Thursday, 1 October 2009


Perhaps the biggest candy that the Capitalism offers is , that any enterprising person, in pursuit of his own self interest could , on the base of capital accumulated can create and utilize resources , thereby improving the standard of utilization of resources of society. This form of guarantee is offered by no other political economy/philosophy, and the persons they create are "Entrepreneurs".

As India , purportedly, embarks on the journey to growth and progress, Entrepreneurs bears significant importance. But does India have the characteristic of recognizing the "morality" behind the enterprising act of entrepreneurs? Outwardly no, but in actuality, yes. The forms may differ, but Indians like an enterprising person, a person who creates "value" out of idle resources. A faint but firm liking for enterprising people resides in almost all of our hearts, but the hatred and fear in particular is more discernible due to the lack of belief in the "social" moral of some players. In essence, it is envy with praise that we had , but contempt grew , when the acts of crony capitalism started biting us.

Nevertheless, lets look at the type of Entrepreneurs that we have in our society. First and most populous grade is that of the "Entrepreneurs by Expediency". Not difficult to spot them around, turn around they are everywhere. Starting from the grocery shop around the corner to pull carts plying on the busiest of roads, selling a variety of items. From water pouch to stolen goods, to duplicate books and CDs. They are widely present on the Indian demographic character and it would be wrong to restrict their presence to only big cities. These are entrepreneurs by force, circumstance, providence call it what you may. But they are life sustaining source for a great multitude of people and in turn generates "value" out of nowhere.

Next category would be of Entrepreneurs by choice. This category people are motivated by "money" factor of business , with no particular interest in creating value out of the same. For them this is not the means of subsistence, but the means to get wealth. There are a large multitude of small organizations that work in this direction, ranging from software developers, hackers, finance consultants etc. Their presence in the field is not for the purpose of furthering the "value" of resources, whihc they do un-intentionally, but to gather money. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand does act, but not completely. In my personal opinion, they do generate efficient resource, but in the process, their "greed" may trump over the process of extracting value out of resources.

A third category of entrepreneurs shall be of Visionaries. They are not primarily concerned with personal benefits, at least not wholly, but with the aim of achieving their vision. Attainment of their vision, involves a range of activities, from creating value of resources, to creating markets for things never thought of. They start with the idea of changing the way the world is. In a sense, these group of people, justify the meaning of the world Entrepreneurs. In the process of generating value out of resources, they change the way world looked at it. I do not mean to include only the inventors of scientific interest over here, but rather the category of people who transformed the way world acted. Mobile phones, calling rates , credit cards, ATMs,Financial inventions, IT. There are examples galore. All of these have only been possible due to the visionary entrepreneurs, without whom, world would not have been the same as it is now.

Where and how does then the fear sit firm on common mass' mind? They are not wrong in their perception as well. Entrepreneurs do create value out of resources, but they also create "greed", mindless chase of money, increase the value of one resource much more than the other one. In short, they at the same time as creating value, also deepen inequalities, between intelligent and non-intelligent, rich and poor, young and old. It has to be accepted, that creating value out of resources is not the same or doesn't concur with creating equality. Social concerns do not overlap with the act of creating value and which in itself is a moot question. If the entrepreneurship of or social entrepreneurship were to go beyond a rosy phrase, we would have it cover the complete circle. Alas, its not so.
And till then entrepreneurs shall continue creating value , but not social wealth.

No comments: