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How Peer-to-peer Networking Empowers One as an Entrepreneur? The rising cost of infrastructure, both social and human resource, prompted many in the service space to reach out to peers

By Aditya B Manaksia

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In recent times, a new concept that was seen to emerge with successful outcomes was "working together," more so in the service sector.

The rising cost of infrastructure, both social and human resource, prompted many in the service space to reach out to peers, which increased efficacy and improved delivery to the satisfaction of clients without impinging too much on their budgets.

The concept has grown increasingly popular round the world. The sharing of ideas and subsequent reliance on different skill sets to tackle tasks helped create a win-win environment.

Associated Benefits

The associated benefits have today transformed the idea of sharing into a more structured form of developing a plethora of businesses successfully and profitably.

The emergence of the "Digital' in all aspects of day-to-day existence has enhanced the benefits of peer-to-peer networking taking entrepreneurship to a new level. It has enabled exchange of goods and emergence of new services connecting with consumers like never before. App cabs, digital enterprises in retail and information broadcasting are a few illustrations that come to the mind. These were unthinkable even a couple of decades ago.

Digital has helped movement of capital and skill with the kind of speed unimagined before leading to better capacity utilization and reduction in operational costs without compromising on quality of products and services.

Crowd-based Networks

Crowd-based networks have become popular and are competing with centralized institutions competently and effectively. These new-found platforms have managed to bring together capital, assets and labour from decentralized groups rather than aggregates assembled centrally by corporations or governments.

In a shared economy today lines between personal and professional are rapidly blurring. Thus, an app-based transport provider or an online aggregator of accommodations is actually using resources and assets hitherto personal, for commercial applications – ideal examples of peer to peer networks empowering entrepreneurship.

Cross-utilization of Skills was There Earlier

It is not that cross utilization of skills and services didn't exist previously. A great example in India would be the "Dabbawalas" of Mumbai, who have been a remarkable success in delivering lunch to office goers without a hitch for more years than one can immediately recall. So, the ideas, the skills and a certain way of delivery existed.

But what has changed the momentum today is the emergence of digital technology, which has significantly cut down response time enabling ideas to percolate to every level in meeting delivery targets. It is now possible to commercialize quickly over platforms where only resources need to be present and not the face.

The Changed Scenario

Technological innovation, encryption and determination of supply mechanisms with alacrity have transformed the way businesses are being done. People are able to draw upon different skills from different areas without having to go through stressful negotiations and time consuming methods of creating partnerships.

Technology companies are influencing entrepreneurs to build peer to peer networks for creating bigger business opportunities. The technological products are being developed keeping in mind the consumers which are being adapted by businesses to serve the same consumers. One example is the smart phone. It is no secret that applications on these phones have created a huge market place for many entrepreneurs with products to entice consumers.

The coming of age of the trust infrastructure has also helped develop an environment today that encourages peer to peer engagement and crowd-based capitalism. This too is a product of technological innovations which have instilled a sense of confidence among users of digital technology.

The disruption that digital has brought to the world has changed the entrepreneur mind-set. It has managed to bring a large bag of ideas and skills to the same table, where exchanges are happening thick and fast. Identifying processes have become relatively simpler and engagement with prospective business partners less complicated. Today if you have an idea that you think could work, chances are that it will work.

Aditya B Manaksia

Member of Entrepreneurs' Organization, South Asia, Kolkata Chapter

Aditya B Manaksia is a Kolkata (India)-based 2nd generation entrepreneur engaged in metal and  plastic packaging industry. He completed Bachelors of Information Technology from Australia and has industry experience of 14 years now. He is also an active member at Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Kolkata Chapter.
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