Gautam Patil is a recent MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In addition to serving as a contributing writer for Gaebler.com, he will join the consulting firm Oliver Wyman at their London office.
Articles written by Gautam Patil
Guatam has applied his interests in entrepreneurship, industry analysis, globalization and market economics to write some very impressive articles covering everything from social entrepreneurship to business opportunities in the energy industry.
- Business Environment - India - It is extremely important for entrepreneurs to understand the business environment i.e. the bureaucratic set up, growth prospects, political stability, judiciary effectiveness etc in their region of business. This article focuses on India from this perspective and will provide an overview of some pertinent factors.
- Business Opportunities - Biomass Energy - Biomass has the highest potential for small scale business development and mass employment. Characterized by low cost technologies and freely available raw material it is still one of the leading sources of primary energy for most countries. With better technology transfer and adaptation to local needs biomass is not only environmentally benign but also an economically sound choice.
- Business Opportunities - Solar Energy - Millions of dollars are being invested by photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturers to ramp up production capacity in expectation of high sustained growth in PV demand. Bold ideas like Solar Tower and Solar farms are being tested by utility companies to augment their capacities and hedge against fossil fuel prices. In the midst of all these, many interesting and profitable solar energy based business ventures have been set up by small to medium entrepreneurs.
- Business Opportunities - Wind Energy - The world wide capacity of wind turbines has quadrupled from 2000 to 2006 and stood at about 94 GW at the end of 2007. This is expected to further increase to 160 GW at the end of 2010. Due to its favorable economics, wind power is one of the most important and fastest growing segments of the energy market. The total value of the new capacity installed in 2007 stood at USD $36 billion.
- Cost Cutting Tips for Non Profits - Non profits operate on extremely lean budgets which leave little or no room to accommodate 'administrative' expenses. It thus becomes important that Non Profits use other channels to operate and communicate to save costs.
- Economics of Biomass Energy - Unlike thermal or hydel power, biomass energy does not enjoy presence of established markets for its raw material. So far this has discouraged deployment of biomass power projects on a very large scale. The economics of this source could change drastically with innovations and research in establishment of a sustainable supply chain of biomass.
- Economics of Solar Power - The feasibility of large scale use of solar power is governed by a multitude of factors. A multitude of promising photovoltaic technologies being developed and the jury is still out on which one of these will dominate. Sound policy making could fuel demand and encourage research while distorting fuel subsidies and price insulation could mean solar power will remain financially unviable.
- Economics of Wind Energy - Despite having a much higher potential -- both theoretical and otherwise -- solar power still lags far behind wind power in electricity generation. The reason lies primarily in the economics of these sources. While wind power may maintain the lead in the near future, but increasing research in other areas could pose a potential threat. Also, its variability and high site dependence continue to hinder its full fledged deployment.
- Emerging Sectors - India - While the world may recognize India for its IT and biotechnology capabilities, there are other sectors of interest to small to medium entrepreneurs which have made impressive strides in the last few years. Here's a look at a few of them.
- Hydro Power - Potential and Opportunities - Hydro power is one of the largest and cleanest sources of electricity in the world. Many believe that its potential has been reached but newer and more efficient turbine technologies combined with a closer look at micro hydro power could change this belief. Many challenges related to climate change, rural electrification and urban growth management could be addressed if this valuable resource is tapped.
- Low Cost Health Care Delivery - The national health care systems of many developing countries are ill equipped to provide health care to their burgeoning populations thereby necessitating the use of novel and innovative health care delivery models. The Aravind Eye Hospitals based in India offers many lessons for those yearning to sustainably provide cheap and effective health care.
- Marketing Green Technologies - Alternative energy may be a favorite of environmentalists, but its successful induction into business or daily life depends a lot on economics and perception. Innovative marketing strategies are required to increase the penetration of these earth friendly technologies and improve the prospects of entrepreneurs in this energy niche.
- Marketing Tips for Social Entrepreneurs - Just like any other businesses, social ventures also require marketing effort to create or increase awareness and generate demand. Channels used by traditional marketers may be inappropriate sometimes thereby necessitating innovation and creativity.
- Medical Tourism - Potential and Opportunities - Escalating medical care costs coupled with inefficient and inadequate national health care programmes have prompted citizens to seek treatment in developing countries providing competent and cost effective medical care. Countries like India, Singapore and Thailand have made impressive advances in medical science and have professionals and infrastructure which is on par or surpasses the best that the West has to offer.
- Microfinance – Potential & Opportunities - A significant proportion of the population in developed countries has limited or no access to financial services like banking, insurance etc. So how does Microfinance help and what are the delivery models being used currently for these services?
- Primer on Biomass Energy - Most organic waste that was earlier relegated to landfills outside cities is now being used to generate power. Termed as a 'carbon-neutral' and sometimes a 'net carbon negative' source, biomass helps tap the energy stored in organic matter through years of natural processes like photosynthesis.
- Primer on Solar Energy - So what is Solar Energy and how is it being harnessed throughout the world? Rising crude oil prices and increasing awareness on climate change have intensified research in this field and brought about interesting innovations and applications.
- Primer on Wind Energy - There has been a sudden increase in the use of Wind Energy to generate clean power and the installed capacities in many countries have consistently registered double digit growth figures. More than 30% of EU's new installed power generation capacity constituted wind power. Many factors like economics, fossil fuel prices and climate change have fuelled the revival of this technology.
- Raising Capital - India - A rising demand for products and services due to higher disposable incomes and availability of better technology is spawning a new generation of start ups. Accessibility to capital is an important prerequisite to foster entrepreneurship. This article highlights the sources and availability of capital in India for budding entrepreneurs.
- Resources for Entrepreneurs - India - Apart from access to venture capital funds and angel investors it is important to have access to good networks of entrepreneurs as these present vast pools of experience and expertise in the domain which the new comer aims to target. Ample availability and access to such networks helps overcome many 'start up' problems.
- Social Entrepreneurs - There's a new breed of entrepreneurs that has helped marry what have so far seemed like opposing ideas -- market forces and social welfare.
- Social Entrepreneurship - India - India as a country has two starkly contrasting facets. While one is making impressive strides in the global arena, the other is bereft of even basic necessities like nutrition, education and health care. Government mechanisms have fallen woefully short of addressing these issues. However, the civil sector and social entrepreneurs could bridge the gap in delivery of these basic services.
- Tips to Save on Energy Bills - Skyrocketing crude and energy prices are eating into the bottom lines of small and large business alike. Energy efficiency and conservation have a direct impact on profitability and make businesses environmentally benign thereby mitigating risk related to public grievances.
- Venture Capital Funds for Social Enterprises - Many new venture capital funds have been set up in the past few years to provide expansion capital to bold and innovative business models which have the potential to alleviate poverty and deliver goods and services at low costs.