How important is Internet for your business ?

Thanks to all of you who commented on last week's article '10 Elements of a Successful Web-Site'

I am specially grateful to our friends in Iran who wrote ' In our company every employee waits for your e-mail to read new things' (Mr. Taheri, AHTM Co)

Many of you have requested to discuss more fundamental issues - home site, e-mail communication, accepting credit card payment, how to find information from Internet etc. There are a few who have asked more fundamental question like 'is Internet all hype ?'

We shall do our best to answer all your questions in future issues of this newsletter. Our aim is to discuss issues that a manufacturer or exporter faces while using Internet for business purpose, in a jargon free, simple language.

However, in this issue let's discuss the more fundamental question - Is Internet useful for your business ? Should you spend time and money on it which may prove to be a hype in near future ? After all, there was no Internet even 5 years back and everyone happily did business. Then why such a fuss now ?

Let's put it this way - what happens if you do not care about Internet ?

None - if you feel technology is not going to touch your life in any way, like a monk in a remote Himalayan cave.

You ignore it at your own peril. For, what happens if you do not use telephone, fax, photocopier ....? Well, you still do things as your competitors do though in a vastly inefficient, inferior way. Others in your field will be able to do much more in far less time than you do, leading to significantly more productivity (and profit !) than you.

To put things in proper perspective - it is not the sheer number of computers that are connected through Internet or technology involved. It is the power of millions of people who are behind these computers that are creating not ripples but tidal waves

For, never before in the history of human civilization so many people from so vastly different places and societies freely interacted with each other. What we are witnessing today is a massive transformation in our society and outlook. Thats the power of technology that touches our everyday life no matter how much we may agree/disagree or like/dislike it.

Such a fantastic societal force is bound to influence many more areas of our life than we care to think about - entertainment, media, jobs, trade, commerce are few of the areas that are set to change irrevocably with advent of Internet and its associated technologies.

It is not just desirable but essential that you understand the power of this latest societal force and make necessary changes in whatever you do.

For, your refusal or reluctance to spend time, money and resources in understanding and using this powerful force may help your competitor leave you behind. Someone rightly commented 'Business is like riding a bicycle, you have to continuously move ahead - for stopping on the way means falling on the road'

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Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol II, Issue 12; August 16' 2001

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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