Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Business Lovers Needed!

I have always been very passionate about business and investing. Ever since a very young age I have always been trying out various business ventures. Some of them have been terrible while others have been not so terrible and still others have been wonderful. But what has been great is that all of them have taught me something and have been lots of fun. I wish more schools and colleges encouraged people to think about business and wealth besides just marks. In order to be a better investor you need to think like a business person, because at the end of the day what you are investing in is a business.

Every now and then I meet people who tell me how business is not needed and it is the cause of all evil. Maybe a few businesses are unethical, but that isn’t the case for the vast majority. I feel such views are not rational, because everything that grows and evolves usually has a business model and commercial interests at some level or the other. I have realized that anything that has a business and commercial model, besides adding value to society in some way, is more likely to sustain and succeed as compared to hand outs and charity.

The impact a successful business has is several times larger and stronger that what hand outs have. Let us assume that Infosys started out as a charitable organisation providing free software without any commercial interests to anybody who needed it. Would it have been able to create employment for so many people? Would it have been able to usher a positive and virtuous cycle where money is put in the hands of people, which in turn fuels growth and employment in other sectors? Would it have able to invest so much money into training people to meet demand from all across the world?

When it started, people who benefited from it might have been urban educated youth, however today Infosys has started training youth in rural India and started hiring them too. Simple hand outs and charity would not do anything for the youth in rural India in a sustainable way, but employment will bring in a sense of confidence and inspire millions of people. Mass employment can not be provided by the government, but by entrepreneurs and businesses run by people like you and me.

Money earned by people working at Infosys promotes spending on housing, retail, textiles, food, etc. which in turn increases demand and thus employment for all sections of society. An entire virtuous cycle is created. Most businesses create a lot of value for society and need to be encouraged. They provide goods and services and each one of us is a stakeholder in several businesses – either as an employee, consumer, owner or investor. More and more people need to be encouraged to be business lovers and entrepreneurs, because that is what our society and country desperately needs.

A few people sometimes have a hesitation with the term ‘business person’, and sometimes use it in a negative way. However in today's world for our nation to grow we need more business minded people. I am proud to say that I am business minded and I’m sure millions of other Indians will be proud to say this too. We need to be if we want to grow faster and create wealth for millions of people besides just ourselves. The good thing about business is that the more money others have, the more money they spend and the more money the entrepreneur or business makes. Instead of encouraging people to stay poor, the way a few politicians do - so they can control them, businesses want people to be richer.

Imagine the impact we could have had if we had thousands of more Infosys’, Wipros, TATAs, and Reliances. At the moment businesses have not yet expanded into rural India in a way which we all would have wanted them to, but we need millions of new entrepreneurs and businesses to make this happen. There are opportunities available in rural India and the potential to create wealth is very large, what is needed is the vision and the courage.

Business in order to succeed doesn’t have to be exploitative and manipulative. Look at cell phones- when people like Sunil Mittal entered the business cell phones were meant only for the rich. But today so many people have them and millions of people are benefiting from it. Today people in rural India and the neighbourhood vegetable vendors are using cell phones to grow business.

The same model can be applied to other areas too and this is what will truly empower millions of people. Today there are millions of people who have the power to bring in the change and usher and entrepreneurial revolution our nation needs. People like you and me are very lucky to be present in such a period where we have access to the internet, education and skills. We can use these in whatever way possible to help build a nation headed for prosperity. I have my interests in the field of practical financial education and inshallah one day with the necessary resources will want to take this to rural India too.

Successful businesses make money from consumers and invest the same back into society and thus are very evolutionary in nature. Look at Bill Gates, yes a few people say that he runs a monopoly and charges a lot for software, but the billions he has made are going back to society. I feel there is nothing wrong in being a smart business person. Bill Gates is a smart business person and people should admire that and be inspired by him. People like him and Warren Buffett, who are poster boys of capitalism and wealth, are the ones who are having the most impact in the social sense too.

Business and entrepreneurship are the only sustainable way to eradicate poverty and empower millions of people. No charitable organisation would be able to ever have such a large positive impact. People have more self respect when they work and are given the opportunity to channelize their skills and knowledge in the right direction.

In fact just hand outs and charity make people receiving them feel helpless and out of control. In certain areas such as health care and education, we need it to empower people and train them, but the long term solution is having millions of business lovers!

Keep smiling and having fun!
Happy wealth creation!

Yogesh Chabria
© Happionaire

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Anonymous said...

yogi ,

Well said !!

Rather than calling businessperson/entrepreneur.. I would like to call these people as the "torch bearers" who have learnt the alchemical way of converting risks into wealth for themselves as well as for the society.

By the way the school system and also our society in a suttle way have already told us what to do... they have told us 'to mind our own business"...but somehow along the way ...majority of us have taken the less risker option of "minding other people's business" .a.k.a JOB.

Good post !!! Hope your examples might ignite the "torch bearers" of a "New Open - Enterprise Models".

Anonymous said...

I loved your post Yogesh and also loved what you said Jaiz. I love being a 'torch bearer'.I run a PR firm and it is tons of fun. Anybody with basic common sense and the ability to take risk can be a 'torch bearer'.

(All I need to do now is find a nice boyfriend who will later end up being an even nicer husband. Doesn't anybody run a business which helps women like me find nice decent men? lol)

Anonymous said...

Your an excellent business person and very smart and innovative. I really respect and love the fact that you accept it so proudly and openly.There is nothing wrong about being proud about being business minded and smart.

I am learning a lot here and thanks for being so open and frank. What is great is also that I feel very motivated and inspired after reading your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I agree Yogesh, some people think business is not good. But they don't understand that without business we would be in the stone age.

We all need to make money and run our homes. Keep it up and thanks for motivating us so much!

Aditya Palav's Blog said...

HI Yogesh,

Very nice article.
The points you made in this are very true.
I think our education system need to create more and more "torch bearers"