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Many of us nurture dreams of venturing into business on our own and become highly successful. The foundations for these dreams would be laid ever since the childhood. For some, it may happen at a later moment. But the complexity of the situation lies in transforming the dream into reality. Most of the persons who would have dreamt of achieving an independent venture would not have the perseverance to make things happen. Their dreams fizzle out either by their inability to endure hard times or by circumstances. Only few reach the end of the race and only very few would be highly successful in the journey afterwards. It is one of the toughest decisions in life - to choose Entrepreneurship.
A person who usually ventures in to such a concept is called an entrepreneur. He normally possesses ideas quite different from usual and envisions concepts that are innovative and practical. He needs to be bold enough to account for hardships that he face and not be bogged down by obstacles. Instead, he must come out with strategies that offer the best solution to the problems. He would come across many tricky situations and needs to adapt to the circumstances and not just take evasive actions but also formulate measures to tackle them. In short, he should be alert and keep himself going to reach his destination.
Qualities of an entrepreneur
An entrepreneur must be well aware of the changes that are taking place in the society and upgrade his knowledge about the existing technological advancements. He must identify the patterns and trends in the market and drive his resources effectively to achieve the desired position. A person wishing to pursue entrepreneurship must essentially be a leader, effective manager and a good team leader.. He must be inspiring in his attitude and work style to his employees. This is because he should be the person whom the company members should look up to and should be able to draw a leaf out of his book in handling delicate situations. To a common man, the perceived notion about an entrepreneur is that of a person who is willing to take the risk and make maximum use of the available opportunities in that sector. (Richard Cantillon in his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général)
The most important qualities of a business magnate can be listed as follows.
Ø An entrepreneur must be willing to pt in his efforts towards achieving his target. For that, he must be untiring in his efforts. He must dream big and also show his commitment through his hard work. Conceptualization alone is not enough to reach the pinnacle but it must be backed by solid efforts that are just as effective as the planned strategies. Hence, well-directed execution of efforts is a must in order to take the company forward. Hence, he must be a relentless committed to achieving his goals and ambitions.
Independent in thoughts
Ø An entrepreneur need not have innovative ideas but must have independent thoughts. He should not be constrained by the situation; rather he must break the shackles and come out of delicate situations. His actions should not influenced by any third person. He must have his own way of thinking and should be in such a way they are logical and also hard to understand for a common man. His thoughts should be unique and should not be affected by the external factors.
High level of motivation
Ø An entrepreneur's motivation level should be very high. Only then, his subordinates can look up to him in times of crisis. He must be a role model in this sense and not be worn out by complicated situations. He must keep himself motivated so that he can perform to his maximum efficiency. He must be a motivation factor for his employees and needs to get the best out of them. There are ups and downs in any business venture and hence, it is a valuable trait to have high motivation level.
Shrewdness in skill
Ø This is sometimes termed as the trade skill. A person setting up a business on his own should be in tune with the current trends in the industry. He must look for ways to improve his business and make optimum use of the opportunities that come his way. Decisions should be taken after considerable thought and discussion with his confidants and not in haste. At the same, the decision taken should be in the best interests of his business and employees working under him. And any strategy adopted to improve the business should be beneficial in the long run and not just short-term policies.
Ø An entrepreneur should exhibit the good qualities of a leader. He should lead the way in making decisions and bringing the best out of his subordinates. He assumes responsibility whether the policies taken in the best interests of the company succeeds or backfires. He should be an example for the others in his attitude, way of execution of tasks and helping out his subordinates. When there is a crisis in the company, he must be the one who should resolve the problems and manage people very efficiently.
Ø As in any business, success and failure are two sides of the same con. They are past and parcel of any venture that one undertakes. Normally, people get disheartened when things don't go as they expect. In such cases, there is every chance that they would feel dejected and this would be shown in the ay their work. In turn, it may affect the work and the morale of the co-workers as well. This would not augur well for the organization. Hence, perseverance would be the need of the hour. Whether a task succeeds or goes the other way round, it is imperative to keep one moving forward and concentrate on the tasks ahead. Hence, the entrepreneur is the person who should persevere in times of distress and be optimistic of the results that he wants to achieve.
