“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison
The above wonderful quote by one of the larger than life inventor which is often quote by lot of people and often quoted to Entrepreneurs, seems does not hold much ground in today’s reality. Like much of the English proverbs like “Rolling stone does not gather Moss’; these days you have to be a Rolling Stone in order to gather some Moss. One of the tenets introduced and practiced by one of the leading Entrepreneur/Invest Guru/Management Guru – Warren Buffet is that one has to find secondary and even at times tertiary or more sources of income and wealth creation in order to increase one’s standard of living (I mention here the material wealth and not the spiritual wealth, which again is a different topic).
Coming back to the quote of Edison, it was much more than possible in the olden days where as an Entrepreneur we had some relative cushioning in various aspects which allowed us the leisure of committing a few mistakes. There were even highly successful Entrepreneurs from India itself, the great like Rahul Bajaj who believed and succeeded in the mantra of focusing on a single activity. He famously had said, “If Bajaj Auto cannot be a world player in its field, I do not deserve the right to Diversify” and that “You should diversify from a position of strength”.
But in todays’ world the scenario is different though as an Entrepreneur it is always better to be in a position of Strength and this positioning can be got through narrowing down activities and focussing on the core. The core might be idea generation, new product development or simply a manufacturing unit supplying products to the Idea Generators.
It becomes difficult to apportion equal focus on Idea Generation and fuelling that idea through Manufacturing. Which as I had mentioned in my earlier post is very much visible and has been taken note by PSUs, especially in the defence sector where the process has been strategically differentiated and sourcing of non-core and to some extent even core products are done. There are manufacturers who specialise only on supplying these to the Value Adder who basically generate ideas and innovations, get these sourced from vendors, assemble these products and satisfy the need of the market. And this is one of the optimum process where each and every link of the chain is accountable in getting the desired product in this environment of immense competition, breaking down of barriers (and even creation of new barriers) and high expectations from the new generation of highly knowledgeable customers.
Satish Nair is Management professional and a First Generation Entrepreneur with a degree in Mathematics from Calcutta University and Masters Degree in Marketing Management from Pune University. He has experience in marketing, branding and has worked a Business Head in a Chinese company looking after operations in China, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan. He has written case studies, papers etc for institutions like IIM-B, KJ Somaiya, ICBM Hyderabad. He also has been visiting lecturer at Raffles Millenium Business School in Bangalore. He is currently the Managing Director of Anshira Ventures Pvt Ltd which is into sourcing of products from China and Indo-China trade consultation.