Lahore School of Economics

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Entrepreneurial Success

Mr. Salman Siddiqui from Ehsan Chappal House came to the Lahore School of Economics to deliver a lecture on entrepreneurship on June 19, 2013. The speaker introduced himself to the students and explained how his father started the shoe business. His father had a clear vision and was a man of principles. Mr. Salman after finishing his degree in Business Administration began to work with a brokerage firm but soon realized that it was not what he wanted to do all his life. He had a strong sense of esthetics and nack for designing shoes so he joined his family business. His father owned a small shoe store in Anarkali since 1954. After joining ECS, Mr. Siddiqui opened a store in Liberty Market which was a huge success followed by many more stores opening in different cities of Pakistan. The speaker shared with students that initially it was very difficult to design a formal business plan for shoemaking as there was no business model available in the market to follow. They had to come up with a proper inventory management system which was one of the biggest challenges he had to face. The rule of thumb for ECS management was never to borrow and always expand within their financial means.

Based on his experience, the guest advised the students that Entrepreneurship was all about leaving bookish knowledge behind, recognizing and believing in themselves and getting out of their comfort zones. Mr. Salman said that Pakistan was a land of opportunities and one should never be hesitant to pursue their dreams. Talking about shoe business in particular, he said that the key factor of their success was knowing the customer and then providing an extra value to him. He said that shoe was a technical product which could not be standardized. The sales volume compensates for low pricing of shoes at their shops. Mr. Salman said that they did not focus too much on their competitors. Their products have already been positioned in market well so they do not spend huge amount of money on advertising.

The speaker emphasized on being passionate and being able to manage all aspects of business to become successful entrepreneur. While discussing the skills required for being a successful entrepreneur, he touched upon leadership qualities, executive talent, decision making skills, people skills and knowledge of product and market. He concluded that entrepreneurship was all about taking risks, but only calculated risks.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 6/28/2013 10:45:00 AM,

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