Monday, September 29, 2014

Romanticising entrepreneurs?

The Economist's Schumpeter states:

"… the reality [for an entrepreneur] can be as romantic as chewing glass."

Schumpeter's article referenced here highlights the simple fact that a true entrepreneur, the absolute risk taker with his or her time and money, is not understood and misunderstood by almost all of those who are not.

"Over half of American startups are gone within five years. Most of the survivors barely stumble along. Shikhar Ghosh of Harvard Business School (HBS) found that three-quarters of startups backed by venture capital—the crème de la crème—failed to return the capital invested in them, let alone generate a positive return. In 2000 Barton Hamilton of Washington University in St Louis compared the income distributions of American employees and entrepreneurs, and concluded that the latter earned 35% less over a ten-year period than those in paid jobs."

I lived in North Carolina for five years, and had the opportunity to be the president of The Indus Entrepreneurs - Carolinas chapter.  One of its founders was Mr. Vivek Wadhwa:

"Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur turned academic, had a heart attack when he had just turned 45, after taking one company public and reviving another."

I as an entrepreneur am biased towards experiential learnings rather than acamedia teaching one to be an entrepreneur.  Though now having gone through 2002 and 2008 economic melt downs as an entrepreneur and recovered successfully, I simply choose to walk away from the pundits and so called experts on entrepreneurism.

You are born an entrepreneur or not.  See further proof in my blog "Its in the genes" here.

Read the complete article here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mobile money - a developing countries' business model

From The Economist:

"Kenya leads the world in mobile money, with more active accounts than adults in its population. The total value of transactions made by mobile phone in 2013 was around $24 billion, more than half the country’s GDP. The leading mobile payment system in Kenya, M-PESA, was launched in 2007. A year later it expanded to Tanzania. While uptake there has not been as strong, the total transaction value is close to that of Kenya. As mobile phones have become more widely available, mobile payment transfers have helped reach the “unbanked”. In at least eight countries, including Congo and Zimbabwe, more people have registered mobile-money accounts than traditional bank accounts."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Worth revisiting: Jobs for new grads in oil and gas

I have received numerous calls and requests for employment in the past two months from new college engineering graduates and recent hires in oil and gas who have been laid off.

Its worth revisiting that things have not improved and continue to get worse in the jobs for new graduates of engineering disciplines focused on oil and gas.  The article "Is There Money to Be Made in Oil? New Grads Don't Think So" in Bloomberg here from January of 2015 still holds true as  towards the end of this year 2016 more layoffs are coming from the oil companies and oil and gas service providers.

Unfortunately, college graduates who are not able to pivot into sector independency and learn to learn the reapplication of their education and capabilities, will find it a hard life from now on.  The education that will remain premium and become more so as this century progresses will be in mathematics and computer science.

The impact of oil price drop in regions heavy on energy commodities based economies like Alberta is severe:

"Colleen Bangs, manager of career services at the University of Calgary, says only about a third of the 659 engineering students at the school have found placements for their year-long internships as companies cut back on campus recruitment.

"Something I've noticed, particularly in this last semester, is that there's a bit of an impending feeling of doom,'' said Bangs."

Read the article "Engineering Graduates Wait Up To 1 Year To Find Work" from April 2016 in The Huffington Post here.

I graduated as a Nuclear Engineer from Georgia Tech.  It is an industry that is perhaps the most heavily regulated amongst its peers.  I interned in the sector for a quarter and never reentered it.  I have looked at coming trends and redesigned my future and successfully delivered on it a few times.  My advice to those who have not been able to find jobs is to remember that fulfilling work is better than no work and work you love is even better.  Yet, to be the best of the best in a continuously changing world requires a tenacity and will to succeed that the college graduates have not had to deal with before.  It is due to the global talent availability and technologies march to commoditize what most colleges teach today.

The graduates can blame the colleges or the economy or etc. yet it is dependent on them to cause the change in their lives.  Action yields results not reactions in this case.