Emerging World of Entrepreneurship!

The successive waves of Entrepreneurship that began with the initial capitalists when countries were industrializing and then continued with the Digital Age advent have now reached a stage where eCommerce companies and Smartphone App-based aggregators and businesses are the leading forms of entrepreneurship. In this context, it is worthwhile to note that the companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Alibaba in the United States and China, Flipkart and Zomato in India, and Amazon worldwide represent the latest wave of entrepreneurial startups that have gone on to become famous and attract Billion Dollar funding. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to state that the Entrepreneurs behind these ventures and startups have shaken the existing market models to the core and disrupted how business is done both in the developed and developing world. The media is full of stories and coverage about these “New Age” ventures that have emerged from nowhere and have attracted Billion Dollar valuations and funding from deep-pocketed angel investors and venture capitalists. Indeed, the media has coined a term for the hottest of these startups by naming them Unicorns after the Mythical creature that could fly and do no wrong. Further, the eye-popping funding and the high and steep valuations can only mean that going forward; there would be more entrepreneurs who would like to emulate and follow the success stories as role models. Another point that needs to be made is that for many eCommerce startups in emerging economies such as India, their current strategy is to engage in a price war with their competitors in a “race to the bottom” marketing and business strategy wherein many of these ventures are “burning money” or what is known in industry jargon and parlance as “burn rate” meaning that they are losing money to attract new customers and retain existing customers by offering never before heard discounts. To conclude this article, it needs to be reiterated that while some genuinely disruptive Unicorns are rewriting the business rules, there is an equal number of them that are simply walking on air, thereby raising the possibility of them crashing to the ground once the euphoria dies down. In other words, businesses must make money and profits. Investors must get returns on their capital and investments at some point in time, and hence, as any business management theory would tell us, only companies with sound fundamentals “make the cut” ultimately, and this is something that applies to the Unicorns as well.

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