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Scale and Scope

A panel of business leaders and academics came together at Cass to discuss the scale and scope of businesses – and how important size is to whether a business succeeds.

by City Press Office (General enquiries)

A panel of business leaders and academics came together at Cass to discuss the scale and scope of businesses – and how important size is to whether a business succeeds.

The event:Scale and Scope: How Important Are a Company Size and Its Business Scope to Succeed in Today’s Business and Technological Environment? was chaired by Senior Lecturer of Strategy Dr Elena Novelli, who introduced:

  • Professor Gautam Ahuja, Harvey C Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • Professor Gianvito Lanzolla, Professor of Strategic Leadership, Head of the Faculty of Management, Cass Business School
  • Xavier Louis, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Peak
  • Olivier Garel, Head of Ventures, Unilever Ventures
  • Andy Muldoon, CEO, PowaWeb, Powa Technologies
  • Ashish Saxena, Global Head of Marketing and Sales, LiquiForm Group, Amcor

Dr Novelli discussed the challenges businesses face and what strategies they use in deciding whether to broaden or narrow their scope. She said: “A new business proposition has a new technology at the bottom of it. More often than not technology has a broad span of applicability.

“The question about the scope of a firm is central to a business. In the current business environment there has been an explosive increase in reach.”

Professor Ahuja discussed the changes that had happened since the dawn of the internet. He said: “The internet has enabled a very high degree of connectivity. In the old world twenty start-ups would set up and they would all have a chance. Now there are 200, 2,000 start-ups.

“Whenever you start a business you need four types of capital – technological, financial, human and commercial. The first three have become a lot easier than the fourth.”

Mr Saxena discussed how the manufacturing world was different. He said: If you introduce a new technology there are three steps – technological development, operationalisation – building the product, and its route to market or commercialisation.”

Continuing the theme of competing start-ups, Mr Garel said: “Today there are many ways to contact consumers. You have to try and play smartly. A lot of start-ups can be easily copied – do you have the capital to scale-up and globalise your business straight away?”

But Mr Muldoon warned: “You can go too far too quickly. So then you have to rein it in.”

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