Friday, March 29, 2013

Why we Search for Job Security. Why Not Risk Taking

By Dr. Irfan Hyder

Why are we so afraid of taking risks?
Why our primary focus is on jobs that provide security?
Why people go after a pensionable, secure, career job?
Why people think that becoming a government "servant" is their ultimate goal?
Why "sarkar ki naukri" has so much premium?

An analysis of these questions takes us to the time of the early 19th century and after the 1857 war of independence when the British Raj eliminated the land entitlements of the aristocracy. The landed aristocracy of subcontinent especially the Muslims found themselves literally penniless as they lost their entitlements, and their regular earnings from their land holdings disappeared. They found themselves with no marketable skills or knowledge. Their Persian language skills became worthless overnight as the official business started getting transacted in English (recall the famous saying "Farsi seekho, tael baicho").

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Fruits of Business Education

A few weeks ago I had dinner with two very good friends who are finishing their final semester at Szabist Business School. I couldn't wait to hear about the ideas being thrown around and the businesses being built by their classmates. At the end of our dinner I was not impressed. Disappointed in fact.

I listened and they explained that 90% of their classmates came to business school to go right back into Job market. From the day first when born we use to feed him/her that prepare yourself for Job. And Job is the last hope so where is the creativity and innovation. These prestigious business schools teach us how to become a good Job hunter and prepare us how to find a Job and how to switch a Job. COOL
“Don’t use graduate school, or any other course of study, as a form of life avoidance. Pursue the course only if there’s a good reason.” ~Chris Guillebeau

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Constitutent of an Entrerpeneurial Eco-System

A culture where experiments are encouraged, mistakes are not discouraged as long as students learn and don't repeat them, fear of failure is replaced by courage to take risks is necessary to provide a conducive environment to students to start their own venture. This cultural transformation should be the ultimate responsibility of any Center of Entrepreneurial Development at any university, which intends to encourage its students toward becoming entrepreneurs. Following are some of tips which would help develop such a culture. 

1. Teachers to acquire the role of consultants, guiding students during each step of the process of establishing a business, they shouldn't penalize mistakes, rather reward and encourage if mistakes bring new learning. Students shouldn't have fear of losing marks in case they aren't able to successfully start a venture. Marking should be based on the dedication of student practically to execute the instructions given by teacher/consultant, not on the outcome. An environment of mutual trust and respect has to be established between the faculty and students, but this doesn't mean leniency. The teacher should pose themselves as learners and actively engage in the learning process, encourage students to teach them from their experience, instead of bossing everyone around.

2. Students are made to initiate his first venture with their pocket money or any angel investor (which he should find himself) in his first semester (the idea is to set his context for all the learning which is to come)...

3. All courses to be project based, and at least three courses (3 crdt hr each) in which a student would do nothing but make an attempt to start up a business. 

4. If CED has money to invest, then no investment to be given till final year, or at least once they have been successfully operated for six months

5. A space to be dedicated to establish a market where students would open up their shops and sell, university canteen, tuck shop, photocopy to be operated by students, not as employees but as entrepreneurs, etc

6. A more informal and less structured interaction with teachers/consultants, teachers to give more time outside the class, lots of meeting places to be provided for this

7. Teachers to start-up their own enterprise, and with students as partners.

8. A lab to simulate business start up (don't know how to make it, but inspiration taken from John Hunter's World Peace Game presented at TED)

9. A social entrepreneurship course which would help enable students to experience the satisfaction of creating an employment for a poor fellow...

10. etc.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

5 Business Startup Myths Busted

Many new students often share these apprehensions about starting their own business, or becoming an entrepreneur. They rather prefer to become an employee of an already existing business, preferably a large famous corporation. I would rather call these apprehensions as myths, as I have read and seen myself in numerous business start-up experiences, here they are:

Myth 1: Lots of Capital is required
You don't need capital to start a business; you need connections with people who have capital or goods which you may need to sell to some potential customer. Look around, is there anyone in your family, friends etc., who can provide you inventory on credit, or if you have someone in your friends or family, who can pay you advance in order to buy something they need on recurring basis?

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to Register your Business as Sole Proprietorship

Mr. Sajid Hussain Zubari, who is Lawyer by Profession, is explaining the legal process of registering a sole proprietorship in Pakistan. He also explains the backdoor channels available in the market and the drawbacks of using them. This interview was taken by Furrukh Zuberi who is an MBA student at PAF-KIET. Mr. Zubari can be reached at +92-300-9289995

Friday, March 1, 2013

Entrepreneurship Made Easy

If you want to start a business all what you need to do is to commercially connect three individuals (a) supplier, (b) yourself, & (c) customer... so ask yourself "(a) are there any supplier available within your easy reach of the product or its raw material who can give you necessary supplies on easy terms or perhaps on credit? (b) Are there customers of the same product available within your reach or of some of your contacts, who can also agree to pay advance against your product or service in case on the supply side such facility isn't available?" (click here for the old post)

If you have a big idea in your mind, consider scaling it down into something so simple that you can handle it with ease, but don't at least bring it inside your comfort zone. Like if you want to start a fast food chain, start with a small french fries or burger cart which would not take more than Rs. 30,000 - 40,000 to establish. If you feeling some shame, check how KFC and McDonalds started…