When you’re running your own business it’s always a constant struggle to find the right balance between funding your current business or taking a chance with a new direction to optimise your growth. The key to maintaining competitiveness in current markets is innovation as well as attracting and retaining the right talent to do so.
Today many businesses feel that the potential for growth is often overcome by the need of the hour, tasks that need to be done to grow operations, raise funding and establish your business. While doing this, you may find it difficult to veer away from already established business models that have been successful in the past. You may even hesitate to be creative and do things differently as the risks may be too high. Sometimes it’s not even a viable option if it may not be successful in the long term.
The competitive imperative today is making sure your company will continue to grow in a way that will generate new revenue, create new products with value and make profits in the process. Keeping the spirit of innovation and inspiration alive even after you’re successful is always a challenge.
Types of Entrepreneurs
To understand Pack Entrepreneurship we need to differentiate between the different types of entrepreneurs and they way they function today. “A Solo entrepreneur is a lone entrepreneur who’s journey can be compared to that of an individual sportsman such as a runner. The solo entrepreneur could build his business as if it were a 100 m dash or a marathon.”says Ravi Machani, MD of Machani group.
“Next are Entrepreneurial Pairs. They are quite common and can be compared to the Doubles Tennis Team where the synergy between the pair is everything. Their ability to complement each other’s competencies can make or break a company.”
Pack Entrepreneurs are a pack of entrepreneurs that earn together and share together. This ecosystem is a Team Sport and like Football. It doesn’t matter who defends or scores the goal as long as the team wins. Its much more collaborative in nature. That means bringing together a bunch of great entrepreneurs that create a buzz of activity and brings in exponential value. It has several layers of peer learning and several layers of mentorship included in it. Family businesses that last many generations are good examples. Passing on the baton across generations could be compared to a relay race of marathons by each generation.” says Ravi Machani.
So how can you, as a solo entrepreneur, keep the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation alive in your company? Many entrepreneurs often overlook one of the most important assets laying at their fingertips: intrapreneurs. Those who have an entrepreneurial mindset within your own company and those who are entrepreneurs of their own businesses whose ideas align with the strengths of your own business.
It’s not enough to surround yourself with smart people who bring your vision to life. True entrepreneurship doesn’t just stop at developing one’s own ideas. It can truly come alive when you inspire those around you to be a part of your vision, take ownership of it and infuse it with ideas you couldn’t have even dreamt of.
Bringing More Entrepreneurs Into Your Ecosystem
Simply having a good idea doesn’t necessarily make for a good business. Oftentimes entrepreneurs have the limitations of good funding as well as execution skills to see an idea all the way through to success. A stable business can provide this and successfully fill in the gaps to solve a problem the market hasn’t been able to solve on its own.
“As leaders in your organization, encourage entrepreneurs within your companies to start small sustainable businesses. This could also happen when you invite other entrepreneurs to be a part of your business. It is easier to foster long-term success and innovation when you add adjacent businesses to your existing stable core business” says Ravi Machani, MD of Machani Group.
An effective leader recognises the value of many ideas and has the ability to connect the dots to cultivate the best outcomes for the team. “Your core team will consist of those with an entrepreneurial mindset and those without. However, there are some people who make excellent leaders, it’s just in their DNA. There are also some people who are brilliant executors of the vision, and may not enjoy being decision makers. It is this fine balance and combination of the different strengths that you have that can create a successful business. If you choose adjacent businesses that could be strategically aligned to the strengths of your existing business, this will really bring out the true value of your core business.” says Ravi Machani.
When you have enough experience in the business world, you know what it takes to make an idea profitable and long lasting. This experience gives you the vision and enables you to recognise other entrepreneurs like yourself who see things differently and can make a lasting impact. “92% of entrepreneurs agree that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business. This is why mentorship is so important even for those who have the potential to become entrepreneurs. Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in your own business also allows you to create a safe space where you can encourage your core team to reach their full potential.” says Ravi Machani.
What if your organisation was bustling full of entrepreneurs who were all equally invested in the best outcome? This can happen when the culture of encouraging entrepreneurship is a part of your company’s DNA. Embracing an innovative mindset requires the participation of all those who are students of business and can identify a customer’s specific needs.
“We always try to bring more entrepreneurs into our ecosystem and are extremely collaborative in our business strategy and development. This ecosystem is a team sport much like football. It does not matter who defends or scores the goal, as long as the team wins. You then become a pack of entrepreneurs that earn together and share together,” says Ravi Machani, MD of Svasa Homes.
He is an avid believer in the success of Pack Entrepreneurship as he has experienced it first hand in his family business. “The idea of Pack Entrepreneurship has been passed down for generations for the last 80 years. Our grandfathers were five brothers working closely with each other to uplift their family from poverty and took the community along. It changes the dynamic when not only one entrepreneur is building his business to support his vision, but it becomes the entire team’s vision.
The team that is tightly bound together is much like a family business. They all share a sense of community and purpose, and through this, they find a sense of fulfilment and belonging. Their actions and ideas then begin to make an impact on the communities around them with a shared benefit. They all rise together, they learn from each other’s mistakes, use their strengths to back each other while sharing the benefits.”
Disruptive Technology as a Growth Mechanism
The adoption of technology into an organisation is no longer an optional step in effective business operations. It’s more than that, it can change the face of your entire business no matter the size. It has tangible and intangible benefits that will improve your efficiency as well as enable innovation. It helps you to stay a step ahead of your competitors and apply this new technology to your opportunities. It also significantly reduces the costs required to do so.
