I remember back in India when I was in school, when we first introduced togeography and our teacher told us that we are living on top of the earth, one of thequick questions came to most of the students mind is, what will happen when we goto the edge of earth? But slowly when get introduced to geography in more detail, wefeel comfortable that we are not going to fall out of earth in fact we will reach in someother country. Though the journey from a flat earth to flat world not came in one nightor in one month or in one year, it is a constant process of evolution. This journey ofexploring, establishing and expanding started with exploring the truth about the earthto establishing colonial world of power to currently expanding businesses by leaping allboundaries. Few days back I came across one of the video featuring Mr. Thomas Friedman,where he was delivering a speech to introduce one of his book “World is Flat” at MIT. Itis an interesting video and till date I gone through the video couple of times. I feel he istrying to deliver very interesting yet very serious topic, not because he is saying theworld is flat, but by pushing me to realize why the world is flat. Now this time, I amreacting differently than when I was in school and my teacher revealed that the earth is
spherical and it has gravity which helps in keeping things on its surface, this time when Iheard the world is no more scattered and encircled within a limited boundary rathercomplexly inter connected where people can reach from one place to other in no time,where there is no boundary restrict spreading of knowledge and data, where peoplesitting in their basement and operating businesses throughout the globe, businessesare operating in distributed business model, one example is Boeing, whichmanufactures different parts of jet in different countries and yet assemble thecomponents seamlessly in a centralized USA location to produce error free jet , alsonow you can do financial transaction in a country which is far away from yourhomeland. Yes, the world is enough flat to leap the geographical boundaries to connectand communicate with anyone any place on the earth. Now you don’t need to berelative of someone to get detail about any individual, the data and massages are nomore intended for a single individuals, the data is broadcasted and distributed viainternet and while you are on your bed, it is up to you to decide what you want to knowand about whom you want to know. In this boundary less global information systemworld, you and me are the individuals those who works as news reporter for all majornews agencies for free and news channels are able to show firsthand live updates fromdifferent part of the world without sending any news reporters or analyst to the otherpart of world. History has evidences of scientist, mathematicians and explorers likeAristarchus to Christopher Columbus and the journey is still continued with corporatesgoing more global and reaching millions and millions of consumers and producersaround the world. As the changes are happening so fast, no one knows what will
happen tomorrow. In past people scared to travel because of ignorance by thinking theearth is flat and in future we will get ignored if we will not understand the true meaningof globalized world. In this highly competitive open world where everyone has similaropportunities and risks, it is interesting to see how the businesses are positioningthemselves to take advantage of it or gets ignored by it. Whether you are aware of it ornot, whether you want to participate or not, you don’t have much choice left because inpast when you spent time to compete with your neighborhood business, when you arebusy in advertising for “Free online banking”, the world moved up faster than yourexpectation to create one world global business equipped with global informationsystem and it is already exposed you to the global business market. If you are notrealized yet, you are already exposed to radiation of global competition where you havethe opportunities to emerge victorious or loose to market competition. The only optionyou have is to accept the fact because the radiation of globalization is far bigger thanJapans recent atomic leak due to earthquake and Tsunami. Now someone from someother place on the globe already implemented the business idea which you are stillevaluating, now when you are planning how to reach customers, someone in someother place on the globe already changed the customers to their loyal advocate. In thisone world global market, you and your businesses are not safe from the globaleconomy and from global business battle field. Friends, the bells are ringing now, it isthe time to realize and grab the opportunities as soon as possible otherwise you andyour business will get crushed in the global competition. Again I want to repeat, intoday’s flat globalized world, next door business is not the only competitor for you, nowyou have challenges from businesses those who are operating from some other part of
world and you also have competition from individuals those who understands the flatone world and knows how to best use of this complex global business battlefield, in notime you may get a new business which will challenge your very existence, when westill going through the biography of Mr. Steve Jobs or reading about how theoutsourcing consulting company Infosys started by few entrepreneurs from the livingroom of their house, someone in some other developing country already started aninnovative lab back from their garage. Now the competition is global, for example Citi Bank which is based herein North America competing with ICICI Bank and State Bank of India in India, similarly inNorth America Citi Bank is competing with other American financial institutes along withfinancial institute from European regions and from South Asia, Nokia & RIM the initialleader in mobile phone technologies are struggling for their survival against Apple andGoogle, Ford and GM are competing in South Asia market with new ventures andopening the manufacturing in Asian countries while at the same time in North Americacompeting with Japanese and Korean Manufacturers along with GermanManufacturers. Now the business competitions are in three fold- Competition fromcommunity or local competitors, global competitors and competition from individualsthroughout the globe, in every few minutes a new entrepreneur joining the one worldglobal market to challenge and outperform well established business of the past. Inrecent days we have some good example to learn- GM cars are no longer the bestselling cars in North America, Palm one of the early player in smartphone market is nomore in business, Blockbuster lost its competition to RedBox and eventually Netflixwith “we will bring service to your room” approach leading the entertainment market. In
current days, people refer Facebook and twitter more than CNN, FOX or BBC. Withlong spreading of global Information Technology, source of knowledge is available toeach individual with click of few buttons, in current time the consumers are aware ofwhat they need and are quick to evaluate available products and services. Now it is notsufficient to provide a business phone number or email id for customers to reach youbecause in today’s global market place, all most all businesses starting from very smalltaxi driver to flower seller do that even they have their business portal in multiplelanguages, it is the time for you to reach customers. The days are gone whencompanies used to force customers to get accustom to your product and services, nowcustomers have various choices- if not you or your product then someone else or someother product, because when there is a demand, if not you someone else will supply theresources to fulfill the demands. As we discussed about flat one world where the global information systemplays a major role in shaping the global market how you or your business wants touse the same three E’s which helped in transitioning “the earth is flat” to “the world isflat”. Now let’s focus on understanding the three E’s - Explore, Establish and Expand.
