Introduction to Business
Business is the organized efforts of enterprises to supply consumers with goods
and services. Businesses vary in size as measured by number of employees or
by sales volume.
All businesses share the same purpose to earn Profits. However, the
purpose of business goes beyond earning profits.
It is an important institution in society and the role of business is crucial.
Be it for the supply of goods and services
Creation of job opportunities
Offer of better quality of life
Contributing to the economic growth of the country and putting it on the
Scope of Business
Business included all activities connected with production, trade,
banking, insurance, finance, agency, advertising, packaging and
numerous other related activities. Businesses include all efforts to
comply with legal restrictions and government requirements and
discharging obligations to consumers, employees, owners and to
other interest groups which have stakes in business directly or
Society cannot do without business and vice versa.
Characteristics of Today’s Business
Change - Transition
Business during the 21st
• There is a trend towards mini organizations alongwith large corporations.
• Existence of flexible, flat and team based structures
• Business is knowledge based. Processes have become complex. Brain power is in great demand.
• Information technology will take care of all data management and networked computers handle
• Organisations have become flat.
• Dispersed ownership, open minded and a transparent environment is encouraged
1. Three types of diversification maybe distinguished : Concentric, horizontal and conglomerate
diversification. Concentric diversification refers to the process of adding new, but related products or
services. Eg : HLL which as Liril, Pears, Rexona, Lux and Lifebuoy. Horizontal diversification is
adding of new, unrelated products or services for present consumer base. Conglomerate
diversification refers to adding new and unrelated products or services.
Environment refers to all external forces which have a bearing on the
functioning of business. ”Environment are largely if not totally external,
and beyond the control of individual industrial enterprises and their
management. These are essentially the givers within which firms and
their managements must operate in a specific country and they vary,
from country to country”.
However, the term business environment refers to the
External Factors. The external environment has two
components ie business opportunities and threats to business.
Simmilarly, the organisational environment has two components
ie. strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. A SWOT
analysis is thus the first step in strategy formulation
Business DecisionInternal Environment External Environment
Factors influencing Business Decision
Mission / Objectives
Internal Power Relationship
Physical Assets & facilities
Any business has certain vision, mission and objectives and a
strategy to achieve them. Formulation of strategy is defined as
establishing a proper firm-environment fit. Indeed the objectives
should be based on an assessment of the external environment
and the organizational factors (internal environment).
Company Image and Brand Equity
The macro environment consists of factors which are beyond the control of
the business. There is a symbiotic relationship between business and the
environmental factors, environmental factors are dynamic and a particular
business firm, by itself, may not be in a position to change it’s environment.
Macro Environment includes:
The Micro environment consists of different types of stakeholders -
customers, employees, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, competitors. It is
also known as the Task Environment and Operating Environment and has a
direct bearing on the operations of the firm. Changes in the micro
environment will directly affect and impinge on the firm's activities.
Technological is the systematic application of scientific or other
organized knowledge to practical tasks.
Technological environment hold new technological innovation, new
products, the state of technology, the utilization of technology for
maximum inputs and outputs, the obsolescence of technology and the
dynamic changes that frequently occur in technologies which enable
firms to get a competitive advantage
Technology reaches people through business
Helps in increased productivity
Business needs to spend on R & D and keep up with the technological
advances around them
Technology leads to introduction of new products and older products
becoming outdated and redundant.
Technological advances leads to high expectations of consumers in
terms of quality
Leads to system complexity
Demand for capital
Political Environment refers to the influence exerted by the three
political institutions ie. legislature, executive and judiciary in
shaping, directing, developing and controlling business
The constitution of a country
Image of the country and its leaders
Laws governing business
Flexibility and adaptability of laws
The Judicial System
Economic Environment refers to all forces which have an economic
impact on Business.
The economic environment consists of the demand dynamics, supply
situation, pricing factors, degree of competitiveness, and impact of
profitability. It includes the fiscal policy, monetary policy and the
taxation policy, the FDI norms, the investment criterion and financing
decisions. Economic environment includes:
Money and Capital Markets
Per capita and national income
New Economic Policy
The global environment refers to those factors which are relevant to
business, such as the WTO principles and agreements; other
international conventions/ treaties / agreements / sentiments in other
countries etc. For eg hike in crude oil prices has a global impact etc.
