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Toronto

Nov 23 Aj Khan
November 23rd, 2013

According to Entrepreneur.com that Toronto, Canada has become one of the Hubs of Innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. Toronto and the wider GTA is, indeed, the go to place if one wants to be part of the innovation community. It has developed a diverse and rich culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and there are a number of Universities and Government entities playing an important role. Funding is available through Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds. The Government is very supportive of the Innovation Community and has taken a number of steps to enable innovation. However, the most impressive aspect of the Toronto Innovation Space are the entrepreneurs who are truly passionate about their ideas and are ready to take the extra risks to enable the success of their dream.

There are a number of organizations playing an important role. Ontario Network of Excellence is playing a leading role in bringing together experienced entrepreneurs, advisors, organizations, and colleges and universities who are all playing a role in the innovation space. An example of this is MARS Discovery District which is one of the biggest incubators in Toronto with over 1,000 start-ups under its umbrella. Other entities such as the Angel One Investor Network are a source of funding for entrepreneurs and provide a defined methodology for Angels to identify quality deals. More sources of funding can be identified through portals such as Gust which provides access to over 40,000 accredited Angel Investors.

The question comes up what can Toronto and Canada do more to help entrepreneurs succeed. I feel that one of the major issues with Toronto Innovation Space is that it is not globally known as an Innovation Hub. When people think innovation, the first place that comes to mind is Silicon Valley and then places like Tel Aviv, Bangalore or Dublin. The Innovation Community in Toronto needs to do more to make the world aware that Toronto is a Centre of Excellence and our entrepreneurs here are breaking barriers and overcoming challenges to come up with new and innovative solutions.

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Importance and Role of Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Nov 13 Nosherwan Adil
November 13th, 2014

Entrepreneurial movement is not constantly reply to business opportunity. Few forecasters differentiate between “necessarily entrepreneurship” and “opportunity entrepreneurship”. If supply of labor increase massively from the paid job expectations, Individuals often start establish small or micro businesses because they seek income is coming from basic platform. So, here individual can become an entrepreneur not by choice, but by necessity. In this regard, influential aspect is that to understand and recognize business established by opportunity entrepreneur which have capability to increase and recruit additional labor. In addition, number of entrepreneurs also cannot be measure individual who are self-employed. Therefore, it cannot be appropriate when huge numbers of self-employed individuals are entrepreneurs out of necessity instead of opportunity.

Improvement of well-being population impacts the economic development in essential prospective. Definition of economic growth explains from measurement of GDP per capita but also includes essential modification in the structure of economy. In this regard the process of structural re-alignment, updated technologies are progressively utilized. Therefore, getting significant structural modification in growth of economic development can be largely depending on the job of entrepreneurs.

The progress of entrepreneurship has huge prospective for gaining the wider society, in addition to, individual entrepreneur. The processes stimulate job creation and thus offer raise returns and established welfare to the association of society who have slight to sell beyond their own labor due to these external benefits, a scenario exists for donor support and government. This support must concentrate not only on quantity, as in the amount of entrepreneurs, but also require concentration on quality, in terms of the kind of influence they produce for society such as high impact entrepreneurs.

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Promotional Strategy for Distance Learning Institutes

Jan 27 Nosherwan Adil
January 27th, 2015

Promotional strategy is becoming increasingly important to both large and small distance learning institutes in the world. There is a long- term, well documented increase in funds used up on promotions certainly to attest to management’s faith in ability of promotional efforts to enhance the change in customer attitude, brand loyalty and other additional change. Economist views promotional strategy as a tool which aids to an increase in the number of unit sold, permitting economics of scale in production process, thereby reducing cost of each unit of output. Lower consumer prices are the result of lower cost of unit, which in the long run makes services available for consumers.

Promotional Strategies highlight on the primary reasons and the hierarchy of process on how use it, due to how vital promotional strategy is, the researcher will treat it as a backbone in the investigating of performances of distance learning institutes and how firm’s perform upon using the strategies in industries, through this reason the researcher projected the rationales, descriptively:

*      To pursue promotional strategies through management’s enthusiasm

*      Making the realization of the vital aims and purposes of the evaluation of performance in organization built on the topic

*      To maintain a competitive teamwork in relation to determinants of tangible facts analysis

Promotional strategy is all about communicating with customers. Major promotional activities does not yield results in short term, due to this reason, many distance learning institutes focuses on the long run promotional strategies and objectives, exercising patience enough to gauge the success.

The measurable part of the smart goal should be based on progress especially in relation to the effectiveness of the promotional strategy of the distance learning institutes.

