Introduction It is absolutely essential that we make hay while the sun shines. This is so important as time is always short and the entire world is now into uncertain times as never before. Hence, it even becomes more important to a) focus and utilize all existing opportunities b) create new opportunities where none exist today and c) optimize all learning for tomorrow's challenges. These three imperatives will have particular relevance to choosing careers, changing jobs, saving money for the future and d) becoming very tough, as we endure new challenges. Some dimensions of the above are sought to be discussed in this article.
Focusing and utilizing all existing opportunities Focusing and utilizing all existing opportunities is an art by itself. When the superb Indian multinational called ITC entered the biscuit industry, not many gave it a chance to even survive. Within a very short time, it has shot into fame with its Sunfeast brand of biscuits, giving Britannia Industries a run for their money. It has close to ten percent market share. Innovating advertising and packaging has made a huge difference.
At the individual level, we also need to understand current markets. Parents of those in the school final stage, for example, should identify talent of their children,which may be latent. A big point in this regard was made in the movie 3 idiots. One should always understand that there is a huge amount of market in different fields. In creative arts and in music. In specialized fields like bakery and in grooming. In event management and interior design. In fashion designing. Parents need to just expose their children even when they are studying in the tenth standard, so that they can choose the right course and the right career. Even for changing jobs, the trends may throw up new ideas and possibilities.
For instance, behavioral training is not the in-thing. But Six Sigma is. So, if one has the talent, he or she should switch over to companies like the TVS group, milk all the opportunities and either stay put, or jump ship to even far more better opportunities. Six Sigma will stay in the limelight for at least ten years. So one has to just understand the current realities and then take a plunge. Even for saving money, we can learn from others. Mutual funds have the equity option, where the investment is made in equities by experts. The returns are not taxable up to one lakh rupees. Many shrewd employed professionals in IT are investing in these investment vehicles and getting out when the profit reaches eighty thousand. This is a very shrewd strategy of making quick money.
I know one fellow in Hyderabad who invested six lakhs for just two years and took a big risk. But it got him around eight lakhs, a short while before the returns were termed as taxable for any amount more than one lakh rupees.
The scope is very high. We just need to identify these opportunities and simply milk them.
Creating new opportunities when none exist Yes. It is possible to create new opportunities when none exist. The Ipad from Apple industries is the best example of this. YouTube is a new opportunity for thousands to make money. That is, only if they are creative. Entrepreneurs are simply milking the ethnic market by coming up with totally new products. For example,there is a new trend in Ayurveda based products that are now marketed as perfect cures for ordinary ailments and sold without doctor's prescriptions. The market has already started to explode with such opportunities. Even in films, there is what is called "fusion music", a perfect creation of the genius called A.R, Rahman.
So, it is not merely enough to concentrate on utilizing existing opportunities. We also need to create new opportunities when none exist. The entire business of home delivery is based on this premise. Even the kirana guys have started this, to just beat Big Bazaar, as the customer does not have time on week days. They simply take away the market from Big Bazaar, sometimes with more discount as well. The new opportunities have also thrown up new entrepreneurs. For example, the A to Z services in the metros have started to milk one problem with working professionals: lack of time. So, we have guys who collect our clothes, wash them and have them neatly pressed too, saving us a huge amount of time. The cost is marginally high, but it is worth it.
Such opportunities will simply grow, at least fifteen percent year on year.
Optimize learning for tomorrow's challenges Optimizing all learning and skills for tomorrow's challenges is no rocket science. For example, every hit and miss in the gaming industry meant for children does throw new challenges. Some very intelligent entrepreneurs are now trying to pass on such learning to play schools. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Some wise men and women sitting in the play schools in Management, understand that this will be key for tomorrow. Since the computer and even mobile games form part of their "learning through playing"philosophy of teaching, the children also get a huge opportunity to experiment.
The mobile is not a sin. Why not use it to help the child learn new things? The new brand of entrepreneurs have started to see the big picture!!
It does seem that the IT industry and the IT-enabled services will simply lap up all such opportunities, making learning available to huge masses of people, anywhere in the world. The opportunities are immense and very interesting.
A day will come, when say, a farmer sitting in a village near New Delhi can communicate in Hindi with his counterpart in a village near say, Tiruchirapalli, some two thousand five hundred kilometers away, and whatever he talks will be immediately translated into Tamil. This is the sort of learning that is sought to be optimized.
Since we all are part of the global village, let each of us sit up and notice everything going on around us. Let us make hay while the sun shines. Let us make use of every bit of information coming into our lives.