Now lets us consider the case of a very highly successful entrepreneur of India - Dhirubai Ambani, who has been the founder of Reliance Industries and has emerged as one of the top leading businessmen of the World. He was born in the early 1930's and began his career as a small-time worker at a local company. He worked in a company that was in to the production of spices in the early 1950's.
Ambani - A Visionary
As mentioned above, people who dream big envision their ambitions and begin their work towards the achievement of the goal. Sensing a good opportunity in the Spices market, Ambani started a company of his own in 1958. Soon the company started developing and began to rake in the profits. He employed skilled labor for this venture and soon started to reap the benefits. With the profits made out of the business, there was only more expansion underway and there was no looking back ever since he commenced a venture on his own. This was the first successful move and a bold one made by Ambani and had he continued in his previous employment, he would have stagnated in his career.
This is a testament to the qualities required of a successful entrepreneur.
Next on cards, was another surprising move by Ambani. During the late 1970's the textile industry in India was undergoing a revolution. Ambani being a creative thinker sensed a fantastic opportunity to expand his horizon to a new arena. In 1977, he set up a manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, India under the name of Vimal Industries. The product was a huge hit among the masses. The quality of the product spoke of itself. Thus, Vimal became a household name and there were separate outlets selling Vimal brand of products exclusively. The manufacturing unit has the rare distinction of inspected by the World Bank who certified the factory to be maintained in International standards.
Dhirubai Ambani is also attributed to attract the public towards the share market for investment and trading. Till then, the people who were normally conservative in this regard began to see a potential hidden in stock markets. This was the beginning of the equity cult that revolutionized India thereafter. Many people came forward to invest their sum of money in the market for Reliance industries. With more people participating in the trade, the amount of money in rotation also shot up. Hence, profits soared for the company who distributed to all the investors in the company. This in turn, convinced even the non-participants and encouraged more people to come forward with investment. This cycle went off and the result was a boom in the economy. His company today has been instrumental in providing almost 5% of the total revenue for the Central Government of India. And the country's growth rate which was estimated to be just around 4% is now moving ahead with a steady 8%, largely due to the Reliance Industries.
Diversification - the Secret of Success
If one analyses the business strategies of Dhirubai Ambani, the kernel to his success in business venture was the diversification policy he adopted in his strategies. He did not stop with the spices factory he started in the 1950's. Instead he chose to invest and explore new avenues which resulted in creating history in terms of Indian economy. The investment was predominantly on petrochemicals with additional ventures in energy, telecommunications, retail, textiles, share markets and Information technology. Such diverse investments will most often result in profitable ventures as a failure or loss in one business can be compensated in other sectors. But the real fact is whatever business he ventured on turned out to be more profitable than expected. The genius lies in Ambani's handling of the crises and giving due importance to each venture he undertook. He did not trust one sector alone and made golden use of the opportunities that arose. As he opened more avenues for development, more skilled labor cam to be employed which boosted the chances of employment. He instilled the people to participate in a trade that very few had dared to do before. In doing so, he not only proved his critics wrong but also showed a way of employment for people. The economy boosted from it s low rate to a considerable and this is a testimonial to the progress of the nation. His ventures not only brought him profits but also employment to the people. What was thought to be just business development triggered the entire nation on to the path of progress.
The Orbit theory
This was one of the unique strategies of Ambani as one of his subordinates states that Dhirubai Ambani emphasizes on changing the orbit when opportunities arise. This means that the competitors of previous orbits will never able to compete with the company as the bar is raised to the next level. If one is satisfied with the results he gets at the end, he will only continue his current work and not think anything new and it may cause stagnation. However, if we aim to move from one point to higher level, there is always a chance to succeed. This creates new opportunities for not only oneself but also the persons dependent on the work.
Reliance Group of Companies has created a legacy on its own by being the only Indian company to enter the Forbes top 500 list of companies. After the passing away of Dhirubai Ambani in 2002, the company has been taken care of by his two sons - mukesh and Anil, although each has been independent in their administration of individual companies. However, Reliance continues to be the one of the best Corporate Companies of India in International standards employing thousands of workers. It has made its presence in almost every sector through its diversification policies and has endured tough times in terms of political crises to reach the pinnacle, largely due to the efforts of Dhirubai Ambani whose inspiring legacy will continue to be in existence for generations to come.
