Sunday, March 10, 2013

The SME mindset - Indians

The Indian community in South Africa are an enigma to many other South Africans. The Indian business community are generally respected as being great traders. However, with time they have proven themselves as able business people in big businesses as much as in small businesses. 

They however are not renowned for sharing their business secrets, even within the Indian community. I have had students doing dissertations think they would get the cooperation of Indian business people because they too were Indians. However, they too were unable to get access to the inner “secrets” of the Indian business community.

While lecturing entrepreneurship, I have always encouraged students to start, build and sell their businesses. A business worth RXm is only worth potential wealth of RXm. It is not wealth. It is only potential wealth!!! No wealth. My Indian students will just not accept this as an option. Not one. As far as they are concerned, once you have created a successful business, you keep it. I support the “cash is king” system. Start them and sell them is what I believe will produce the greatest wealth. This allows for you to then buy or start a bigger business, and create greater wealth, with reduced dependence on outside funding.

The Indian community tend to prefer family-run businesses and I have not met any with partners, other than in the professions.