Improving distance learning institutions performance will require continuous setting of aspirational goals. These goals should not be unattainable but rather slightly greater or higher than the usual expectation. Goals set always need to be realistic. 

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Importance of Skills and Talented Employees in New Millennium

Mar 20 Nosherwan Adil
March 20th, 2015

Organizations in recent times are dealing with a more globalized and sophisticated business environment where there are intense competition, new technologies, difficult investment decisions and the continuous changes in consumer taste and preferences. These difficult decisions always force businesses to develop new techniques and tactics to be able to survive in such market places. There are various business strategies that organizations could adopt in order to step up to the mark, some of these are through foreign direct investments, licensing, franchising and joint ventures but with all these available options, most organizations also focus to recruit and retain innovative employees.

In today’s job market, the skill level of employees is an expectation that employers are finding harder and harder to fulfill. As the population increases and becomes younger, it is less likely that seasoned professionals will look for alternate employment. Furthermore due to weak economies in most countries, people are more cautious about changing jobs mid-career. More seasoned professionals of the past generation are now mostly retired and are no longer active. These and other factors have made it harder to find experienced staff. As a consequence some companies may choose to hire relatively less experienced and innovative employee for their talent and future growth potential based on their academic and aptitude testing performances.

Company that is more modern and dynamic, where the organizational structure is loose and where employees work freely in a non-structured and open plan environment and expect their ideas and interests to be given the same importance as others is more suited for innovative employees who have little or no experience. A good example of this kind of environment is a software developing company like a game developer. These organizations have a casual work environment both in terms of culture and the physical layout of the work space. Here employees work towards deadlines with set goals with each working of their own specialty and bringing their own ideas and talents to the overall product. Skilled professionals are highly essential to the functioning of an organization. The intangible and internalized knowledge and experience base that lies within their individual and collective memory and culture becomes essential to both strategic functioning of an organization to its day to day running.  

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Lean Globalization

Sep 02 Raamish Rana
September 2nd, 2016

The time is ripe for a number of companies to go global. Global markets are created through platforms such as Alibaba allowing small merchants to sell around the globe. Gengo has fortunately offered a number of insights that are highly important are provide lessons for growth.

Some of the factors leading to failures are not worth ignoring though: some choose to expand without testing and due diligence, while some might not invest adequately. 

 

Start-ups in Silicon valley have been known to adopt a “lean” approach which requires “validating market early, constant communication with customers, and testing products” only to be confident that we have the right products before embarking on sales.

It is worthy to note that expanding internationally can be viable only if products are proven success  in local market to test products in international markets. 

Taku Harada, CEO of Orinoco, a marketing agency in Tokyo believes that Biy.ly and Survey Monkey only expanded in Japan following their success in US.

In this capacity, foreign products might be immature when launching into a fairly mature market through a tailored approach, example Baidu, a web search product only launched Q&A services in a fairly mature web search market in Japan to test first.

Therefore the key for going global is to complete your research through careful and calculated market research as Tokyo-based incubation firm Digital Garage’s CIO Minami Kazuya indicate “after experiencing large number of users tweeting in Japan, did Tweeter developed their application for Japanese”.

In terms of sales, and marketing for products, similarly lean globalization entail “doing social media, online advertising, and SEO will always serve a better place to start” 

Choosing easily-testable. Inexpensive and scalable distribution can come in new forms such as “simple landing page to test concept in a day”

Therefore as has been highlighted through research supported by Gengo, it can be further alluded that impact on core business can be minimized through lean approach. 

The lean approach “minimizes the risk of going global, to gradually optimize and further make larger bets”. The global presence can mature into “smooth running machine” and can be broken into phases: “ Research: This is needed to understand target market, competitors, and marketing strategy; Launch: Phase when “real money is beginning to be invested but aim is to maximize learning, maximizing flexibility, and minimizing expenditure; Growth: Given, a greater traction in target market, invest heavily to “optimize around a particular approach”; and Maturity: Allow to optimize sales and marketing to invest heavily for scaling

Source: Gengo.” Going Global – Part II – Lean Globalization”

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Evaluating Important Factors For A Global E-commerce Business

Sep 23 Raamish Rana
September 23rd, 2016

The phenomenon of global business presence online is gaining momentum by means of e-commerce businesses going global. This phenomenon can be beneficial as it opens a channel to feasibly access new markets. However when considering to take an e-commerce business global, a host of factors need to be adequately considered.  

