(As published in Unique Times)
Is it easy to set up a new enterprise in India? Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Singapore, Dubai or even the United States may come among the first twenty in the list of easy business countries. A research of one hundred and twenty countries put India at one hundred and thirteen. Is it really so difficult to set up a new enterprise in India?
Entrepreneurship cannot be without innovation. Design of the product, attracting investments, strategically creating a market and all operational procedures need to begin with innovation. Let us consider the complex challenge of selling. How to communicate the specific measures by which the young entrepreneur can sell the product successfully? We know that people are driven to procure a product to satisfy their personal taste. It could be a toothpaste, a dress or even a car, but there is an impetus to purchase. A uniform dress whether in sports or profession is not personal taste but a team requirement. This is a functional purchase.
The third intend to purchase is because it is ubiquitous, which means it is a sudden trend, an immediate fashion or an urgent social compulsion. For example, a patriotic memento during the republic day, a religious symbol during festival or even an ethnic dress or a head-gear. Many times the buyer seeks to express himself using the product to convey a message, may be through a luxury car or a watch. So welcome to the world of complexities.
As a start-up entrepreneur, is it painful news or pleasurable results that dominate your experiences? There is no formula to navigate between these two features. To penetrate the market, it’s demography must be deconstructed. Centralised strategy born in the marketing board room may be very distant from the actual and local realities at the ground zero.
Let us meet Charlie who is a radio jockey in the local radio station. All five hundred thousand people in that town listen to Charlie everyday. People are sure to buy the chewing gum that you want to sell if recommended by Charlie. The chewing gum company will be wise if they make Charlie endorse their product instead of attempting to communicate to all the population of the town. Samantha is an adversary of Charlie. She encourages people to use organic products and to reject the regressive act of gum chewing. Her followers are adversaries of RJ Charlie. Samantha has polarised a good portion of citizens of the town into her activism. Such behavioural polarisation can become an impediment for the optimum penetration into the market.
It is important that the next program innovator should have ample education into the burden of regulations imposed by the formalised purchase behaviours. For example, there is a ban on tinted, dark and opaque films on windows of cars. However good the product is, the regulatory burden is a deterrent for the people to buy a product. Many entrepreneurs are pained by the volume of bureaucratic discretions that delay, if not paralyze the business initiatives.
Isn’t it surprising that even though India is one of the most difficult places to begin an enterprise, Indian youth seem to be having the capacity and capability to begin new business ventures? Just like the horse must be in-front of the cart, you must be encouraged to drive the initiatives and then the competencies will come. Take help from domain experts such as chartered accountants, business advocates, angel investors, venture capitalists, financial experts and company secretaries. Ensure that the arithmetics of production, inventory, labour hours and the market dynamics are tallying. Never underestimate the importance of detailed business report which must be ratified by expert businessmen.
Ensure that your enterprise coach and the business mentor are an integral part of your business enterprise. It is important that you eliminate the deterrents by keeping focus on the target. The talent of attention to detail must be practiced to perfection. An expert must design the structure of management, so that entitlements and rights are conferred upon the entrepreneur. Your power as the owner must be established at specific levels.
Continuously upgrading your technical skills and updating your people skills alone will give you a competitive edge. Circumvent the challenges and navigate through the complexities and successfully establish your entrepreneurship in India. This will be the great business craft you must master.