New Wine for Old Bottles

The world witnessed the Gulf boom from the mid-seventies for nearly a decade. Many equations changed as the new found wealth travelled the globe and impacted the world politically, financially and socially.

During this period it was not uncommon to hear bizarre stories which shockingly were found to be true. The Arabs could be believed to be outlandish but nothing was beyond reach. Stories of wealthy Arabs making offers to buy London’s Big Ben or our own Taj Mahal in Agra were a chuckle amongst the rumour mills with little surprise if they came true.

Amidst all this came an authentic anecdote from some known sources that left me in awe. Two global entrepreneurs, one from Japan and the other from India were on the hunt for a very large business deal from an Arab. Their pursuits landed them at a luxurious summer resort in Hawaii. Both hung on with stiff necks to the scent of their target as he relaxed in the pool oblivious of the predators. They waited eagerly for the Arab to step out, to make a dash and close the deal.

Suddenly there was a splash as the Indian saw his Japanese competitor jump into the pool making strokes towards the Arab. On reaching him, he pulled out his recent Japanese innovation – a plastic visiting card, and after a chat concluded the deal in the pool itself.

Though it’s nearly three decades since this event occurred, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a repeat of such stories every few years. No, I don’t mean in the pool but in the innovative ways to conduct business.

Consider the recent phenomenon. You don’t need to know, yet you know so much of whom you want to know. You can think of doing business with anyone on the globe and be connected via a social network in the next hour. People are digging info records, references, collecting data of prospective customers, vendors, employees or just following the fortunes of certain companies for their diverse interest. You don’t even need an email address, leave alone a contact number.

Today’s era has made visibility disappear in a cloud. Earlier business referrals were accustomed to be identified with source. Today it seems futile and almost a backward step. People are making every effort to be visible to the entire world and not the least surprised with overtures from across the globe. In these times you don’t need matchmakers to pick an equity in a start-up, or approach a giant for a niche requirement. You have enough dope to make your own dossiers and devise your move.

There’s a change in how you do business today. Definitely old models and practices are being thrown out of windows. Floating clouds with newer practices reinvent the hammocks that earlier platforms rested on.

New businesses will have to tune themselves not to just business offerings but also stay abreast of fresh challenges and the ever changing environment that promises to bring a new dawn with every sunset.

As the Head of Science, Einstein suffered the wrath of the university when they found that he had repeated the exact same questions for the Science paper as the previous year. How could he make such a blatant mistake? He just smiled and replied, “The questions are the same, but the answers have changed.”

The times now have turned the proverb on its head. More than new questions, expect new answers, to the same questions.

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Posted in: Branding, Entrepreneur

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  1. virendra September 5, 2014

    Super insightful…


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