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Complex attitudes of difficult enterprises

In the professional life we meet several stakeholders.  As a startup planner I have worked with varied entrepreneurs where 80% of them belong to first generation.  They come with a basic business idea, passion and a proposal for startup funding.  The unfortunate thing in India is that many ideas go into oblivion owing to fund crisis.  Thus many a bright idea goes into dustbin.  Sadly there is a big gap in venture funding in India.   Banks have several prescriptions to sanction loan.  Government makes so many laws and when it comes to implementation there would come many blockades.  The target beneficiaries of such provisions face bad music when they refer to the rules.

While the above is a common thing in India fortunately here is a technology product venture first of its kind I came across in the recent past.  They hold wonderful products.  Products relevant to market and products planned well.  Every product takes time to evolve to the wholesome market requirements.  Even market requirements are never the same.  Thus the products though need certain elevation they are great in ‘as is where is’ basis.  Further the promoter is a passionate individual who wear technology and who talk philosophy. The co-promoter is a dreamer with many a plan.

The three most important requirements for general well being of a business could constitute:

  • Respect to stakeholders
  • Clean and straight communication
  • Display of humble, transparent and affable attitude when things go wrong in the enterprise

Stakeholder sustenance is enterprise sustenance.  When the very stakeholders find non-transparency in interactions how could an enterprise sustain.  It may sustain.  But how long?

Brand identity for an enterprise starts with employees.  Employees are the first carriers of brand.  Any undue treatment to employees would result in bad branding.   Positive relations with stakeholders are the next element that contributes to brand identity.  Stakeholders such as suppliers, service providers and collaborators carry the brand image in every interaction they make with their other clients.  They take with pride the name of their honorable client.  In the same way when context arise they also share their displeasure about the clients. The next element is the collaborators and partners.  These entities make much bigger impact in a positive brand identity. Any bad relationship with such stakeholders will obviously cause a bigger dent on the brand identity.

Is it not that such enterprises cause disappointment to stakeholders?  How can enterprises forget  these growth-hindering aspects?

Top 10 traits of Business Leaders

Business Leadership

business-leadersBeing a leader is like being everything.  Leader is the person who knows what he/she wants and who knows how to get it. Who knows when to say yes and when to say no.  Leader can be described as a person who can draw collective productivity from his/her team to meet any challenge.  A good leader would always stand for transparency, doesn’t hold inhibitions, doesn’t behave evasive, and conduct himself/herself with psychological maturity.

Business leadership demands much more from an individual as a leader.  This is especially true with small entrepreneurs who venture into business not just to make big sometime but to earn the initial identity and livelihood too.

1) Knowledgeable and visionary

A business leader should acquire and command knowledge in his/her business domain.  Thorough understanding of the nature of business offerings, the business model in place, stakeholder knowledge, team strengths and weaknesses, past, present and future pulse of his/her business.

2) Self aware

At the outset a business leader should hold full understanding of self like his/her personal strengths and weaknesses, professional expertise and gaps, individual realities and responsibilities.  This awareness would help deal situations with flexibility or assertiveness.  A business leader should build a wall of immunity between his inner self and external influences.  This immunity and self awareness will make him deal with peculiar situations more effectively and profitably without taking things personal.  Self awareness and periodical self-appraisal makes a leader mature and challenging.

3) Communicative and assertive

Earning should be the whole objective and profit should be the core motive in business.  Business inherently comes with mixed opportunities which may spell more profit at times, less profit in some cases and nil profit in certain transactions.  At the first instance business is not dealing with things.  Business is all about dealing with people who may be your customers, suppliers or any other stakeholder.  So the profit and loss here is not just the monetary gain, it is mostly the relationship that brings business.  Hence, a leader should be knowledgeable, well communicative and assertive about his reactions in any given transaction.  There should never be a situation to yield unprofitable transactions unless there is a minimum guarantee of brand value and / or acquisition of relationship.

Unless a business leader is assertive about what he wants and what he doesn’t want he would create chaos to himself / herself for the times to come.  A wrong and misplaced communication, an imperious communication or communication with contrasting and contradictory statements will weaken the position of a business leader.

4) Truthful

Truth is truth.  Leaders should never try to change it or mask it especially in business.  Business leader who doesn’t have the boldness to speak about his success, failure or lapses, would be pushed to the last position in the minds of stakeholders.  This may not be an imminent happening when it is a one time issue.  It will certainly result so when the leader consistently tries to mask truth of any nature in his / her business.

Truth may be a service lapse, commitment lapse, quality lapse, procedural lapse, or a communication lapse.  It is a well known fact that when we try to hide the truth we commit more mistakes.

5) Genuine and honest

Leader should appear genuine, act genuine, and remain genuine at every instance of his interactions.  It is not correct to think or to go by some saying that ‘genuineness doesn’t pay in business.’  Honesty improves brand image and brings in long-term value to business.

6) Passionate

A leader should be passionate to earn business, to earn profits, to grow big and to gain brand identity.  A business leader should first showcase his passion and act with passion for his / her business growth without which the team will go lackluster delivering low productivity and may be even low quality.  A leader should always act with passion and devotion at equal levels with each client and each transaction.

7) Emotionally strong

Emotional endurance is highly essential to face several challenges from team, stakeholders, market, regulations and untoward happenings.  Business is generally beset with unknown challenges.  The conduct and behaviour of business leader should always reflect balanced thought and deed, and composed response to grave situations.  An emotionally charged and aggressive conduct would distance him from his stakeholders.  This situation could be avoided when a leader nurtures the habit of thinking more before acting.

8) Humane

If you are not humane you are not a leader.  Profit is definitely the important motive in business.  Money is like blood to business.  But a leader who doesn’t act humane when situations demand would be ignored by the crowd.  This may not have immediate effect on business inflows but would definitely have a dent on the brand identity.

9) Business-wise

Yes, a leader should act smart and wise to earn that extra penny.  Because, profit is the core motive of business.

10) Socially conscious

Business is earned not by your actions but with the participation of society in your business and acceptance of your business by society.  A business leader should bear the responsibility of sharing a percentage of his/her profits with the society which is instrumental for his survival and growth.  A business which is not socially responsible can’t invite better talent and better identity.

Leader should act so unpredictably great making every situation go in his favor or in favor of his vision for collective sustenance and growth.

Decision making in Business

Decision making in your business:

What is business?  Business is communication.  Communicating to yourself and communicating with others.  Communicating to yourself is talking to yourself, telling something to your mind, asking your mind something, making your mind agree to a particular communication or sometimes telling your mind that what it feels is wrong.  This process is what we call ‘decision making’.

Decision making is the most pivotal part for business.  Most of your actions in business are the reflections of your decision.  Your communication with others also goes by this.  Whether your decision is spontaneous or it is well thought out the result of implementing that decision will have its say on your business.

Business decisions should be methodical than impulsive or imaginary or only advisory based.  Methodical means brain storming and writing down the issue in question on which you would like to take a decision.  Find out supporting factors, dependent elements and opposing points for your decision.  During your decision making or analysis processes never depend on your mind calculations.  Put everything on a paper.

At the outset understand why is this decision important to you? Once you write down the issue in question verify is there anything really to take a decision?  Is it that you are over thinking about something which should be a routine process and which doesn’t call for a decision making situation?  Is it that you have to take this decision because this is a natural recourse to your earlier actions?  Is it that you don’t have an alternative to think about?  Sometimes ‘a thing of nothing’ gets more attention form us.  Check if you are in such a situation.  At times it may be important that you have to take a decision but it may not be important now.  When does the decision need to be made?  Think about this too.

A decision should be quality driven and pragmatic.  Pragmatic means that you want to set up a business and you have weighed things about its viability, its relevance and other factors.  But did you think about its size, its capacity and resources required?

Resources should always be a mooting point again.  Think about time, money, people, priorities and dependencies.  Any decision making without considering these points will defeat your effort in the process.

In your decision making process you can take support of others.  It may be your friend, your trusted colleague, your family member or even Internet.  Before you involve others make sure that they can appreciate your situation, they are right people who can really help in you in the situation and they are of not dominating type who probably like to see their point wins in discussions.

decision making process

Finally check the following questions too.

  1. Which decision to make?
  2. When do you need this decision?
  3. Why a decision is required now?
  4. What are the dependent elements?
  5. What is the outcome being expected?
  6. Can you postpone making a decision now?
  7. Are you ready to accept negative inputs of others?  [Negative inputs means points against your decision, suggesting otherwise of your view points and so]
  8. Did you plan for required resources?
  9. Did you think about the pros and cons of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ of your decision?
  10. Did you think about the risks involved?
  11. Do you have a risk mitigating plan?
  12. Did you properly document your decision making process?
  13. What does your conscience say at the end?

The very word ‘decision’ means action.  Action before the decision, action during the decision making process and action required to be taken following the decision making.

Check if you are ready for ‘action’!

Project profiles for various MSME projects

What are the best investment opportunities?  I want to setup a manufacturing unit.  What is the best one?  Should I go for manufacturing activity for my proposed business or should I go for trading of items?

