Treps share lessons learned in Monaco
Good things happen when conferences expand the formal agenda to ask participants for their thoughts on big issues. This was the scene at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year event in Monaco in early June.
We invited our guests -- respected entrepreneurs in their fields -- to six private sessions addressing the issues we all grapple with in running a business. We present some interesting takeaways from the conversations.
How do we innovate successfully? Can you be too innovative? What does it take for innovation to transform a market? These are some of the topics tackled in the session led by EY's Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year and Venture Capital Advisory Group.
- Co-creating products with customers is an essential strategy for some companies whose business model is based on innovation.
- Incremental or step-by-step innovation can bring an advantage in the market, whereas “rupture” innovation can drive a marketplace makeover.
- Whereas it's possible to innovate too far ahead of the market, one must consider the cost of lost opportunity.
- When it comes to successful innovation, there are three essentials:
- Working as a seamless team.
- Ensuring that top management is involved.
- Keeping the business mission in sight.
The skyrocketing cost of health care calls for the current care model to change. But how? And how can entrepreneurs help bring about and benefit from that change? Dr. Richard Lewis, a partner in EY's UK&I health care practice, moderated the discussion.
- The industry has learned to avoid piecework funding that rewards activity over outcomes.
- About 70% of health care is public; it may be useful to relax the boundaries between public and private.
- Engineering change may come through enabling strong upstream community services, which provide a point of entry for entrepreneurs.
- Technology solutions are a part of the answer, but funding and politics pose significant barriers to entry. Funding reform through incentives could be a part of the solution.
Since mobile devices are everywhere, their popularity has many implications for both business and society. This was the main thrust of our discussion on technology, moderated by Joe Muscat, an EY Growth Markets Leader.
- There are now more mobile devices than people in the world; this has major technical and social implications.
- Smart, mobile technology paves the way for machine-to-machine applications such as “smart” appliances and mobile data centers.
- While activity on mobile devices is expected to leapfrog by 2017, there are barriers — especially inadequate security, insufficient bandwidth and a downturn in the quality of social interactions.
Reaching today's busy consumer and building a powerful brand were front-and-center topics in our session on Consumer Products, moderated by Mike Sills, EY Consumer Products Leader for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.
- Make sure innovation is a key focus in your business.
- Discover the story behind your business and use it to build your brand.
- Create a direct-to-consumer channel or a community where you can provide tips and advice around your product.
While every family business is unique, many share common challenges. This was a dominant idea in the session on family business, led by EY Family Business Leader Peter Englisch.
- A family charter is an essential tool for tackling issues as they arise in the long-term growth cycle of the business.
- Business owners must address succession planning early on.
- Encouraging government to focus on the distinctive tax challenges facing family businesses (i.e. capital gains, inheritance taxes, taxes associated with transfer of ownership, etc.) is a top priority.
When entrepreneurs consider entering emerging markets, what constitutes due diligence? And do the risks justify the rewards? Our discussion on emerging markets touched on these and other compelling questions. Ringo Choi, EY Asia Pacific Growth Markets Leader, moderated the session.
- Despite the risks, emerging markets are growing and provide many opportunities for investors.
- When planning your entry, understand the market and work with a business partner on the ground who can advise you.
- Due diligence encompasses the political and economic systems, competitors, the size and nature of the population and market trends.