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Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success*

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
ET Cases - GSMC, 17 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Maryam Fozia, Research Scholar, AMU, Dr. Ahmad Faraz Khan, Regional Coordinator, Manappat Foundation, and Dr. Ayesha Farooq - Associate Professor, AMU

Case Preview

Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

 

He is in his early 60s, but the determination, motivation and enthusiasm to make his future ventures successful is like that of a young entrepreneur in 20s. Meet the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Manappat Group of Companies, Ameer Ahamed (Ameer), who had an exciting and successful entrepreneurship journey of more than 35 years. This visionary is now entering into social entrepreneurship with his vision 2040 for the downtrodden section of the Uttar Pradesh.

Personal Background

Ameer comes from a very rich and educated family from Kerala. His father, a renowned educational reformer in Kerala, had tried several businesses such as construction contracting, auction of forest wood, etc. He was not very successful in his business and he also had an ancestral fortune to fall back upon. But, due to a strong family culture of acquiring and excelling in higher education and mother’s inspirations towards honest, ethical and righteous life, Ameer along with his three siblings have grown into balanced personalities. Ameer takes pride in the fact that he comes from a place which is an epitome of communal harmony and he has imbibed this quality first-hand from his immediate environment in Kerala.

His primary education was from a village school and college degree from St. Thomas College, Trichur, Kerala. At the college, he developed an affinity for politics and did well at the college-level politics. He had planned to pursue active politics but conforming to the social norms laid by his parents, he intentionally restrained his political persuasions. In pursuit of higher studies, he went to Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), and acquired his Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences. His political affinities have shaped his personality as much as his desire to become an entrepreneur. He went back to Trichur and also acquired a degree in Law. By 1975, he acquired an MBA degree from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh.......

Entrepreneurial Inclinations

From childhood, Ameer was fascinated by the possibilities of transforming small corner tea shops into big hotels. His mind applied the factors of production in various combinations to ascertain the causes of their nominal growth and the ways it could be overcome..............

An Entrepreneur in the Making

After completing MBA, Ameer joined a hotel run by his uncles in Calicut, Kerala. In return, he opted for a fixed salary of INR2000 per month which was a handsome amount of money in 1970s. During the same time, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) was selecting executive trainees, through a rigorous procedure..............

KSIDC Association: A Blessing in Disguise

As an executive trainee, he got the opportunity to interact with the most successful industrialists from across the state. He was deputed as a Project Manager for a joint venture project between KSIDC and an industrialists’ conglomerate. This joint venture project was shelved for past many months and Ameer had received a mandate to revive it. The venture was based on the most advanced Japanese technology, and Ameer had professed the project to be successful............

A Setback; Turned into a Major Motivator

Ameer had planned a long term association with this joint venture. He was waiting for the project to reach the commercial stage and at that stage he had planned to resign from KSIDC and become a full time independent partner. All his dreams were shattered when he was forced to return back to the parent body, on little salary. The vision, hard-work and investment bore no fruits. The setback developed a sense of determination in Ameer to achieve success in his own way...............

The Entrepreneurial Quests

Ameer was successful in turning around the KSIDC joint venture project; likewise he embraced the challenge of turning around a flagship unit of TTCC in Oman. The unit was the sole franchisee holder of Duraclean, the American Company; primarily into carpet cleaning business. It was sick and incurring recurrent losses of 2500 Omani Riyals per month for the past few years............

Duraclean Unit: The Business Practices, and Loop-holes

The Duraclean unit had two teams of three personnel, and their working time was between nine o’clock morning to five o’clock in the evening. This gave rise to 24 working slots for the teams every week. Customers placed an order in their office at any time of the day for cleaning their premises; a team would be sent to serve the customer at their premises within an hour of booking for the cleaning requirement..............

The Solution and Implementation; ‘Managing Turnaround’

Ameer withdrew the existing team temporarily and put himself in their place as a turn-around specialist. He executed the turn-around as planned; which involved:

i. Creation of an ‘artificial demand’:

• Artificial demand was created by communicating customers of “fully booked” status, for a week. They were further communicated that there were limited bookings available. This strategy was adopted to ensure an advance future booking. For team demonstration, Ameer received all the phone-calls at the reception for a month and demonstrated the advance bookings model to the sales team............

