the world’s 200 most profitable companies!
He started out in life, working as a mere petrol pump attendant in Aden, Yemen. He had no technical knowledge, of any of the businesses he wished to create in India.
He had just five hundred rupees in his pocket, a vision of what he wanted to achieve, an intrinsic faith in the latent demand potential of the Indian markets, a belief in the capabilities of Indian people, and a burning desire to succeed!
The end result? He created Reliance, a Rs. 75,000 crore enterprise, in a single lifetime!
2) Azim H. Premji
In a world where integrity purportedly counts for naught, Azim Hasham Premji symbolizes just that. The 55-year-old Wipro chairman made international waves in 2000 ever since his group became a Rs 3,500-crore empire with a market capitalization exceeding Rs 500,000 million! If any stargazer had been foolish enough to predict in 1966 that a 21-year-old Indian at Stanford University would one day achieve all this, he'd have been laughed out of business. At that juncture, Premji was forced to discontinue his engineering studies in the States due to the untimely death of his father. Returning to India to take charge of a cooking oil company, the youth infused new life into the family's traditional mindset and trade.
Despite all the success, the media-shy Premji maintained a low profile, letting his work do all the talking. Until early last year the media broke the story that Azim Premji had become the second-richest man in the world… In spite of his billions, however, he still travels economy class and stays in budget hotels.
3) N.R.Narayana Murthy
An Indian IT chief who's really made it big without dropping his ethical precepts by the wayside is Nagawara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, Chairman of Infosys. Born in 1946, Murthy's father was a schoolteacher in Kolar district, Karnataka, India. A bright student, Murthy went on to acquire a degree in Electrical Engineering from Mysore University and later studied Computer Science at the IIT, Kanpur, India.
The Infosys legend began in 1981 when Narayana Murthy dreamt of forming his own company, along with six friends. There was a minor hitch, though-he didn't have any seed money. Luckily, like many Indian women who save secretly without their husband's knowledge, his wife Sudha-then an engineer with Tatas-had saved Rs 10,000. This was Murthy's first big break.
The decade until 1991 was a tough period when the couple lived in a one-room house. The second break came in 1991 when Indian doors to liberalization were flung open… Murthy grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has never looked back ever since. Today, Infosys is the first Indian company to be listed on the US NASDAQ.
While working in France in the 1970s, Murthy was strongly influenced by socialism. The bubble was pricked, however, when he was arrested in Bulgaria on espionage charges. Today, he says: "I'm a capitalist in mind, a socialist at heart." It was this belief in the distribution of wealth that made Infosys one of the first Indian companies to offer employees stock-option plans. Infosys now has 400 employees who are dollar millionaires.
Heading a company with the largest market capitalization hasn't changed Murthy's life-style much. The man still doesn't know how to drive a car! On Saturdays-his driver's weekly off-the Infosys chief is driven to the bus stop by his wife, from where he boards a company bus to work! Incidentally, Sudha Murthy is now chief of the Infosys Foundation, which channels Rs 50 million into charity every year.
Simplicity, humility and maintaining a low profile are the hallmarks of this super-rich Bangalorean. And the man is principled to a fault. Murthy's unprecedented wealth has catapulted him into the public glare. After the kidnapping of Dr Rajkumar by forest brigand Veerappan, the Home Ministry has sounded out the local government about providing Z-category security to Murthy and Premji. Both characteristically turned down the offer.
In a letter to the police top brass last month, Murthy said he was a simple man who had no intentions of annoying his neighbors and disturbing traffic with an intrusive entourage of security vehicles and personnel.
Entrepreneurship as in the past will determine technical innovations, status of social institutions and political management systems. On the basis of these factors, we can expect the future to be a place where basic needs will remain and only the wants will change. India will overcome the barriers of infrastructure; we will also visualize a strong manufacturing and agricultural sector.
Entrepreneurs and not managers will be in demand, as only they will be equipped to find order in chaos. The focus of entrepreneurial energy will shift from achieving volume sales to fulfill a specific requirement. Governance will become more transparent and will be willing to accept changes necessary for growth and development. More autonomy will become the basis of all issues.
The future will see Entrepreneurship as the key driver of economic development Technological obsolescence will become order of the day and there will be more space for leisure. New businesses will be credited with providing variety of new jobs in the economy. New and small business will also develop more than their share of product and service innovation. At one end we will see the technological upheavals in quick succession and on the other end there will be social value systems and cultural issues undergoing slow but dynamic transformations.
There are ample opportunities in small businesses in India and such opportunities will transform India in the coming future. For such transformation to happen there needs to be support both at the governmental and societal level. For the government it is important to realize that the goal of small business owners will be to remain self-employed. Such people may not need financial assistance but they will need marketing and legal assistance in order to sustain themselves. Practical and cost effective programs need to be developed to address their needs because self-employed people will represent an important segment in economic revitalization. Entrepreneurship development is the key factor to fight against unemployment, poverty and to prepare ourselves for globalization in oder to achieve overall Indian economic progress.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Scope of Entrepreneurship development in India
Posted by Rajesh at Monday, February 27, 2006