Business Competition – How good?

This is the era of technology. Everyday a new discovery, a new invention is being made. The world is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. People are striving for success and satisfaction in life in the face of fierce competition. Business Competition is ubiquitous- in every walk, every aspect of life right from childhood to old age. No one escapes competition.

It’s very essential to know the effects- both positive and negative- of competition on society. Competition is the very force that drives individuals to aim for goals, aim higher. In school, students compete against each other for higher grades. Athletes compete for more wins, more records. Companies vie against each other for better sales, bigger markets. Just because there is competition, a person is forced to work harder, better and efficiently to overcome it, to defeat it.

Healthy competition is very important for the overall development of individuals, communities and nations on a broader perspective. Take the Indian car industry for instance. It remained stagnant till the late 80’s with only 2 companies offering the same cars for 3 decades. Once the economic reforms came, many companies came into fray and competition increased. In the face of competition, new models, new features, better performing cars are being produced constantly. All this ultimately benefits the customer who gets a wider range to make a choice from.

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The same example can be applied in every other industry. Competition can only give a thrust to progress. No one can afford to be complacent and sit with fingers crossed. It will only leave one behind in the race. Competition expects and promotes fresh thinking, new ideas, better and more hard work. It makes one sit up and take notice of the world around. As someone aptly said,’there is no business without competition.’

Competition in a positive and healthy way is the road to progress. But the moment it is used in a negative way, it can prove harmful. We see the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports- athletes being banned and so on. Companies indulge in malpractices like accounts tampering, publishing false reports to up their stocks.

A most apt example to conclude the discussion- This is a story from the heights of competition for supremacy in space between Americans and the Soviets. US astronauts faced difficulty to write with ball point or any other pens in space. NASA spent 12 million dollars and a few years developing a pen which could write anywhere on any surface without any problems. When relations became friendlier, soviet cosmonauts were asked what they used. The answer-a pencil.

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Competition is ultimately more beneficial than detrimental to society, only if indulged in a healthy way. Unhealthy competition will only lead to destruction of faith, goodwill in society.

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