The entrepreneurial process - perception of opportunities

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The entrepreneurial process begins with the perception of opportunities, or situations in which resources can be combined at a potential profit" (Mark Cason, 2005). Opportunity recognition is the prelude to any entrepreneurial activity and I am a strong believer that opportunities exist in the market place. I do not support the notion that opportunities can be created instead an environment can be created where these identified opportunity can be nurtured. My business idea is to start an online Indian movie rental service aka MOIVES2HOME. As I was Working and living on the North Shore I had to come all the way to Mt Roskill to find the closest Indian Movie Rental shop. Working through the week meant that the only time I found to get these movies was over the weekends and I had to get old movies only as due to my work, it was not feasible for me to get the new movies, which had an overnight return, as I could not return them on the next day. This is how I came up with the idea of MOIVES2HOME, an online Indian Movie rental service where registered members can rent movies through the website and the movie will be delivered to them by ourier and they will return the movies through the courier service. The opportunity was already there in the market place, the inconvenience caused by the travel time to Mt Roskill just to rent a movie lead to the recognition of this opportunity.

Looking at the feasibility aspect of the project, at present only Sky offers this service but only offers a limited collection of Indian Movies. Indian Movie industry has 28 small movies industries in different Indian languages collectively known as Bollywood. The plan is to keep a collection of movies in different Indian languages to cater to the Indian population in Auckland, initially the service will only be offered on the North Shore as the popularity and efficiency of business process increase other areas of Auckland will be covered.

Putting on De Bono's Black Hat one major flaw was identified; this was the medium to place an order. Internet was chosen because New Zealand has one of the greatest internet penetration in the world moreover it gives the users the time to browse the online movie catalogue at their own convenience but what about the people who don't use internet, for them a toll free number will be in place where they can place their orders, but this service will only be offered during the standard business hours unlike the Website which will be a 24 hours service.

As I have limited resources to put into this project I will use the Effectuation process for my business idea. I will need two strategic partners, one to offer the IT knowhow and support to manage the Website and other will be the supplier of genuine movie prints. According to Sarasvathy, entrepreneurs begin with three set of resources and out of these three resources one is "Who they know"-their friends, allies, and networks. In my case my Brother is a software developer and he will be my strategic partner who will provide the IT support for my business idea. Genuine movie prints will be offered by one of my friends who own an Indian movie store, his store will also be the initial base from where the logistics of the project will be handled, and he will be my second strategic partner. A Limited liability company will be created with three directors which will be me and my two strategic partners. Each will have an equal share in the company. The accounting work for the company will be outsourced and two full time employees will be hired to take care of the logistics and the management of backend application for web site. For the delivery of the orders a courier company will be hired. The Website will take orders 24/7 but the toll free number will only take orders during the standard business hours. The delivery of the orders and their return pickup will also happen during the standard business hours.

Once the customer base builds up the plan is to use this customer base to build a social networking site for Indians in the Auckland region. The idea is to provide a forum for Indians living in Auckland. The forum will be an interactive site allowing members to sell and buy things through and from the website. When the website starts getting a reasonable number of hits various business can be approached for advertising purposes. In the future the web Site will also feature a section called Virtual office which will provide web space to those businesses who cannot afford to have their own website.

Initially the service will only be offered on the North Shore but as it the awareness of the service increases the service will be offered in other areas of Auckland. If the service is a success in Auckland it will be taken to other parts of New Zealand.

As of now these are the areas in the future where I would like the business to grow, but as the future unfolds who knows that through the process of Serendipity I may discover new ideas that could be incorporated to the current business model.

To conclude "Entrepreneurship is an individual's response to an opportunity (p. 4)". The success of an entrepreneur depends upon the response an individual takes when an opportunity is identified and the response compromises of discovery, assessment and exploitation.

Overall Aim - To provide a 24/7 online movie rental service to Indian communities in Auckland.

Objectives of the Initiative 1) To employee only two full time employees. 2) Two strategic partners will be required for the business opportunity. 3) Initial invested not to exceed $15000. 4) Marketing budget capped at $5000. 5) To break even in the first six months of operation. 6) In long-term use the business model to incorporate other business ideas.

Performance Measure

Objective 1) to employee only two full time employees.

To keep the initial costs down for the initiative the objective is to employee the minimum number of people needed for the job. This objective will be meet by creating a backend application for the initiative which will manage the website, orders and the toll free number will be integrated with the website requiring only one person to manage the whole backend application. The other person will handle the logistics of the initiative.

Objective 2) two strategic partners will be required for the business opportunity.

I will be taking care of this objective. Only two strategic partners are required for the initiative one to provide the technical knowhow and support and the other to provide genuine copies of movies at reasonable cost.

Objective 3) Initial invested not to exceed $15000.

I will take care of this objective, I will invest $5000 and the remaining $10000 will be invested equally by the strategic partners that I select. I will budget the expenditure and will have checks to monitor the expenses so that the initial outlay stays below $15000.

Objective 4) Marketing budget capped at $5000.

Marketing of this service is going to be a major challenge and will be one of the most important tasks requiring strategic selection of the marketing mediums. I will be taking care of this myself and will aim to keep the expenditure to $5000.

Objective 5) To break even in the first six months of operation.

I will be looking into this objective. I don't expect business to cover its operating cost for the first six months as people will be trained and will require some time before they become productive for the business. I will be continuously monitor their performance and will keep a check on the business process and will streamline the process if required to meet the objective of breaking even in the first six months.

Objective 6) In long-term use the business model to incorporate other business ideas.

All partners will contribute towards the fulfilment of this objective. Through the process of Serendipity who knows that any one of us can come up with an idea which can be successfully integrated to the business initiative.

Needs Assessment - The Opportunity

  • * What is it?
  • To start an online Indian movie rental service in Auckland targeting Indian communities. The orders will be delivered and returned by courier.

  • * Why does it exist?
  • At present on Sky offers this service which is known as "", but only offer a very limited collection of Indian movies. Our business initiative will offer a full collection of Indian movies in major Indian languages. Moreover Sky presence in the market means that people are acquainted with the idea of online movie rental service.

  • * Who is affected?
  • The stakeholders are:-

    1) Indian Movie rental stores 2) Indian movie watchers. 3) Government and tax department. 4) Sky's online rental Service.

  • * What is the extent of the opportunity?
  • At present only online movie rental service will be offered but as it gains popularity the website can be used for advertising, forum for social interaction and for trading.

    Other ideas generated through the process of Serendipity can also be incorporated to the business initiative.

    Benefits of taking the opportunity

    Being an Indian I know that one of the biggest source of entertainment for Indians in Auckland is Bollywood. Sky through its cinemas and online movie rental service only offer a limited number of movies to Indian community. If one has to get a full collection of releases they have to go to a Movie rental store and in areas like north shore there are no such stores catering to the needs of the customers.

    Indian Movie industry has twenty eight small movies industries which collectively are known as Bollywood. And with huge number of Indian immigrants from different parts of India there is a huge scope for this business opportunity. Moreover this service offer a 24/7 access to the online movie rental catalogue and people can place orders online accor