Entrepreneurship – Treading the untrodden path

Posted on May 28, 2010 in Business and Economy

Kush Sharma:

Entrepreneur can be Manager but Manager can’t be Entrepreneur.

What’s the similarity between sympathetic bosses and Asiatic lions? Your guess is as good as mine! A vast majority of people don’t like to take orders or being bossed by someone, especially one whom they think is no better than themselves. After all, who doesn’t like to get armed with powers & privileges? Who doesn’t want to enjoy work or life by doing things in the manner one wishes to or getting due appreciation for one’s hard work? Well, entrepreneurship is all about enjoying liberty over what to do and how to do it. An entrepreneur is a person who takes upon himself a new enterprise or venture, one who challenges the status quo and faces all odds, risks and uncertainties with great courage & conviction. He exudes enormous self-confidence & vibrancy and galvanises people by his actions. He not only dares to dream big but he makes others visualise the same. Innovation or sense of difference is an integral part of an entrepreneur’s personality; an owner of a hotel would be called a businessman and not an entrepreneur but an owner of 75 hotels, 6 palaces, 12 resorts & spas spanning 40 destinations in 10 countries across 4 continents would be respected as an entrepreneur. You could be a business entrepreneur — one who finds and pursues the opportunity to gain financial or monetary gains or you could be a social entrepreneur — one who identifies a social problem, uses his entrepreneurial skills and initiates venture to eradicate the problem; it could be both not-for-profit & for profit.

Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurship — an art of managing a business could be taught and learnt. Various institutes and organisations are present throughout India to train the people from all walks of life. Apart from courses, several entities like Incubators, Business plan competitions, Simulations, Bank loans, Angel funding or Venture capitalist could lend a helping hand. A random but a valuable business idea related to social entrepreneurship has been discussed below to set the ball rolling.

Paper Recycling

India is an emerging economy which is growing annually by 7-8% and is expected to maintain a GDP growth of 8-10% till 2050. Currently the paper consumption in India is over 8.5 million tonnes and with the economy poised to get bigger in the future, demand is bound to grow. Industry experts put the paper demand more than 25 million tonnes by 2025. A country may meet the demand but at the cost of 3 billion trees and 100 billion gallons of water! Or another way to do this is to recycle used paper. But we all know that it is already being recycled. Yes, it is but at a pathetic recovery rate of 20% as compared to 70% in US, 80% in Germany & Thailand at 45%. Recycling Industry in India is still at a very nascent stage.

Currently India produces around 15 million tonnes of paper waste every year and large chunk of it finds its place in the landfills. But the interesting thing is that India imports 4.6 million tonnes (worth $ 750 million) every year from European and American continents because recycled paper is scarce in India and virgin paper is expensive. An entrepreneur can sense the opportunity in three basic domains: 1) Collecting the waste, 2) Recycling the waste or 3) Usage of recycled paper for various purposes. Though currently the industry is dominated by local shops or dealers, if researched properly, it will not be difficult to find several ventures that have already been initiated to organise & lead the industry. ITC is one of the major players who have stepped in with the collaboration of Ramky Enviro Engineers — India’s largest waste management company — with the initiative WOW (Wealth-out of-Waste). The initiative benefits all its stakeholders: (1) People – Extra income generated as they are paid Rs.4/kg for paper at their door step, (2) ITC -Availability of local raw materials that are cheaper by Rs.1000/tonne, (3) Municipality – 30% reduction in Solid waste generation which means saving of Rs. 30crores/year in collecting and transporting waste materials to landfills, (4) Government – Reduction in communicable diseases & (5) Environment – Reduction in waste means reduction in usage of natural resources and increased greenery. WOW is a classic example of social responsibility, economic feasibility & environmental impact. It has shown how a simple habit change can significantly benefit the company, the society and the country.

So, next time you throw away a sheaf of paper, do recollect that you are throwing away a business opportunity!

More can be learnt about recycling and entrepreneurship on the sites mentioned below:











Entrepreneur is not a personality, it’s a mentality!