.................

Duraclean Success

As a result, the Duraclean Division became the market leader in Oman. They were invited to provide their services to palaces and other sought after places. There was a full market demand; a state in which demand meets supply potential of the company. There was customer loyalty, repeat purchase and appreciation of the services.............

Duraclean Story: The Entrepreneurial Implications

Duraclean story shows how Ameer made an entrepreneurial intervention by bringing together the resources in a different way.

Schumpeter has helped us understand the definition of entrepreneurship as a process; “To reform or revolutionize the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or untried technological possibility for producing a new commodity or producing an old one in a new way, by opening up a new outlet of products... Entrepreneurship, as defined essentially consists in doing things that are not done in the ordinary course of business routine”...............

Looking Forward

Ameer had always sought challenges in life. Ever since his earlier days he had looked for possibilities of turning small things big and successful. His first success with the TTCC was reassuring him of his entrepreneurial capabilities........

The Water Proofing Business Unit: A Challenge

‘Wet Jet’ was the name of the product which the TTCC’s Water Proofing Business Unit had patronized. It was a liquid applied water proofing solution. The product was constituted of non-drying oil unlike its competitor’s water proofing product ‘torch-on’............

The Challenge

• In spite of the ‘wet jet’ being a superior quality product, the market was vouched by the ‘torch on’ water proofing product, which was also the market leader.
• In the state of market aversion, a market penetration strategy for the ‘wet jet’ product was to be devised and implemented. Under this concentration strategy, intense focus was to be attempted to sell more of their product to the same market. Besides this, the existing market share of the Wet Jet product was to be increased, competitors to be driven out of the mature market.
• ..........

...........................

The Solution and the Related Activities

• Ameer went through the ‘Wet-Jet’ product literature and discovered that it provided a far superior water proofing solution than the ‘torch-on’ solution. He shared the knowledge with his team and convinced them to proceed with that product itself. The water proofing industry possessed a high potential for growth and was sufficiently attractive for a concentration strategy to ensure an organic growth. Concentration strategy is the first level expansion strategy, which is also called as intensification, or a specialization growth strategy. This involves converging resources in one of the company’s business so that the company does what it is doing vis-à-vis customer needs, function and alternative technology.
• With an objective to share the product knowledge and to convince about the product’s superiority, he approached the Chief Engineer in the ministry.
•.................

.................................

The Success

Within the next one year, the company became the market leader in the water proofing business. More than 50% of the projects in the sector were implemented by the Tejan Group, and there was no looking back...............

Looking Forward

Ameer ensured that the business plans at all levels in the water proofing business unit for next three years were in place. He organized an able team to carry the business as planned..........

Laboratory Engineering Services Division: The New Unit

The opportunity: Ameer acquired a cue from the Chief Engineer in the ministry of Sultanate of Oman that they were in need of a world class laboratory furniture for their science laboratories in the education and health sector across the country. Ameer gathered upon this information as an opportunity for entering into this business..........

Genesis of the Laboratory Services Division

• During the times when snail mail was the predominant means of communication, he had the challenge to gather information about world class lab-furniture from the global market, within the shortest duration of time. Ameer sent telefax messages to the laboratory furniture makers in Italy, Sweden, U.S., Germany, and Denmark. Within a week, the manufacturers in Denmark and other countries responded with their product details.
• The manufacturer in Denmark had the best designs with least cost. They were eventually shortlisted.
• .............

A Learning from Laboratory Engineering Services Division

• While the business unit was operating at a comfortable margin, a sudden devaluation of the Omani Riyal rendered the unit a loss of ten thousand Omani Riyals. A corporate lesson was learnt in context of managing overseas procurements dealing in a different currency.

....................

Dissociation from Tejan Group, and Ahead

In 2009, Ameer had to part his ways from the Tejan Group of Companies, Oman due to certain unresolved differences with the Omani partner. Subsequently they got into an agreement that the Companies with Tejan trade name operating in countries other than the Sultanate of Oman will be solely owned by Ameer, whereas Hamed...........