1. Explore: First- explore yourself and your business what is the best you have or you canoffer. There are thousands needs and opportunities in the market, but it is difficult foryou to focus and fulfilling all the market needs or grabbing all the market opportunities.Focus on the services or products you are best on, or the products or services youare confident in providing efficiently and effectively in a time bound higher competitivemarket, don’t always consider best possible scenarios where demand is high andproduction is low, explore or create strategy for the market where demand is low butsupply is high and explore how to outperform the competitors in this high supply market.Always create short term and long term goals and explore various strategies to fulfillyour goals. Second- Explore the need of market, understand and evaluate customers,don’t think you are going to sale the product and service for single time, explore thestrategy to make your product and services saleable multiple times to your customers.Also it is important to explore how to make a loyal customer who can work for you forfree like an I-Reporter or online boarding or printing ticket before going to airport. Create
strategy how to convert a customer to a loyal customer and a loyal customer to a loyaladvocate in short term and in long term. Be innovative in engaging customers withyou so that it will help in creating strong relationship with customers so that customercan trust on your product and solution, you need to explore how to exceed customersexpectation, see the example of Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is successful in creating andselling its brand, because in each and every product of it, Apple Inc. exceeds thecustomers expectation and thereby created a unique and successful brand value for itand for all of its products. Third- Explore how to make relationship with other businessand markets, specifically the businesses which are not your direct competitor and try toexplore new way of providing product and services with the help of your alliance. Nowin this highly competitive global business market it is difficult to continue business tooutperform customer’s expectation on products and services, you may need alliancewith others to create unique value for your product and services. 1. Establish: Once you explored all your possibilities, understanding customers demand andmore importantly understanding what you serve or produce better which will help you inleading the market competition, create road map of how to achieve your target, how tomake the process seamless and stay competitive in the market. Establish the timeframefor realization of your progress, create timeline for various phases of your progress,create production plan or service approach, create plan for marketing and selling. Keepoption open to evaluate market opinion about your product and services. Mobilize yourpartners and share responsibility with them and explain your goal and vision to them sothat they will understand what you are trying to achieve. Don’t hurry in expanding your
products or services rather focus on improving the products and services on which youare master or which is your specialization. Try to create and establish a brand valuefor your business as well as for all your products and services. Again don’t ignore whatcustomer’s wants, even though you will come out with some nice and unique product, itis not always necessary that customers will accept it, keep room for improvement andkeep tight control on liquidity to continue your business. It is important to understandwhat you want is not that important compared to what customers want and how youwant to operate business to how the global business wants you to operate the business.Let’s establish yourself in such a way that your products and services will make youmarket leader and help you in driving the market forces. 1. Expand: Once you establish yourself as one of the market leader in providing productsand services in your segment explore the possibilities about how to make your productsand services more superior along with the advances of technology and high completionof global market. Explore the opportunities to expand yourself to reach more customers.Create expansion plan to increase the products and services. Consider expandingyour relationship with other global business players. Open yourself to adopt newtechnologies. Expand your reach by efficiently and effectively marking your brand alongwith your products and services in different regions. Be flexible to localize your productand services as per regional policies, culture and customers need. Keep exploringmarket statistics; it will help you to understand where you need to focus for your growth.Keep yourself open to new innovation and creativity. Keep your options open for bothhomogeneous as well as heterogeneous growth. While creating expansion plan keep
focus on your current products, services and on your current customer base. When youmake expansion plan, keep your option open for consolidation and contraction, becauseglobal business is complex and are much dependence then never before, now anyissue in any corner of this interlinked flat world affects the global economy and globalbusiness operation.Conclusion:With the expansion of Global Information Technology and cross border businessmodels, the global business environment is very flat and in reach of every individualsand business who really understand how to utilize it. The data which is available here inNorth America is also available to people of Togo in Africa to Bhubaneswar in India toQatar in Middle East. Now it is high time for all businesses to understand and acceptthis extremely complicated interdependence business model. As we are going to thefuture where global information technology and global business environment alongwith different individuals those who resides in various part of this world will decidewho is going to survive in the market and who will get wiped out of this global marketplace, each businesses need to understand the globalized markets inter dependencyand create the strategy accordingly otherwise they will part of the history and only bereferred in articles like this to prepare case study by discussing their failure stories.