Entrepreneurs are engines of any economy. Things have changed a lot across the world over 100 years. For example, the changes in transportation sector from bullock carts, horse carts to aero planes, helicopters, and drones; changes in music industry from:
Gram Phone –> Tape Recorder –> CD –> Phone Music –> Renting Music
In music industry, the business model also transformed. For example, Business model transformed from “Renting to Possession to Renting again”. That is, we used to rent VCRs, later on we purchased CDs, and now we are renting music on online music stores. This conference insight presents the inputs from different entrepreneurs (some are serial entrepreneurs) presented at an Entrepreneurship Conference held in Bangalore, India in February 2020. Following are the insights on 21st century entrepreneurship comprising Green Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Modern Entrepreneurship, Formulae for Successful Entrepreneur, 5Ms of Entrepreneurship, Role of Technology in Entrepreneurship, and the Soft Factors Impacting the Entrepreneurship.
Green Entrepreneurship: According to one of the entrepreneur, Green symbolizes “Mother Earth”; it indicates the balances for nature; it means freshness, and nice life. Green entrepreneurship can be achieved with corporates becoming environment friendly. Resource scarcity and climate change are challenges for any organization.
On an average a human being breathes 5 to 8 liters of oxygen per day. For human kind, Tulasi plant helps a lot. That is, Tulasi plant is the only plant which gives 24 hours oxygen. Anywhere in the world, entrepreneurship should also consider health, environment, and societal aspects into picture. India develops electricity in different modes such as Hydro electricity and Solar; and Wind power is also gaining traction. Increasing funding in renewable energy sector is also contributing to green movement. Engineering environment includes chemistry, biology, and bio-fuel engineering. Biofuel can also be derived from Corn or Coconut. Investors and Entrepreneurs are choosing the industry which helps the environment in a positive way.
One of the entrepreneur in the conference expressed that, there is a fruit juice shop in Bangalore with has ZERO wastage in their day to day business operations. Smart green and sustainable development is not about money; it is about using natural resources such as water, wind, gas and then electricity. One important question entrepreneurs faces is, what are we going to do w.r.to. environment /society in early stages of our startup?
“Green Mantra” should be the way of life for sustainable development. Green Economy, Green Democracy, Green Policies, and Green Plantation are the trend going on in different countries across the world. Awareness creation is gaining traction across the world to achieve the right results. Contributions to the environment give societal value resulting into profits for the enterprise/entrepreneur. Focus on people and process can also give better results for an organization.
Case Studies: Industries are also contributing to the green movement. For example, European version of Ford Focus, a Ford vehicle model, components are recyclable. It used recyclable polymers. In 2019, HP, a computer manufacturer, reduced carbon footprint by 33%; and reduced power consumption. Zunroof, a largest solar rooftop provider startup in India, became fully paperless office.
Sustainable Entrepreneurship: A sustainable business will have minimal negative impact on its organizational performance in long run. Sustainable development can be achieved with collective responsibility. One serial entrepreneur spoke in conference has ventured 60 startups in his career; according to him out of 60 startups, 47 startups survived the business. Now the corporate regulations, related to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) for companies whose annual revenues are more than Rs 1,000 crore are to spend 2% of their profits to social cause is also helping the development in the country. For example, Wipro spent Rs 185 crore for CSR activities in FY2019.
One of the entrepreneurs while sharing his experiences said that, during his college days, he used to collect all college waste in campus, setup a group to collect garbage in college, and then made the paper bags and dustbins out of college waste. That is how he made “Wealth from Waste”. Later on the same entrepreneur, over a period of time, launched low cost solar streetlight, wind turbine, automation startup and entered into defense technologies. One important point is, scalability and sustainability are two dimensions of a business. For sustainable development, the needed method is:
Learn –> Unlearn –> Relearn
Modern Entrepreneurship: Now-a-days, “it is the age of collaboration; the competition era has gone”. The philosophy of modern entrepreneurship is:
Connect –> Collaborate –> Co-create
Formulae for Successful Entrepreneur: Effective communication leads to entrepreneurial success. One of the characteristic of Successful Entrepreneur is an entrepreneur has empathy and ability to take stand in positive direction. The formulae for Successful Entrepreneur include:
- Start Smart
- Establish Your Credibility
- Be Green and Sustainable from Beginning
- Communicate Your Solutions
- Make People Understand Your Business Problems
- Make Everyday Contributions/Value Additions
Collaboration, connectivity, and technology disruption give scalability to an enterprise. Social entrepreneurship is also picking up across Europe, Asia and Africa by solving societal problems and issues. Modern entrepreneurship is entrepreneur while marketing about his enterprise, he should not talk much about his business to client; he should focus much on his domain.
5Ms of Entrepreneurship: for any enterprise, 5Ms of entrepreneurship include: Men, Money, Material, Marketing and Manufacturing. 5Ms are the life cycle or production cycle of an enterprise. One should master these 5Ms to start a venture. One famous saying is, “you take care of your men; and men will take care of your business”.
Role of Technology in Entrepreneurship: Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cyber security, Bio-medical Engineering devices, and Humanitarian Medical Technologies should help keeping the community healthy. Tesla is working on electrical vehicles and battery technology. If organizations won’t adopt new technologies, sustainability is difficult for organizations. India is good at creating technology related applications (apps); and other areas of development include research and development.
Soft Factors Effecting Entrepreneurship: Let’s ask a question to an entrepreneur “What keeps you going despite challenges/failures?”. The entrepreneur’s answer is “it is not the money; It is the crazyness in brain”. An Entrepreneur should never look at competition. He should look at how far he reached. One of the best practices is the entrepreneur has to share the benefits with his team. Entrepreneurial success depends on:
Passion –> Hunger –> Discipline
Future Outlook: As on 2020, as a whole, the world is looking at ZERO Unemployment, ZERO Poverty and ZERO Carbon emissions for the welfare of humankind. Some of the emergent areas entering into management programs across the world in academia include Sustainable Development, Green Energy, Renewable Energy Market, and Economic Development Strategies. 21st century is the age of ideas, age of entrepreneurs, and age of artificial intelligence. We have to be innovative in reaching the community. It requires lot of involvement from both entrepreneur and the community. For organizational sustainability in 21st century, we need to connect with people from different walks of life.
Dr.Goparaju Purna Sudhakar