Ameer’s Ventures Today

Ameer heads the Manappat Group, which is a vibrant, versatile business house with an unrivalled portfolio of interests and investments. The group’s turnover is approximately INR700 crore in 2015. The group’s business is spread across the Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom............

Business Expansions of Manappat Group

Ameer has adopted a Combination strategy for Manappat Group of Industries, which is a mix of stability, expansion and divestment strategies over a period of time for different businesses.

Hospitality Industry, Oman

Ameer had established the Spicy Village Restaurants and therefore hospitality industry is the foremost industry for Manappat Group to enter into. Spice Village is a chain of five restaurants across Oman. Ameer adopted the ‘Concentration strategy’ for the restaurants business..............

Trading, Engineering (Contracting) and Food Industry, U.A.E

Tejan General Trading was established in 1992 in U.A.E. as the country is an attractive destination for traders and business ventures. Geographically, it is located close to Oman, therefore expansion to UAE was a rational decision................

...........................

Human Resource Management and Welfare Philosophy

Ameer believes that the fruits of economic progress and corporate success have to reach the society. Ameer has a personnel care model to ensure that the benefit of the workers’ earnings reach their families. This has emerged from his underlying principle that the employees with personal problems at home cannot be “involved employees”............

Social Entrepreneurship

Ameer is slowly giving the reigns of his entrepreneurial ventures to his sons. And, he is entering into social entrepreneurship, with an objective to invest a percentage of the companies’ profits into social development in India. He has developed a VISION-2040 for the state of Uttar Pradesh. This vision aims to uplift the downtrodden section of the society through literacy, health, employment and environmental cleanliness and sanitation. In the phase-1 of vision 2040, Aligarh, Hathras and Lucknow cities will be focused upon.............

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Industry-Wise Distribution Of Manappat Group Companies

Exhibit II: Corporate Structure

Exhibit III: Manappat Group Genesis

Teaching Note Preview

Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

 

Synopsis

The case study is developed to enable a discussion on the entrepreneurship development process in the light of a real-life entrepreneur. The discussion is focused on highlighting the personality characteristics of an entrepreneur. It brings forth the influence of various environmental influences on entrepreneur. A critical factor in entrepreneurship development is the appropriateness of the decisions of an entrepreneur. The discussion highlights how decisive decision making style can be for entrepreneurial success.

Pedagogical Objectives

  • • To understand the personality characteristics of an entrepreneur.
  • • To discuss the influences of the environment in the process of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • • To understand the decision making strategies of an entrepreneur and debate on the appropriateness of the strategies adopted by him/her.

 

Case Positioning and Setting

This case can be used in MBA/Executive MBA programs or Executive Development Programs (EDPs) for Entrepreneurship Development Course.

Preamble

This case aims to explain the participants regarding the multi-dimensional approach to entrepreneurship development. Since the scope is very wide and involves a lot of subjectivity, this case traverses the participants through critical personality characteristics and environmental influences in the entrepreneurship development process. Based on this premise, the classroom discussion was carried out with the aid of the following plan [Exhibit (TN)-I]..............

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Abstract

The case study "Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success" - is to sensitize the students about the impact of various factors on entrepreneurial development. It is reflective of how a major failure can actually be a stepping stone to a great entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurial personality characteristics such as innovation, calculated risk taking capability, etc., are reflected across the case. Environmental factors such as presence or absence of resources, key networks and family support, etc., have an influencing impact on the entrepreneurial process. With the passage of time, as the entrepreneur grabs opportunities and becomes successful in his/her ventures, the decision making capabilities become sharper and strategic.

This case study is based on a personal one-on-one interview with Ameer. The interview was recorded and themes were extracted to give the case study its current shape.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the personality characteristics of an entrepreneur
  • To discuss the influences of the environment in the process of becoming an entrepreneur
  • To understand the decision making strategies of an entrepreneur and debate on the appropriateness of the strategies adopted by him/her

Case Positioning and Setting
This case can be used in MBA/Executive MBA programs or Executive Development Programs (EDPs) for Entrepreneurship Development Course.


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

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- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)


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