Unleasing the Spirit of Enterprise
Friday, March 20, 2009
A fundamental characteristic of entrepreneurship is its capacity to generate employment, offer the promise of more income, and increase wealth. By doing so, it plays a pivotal part in providing individuals a platform from where they can aspire to a life in which their potential is realised.
Over time, much of the developed world has risen to the challenge of crafting just such a platform, and the business corporation as we know it today is a critical component of this idea of advancement.
For those of us in the developing world — in particular governments, businesses, and the people who drive them — the goal is clear: address inequities not in some sapless, trickle-down manner, but rather by creating economic spaces and providing resources to kindle the spirit of entrepreneurship that lifts people collectively.
Corporations and business houses have a different role to play in India, one with more obligations and nuances attached, than in nations where economic well-being has already been achieved.
The business community carries the responsibility to be socially responsive, to engender jobs and livelihoods, and to be more than profit-spewing monoliths answerable only to shareholders. The struggles India faces are many, but the country has significant advantages, too. It is among the world’s emerging economies, which together represent 80 per cent of the global population.
India is experiencing growth on a scale not seen previously. To accelerate this growth, we need to encourage business enterprise, and for that to happen we need to find a way to harness the entrepreneurial capability that resides within us, not quite dormant but certainly undervalued. An enterprising community is defined by an outward-looking attitude, by a willingness to explore new ideas as well as to accept exogenous influences. These qualities have been evident in Indian history throughout the centuries.