This paper demonstrates two entrepreneurial ventures based in Trinidad and involved in the non-alcoholic beverage industry, Solo Beverages and S M Jaleel & Company Limited. It illustrates why these two companies are entrepreneurial and not considered small businesses.
A description of each organization is given and an illustration of which of these companies exemplifies the definition of entrepreneurship. S M Jaleel & Company Limited have shown to be the most innovative and successful in terms of profitability and growth, two key characteristics in the definition of entrepreneurship.
Introduction Entrepreneurship is having the ability to manage, develop, organize and the readiness to go into a business venture. It involves taking risk with the aim of making a profit and being sustainable (Coulter, 2003).
Solo Beverages, formerly called Joseph Charles Bottling Works, dates back to early 1900’s when it was founded by Joseph Charles. The company is currently under the guidance of his son Ken Charles and grandson. At the inception, the company produced beverages in 12 ounce returnable bottles, these were washed, scrubbed and reused. Today, the company manufactures an assortment of soft drinks in various sizes to satisfy the diverse needs of its consumers (Solo Beverages, 2013).
The company has established itself locally and also regionally, with its thirst quenching Caribbean Flavors and one of a kind Solo Apple J and Solo Bentley, in Trinidad, the phrase “chicken roti with a Red Solo” is as popular as “Burger with Fries”.
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SM Jaleel & Company Limited, also dates back to the 1900’s and was founded by the late Sheik Mohammed Jaleel, and its only product was the soft drink (SM Jaleel Limited, 2013).The company has since evolved and now manufactures and markets juices, flavored water and energy drinks, with its signature product being “Chubby”, a soft drink marketed to kids.
What is Entrepreneurship? “ Entrepreneurship is the process whereby an individual or group of individuals use organized efforts to pursue opportunities to create value and grow by fulfilling wants and needs through innovation and uniqueness, no matter what resources the entrepreneur currently has”, Coulter (2003, p.6).
From its early days, in an old factory, Solo Beverages continually strived for improved quality and variety of its products offered to the populace, adhering to the characteristics of being an entrepreneur as opposed to a small business. Solo Beverages most innovative and sought after product is Solo Apple J. The company tried introducing other products Pear J, Orange J and Grapefruit J, but they were not as successful.
Solo’s effect on the soft drink market is readily recognizable by its association of its products with local cuisine,” Roti with a Red Solo”. SM Jaleel & Company Limited, from inception, products has been developed to meet the continually changing environment and needs of consumers. The company’s’ marketing segmentation and target mix is inclusive of all demographics. In their continued search for improvements and innovativeness the company introduced their immensely successful product, the Chubby. In a growing concern of obesity, this product was improved upon with a lower calorie and less sugar intake and the convenience of being able to fit the hands of the 4 to 9 year olds and their lunchboxes. The influence the company has on the industry is unparalleled, with every product being household names.
Novice entrepreneurs are those with no prior experience in ownership and managing of a business, they are also dreamers that did whatever was necessary to ensure success of their business, financially and in terms of growth, (Coulter, 2003).
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Solo Beverages and SM Jaleel & Company Limited would certainly fit those characteristics. Through dedication, hard work and commitment to their goals, success was achieved and they inspired others to become entrepreneurs, by exploiting and industry that was severely underutilize.
Principles of Entrepreneurship The company that most emphasizes the principles of entrepreneurship would be SM Jaleel & Company Limited. Entrepreneurship processes are: The venture’s feasibility Planning the venture Organizing the venture Launching the venture Managing processes Managing people Managing growth
The Venture’s Feasibility Before an entrepreneur can plan a venture he/she must first generate and evaluate an idea and research competitors and financing options (Coulter 2003, p.85).
Founder Sheik Mohammed Jaleel vision for his company is “being leaders in the non-alcoholic market, whilst providing and all-encompassing beverage solutions for the ever changing evolving needs of our customers” (SM Jaleel, 2013).
In trying to bring his dream to reality in 1924, he found very few local competitors to research. Due to the lack of competitors the onus was on SM Jaleel to evaluate his business idea and to ensure while generating the highest possible revenue there were minimal risk.
Analysis followed by decisions would have to be made as to what facets of the venture holds more importance, and the efficient and effective use of the available resources. Additionally, an evaluation of the idea for its strength and weaknesses (Coulter, 2003).
The significance of this time was important, just past the end of a world war, product of this nature would be considered upscale and available to a selective few. The financing of this venture by SM Jaleel is not known, if sources such as equity or loans were available, they would have been used. Launching of any venture at that post-war period in time would have found that access to finance would have it degree of difficulty, one could assume that the venture was financed by the entrepreneur personal finances.
Planning the Venture In planning the venture, one has to look at the organizational culture issues and the importance of developing a vision and mission statements and developing and the writing of a business plan, (Coulter, 2003, p.127).
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Sheik Mohammed Jaleel beliefs and core values represents what the organization does, its purpose and long term goals (Coulter, 2003).
Their mission statement is what defines them and is guiding force and making them truly sustainable (SM Jaleel, 2013).
