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It was in the month of September'2010, when my regular classes for the course of M.Sc. in the module of entrepreneurship and business management were about to end. I had been asked to prepare a report on the subject of Outsourcing to understand how it is helpful the global organizations. Report which was supposed to give insight about business and they work to the concerned organizations in various respect such as the evolution, meaning, scope, benefits, risk involved, the various challenges involved, implementation, major players, and the functional areas and many important issues which need to be taken care off. However, I have been familiar with corporate entrepreneurship and had read it as a subject and various business and management in general, but while going in business and preparing a report one need to go for an extensive study and deep level of knowledge and understanding for the subject. For proper understanding even one has to go for numerous research papers, case studies and many more stuff so as to get to the depth how it works in the corporate world. It was also expected that had to go through published reports in magazines, portals and newspaper about corporate entrepreneurship and business management in various organizations and even include the results in my report for ready reference. I was also supposed to draw inferences from different ventures and deals launched under corporate market by various organizations with the details. These conclusions are supposed to help client in deciding in planning, deciding and minimizing risk so as to outsource the non-core functions and focus on the core business under corporate entrepreneurship programs. Success of all the big multinationals is the result of this global outsourcing industry which provides every functional service and help the organizations to be more cost effective and increased efficiency and hence, are growing at a fast growth rate. Though its never not easy to collect literature and experiences of people and industry but I had done all what I could and have enriched with lots of knowledge in the global outsourcing industry and even will think for going in as an entrepreneur was quite enthusiastic and felt motivated to work on this topic as it appealed me a lot and is helpful to me in case I decide to be an entrepreneur in some point of time in the future.
Topic given to me for dissertation is very much relevant and important to emerging business scenario in today's world. The business world is very dynamic everywhere and in every aspect. Especially it is technological developments, which are happening at very fast pace. Changing political environment, regulatory mechanism, social changes and changing customer needs & preferences have necessitated that organizations keep on adapting to new set of business environment. But it is increased global competition and technological advancements which are forcing organizations to look for innovative solutions. If organizations have to remain competitive and profitable with sustainability, they have to come up with innovative products, services and procedures which are of great value for customers. But organizations, which are already running their operations successfully, need not to disturb their basket of successful products and may try some new product range. It is not about bringing out new products only, but making major changes also, which may result in complete reshaping company policies and structures. Though all these practices has been in constant use throughout the world, but not done scientifically, making results more unpredictable and ventures consisting higher degree of risk. Now efforts are being made to apply entrepreneurship to corporations in a big way, to enhance competency and profitability.
RECOLLECTION OF EXPERIENCE
I started working on the dissertation in the end of July 2009. Though I have experience of working in entrepreneurial organizations and good amount of exposure, but working in the area of corporate entrepreneur was comparatively new to me. I started the task by discussing corporate entrepreneurship with some senior level managers working in the field as well as looking for it in internet. Preliminary internet exercise helped in getting the basic idea about corporate entrepreneurship, its apparent benefits, scope and status of its application in organizations. Once I got the idea about corporate entrepreneurship, I started looking for some practical idea about it and the extent to which it seems relevant to business executives. I was surprised to see that it is not only the independent entrepreneurship but the corporate entrepreneurship which is in practice in almost all the organizations to survive, compete and grow in highly dynamic market. It is observed during talks with professionals, that entry of multinational companies, who are having better quality products and services have given customers a new range of options to select from. This is forcing remaining companies to think innovatively for creating products, services and looking for new markets so they can maintain their ability to compete and remain profitable.
I have friendship with one lecturer, who is an electrical engineer, posted in electrical engineering department of Pusa Polytechnic, doing research in management issues of corporate world in and around Delhi. He is very enthusiastic in doing work for the area of corporate issues. When I discussed the issue with him, he not only let me insight of corporate entrepreneurial efforts and practices, prevalent in industry. He took me in institute library, where he shown me area meant for entrepreneurship. Sufficient material on the issue concerned was available there. It was not the availability of material but his interest and enthusiasm which helped me a lot in pursuing the dissertation work. In him, I found a friend, knowledgeable and competent enough to discuss some core issues of not only corporate entrepreneurship, but other real time issues concerning to industry. He has not only theoretical understanding, but a very practical idea of events & issues happening around such as regulatory mechanism, company laws, government policy, law & order situation, workers issues, and other technological developments. It is being with him and discussing various issues that I realized the impact of technological development not only on processes adopted in companies, but also on financial implications of it. Besides that technological developments are also affecting customer needs and preferences a many ways. So effect of technology is not limited on company's internal processes, but also on strategies it adopts in marketing. It was most important and crucial phase of developing my dissertation when I was with him as he helped me in indentifying various issues to be investigated and in developing a roadmap for future working. He also made me working with focused attitude.
