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On 'Ease of doing Business'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Dr B K Mukhopadhyay

At least it is heartening to note that India is aiming to be among the top 30 countries in the world in terms of ease of doing business. India - presently a $2 trillion economy and hoping to turn the same into a $4-5 trillion economy in the near future - is ranked at the 142nd position among 189 tions in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2015 report.

There is no doubt that efforts are on but the situation is so deem that we have to run simply crawling would not do. It is being rightly observed that ‘while innovators in the US are focusing on top one billion population of the world, Indian entrepreneurs could concentrate on the needs of the remaining 5 billion people living in developing countries’.

Initiatives like ‘Skill India’ ‘Make in India’ and ‘Mudra Bank’ are no doubt turning the hitherto ‘tough impression’ into an ‘achievable one’ at least! Recent initiatives, including e-biz portal, Goods and Services Tax, mobile platform for setting up business, and working with states to improve ease of doing business, are no doubt reflecting some silver lining.

Obvious enough, the ongoing suggestions like: focusing on India specific problems in areas like waste magement and solar power, developing domestic venture capital industry to fund innovations relevant to especially the developing world, are realistic,keeping in view the latent forces in these sectors.

Change Is Where There Is Reality

On this score Charles Darwin’s words must not be lost sight of. “It’s neither the strongest nor the most intelligent of the species that survive; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

What about the ongoing facts and circumstances globally - are we not now living in a chaotic transition period with a new age defined by global competition, rampant change, faster flow of information and communication, increasing business complexity, and pervasive globalization?.

The pace of change has become so rapid that it took different types of firms to be domint and marked entirely a new era of business. This new environment is also characterized by ‘more far-reaching technological advances, and a consumer who has adjusted to this quicker pace and whose fickle preferences are revised with the speed of a television commercial.’

The reality should not take a back seat - world trade economy is growing at more than five times the rate of world gross domestic product. But the stern reality is that the ongoing business scerio has been turning to be more complex than ever before. Competition is now based more on capabilities than assets. New competitive dymics have led to greater instability in the profitability of companies. One technology is being speedily replaced by the other and new products, services, and competitors are emerging with blinding speed. Competitive pressure has been intensifying.

Jet-speed changes in competition, technology, and workforce values are compelling organizations to search for new and more human ways of increasing productivity and competitiveness. The biggest changes have been due to the impact of information and communication technology. The ability to access vast information resources within a matter of minutes and to communicate across huge distances at ever lower costs and improving quality and convenience is transforming the way people and companies interact. Virtually, it is becoming harder to achieve market leadership and to stay on top.

Not Myopic But Farsightedness

Clearly, so far as the business world is concerned nothing can be taken for granted for survival. Little did we think that the airlines could compete with the railways, the then sanctioned housing loans turning to be a giant sub-prime crisis and great recession would be visiting the biggies at a time when mankind wishes to look at the other plants to find out the existence of the counterpart….

So, there are complexities galore - business space, technologies, processes, business models as well have turned out to be more complex - new characteristics are added frequently [subtracted infrequently]. The dimensions of business space keep increasing, adding complexity, while at the same time furnishing attractive new opportunities for those who can successfully vigate in the new environment. This complexity, in turn, also inhibits greater size and greater value creation.

Side by side, in the emerging era of over communication and hyper-competition, people are overwhelmed by choice – choice of information, ideas, products, and services. Information is becoming readily available around the globe at an unprecedented pace. Customers, competitors, and innovators have instant access to each other. The result - technological change, especially change in information and communication technology, delivered the Information Age and converted it to the Knowledge Age.

The road to success is always topsy-turvy – there is no question of preparing an omelet without breaking the egg- target success in business and stay ahead of the competition – constantly expanding the network – seamless connections to others parts of the world via your hubs.

Thus, the question that remains is: how to move ahead over time? Is there any short cut way? Why the small remains small??

Especially, in this age of innovention (innovation plus invention) the structure of trade vis-à-vis competition has been changing at a fast and consistent rate, where one technology is being replaced by the other treating the globe as an extended village. Intense competition has become a way of life simultaneously with the implicit and explicit risk factors. On the one hand the challenge is there to retain the customer, while on the other the fears of unexpected loss arising out of the complex risk factors loom large. That is why, any scanning of intertiol business environment is crucial on the part of an upcoming business venture.

The time has arrived when we note that even the best of professiols need a team of effective information magers for ensuring an optimal productivity, an effective system of interl control skills to provide inputs to quicken the process of decision making. An attitudil change is a must in such a context as the ture of business has been becoming more and more complex.

Today’s business means, clearly, becoming an intertiol player as nothing of such kind could succeed if the same remains restricted to a frog in the well form. It is something like accepting that ‘the ship looks good when parked at the harbour’ but the same is not meant for remaining so. Business without risk is virtually preparing an omelet without breaking the egg.

It is undoubtedly a well known fact that success comes out of constant endeavors and obviously, it depends on the very ability to learn from the past [as the same cannot be changed under any circumstances being a part of history], and good anticipation as to what is going to happen [being a mystery] and unpredictable. Since today has rightly been termed as a gift why not to make use of them so that one becomes more than two!

Business processes must become more mature and the Institution must be able to deliver higher performance-spatially, temporally, hierarchically and functiolly. Obviously, to achieve the same the starting point is designing [the comprehensiveness of the specifications as to how the process is to executed]; followed by the performers [people executing the process based on skill and knowledge]; owner [persons shouldering the responsibility for the process as well as the results]; infrastructure [information/MIS that support the process]; and of course the metrics [the measures the company uses to track the process’s performance].

Let us keep our fingers crossed!

(The Writer, a noted Magement Economist, and an Intertiol Commentator on Business and Economic Affairs, attached to the West Bengal State University, can be reached at m.bibhas@gmail.com)

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