Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A step-by-step guide to running a business

We learnt from the article “Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets” that developing countries are one of the best places to start a business. Being an Indian, I realize how true it is. In fact, there are certain communities in India that have been known since ages for being pioneers at business1. These traditions have been carried forward till today. Tech start-ups are the next big thing in India2. While the number of start-ups in India may not match the number of start-ups in Silicon Valley, but the companies are gradually catching-up. Flipkart.com is trying to give Amazon good competition in the e-commerce zone.3 Similarly, OLA cabs are giving good competition to Uber cabs.

These facts do suggest that India is the right place to run a business. Whether it is a company as big as Lincoln Electric or maybe a small flower shop, India is the right place to invest. The “Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets” article provides a brilliant step by step method to start a new business in India. It captures all the key points that serve as prerequisites to starting a business.

I could relate those points to the time when a few friends of mine were trying to start a business in the city of Mumbai. They were trying to set up a stall to sell healthy home-made snacks at the beach. According to the law, permissions from various local municipal authorities were required to set up stalls at the beach. These permissions often took several weeks to process. To deal with this political system and lack of openness, they initially started distributing snacks at no cost from the trunk of their cars. While they did that, they could see that customers did prefer their snack packs to regular junk food, but they could also observe the hostility of other vendors at the beach. After analysing the product markets, they gradually decided to contact local retail stores to sell their snack packs. Of course, this required them to set up their kitchens and hire additional help. They had to struggle to find good people at the right price. Given the levels of interest rates and ease of use each bank was offering, selecting the bank to set up their company’s bank account was also a difficult decision. An initial analysis of the labour and capital markets could have helped them. The steps that my friends followed were not as structured as those summarized in the article. However, the overall process was quite similar. Their business is performing well and they are hoping to expand to other cities as well.

To conclude, I would like to mention that India is great place to invest. Organizations must have their presence in India because of the growth India is making today. Perhaps, a good way to start would be to refer to the “Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets” article.


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