When I came to Delhi and started looking for material for dissertation, idea of going to Indraprastha University situated in mail city of Delhi. When I went to university I found that there are 12 faculty members representing each broad area of management. But when I tried to find out faculty member having interest in the field of corporate entrepreneurship, I could not succeed. Faculty members were interested in issues which are very conventional. Though issue of corporate entrepreneurship is very much relevant and practiced by companies in India, but has escaped the attention of most of the academicians. Then I tried to look for material in library but there also books were available on basic subjects which are taught in classes in routine. There was no material available on issues like corporate entrepreneurship.
Internet is also an important source of information now days. Lot of information is available at internet, but one has to be cautious about as what to pick up and what not to pick up. Though for getting initial idea on every topic, it serves the purpose. But authenticity, integrity and validity of information are few points, which need to be considered well before picking up information from internet. Most of the research papers are available on paid websites, and only few are available free. But these few available paper serves the cause good as they give quite a good insight story about issues in concerned area. But generally information available comes in piecemeal and not comprehensive in the concerned area. People and organizations upload the information only to minimal extent having purposes other than disseminating it. I also felt that most of the information which is available on paid websites is quite costly.
I went to Indian Institute of Delhi seeking help in preparing report. I found that faculty members were too busy and did not had any time for people coming from outside for any assistance. It can be said comfortably, that IIT has one of the best library, where access to almost all credible journals are available. I collected most of the material from there only. But when tried to be in touch with students in IIT, everyone was busy with his own works. So I felt that I was just alone, with nobody to get help from. I went looking for library, looking material inside the library, looking for place, where I can get material photocopied. There was low level of connectivity for network, if one tries to use his lap top. Otherwise also when I met faculty members in IIT Delhi, I felt that corporate entrepreneurship was not the topic, any one being interested in it. Though India is one country where corporate entrepreneurship is being practices automatically on its own. It does not require management encouragement, but employees try it out every time so as to improve their working style, culture and efforts required to be put in the work assigned to the. Corporate entrepreneurship helps lower level employees in improving their work life which automatically brings efficiency in their working. When these efforts are seen on organizational level, it is found that cumulative effect of all employees putting in efforts result in making organization effective and efficient.
I also tried to get a picture on corporate entrepreneurship in various organizations with the help from my friends who are employed in various corporations. I was informed by almost every of my friend, that organizations, they are working for, are engaged in putting up efforts towards corporate entrepreneurship on continuous basis. It is almost necessary that these organizations strive towards corporate entrepreneurship, as government of India policies towards opening up of Indian economy has given entry to many foreign companies in India, who are doing extremely well on account of their technological superiority and financial muscles. These multinational corporations are offering better products, services and are efficient in managing their structures. It has put Indian organizations on alert, who have been for many years worked in protected economy with lesser or negligent competition. But when I seen the working of my friends and asked them the reason behind this hard working, I came to understand the impact of technological developments and entry of multinational companies in Indian markets. It is no longer easy to have customer loyalty unless company really comes out with innovative products giving better value to customer for his money.
I have been born and brought is Delhi. I have seen the quality of services and products of various utility service providers such as electric power supplying companies, telephone service providing companies and even banks, insurance companies, hospitals etc. It was all relaxed work culture in MTNL if I am able to recall rightly. Corruption was rampant for any type of service, there were long queue of customers waiting for new connection and higher functionaries almost inaccessible for any type of work. There was hardly any type of new products or services offered to customers for their changing needs. But with the entry of private players in the field, companies have to look for new product so as to retain the client base. Services offered like IPTV and 3G mobile telephony and a full range of broadband services fitting to almost everybody's requirement, shows that corporate entrepreneurship is happening within the company. Totally new divisions has been formed to handle newer products, so as new business opportunities can be exploited fully without parent organizations philosophy coming in the way. Similar efforts have been also put in practice, in electricity supplying companies. In previous years all the functions, either technical or financial were handled by engineers only in company. Realizing that it is leading to corruption, bureaucracy and inefficiency, company separated commercial and technical divisions in absolute terms. This led to drastic improvement in service quality and also checking the theft of electricity in most part of the city. Now company is doing far better financially as well as on other parameters such as establishing brand value & leveraging it in other businesses.
