Can Norwegian Entrepreneurs Create Global Enterprises
The Norwegian writer, Aksel Sandemose, who worked as a teacher and journalist, observed that there was a particular behaviour in Nordic countries that disincentives individual achievements. He later wrote a novel, ‘A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks’ in which the idea was applied. This concept came to be called as ‘The Law of Jante’ The essence of the law is that people in Nordic countries admire collective work rather than individual success. It belittles an individual who tries to carve a business success story.
This law reminds us of the ‘social security system’ an albatross around the necks of every Norwegian leading them to a state of complacency. So there is no motivation for global entrepreneurship. It might be the reason, despite being the richest Country in the World, not even a single company comes in the first fifty on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, in terms of rental, restaurants and cars. The cost of skilled labour and raw materials, coupled with high income and corporate taxes curb entrepreneurs and reduce the incentive for starting a venture.
The capital market for start-ups is underdeveloped and includes a couple of venture capitalists. The Angel businesses are either reimbursed through public or soft funding. As the population is limited, global entrepreneurs cannot leverage the domestic market and have to base their businesses abroad. Another reason might be the lack of networking, as it is difficult to develop business contacts which are important right in the early stages of the businesses.
Entrepreneurship thrives only in an environment where low taxes, competition, innovation, risk-taking and passion blossoms. The strong emotion to create the best and the biggest businesses, not for selfish reasons, but to change a piece of technology or change the way people buy goods or how poor people can obtain financing at the lowest interest rate or how the cost of production can be decreased by massive production, etc. These innovative aspects change the life of people for better and make their living comfortable.
Tax-free second home for business
Creating a second hub in tax-free countries like UAE, Qatar, Oman, etc will provide an impetus to creating a global business. The entrepreneurs can avail the advantages of zero percent tax, low import duty, double taxation agreements, free trade zones, strategic business location, competitive economy and world-class infrastructure.
Clue or cue from Global companies
Google was born as the brainchild of Larry Page and Sergey Bin to overcome the limitations of existing internet search engines. It not only outmoded other competitive search engines but also set a new benchmark in the history of search engines. An excellent environment in the form of Stanford University coupled with their enthusiasm to embrace change, the way people communicate and the integration of innovative technology with an effective business model has paved way for a veritable success story.
Masaru Ibuka wanted to start a radio repair shop but unfortunately, because of chaos in his country due to the World War-II, he did not find a space for starting his venture. He had to contend with a bomb-damaged department store in Tokyo. After one year he partnered with his colleague, Akio Morita, and they founded a company which later came to be named Sony.
The name of the company was decided on, after much deliberation when Ibuka understood that Japanese names were very difficult for foreigners to pronounce. He also decided to produce the finest and most innovative electronic items for the consumers.
The consumers of Japan were the most sophisticated customers in the world, always bargaining and only settling for the best electronic products. This pushed the company out of the bubble in order to invent the best possible products.
Ibuka heard about the invention of the transistor by the American company Texas Instruments, which was exclusively used for military purposes. Ibuka and his partner decided to develop a communication model of a transistor. They succeeded and commercialized it across the world. Thus Japan’s first tape recorder – Type G went on to conquer the Globe and became ubiquitous in all households.
3. Ali Baba
Jack Ma, an Engish teacher from China, kick-started a translation company to take advantage of the Chinese export boom. On a visit to the USA, he experienced the internet for the first time. He was perplexed when a search he did on China on the internet didn’t return one single page.
Back in China, he started the country’s first internet directory. The time was not ripe to start an internet business, as the people where not sophisticated back in those days, he couldn’t accelerate it further and it hence became a dead business. After studying hard he then started a firm called Alibaba, the rest is history.
Jack Ma was not good at math or coding and had a poor English accent. He was born in Hangzhou, China, a city of 2.4 million people close to Shanghai which made him struggle for everything in his life. Ma was very passionate about English and his creativity and ingenuity helped him to fuse his passion with an e-commerce model.
Everyone wanted to know, despite these limitations how Jack Ma went on to build one of the biggest business empires in the world. The message is indirectly squeezed in the letter Ma wrote to his employees after the company filed for its IPO. “In it, Ma tells the team that there is “unparalleled ruthlessness and pressure” ahead, but that the company can overcome it by sticking to its original mission and culture. He further goes on to say that “We know well we haven’t survived because our strategies are farsighted and brilliant, or because our execution is perfect, but because for 15 years we have persevered in our mission of ‘making it easier to do business across the world,’ because we have insisted on a ‘customer first’ value system, because we have persisted in believing in the future, and because we have insisted that normal people can do extraordinary things.”
Ready for Business Takeoff
The founders of Google have taken advantage of the university infrastructure, their ingenuity and resourcefulness to create a world-class technology model, thereby saving the time and money of the customers. The founders of Sony, equipped with their passion and commitment to supply quality products, started their venture from a humble war-ravaged building, went on to produce exceptional products, entertaining different generations of people across the world. Ali Baba’s founder had a lot of limitations but his passion and commitment towards customers made him carve a success story. The word ‘Global’ is the buzz word, both the founders of Sony and Alibaba have applied this word in every sphere of their businesses, selecting global names is an example. It is the reason why their businesses have been accepted worldwide.
If these people with their limited talents can create wonderful global ventures, Norwegians being one of the best countries, with rich human resources, can generate world-class ventures with relative ease.
When can I experience a Sony, Alibaba or Google from Norway?