Organizational culture is the beliefs, values and behaviorism shared by its members (Coulter, 2003).
The culture at SM Jaleel & Company Limited is to “achieve a harmonious integration of work and spiritual consciousness”(SM Jaleel, 2013).
The company also encourages individualism, as employee’s personal beliefs and spirituality are encouraged in the conviction of improving the company. A business plan, primarily, is a development tool for the organization founder, in this instance, SM Jaleel. It is a written document and guides the entrepreneur as the business grows and develops. It helps clarify what the goals and plans are, and should help to define how goals attainment would be measured.
Organizing the Venture “Organizing the venture involves determining the legal form of business organization, addressing other legal issues and then choosing the most appropriate organizational design” (Coulter, 2003, p.161).
SM Jaleel & Company Limited started as a sole proprietor, under the name “ Jaleel Beverages”, as an unlimited liability company. It meant all debts incurred by the business were the responsibility of Sheik Mohammed Jaleel. As the company grew and expanded it changed its legal identity to a Limited Liability Company. The issues of patents, trademarks, business name, contract and employment laws are some the other legal issues the company will and continue to confront. The company must be aware of all employment laws changes so as to avoid any violation, and that its trademark and business name is used exclusively by the organization.
When organizing the venture a very important step is choosing the most applicable organization design. It can be either, Mechanistic or Organic, SM Jaleel & Company Limited is Mechanistic. This structure is preferable as the cost efficiencies characteristic of it are critical to an organization competitive advantage.
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Launching the Venture This includes the establishment of organizational goals and strategies, marketing, financial and accounting functions, it entails the designing of the venture’s operation, production management and information strategies (Coulter, 2003).
“Implementing organizational goals and strategies for meeting them are critical in launching a venture. Goals serve as criteria against which work accomplishments and performance are measured. Actual work outcomes and results are measured against whatever goals were established” (Coulter 2003, p.198).
SM Jaleel & Company Limited current Chairman own goals for the company is “succeed using our own, people, ideas” (SM Jaleel, 2013).
Managing Processes Managing the processes of a venture includes, innovation, creativity, managing customer service, business strategies and becoming a world class organization (Coulter 2003, p.237).
The success of the venture would be measured by the financial statements of the venture, balance, cash flow and income statements. Strategically, management could employ the SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) for performance evaluation. SM Jaleel, by adapting to the changes and opportunities taking place has been successful in the distribution of their products in five continents. In a competitive market as the soft drink industry, creativity and innovation is crucial. SM Jaleel understood this when they created the healthier “Chubby” to address the nutritional concerns expressed by parents (SM Jaleel, 2013).
This company has proven to be a world class organization through its sustainability and the ever increasing range of products.
Managing People Human resource management is of critical importance in an organization. Pfeffer identifies “seven people practices that he believes are the key to a successful organization” (Coulter 2003, p. 286).
They include employment security, training, compensation, information sharing, self-managed teams, selective hiring and job analysis. An organization has to be vigilant when hiring personnel, they have to ensure that the individuals are competent and qualified for the position, they should also be familiar, or willing to change, to the organization’s culture and practices. Staff training would be necessary, and can be used as a motivating factor for employees, willingness to trained in another aspect of the organization can lead to rewards, intrinsic or extrinsic, as one of SM Jaleel ideology in their mission statement is “To inspire and motivate our workforce to achieve excellence as a team while promoting their inner sense of self and purpose as individuals” (SM Jaleel & Company Limited, 2013).
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SM Jaleel has as staff of over 2000 in five continents, all of whom participate in staff training.
Managing Growth “Organization growth is any increase in the level, amount, or type of the organization’s work and outputs. It involves expanding, enlarging or extending what the venture does” (Coulter 2003, p.327).
The growth strategy employed by SM Jaleel & Company Limited is termed Product-Customer Expansion (Coulter 2003, p.329).
It’s considered the riskiest of all growth strategies as it attempts to introduce new products and attract new customers. However, if it is done effectively and efficiently revenues and profits would grow, from its early beginnings of producing only soft drinks, SM Jaleel product base has grown to include juices, energy drinks and bottled water.
SM Jaleel & Company Limited Research and Production team is continually inventing new products or making adjustments to its current products to meet the dynamics of the market and sustain it competitive edge. Although its products are sold in 60 countries and spans five continents, this has not stopped the organization from looking for new markets to explore.
Conclusion This paper has shown that the Solo Beverages and SM Jaleel & Company Limited are entrepreneurs in the non-alcoholic beverage industry. With its wider range of products and availability throughout the continents, SM Jaleel & Company Limited has proven to be the more successful of the two. Solo Beverages is extremely well established in the local and regional market and in the New York area of United States and in Toronto, Canada, but has not been able to sustain or compete in any market as thoroughly as SM Jaleel & Company Limited. They are continually improving on their products to compete with internationals Pepsi and Coca-Cola. By adhering to the principles of entrepreneurship and the processes these organizations have successful in the two main components of entrepreneurship, growth and profitability.
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