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE
Friends are of not of any help as they are not from management back ground. What so ever friends are from management, they are not in the area of entrepreneurship. Employed friends are preoccupied with too many personal and professional tasks other than this one. Otherwise also peer group remains occupied with other glaring topics all the time. Academic topic, that even from professional domain does not interest fellows in peer group. Though I felt the topic is so interesting, that everybody practice it at individual level as well as in corporations, where ever they are. As an individual everybody try to put in minimal efforts, exactly in the right direction to get best results out of it. Even while on work, people are seen thinking and acting in such a way, that minimizes input and maximizes output. It may be on account of fewer opportunities of employment as compared to the number of people seeking these that once people land up in some job, they try to give best possible effort towards organization. Generally people are also seen underemployed. Here as people are better qualified and skilled to what is actually needed to perform some jobs, they keep on trying some innovative solutions often becoming successful at their end. When these efforts are seen in totality for all the employees, we see organization becomes a learning organization. Efforts by all the employees at their end to improve efficiency and effectiveness of their actions result in making the organization efficient as a whole. This practice, of employees putting in efforts to make their work life comfortable, is found to be practices in almost all the small establishments, wherever I visited and tried to look in to closely in employees working.
I went to one organization named 'GKB optical'. It is a small organization employing approx 300 people to get a practical idea and views of senior management executives as what they think about corporate entrepreneurship in Indian business environment. I was surprised to see that they were practicing both forms of corporate entrepreneurship, without formally naming it officially. It
was organization wide corporate entrepreneurship as well as focused corporate entrepreneurship being practices. All the employees were given freedom to work as the way they felt, it will save time and energy. Though there were broad guidelines for working such as time allotted for assignments and upkeep of the machines. But they were given freedom the way they want to work on the machine and the sequence they want to follow. Hierarchal set up is also not very strict. People are encouraged to have communication with higher functionaries, if they have any idea which can contribute towards improving performance and productivity. Also at the level of senior management, I found them deliberating on the various issues in glass industry. Technological developments, opportunities in foreign markets and regulatory issues are few very important issues which were discussed in great detail. It is not the discussion only on these issues, but emerging needs of customers also, which are discussed and attempts are made to find out new opportunities for business in these areas. It shows very clearly the sincerity shown and efforts made by Indian organizations, in putting corporate entrepreneurship efforts being put to remain competitive in the era of globalization and liberalization facilitating entry of multinational companies in Indian business scenario resulting in enhanced level of competition. It become tough to provide referencing for the practical material got through experience people. It is also relevant to get hand on experience people have at lower level in organizations. Due to shortage of time, questioner could not be prepared.
LESSONS FOR FUTURE PROJECT
I made few important observations from my all efforts being put during this dissertation. Important observations can be summarized as below.
Internet is very effective tool in getting preliminary idea and wide ranging information about
Approach right from the beginning must be focused.
Unless you are part of a team of highly motivated professionals, you do not get much intellectual inputs from your peer group, especially it people in group happens to be young.
It is not all the academic and research institutions, which really put in efforts to keep themselves updated. Most of the institutions just remain occupied with regular teaching, examination and conventional topics of study. Even faculty members do not put efforts to update themselves.
It is select few institutes of higher learning, who have an environment of updating themselves along with the industry. Even here it is not all the faculty members, who take active participation in such activities. But unfortunate aspect of these institutions is that, their resources such as library, faculty and laboratories remain too much occupied. It leaves little scope for any help from these institutions. It happens only if scholar himself is highly motivated and enthusiastic and competent in taking initiatives & managing affairs that he can take out reasonable amount of help from here.
It is very good if one can find out and link up with few energetic, enthusiastic, experienced and competent professionals, who have exposure and update to what is happening in the field of interest. That is of great help in doing dissertation work.
One need to be very systematic and organized in carrying out dissertation work. A detailed planning should be made with listing various possible sources of help & information. A clear roadmap as how and when different sources will be approached with specific objectivity associated in every action being undertaken.
It has been felt by me that when serious efforts are being put to develop concept and understanding of various issues in some particular domain of business, it refines not only one's thinking, philosophy but also have a deep impact on personality. One comes across and interacts with professionals in various walks of life, not only from academics and industry but other field also such as regulatory bodies etc. It also makes one to think seriously about the reasons and repercussions of various incidences taking place in contemporary industrial scenario. It helped me in understanding the elements of the process for gathering information from various sources. In last I feel that whole process, I went through served the purpose of making me understand the procedure of making academic investigation on some business issue and gave me more insight, confidence and exposure for it.