‘Time is the opportune for entrepreneurs to thrive as there’s spread of entrepreneurship’

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 20 September 2017

“To succeed in the future digital economy, we need to take four important steps. Focus on disruptive innovation, think outside in, and not just make products, but innovate solutions to problems of future, leverage partnerships,” said Bajaj

Pune: “Today, we are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Time is opportune for entrepreneurs to thrive as there is a complete spread of entrepreneurship. Any individual sitting at home on his computer with an access to a telephone wire or cable line can build a billion-dollar business overnight,” said Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv said.

He was speaking at the 83rd Annual General Meeting of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).

“The speed of disruption has increased to such an extent that when mobile phones came, it took them around 10 years to reach 100 million users, while it took less than five years for Facebook to reach that mark. Candy Crush, on the other hand, reached 100 million users within a year,” Bajaj said.

He further stated that today, a computer is much powerful than the biggest mainframes of business 20 years ago. 

Earlier, Bajaj said, there were four traditional elements important for business i.e. land, labour, assets and capital. “Today, these traditional elements are changing drastically. We hardly need any land today. Amazon has become the largest retailer in the US without investing much in the land. Labour has changed to self-service, as we know that a huge enterprise like WhatsApp runs with a mere 20 people. As far as assets are concerned, the world is your asset. 

“nAirBnB doesn’t own a single hotel, yet is the world’s largest hospitality service, and Uber, the largest taxi service, doesn’t own any cars. So data is the real capital today,” he explained.

He also said that digitisation was taking over the manufacturing industry as well as the entire industrial chain is changing dramatically. He said, “To succeed in the future digital economy, we need to take four important steps. 

“Focus on disruptive innovation, think outside in, and not just make products, but innovate solutions for the problems of future, leverage partnerships and build a culture of adaptation and experimentation.”

Dr Naushad Forbes, Director of Forbes Marshall spoke about the need for investing in Research and Development (R&D) in the industry. “Indian manufacturers specialise in skill and capital-intensive sectors. For these to grow, there is no alternative but to invest in advanced technology. We have to raise the share of publicly funded research to the global average of four per cent,” Forbes said.

He added, “Our top software firms invest 1 per cent of turnover in R&D, while China, that has the industries of almost the same size, invests around 8 per cent. 

“Our industry needs to be more R&D intensive.”
He further said that today, in order to have an overseas presence, we need to become technology focussed and international focused. “We need to see to it that we have at least 1,000 multinationals in our country. To achieve this, the stronger companies that have a strong market in particular countries can help other countries make their mark,” he added.

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