“I’ve always believed that technology can accelerate innovation. It enables you to keep up with ever changing consumer behaviour and do so consistently. Over the last few years, we have seen how digital technology has disrupted markets around the world. Innovation and technology have always been interlinked” says, Ravi Machani.
Incubating entrepreneurs who are experts in their field can bring a whole new dimension to your existing business. Their ideas may often align with the strengths of your own business and together you can share success.
Innovation requires you to experiment with technology and its possibilities. Today, the startup culture has made it available to both big and small organisations. New digital technology enables AR, VR and AI can speed up the process of innovation exponentially. It not only has the ability to improve processes and amp up security, it also acts as an enhancer of human capabilities.
“As a third-generation entrepreneur myself, I recognised early on that digital technology is disrupting every facet of how companies engage with their customers, employees, supply chain partners and other key stakeholders. This led us to create our own technology sandbox where we invited people from the industry who had a vision for innovation,” says Ravi Machani.
“We started by applying technology to our existing business in the real estate industry. We wanted to create a dynamic learning environment and embed technological advancements into real-life applications to disrupt the industry. We incubated Xarpie Labs directly under our company and combined their expertise in AR, VR with our network and skills and created shared profit for all.”
“We set out to create a wholly immersive experience view in VR for Svasa Homes which was just at the drawing board stages at that time. We had made a promise of a lifestyle, and exceptional residential community in the heart of Basavanagudi, and now we had the means to showcase it. A presentation was made at an intimate gathering hosted at our architects’ residence before the project was launched. This immersive visual journey virtually took our guests through the project. This helped them ‘see’ the dream. Many of them invested in the project at the pre-launch stage. In fact, we sold 30% of our inventory during the pre-launch phase itself.”
“Xarpie Labs not only became an extension of our business but acted as an enabler to discover new lines of businesses. Our networks in defence, healthcare and many other industries soon started reaching out to us to create the same for their companies. It not only reinforced the strength of our profitable core but opened the doors for a host of other new opportunities as a business. This proved to us that when you use innovation and an entrepreneurial vision to solve real problems success will follow.”
Creating Value and Competitive Products to Boost Performance
What the top innovators and entrepreneurs get right is making the most of their resources, quality of talent and processes. They use these strengths to create products and services that connect with their customers and solve problems.
The Global Innovation 1000 study shows that there is no long-term correlation between the amount of money a company spends on its innovation efforts and its overall financial performance. Instead, what matters most is a company’s openness to new ideas and its ability to manage product innovation from conception to market introduction.
This requires company-wide cultural support of innovation and entrepreneurship. It requires leadership to be closely involved and drive innovation programs across sectors. We can also use technology to get insights from end-users and align our business strategies to meet these needs.
These types of companies sustainably outperform the norm in the industry while also creating unique products with great value. We build up our core competency by hiring the right people with the skills to bring in new products that create value. We also leverage our own business networks so this new product can then later be distributed in existing distribution channels,” says Ravi Machani
“Giving support for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into action makes them more likely to seize opportunities in order to achieve their objectives. By encouraging a bustling community of entrepreneurs we allow each enterprise to have a larger role in shaping their future. We give innovators full freedom as well as the responsibility of fostering more innovation and creativity.
Resource Sharing – Having a Community Spirit in Business
There are multiple benefits to pack entrepreneurship, both tangible and intangible. It can be comparable to living in a community of like-minded people. The people you surround yourself with have the ability to increase your knowledge, complement your strengths and weaknesses and become a source of creativity and inspiration. But most importantly, your community provides you with a sense of purpose and belonging. You become a tight-knit group who have a real chance of making an impact on the world around you.
“Initially, these businesses sprung out of a need for our core business, but now they all support and benefit each other. The adjacent businesses specialising in design, technology, social enterprise and cultural revival all benefit from each other’s distribution channels and new customers,” says Ravi Machani.
“Pack Entrepreneurship is more than just sharing values and goals, it’s about complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses and boosting productivity and profit for all. The knowledge someone else has and experienced can be shared. This specific knowledge can help you avoid making the same mistakes in business.”
We all seek like-minded people in our lives. It can be life-changing when you meet someone and create an instant bond and find camaraderie and compassion for each other. Some of us have been searching our entire lives to find the right tribe to be a part of. But when you find it, that common bond can not only help you gain strength but give you the ability to impact the world around you, and that is priceless.
Building a Family legacy – The Long Term Effects of Entrepreneurial Culture
Businesses that work towards long term growth are much more successful than the ones who are happy with immediate returns of investment. To foresee the future you have to be clear about what you want to achieve. Jack Welch, CEO of GE quotes, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Studies show successful companies like Nokia, Yahoo, Blackberry and countless others have had a hard time sustaining their long-term performance. “Constant innovation is the only way your company will continue to sustain competitiveness in the market. We want to build a family legacy that can be a part of future generations to come,” says Ravi Machani.
The business environment never stops changing. Entrepreneurs always need to have a good vision and a futuristic approach to survive this change. This means making decisions that go beyond short term gain. A cooperative pack of entrepreneurs can combine their strengths and be remembered for their contributions to the world and their community. The best part about this is that innovation doesn’t stop with them, it spills over into the community they’ve impacted. This type of development can go the distance and will sustain itself for years to come.
Ravi Machani says, “To do this we had to recognise the value in bridging our gaps together. We used the means and the access of our successful businesses, combined it with entrepreneurial drive and shared the upside and created profit for all. When we look at driving the next new economy there is going to be a tremendous amount of opportunities and challenges we will need to solve. What better way to solve them than together? To have higher productivity we have to allow higher participation. That is the only way to drive sustainable change. Together is always better.”