World is becoming one market
Competition from MNCs
Capital and technology transfers
Deciding which markets to enter and what products to manufacture
Adjusting the management process
Culture creates people
Culture and globalization
Culture determines people’s attitude to business and work.
Spirit of collectivism
Ethics in business
External Environmental Analysis
Environmental Analysis has three goals:
Provides an understanding of current and potential changes taking place
Environmental Analysis should provide input for strategic decision making.
Facilitate and lead to strategic decisions within an organization.
Environmental Analysis and diagnosis give strategists time to anticipate
opportunities and to plan to take optional responses to these opportunities. It
also helps strategists to develop an early warning system to prevent threats or to
develop strategies which can turn a threat to a firm’s advantage”. Firms which
systematically analyse and diagnose the environment are more effective than
those which do not.
Process of Environmental Analysis:
The analysis consists of four steps:
Scanning : Detect early signals of possible environmental change and detect
environmental change already underway.
Monitoring : Purpose of monitoring is to assemble sufficient data to discern
whether certain trends are emerging, identification of the trends and
identification of areas for further scanning.
Forecasting : It is concerned with developing projections of the direction, scope
and intensity of environmental change.
Assessment : To determine implications for the organisation’s current and
Environmental Analysis and Strategic Management
Defining Business Mission and Objectives
Environmental Analysis + Self Appraisal
Strategic Alternatives and Choice of Strategy
Implementation of Strategy
Evaluation and Control of Strategy
Competitive Structure of Industries
The competitive structure of industries is a very important business
environment. Identification of forces affecting the competitive
dynamics of an industry is very useful in formulation of strategies.
As per Michael Porter’ well known model of structural analysis of
industries, the state of competitions depends on:
Porter’s analysis determines the competitive intensity of the industry
and the attractiveness of the market. A highly competitive industry
is one approaching “Perfect Competition” whereby businesses are
only able to earn normal profits.
Rivalry among firms Buyers
Threat of new entrants
Threat of substitutes
Bargaining powerBargaining power
Rivalry among Existing firms:
Firms in an industry are mutually dependent – competitive
motives of a firm usually affects others and may be
retaliated. Factors influencing the intensity of rivalry are:
Number of firms and their Relative market share
State of Growth of Industry: In stagnant, declining and
slow growth industries, a firm is able to increase its sales
by increasing the market share.
Fixed or storage costs: In case of high fixed costs,
strategy of firms is to increase sales which in turn would
improve on capacity utilization.
Indivisibility of capacity augmentation : Where there are
economies of scale, capacity increases would be in large
blocks necessitating, efforts to increase sales to achieve
capacity utilization norms.
Rivalry among Existing firms:
• Product standardization, after sales service: In case
of firms which have standardized products; it is price,
distribution and after sales service which become the
Strategic stake: Rivalry becomes more intensive if
the firms have high stakes in achieving success
Exit Barrier: If exit barriers are high, firms would keep
competing in the same industry even though it might
not be very attractive.
Diverse Competition: Competitors with diverse
strategies make the industry highly competitive.
Switching costs: One time costs that the buyer faces
on switching from one supplier’s product to that of
another ie cost of new ancillary equipment etc.
Threat of Entry:
Potential competition tends to be high if the industry is profitable or
critical and entry barriers are low. Some of the common entry barriers
Cost Disadvantages: Cost advantages enjoyed by established firms
may discourage entry of new firms such as learning curve, favorable
Product Differentiation: Characterized by brand image, customer loyalty
etc. may deter new firms from entering the market.
Capital Requirements : High capital intensive nature of the industry is
an entry barrier to small firms
Threat of substitutes
An industry which has close substitutes available is highly competitive
in nature. Existence of close substitutes increases the propensity of
consumers to switch to alternatives in response to price increases.
Perceived level of product differentiation in the minds of the consumer
is also a highly influential factor.
Bargaining power of Buyers:
Buyers can in turn also be potential competitors as they may integrate
backwards or bargain for lower costs, better quality of the product etc.