When pursuing global e-commerce opportunities, one of the core aspects to consider is the approach to take towards targeting a new market, as Whemman noted four possibilities for approaches: 

- “Market Only” – where the focus is to create strong brand awareness in order to drive traffic to the e-commerce site

- “Market specific approach” – This requires customization of the sites to the needs of local markets  

- “Broad-Brush approach” – This requires having a single site design having little customization to local markets (such as language)

- “Multinational approach” – Under this approach, companies considering long terms expansion can grow quickly and cost effectively   

Source: Digital River. "Companies Face Important Choices in Global E-Commerce Initiatives." n.d.: n. pag. Print.

 

Other important factors have been alluded to by Gengo, a company that works with a number of ecommerce companies. They have identified that an important aspect is to ensure that internationalization strategy will succeed. They highlight the importance of having the right approach towards “global marketing”, which would requires managing different communication channels effectively, building “robust systems” for the content. A related concern is having the ability to take multiple vendors global.  

 

Gengo further point towards the important aspect of managing the phases of global growth effectively. This requires adopting a continual testing and iteration approach, which further requires keeping investments low, while staying flexible to cater to the local market needs. In this regards, as “Cost of impression (CPM) rates” can differ across markets, and benchmarks have to be monitored adequately. 

 

Another important aspect that Gengo highlights is product selection, which requires a careful understanding of the product lines that can do great in foreign markets. This further requires to carefully select products on the basis of different phase of operations. Under the “Research Phase”, it is important to recognize what categories of the overall product base be sellable in a targeted market. The second phase is the “Launch phase”, where the proven SKUs can be tested and tried in a new country. Finally Gengo points toward the content. It is believed that the content has to be treated as an “asset”, and appropriately translated in a foreign country’s language resonating well with cultural aspects to attract a high volume of customers. 

Source: Gengo, “Going Global Ecommerce, Best Practices

 

Hence it can be seen that taking e-commerce company global comes with a number of important considerations, including the approach to take towards targeting a new market, approach towards global marketing, managing phases of global growth, and localization. 

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Mechanisms For Corporate Innovation Sustainability

Oct 14 Raamish Rana
October 14th, 2016

The practise of innovating consistently can be challenging for most organizations today that can deprive companies from sustaining their existence in a competitive marketplace.

In their book, “Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates” Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Gibson highlight some of the pecking challenges faced by a number of organizations in attaining innovation sustainability:

• Innovation is restricted to a specific department/incubator such as R & D – just a piecemeal to innovation objective

• Managerial practices, policies, and processes are skewed towards achieving efficiency at the expense of innovation

• Lack of adequate budget allocation towards innovation activities

• Innovation is not received as an everyday cultural behavior

Given these challenges there is a need to install proper mechanisms to ensure that corporate innovation becomes sustainable. Fortunately, Peter and Rowan offer remedial solutions that can enable companies to successfully sustain innovation. Their recommendations are discussed in-depth in the remainder of the blog as they highlight how “the balance between efficiency and innovation” can be attained, and is crucial for innovation sustainability.

A systemic approach is required. Companies can make a transition provided that they include all factors that are necessary to make innovation a corporate-wide capability which can in turn sustain capability to drive better company performance than industry.   

It is important to deploy a series of actions systematically. While there is no “one size fits all solution”, a number of factors are known to be important to establish this culture of innovation:

- Structures supportive of innovation

- Leadership engagement should be visible

- Access to processes and tools for creating tremendous opportunities and insights

- An approach disciplined to build skills and hire right people

- Open innovation marketplace, and mechanisms for deploying resources

- Company’s metrics, incentives, management processes, and training with appropriate employee accountability to ensure that innovation is given equal importance as efficiency. 

- Important to be attentive day by day to processes of mutual accommodation of efficiency and innovation

- Conversation and communication about activities of innovation

- Cultural activities promoting innovation and making it possible to thrive.

- Take initiative by launching own, small-scale innovation to get CEO’s attention – (Example: Six Sigma initiated by a mid-level Motorola employee brought to management attention)

Importantly, Innovation should also become a “self-sustaining company capability”. Even though a CEO is required to drive innovation from top, the company should still continue to have an edge even if CEO is unable to continue further with the company. Therefore it is essential that innovation becomes a part of the organizational “bloodstream” or “its core DNA”, and should not be just concentrated to one portion of company such as an incubator or a department.

Whirlpool exemplifies how a right balance can be maintained between innovation and efficiency, when the company CEO, Jeff Fettig utilized $700 M to shift the organizational focus towards innovation following heavy investment in efficiency. 

 

Source: Skarzynski, Peter, and Rowan Gibson. Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2008. Print

 
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