Entrepreneurship and Politics

Recently, as a visiting professor of Entrepreneurship at a University in Bangalore, in my introductory session I spoke about the different types of entrepreneurship.

When I was preparing for my session, I figured that in addition to social entrepreneurs and wealth enhancing entrepreneurs, we also have a very interesting “niche” of political entrepreneurs.

What’s an example of this in India? The Aam Aadmi Party.

If you happen to be somebody that doesn’t understand Hindi, the word “Aam” means common and the word “Aadmi” means man – so the Common Man’s Party.

Wikipedia chronicles the formal formation of this party as being November 2012.
The idealogy of the party lies in its belief that the principles of equality and justice as propounded in the constitution have not been met.

It’s a very noble objective – and here is where I link this to entrepreneurship. The founder of the party – Arvind Kejriwal, is an example of a political entrepreneur. He saw an opportunity to make a change – create value and take ownership in making that happen. In my opinion, he is a classic entrepreneur.

Who would have thought that in the Congress and BJP dominated national politics there was room for a third party?
Many would argue that the need was obvious – change was required, but till Arvind Kejriwal came to the fore, no one really took the initiative.

Many of my friends argue that a political entrepreneur can be a good disguise for being a “for wealth” entrepreneur considering the potential connect between loads of money and politics.

Perhaps. In this case I hope not. While I do not swear allegiance to the AAP, I like what they stand for. I love their election symbol – the broom – and its associated symbolism for clean governance.

The success of an entrepreneur lies in his tenacity and in the execution of his plans. Its early days yet – but personally I will be watching the progress of the flag-bearer of Indian Political Entrepreneurship, Arvind Kejriwal, and the AAP very very closely.

Let me know your views – and share them with me, well, “Point Blank”!


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