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    We often think of entrepreneurs as larger-than-life characters. They take big risks. They make their own rules. They innovate and experiment, questioning things everybody else takes for grantedHowever, as a personal quality, entrepreneurship is something which is ingrained to a certain extent in all of us. One may deploy this skill of taking risks and experimenting not only in a business venture but in one’s personal life, spiritual life, relationships or even in mundane daily tasks. The simple act of challenging and innovating an existing process flow or logic of doing things may count as entrepreneurship. If one were to look closely, the foundation for every new venture is a simple and original idea. For instance, the simple act of introducing ‘Spikes’ on running shoes by Puma and Adidas in the 50s ushered in an entire new industry of footwear known as ‘Football Cleats’.  If we move our attention home, the service for delivering packed homely food from a working professionals home to his workplace in Mumbai, famed ‘Dabbawalas of Mumbai’, is a simple yet impactful concept. Their organizations’sunique supply chain model with individual delivery boys navigating the busy routes of Mumbai carrying thousand packed tiffin boxes a day has received much acclaim and has also been  featured in several Ted talks as well

    The two most striking examples which stand out are that of the telephone inventor & founder of AT&T, Inc. Alexander Bell and that of the creator of Mittal Steel Company, Lakshmi Mittal. Both achieved unprecedented fame and wealth, but essentially followed diverse routes to attain their respective goals. Alexander Bell upon completing his formal education from England moved to Canada and then ultimately to Boston working tirelessly on the concepts of acoustics, telegraph and the phonoautographin different labs and in collaboration with peer scientists. It was only upon creatinga solid body of patented research was he able to launch the Long Distance telephone line from New York to Chicago. This offering from the Bell Telephone Co. became the precursor to further inventions from AT&T in the form of wireless communication technologies, the pager and wireless mobile internet. The entrepreneur in this case self-invented a breakthrough product, got it patented, relied on financial assistance from investors and ultimately offered it on a commercial scale. This approach was the guiding principle for many of his company’s innovations such as the metal detector and hydrofoils. On the contrary, Lakshmi Mittal, the Steel Tycoon of the world after beginning his. Upon gaining some foundation business experience in the manufacturing industry at his family’s steel plant in Calcutta, he moved toJava in Indonesia and founded his first steel mill under the name of LNM Group, which became the entrepreneur’s first success story.He then moved towards the former Soviet republic – Kazakhstan &worked alongside distressed steel plants, optimized the various business functions over there, undertook management position and ultimately ended up acquiring those steel plants. He pursued this business strategy throughout the 80s and 90s and made sizeable acquisitions in Asia, Europe and Canada. As one may see, the entrepreneur in this case did not ideate a revolutionary new product but instead leveraged his management acumen to transform existing underperformingmanufacturing setups and ultimately churned out huge value in terms of profits as well as raw-material production. His efficient manufacturing techniques which are at the core of Mittal Steel N.V.’s business ideology have made Mittal Steel N.V. the biggest steel producer of the world in terms of production volume and turnover. In terms of product lines the focus of the entrepreneur has been entirely on metals and its derivatives as till date his company has not ventured into different product lines.

    Although driven by materially distinct business ideologies, the entrepreneurs in both cases were driven by the zeal to innovate at every step in their own individual business practices and an unending commitment to their goal. Overall, the key to successful entrepreneurship for any budding entrepreneur is to continually ask him or herself the following questions - What makes my Product or Service unique? Why am in business? Am I committed to my vision or do I lack it? The introspection on these three questions does ultimately give an entrepreneur the will power and motivation to stay focused and surpass any obstacle that one may face in his or her entrepreneurial journey.

    Yash Sagar Santani




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