Technology-Based Sociopreneurship

Advancement in information technology (IT) in the current era of globalisation has become more important given its role in advancing human civilization. Entering the 21st century, IT is growing even more rapidly, resulting in changes of actors, namely most of the players involved in the industry.

Industries in general have become increasingly more connected, from the sides of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retail, and consumers. This situation provides  great opportunities for the young people who can offer business ideas to create new ways of providing solutions to problems faced by the society.

Nowadays we have started to see some phenomena by which many start-ups disrupted the existence of established businesses. Nevertheless, no more than 3% of these start-up businesses have survived and grown into big companies. One of the main factors is that most start-ups were not equipped with knowledge, skills and experience in managing the complexities of rapid business growth.

Moreover, the role of producers and consumers now has become blurred; today’s consumers can also act as producers. For example, there is a community that can build their own vehicles without passing official vehicle factories. This has been possible because the community has complete information on vehicle production that used to be only owned by automotive manufacturers. Hence the blurred roles of producers and consumers; consumers have the ability to create some value that is naturally similar to that provided by traditional producers.

On that basis, the School of Business and Economics of Universitas Prasetiya Mulya can help students prepare, hone and develop business management skills for today’s complex business ecosystems.

Another phenomenon evolving today is that major players in the digital business no longer use corporate environmental factors as input in their formulating of business strategies but taking them altogether as part of their business models and processes. There is no firm barrier between a company and its surrounding environment. Gojek or Grab, for instance, involve actors who are outside their companies to engage in value creation; thereby their cost-to-product is efficient since not all cost components are borne by the companies.

The question is: why hasn’t this new phenomenon been used in the value creation process? Here, the understanding of the business ecosystem becomes critical to be mastered in order to manage actors that are connected to a company’s environment. If learning in an earlier era focused on how to manage the company’s internal management, in the era of technology and digital business now management learning becomes more complex because it must also consider or involve external actors.

Changes of learning-needs in higher education, especially the ability of students to handle complex management issues, become one of the emphases of the School of Business and Economics of Universitas Prasetiya Mulya. Critical thinking is yet another; it is also emphasized in the learning process. With critical thinking, new innovations will arise and students will not be stuck with a rigid mindset. Critical thinking is key to the burgeoning of new business models and business innovations.

by: Prof. Agus W. Soehadi