The above questions are very common for a budding entrepreneur.  The answer is same any time. Check yourself:

  1. Do you come with experience in the proposed business if not who will support you technically in the manufacturing and production line.  Is he an employee?  Is he going to be your partner?  Is he a Consultant? Or you like to go ahead buying know how from a research organization?
  2. Did you go for market research to understand the product relevance, product acceptance, competition, price, availability of human expertise, possibility of getting outsourcing contract, market geographies and more.

blog bee entrepreneur corner

Consult any of the following industry promotion organizations for marketing, technology, advisory or mentoring support:

  • National Research Development Corporation (NRDC)
  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC)
  • District Industries Center (DIC)
  • MSME Development Institute (MSME)
  • Export Promotion Councils for respective industry sectors

You have other organizations like Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) who will support you in setting up micro and small industries in villages and who are also the PMEGP implementing agency.

Here are some more project profiles drawn from various government sources.  You may keep in view the following before using these profiles:

The profiles available herewith are not current  and will require rework based on (i) product variation, (ii) production capacity being planned, (iii) unit location, (iv) investment size and (v) market conditions.

  1. domestic_lpg_stove
  2. ayurvedic_formulations
  3. herbal_and_ayurvedic_medicines
  4. spice_oil
  5. distribution_board
  6. electric_furnace
  7. electric_tandoor
  8. energy_meter
  9. transformer
  10. ups
  11. aluminium_powder
  12. assembly_of_diesel_gen
  13. automobile_service_unit
  14. general_engineering_workshop
  15. offset_printing_press
  16. service_centre_consumer_electronics
  17. mineral_water
  18. packaged_drinking_water
  19. stainless_steel_water_filter

May please remember that you will need to get ready with the following documents before approaching for a bank loan for your proposed business.

  1. Detailed Project Report with supportive documents
  2. Promoters profile with supportive documents
  3. Quotations for procuring infrastructure or machinery for the proposed unit
  4. Marketing tie-ups or marketing partnership if you had any
  5. Letter of Intent from prospective buyers that they would be keen to buy the produce from your plant
  6. Partnership deed or company incorporation certificate
  7. Bank Account in the name of the company
  8. SSI Provisional registration certificate
  9. Tax registrations if any done
  10. Lease document for the project site in the name of your company
  11. Security / Collateral documents
  12. Technology tie-up if any entered into for procurement of technical know-how

You may need to submit many more documents beyond what are specified above contextual to your project.

Best wishes for your new venture.

Happy Blogging



Project profiles for SSI manufacturing activity

Here are some more project profiles to setup small scale industry.  Readers may keep in view the following before venturing into any manufacturing activity:

The profiles available herewith are indicative and would require rework based on (i) product variation, (ii) production capacity being planned, (iii) unit location, (iv) investment size and (v) market conditions.

Further you should understand the sensitivities of  going for manufacturing as a first time entrepreneur.

  1. Do you have related expertise?
  2. Do you have technical collaborations required?
  3. Are you buying the technology from a valid source?
  4. Did you check for job work or outsourcing kind of opportunities for the product being planned by you
  5. Did you identify a strong technical person to lead your manufacturing process, production planning, and inventory optimization.
  6. Did you check for the mandatory approvals for your manufacturing plant especially from Pollution Control Board or any other environmental protection entities, if applicable, in your case.
  7. Did you do enough research on the features and functions offered by your product and its market competitiveness?
  8. Did you check if there are any similar units for takeover.  They could be sick units, or running units on the offer for takeover.  You may talk to SFC, NSIC, Bankers, DRT like organizations for sick unit data.  You may even go for a news paper advertisement announcing your interest to takeover a sick unit for your proposed product.
  9. Did you identify a consultant who can handhold your efforts
  10. Did you plan right the CAPEX and Working Capital.  Please remember without working capital you may not aggressively go to market.  You should think about marketing sources, marketing means and marketing budget well before you setup your unit.

blog bee entrepreneur corner

Project Profiles:

  1. powerlooms.pdf
  2. readymade_garments.pdf
  3. sports_footwear.pdf
  4. aluminium_powder.pdf
  5. assembly_of_diesel_gen.pdf
  6. automobile_service_unit.pdf
  7. general_engineering_workshop.pdf
  8. offset_printing_press.pdf
  9. service_centre_consumer_electronics.pdf
  10. aseptic_packaging.pdf
  11. coexgruded_multilayer_film
  12. leather_sandle.pdf
  13. leather_travelling_bag.pdf
  14. gold_plating_jewellery.pdf
  15. disposable_syringes.pdf
  16. surgical_dresses.pdf
  17. aluminium_fabrications.pdf
  18. brass_and_bronze_casting.pdf
  19. bus_body_building.pdf
  20. computer_furniture.pdf
  21. steel_furniture.pdf

If you would like to explore bank loan for the proposed project you may check with the SME branch of your banker and talk to DIC for PMEGP loan guidance.

The profiles are sourced from NSIC and other institutions and you may even talk to them for more information.

Happy Blogging