The volume of purchase relative to the total sale of the seller
The importance of the product to the buyer in terms of the total cost
Extent of standardization or differentiation of the product
Extent of buyer’s information
Bargaining power of sellers:
Important determinants of supplier power are the following:
Extent of concentration and domination in the supplier industry
Importance of the product to the buyer
Importance of the buyer to the supplier
Extent of substitutability of the product
Extent of standardization of the product
Potential for forward integration by suppliers
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats
Identification of the threats and opportunities in
the external environment and strengths and
weaknesses in the internal environment of the firms
are the cornerstone of business policy formulation.
It is the SWOT analysis which determines the
course of action to ensure the growth / survival of
•Strengths—internal to the unit; are a unit’s resources and capabilities that can
be used as a basis for developing a competitive advantage; strength should be
realistic and not modest.
Your list of strengths should be able to answer:
•What are the unit’s advantages?
•What does the unit do well?
•What relevant resources do you have access to?
•What do other people see as your strengths?
•What would you want to boast about to someone who knows nothing about this
organization and its work?
•Examples: good reputation among customers, resources, assets, people, :
experience, knowledge, data, capabilities
•Think in terms of: capabilities; competitive advantages; resources, assets,
•(experience, knowledge); marketing; quality; location; accreditations
•qualifications, certifications; processes/systems
•Weaknesses—internal force that could serve as a barrier to maintain or
achieve a competitive advantage; a limitation, fault or defect of the unit;
•It should be truthful so that they may be overcome as quickly as possible
Your list of weaknesses should be able to answer:
•What can be improved?
•What is done poorly?
•What should be avoided?
•What are you doing as an organization that you feel could be done more
•What is this organization NOT doing that you feel it should be doing?
•If you could change one thing that would help this department function
more effectively, what would you change?
•Examples: gaps in capabilities, financial, deadlines, morale
•lack of competitive
•Opportunities—any favorable situation present now or in the
future in the external environment.
Examples: unfulfilled customer need, arrival of new technologies,
loosening of regulations, global influences, economic boom,
•Where are the good opportunities facing you?
•What are the interesting trends you are aware of?
•Think of: market developments; competitor; vulnerabilities;
industry/ lifestyle trends;; geographical; partnerships
•External force that could inhibit the maintenance or attainment of a
competitive advantage; any unfavorable situation in the external
environment that is potentially damaging now or in the future.
•Examples: shifts in consumer tastes, new regulations, political or
legislative effects, environmental effects, new technology, loss of key staff,
economic downturn, demographic shifts, competitor intent; market
demands; sustaining internal capability; insurmountable weaknesses;
Your list of threats should be able to answer:
•What obstacles do you face?
•What is your competition doing?
•Are the required specifications for your job/services changing?
•Is changing technology threatening your position?
•Do you have financial problems?
•Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your unit?
to achieving the
to achieving the
facts/ factors of the
Things that are
build on them
and use as
Things that are bad
change or stop
facts/ factors of the
Things that are
good for the
them, build on
Things that are bad
for the future,
put in plans to
manage them or
SWOT Analysis of Indian Economy
• Huge pool of labor force
• High percentage of cultivable land
• Diversified nature of the economy
• Availability of skilled manpower
• Extensive higher education system
• High growth rate of economy
• Rapid growth of IT / ITes Sector
• Abundance of natural resources
• High percentage of workforce involved
• Approx a quarter of population below
the poverty line
• High unemployment rate
• Inequality in prevailing socio economic
conditions, rural – urban divide
• Low productivity
• Huge population leading to scarcity of
• Low level of mechanization
• Red tapism, Bureaucracy
• Low literacy rates
• Scope for entry of private firms in various
sectors of business
• Inflow of FDI
• Huge foreign exchange prospects in IT / ITeS
• Investment in R & D
• Area of infrastructure
• Huge domestic market : Opportunity for MNCs
• Huge agricultural resources
• High fiscal deficit
• Threat of government intervention in
• Growing import bill
• Population explosion, rate of growth of
• Agriculture excessively dependent on
AN ORGANIZATION’S ENVIRONMENT
Industry size and
Labor Market, Employment
Agencies, Universities, Training
Schools, Employees in Other
Financial Resources Sector
Stock Markets, Banks,
Savings and Loans,
Potential Users of
Products and Services
Rate, Inflation rate, Rate of
City, State, Federal Laws and
Regulations, Taxes, Services,
Court System, Political
Age, Values, Beliefs, Education,
Religion, Work Ethic, Urban vs.
Rural, Birth Rate