Next in our case study is the life of one of the most popular and successful Entrepreneurs to have emerged in the twentieth century - Bill Gates. One of the most successful business magnates, creative thinker and philanthropists of modern era, Bill gates has been a source of inspiration for not only young men and women but also the people of all age groups. All the qualities of a successful entrepreneur are synonymous with the name, Bill Gates. His ventures into the Information Technology Systems and the subsequent strategies to improve his business have been astounding and need special mention. He is still remembered for the revolution he created in the IT industry for Personal Computers.
Distinct in the making
In his childhood, Gates was often found to be playing the computer games when his friends were busy playing the outdoor games. This was unusual at the stage as every parent would dream of their son playing any game or sport. But he was distinct from the others and developed a fascination towards the computers. Thus his bond with the machines started at a very young age. His subsequent indulgence and research in the same has what led him to attain such great heights.
Steps to the throne
Gates was sincere in his quest for entrepreneurship. He started learning all the basics of Computers and learned the BASIC programming to upgrade his knowledge. He found s good and skilled ally in Paul Allen and both of them ventured to set into business. Gates was more of a programmer who was very good in software skills and programming modules, while Paul Allen was interested and skilled in hardware and its operations. Thus, both of them complemented each other. His internship at General Electric made him focus his area of interest and gave him the much needed insight towards computers. Thus he made of every opportunity that came his way to concentrate on his strengths which is one of the most important traits of a successful businessman. It was then in 1974 that Bill gates and Paul Allen decided to venture into business on their own and start a company in the name of Microsoft.
Bill Gates' Strategies
Gates believed that in order to succeed in his venture, he must have the best team of employees and professionals working under him. The company was launched and soon he began to hire skilled personnel who could deliver the work in time. In this manner, they could complete many high profile projects with flying colors. One of the important projects was writing codes for personal computers of IBM. The result was a huge success. In the end, it was decided that the copyrights of the code should not be given as many competitors may take advantage of it. The decision proved to be right and the result was the release of MS-Dos which was a huge hit among the computer professionals. It was one of the important decisions and proved to be a huge turning point.
Once again in 1985, the company decided to extend partnership with IBM to develop versions of Microsoft Windows. He widened the company's range of products right from manufacturing computers, programming, developing new codes for operating systems. His relentless efforts in thinking new resulted in the production of innovative equipments and tools. The entire computer industry underwent a great revolution since then.
Gates was a motivator and often met his senior managers and program managers to address the areas of concern and formulate policies for the development of the organization. He is a very outspoken person and addresses the issues by being direct in his views whether positive or negative feedbacks, towards his managers. Loopholes in the strategies would be addressed in the meeting and new ideas would be suggested to subordinates. He is a shrewd businessman and taskmaster who is desperate to produce the desired results for the sake of the company.
The company has faced a lot of obstacles in its path to glory and it is Gates' perseverance that enabled it to cross the hurdles. There were delays in completing the project, delays in releasing the product including missing the deadlines set by the clients. But with the ability to adapt to the changing times and thorough professionalism, Gates has been able to transform the company into a world class organization. The company employs thousands of workers worldwide and has been able to deliver the goods with a professional touch. It has managed to make more than 500% growth since it was first started and this has been a tremendous achievement for Bill Gates.
Gates has already reached the status of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world and still ahs not stopped. He aims to move forward to reach horizons that have not been traversed yet. His sheer determination coupled with a far-sighted approach makes him one of the best entrepreneurs ever. The fact that he dreamt of a Personal Computer in every home is gradually being achieved in every corner of the earth so much so that even this report would not have been possible without the assistance of the Computer. It has become an indispensable tool today and the credit for making it so popular among the masses goes undeniably to Bill Gates.
Hence, by comparing the strategies of Dhirubai Ambani and Bill Gates, we find the former was more diverse in his business venturing into many sectors and still managed to be successful while the latter focused on his core skills which are Programming and manufacture of Computers. Each had their own way of dealing with crises although they were common in their ideal which is to reach the top. Hence, business entrepreneurs of the future should take a leaf out of their books and execute them to the best of their abilities.