Finding Blue Oceans

Today I had lunch with a dashing young Can-Indian IT entrepreneur.  He
picked my colleague and me up in his white Range Rover and talked about
upgrading to a Karma Fisker to leave less of a carbon footprint and
leave more in his pocketbook from the gas savings.  We talked business
over lunch and planned tech projects to stabilize our company’s manage
and store IT services.  I anxiously peeked into my phone to find out if
we had a response to a quote for a contract renewal I was expecting,
apologizing for my rudeness and stating the reason for my anxiety.  Alex
understood.  He talked about lost bids to cut throat margins,
diminishing returns on existing contracts and companies waiting to
snatch away his flagship customers.  I felt oddly comforted to hear him
echo my sentiments.  This was the worst of times.  However, we both
talked about moving out of bloody waters where we compete with sharks in
gory price wars and finding blue oceans.  I reflected on that age old
adage of adversity being the mother of invention and how with every
setback has emerged the need to innovate.  So at our little firm we have
moved from in-person training to online, from translation to
transcription and trans-creation (creating ad copy from Enlish into
Spanglish, for eg). Soon we  may launch our online language schools
offering tutoring in all languages through our five thousand strong
language professionals.  But these will bring in revenues in the future.
What about now?  To which the fortune cookie at the end of the meal
said “hope is the stimulant of life”.  Also smart companies like
Qualcomm and IBM invested in new product and leadership development, and
customer centric programs through their most difficult times rather
than cut back.  When the going got better, they reaped in spades.  Sigh –
we just need to stick with the program and keep looking for those blue
oceans.  Oh through all the commiserating I also knew that in facing the
pitfalls that I do every day, I can legimately call myself an
entrepreneur now.



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