Posts filed under ‘entrepreneurship’

A New Global Growth Engine

Entrepreneurs running sophisticated companies with the potential to create millions of jobs in the developing world are often overlooked by outsiders, say Deirdre Coyle Jr. and Anne Habiby

Phanindra Sama will tell you the reason he became an entrepreneur is that he missed a bus. In 2005, he was trying to get from Bangalore to his hometown of Nizamabad for Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights. But tickets, available only at the bus station, had sold out before he could buy one.

That inspired Sama, then an engineer designing digital chips for Texas Instruments (TXN), to create redBus, a website and a network of kiosks, newsstands, and small retailers where customers can see schedules and buy tickets for thousands of bus routes across India. RedBus, which sold 1.8 million tickets in 2009, now has more than 200 employees and is heading toward sales of $30 million this year from commissions and fees paid by bus lines. “The operators had never used any technology of any kind,” says Sama, 30. “We demonstrated how [we] could help them grow their business.”

Young, dynamic entrepreneurs like Sama are showing up all over the emerging world, building companies that could create new industries—and millions of jobs. But fast-growing developing-world companies like Sama’s often stall out because few outsiders know they exist. And their markets offer little in the way of entrepreneurial infrastructure such as venture capital firms eager to invest, small business banking services, and targeted government programs such as loan guarantees. Hoping to identify the most dynamic businesses in the developing world and raise their profile, we teamed up with Harvard management professor Michael E. Porter to found AllWorld Network. We have surveyed 300 fast-growth companies from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Source: Deirdre Coyle Jr. and Anne Habiby, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Special Report, November 17, 2010

November 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Booming India Sees Growth in Philanthropy

Although India has a long tradition of philanthropy, giving on a large scale has only recently become common among wealthy Indians and Indian corporations, the Washington Post reports.

Wealthy families in India have long supported the construction of wells and schools in their native villages. Today, however, with the encouragement of American mega-philanthropists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, affluent Indians are finding ways to do more for the poor, especially as donor governments such as the United States reduce their foreign aid to developing countries.

According to global consulting firm Bain, Indian billionaires give more to charity than China’s wealthiest businessmen but less than those in developed countries. Moreover, between 2009 and 2010, the number of Indian billionaires nearly doubled, to fifty-two, while half the twenty-five wealthiest Asian billionaires listed in a recent Forbes magazine survey were Indian.

Source: Philanthropy News Digest, November 3, 2010

November 3, 2010 at 10:05 am

What Border Officials Can Do With Your Laptop And Cellular Phone

Having your laptop searched or detained by Customs on your way back from a business trip would be a nightmare for most business people. This scenario is quite possible under new governmental policies. In fact, it is becoming so frequent that last August, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) both issued their respective new policies on border searches of electronic devices. It was a coordinated effort of CBP and ICE to update and harmonize their border policies to detect an array of illegal activities, including terrorism, cash smuggling, contraband, child pornography, copyright, and export control violations. Link

Source: porterwright

February 23, 2010 at 8:00 am

China’s longs market continues to fluctuate

SteelOrbis – Over the past week China’s domestic long products market has retained its fluctuating trend,with a minor slide observed in market prices in most regions and a small climb in some individual markets.

Affected by poor market demand,longs prices in the eastern China market posted an overall declining trend in the past week,which was also caused by the decrease in the steel futures market in the first half of the week. Nevertheless,given the support of high cost levels,the market has not fallen sharply. By the end of December 10,rebar inventory in Shanghai reached 460,000 mt,neutral week on week; meanwhile,wire rod inventory in Shanghai stood at 98,000 mt,up by 5,000 mt week on week.

Driven by the Shanghai market as well as by the decrease in the steel futures market,long product prices in the south registered a minor decline on the whole during the first half of the week; subsequently,however,the market began to see a certain improvement following the recovery of the steel futures market. (Alibaba Group,6 Dec 2009 02:53:24 PST)

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December 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

Payment Options for International Transactions

You and your customer will assess many factors as you negotiate the payment term that will be used for your international transaction. They include, but are not limited to:
Value of the transaction;
Your relationship with your customer, new or long-standing;
The country where the goods are destined;
The buyer’s country’s rules about how money will be released to you, the seller; and
Whether the product being shipped is customized, built to specification, or off the shelf.
The global economy is fluid; firms will benefit from regularly examining its own customer base and assessing political, credit and foreign-exchange risks to determine which payment term best suits the situation. There are several sources that provide background information on the buyer’s country and their economy. Options that are available on the internet include:

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December 8, 2009 at 8:00 am

An Online Market Flourishes in China (E-commerce Fever Makes Taobao China’s Newest Internet Darling)

The so-called Taobao addicts are helping to pick up the slack in a sluggish economy. “I can’t live without Taobao,” said Zhang Kangni, a graduate student in Shanghai. “First, it’s cheaper. I found a dress at a store in Shanghai. It’s a Hong Kong brand that sells for $175. I found it on Taobao for $33.”

But skeptics ask: Can Taobao actually make a profit and emerge as a true Web powerhouse?

The company is not publicly traded and therefore does not disclose financial information, but listings are free on Taobao and the company makes no money from online transactions. Almost all Taobao’s $200 million in revenue comes from advertising, which the company says covers virtually all its operational costs. (By DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times, August 9, 2009 )

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November 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

Chinese Small-Business Lending Getting Smaller

In a little-noticed statement last week, China’s central bank and banking regulator gave an update on how well the country’s small businesses are doing at getting loans from banks (original in English here). That’s become a crucial issue this year, with growing concerns among officials and scholars that China’s extraordinary credit boom is bypassing the very firms that account for most new job creation. Yet the latest numbers — like many Chinese statistics – confuse as much as they enlighten.

The regulators said small- and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs for short, accounted for 14.1 trillion yuan of outstanding bank loans at the end of September, up 28% from a year earlier. Overall bank lending, by contrast, was up 34.2% in September. According to our calculations, the figures would mean small-business loans account for 36% of China’s total lending and 45% of lending to corporations. (The 3.08 trillion yuan in new loans to SMEs is also 45% of this year’s new lending to corporations.) (By Andrew Baston, The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2009)

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November 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

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