It can be seen that among many consumers, the need to stay healthy has become very important. Therefore changes in the eating habits taking place greatly globally (Watson, 2015). It is been highlighted by Voorpostel et al. (2014), the increasing interest towards organic food consumption can be seen from the rising numbers of studies conducted in relation to the subject matter.
The organic food industry in the world is making great changes in the food habits of people. The interest towards the global organic food industry is rising fast.
It can be seen that the growth in the industry has been happening at a very positive rate which has opened many doors to businesses relating to organic industry. Further the organic food market in the Asian region has been grown by 20.6% in 2015, when comparing with the market in 2010 (Food and beverage industry growth statistics, 2012).
The following statistics highlight how the segmentation is been done in related to the global organic market.
It can be seen according to the segmentation organic fruits and vegetables play an important part. There are many related industries which are rising in relation with the organic food and beverages. Further the following data gained from Research Gate (2015), highlights the global organic agricultural growth.
Therefore with the above data it is very clear that consumers are moving towards much healthier options when it comes to food and beverages. The same rising trend can be seen in Sri Lanka, where consumers focusmore on much healthier food options.
With the rising demand for organic vegetables and fruits in the market it will be important to create sources to supply. Hence identifying the opportunity that is rising in the organic industry, the author will be focusing on starting up a family business on running an organic farm in Sri Lanka. As it can be seen the global with the global deman for organic food is increasing the new business will also have exporting opportunities in the future. Hence there is good expanding opportunities in the future. Therefore understanding the future trends and focusing on these will allow to create a strong business.
It is been highlighted by Cornish and Stewart (2002), that there is a great positive movement in the organic food industry. Further in oppose to this Halberg et. al. (2005a), states with all these opportunities, that there are many challenges that the organic food industry has to face. The players entering the market should be well aware of the following challenges as it can impact the growth and the stability of the business.
- Industry Knowledge on Maintaining the Product Quality
An organic food product is known as a production where farming coccentrate on not using any chemicals as fertilizer, any man made pesticides and growth regulators in order to increase the production and the time taken for the production (Semos, 2002). Therefore it is clear that the organic farmers will have to give that assuarance to all consumers so that they will start building the trust towards the products.
Vogtmann (1991), highlights that organic product quality is highly important and that the quality needs to be evaluated using a analytical and a holistic approach. Kahl et al., (2010), has discussed the importance of paying attention to the requirements made through legislations in maintaining product quality and Kahl et al.(2010), highlights the importance of understanding the gap between the organic products manufactured and the quality expected by the consumers.
In order to maintain the product quality it is important to ensure that the author has knowledge on the industry and is willing to learn from the industry experts (Thorsoe, 2014). Therefore the autgor should be having an open mind, in order to learn what isrelevant to the industry. This is very important for the success of the organization. Further the learnt knowledge needs to be put into practice and pass on to the other parties. Hence the author should be able to share knowledge and worktogether with the subbordinates.
Further with changing technology, it will be very important to have hands on information in enhancing the business. Hence the author should be willing to make changes in order to facilitate the production. Therefore the author needs to ensure that he is very much comfortable with changes that will take place. Therefore it will be important to introduce a changing culture in the organization.
- Identifying Skilled Staff, Team work and Relationship Management
It is important that the business has the skilled employees in the core team in order to manage the business effectively (Singla, 2016). As this industry is new to the country, finding employees with a large knowledge in the industry will be challenging for the author. Therefore it will be important that the author manage this with a recruitment agency, as they will have much more access to skilled staff relating to the industry.
As this is a start up, it will be important that the author work very closely with each and every employee of the organization. Employees are considered as the most important asset for an organization (Gabčanová, 2011). Therefore managing the team effectively is important for the success of the business. The author will need to have good leadership qualities in order to manage the team. Because the operation is new to the author understanding employee behavior and their talents is important to enhance the efficiency and the motivation of the staff.
In addition the company will need to have strong distribution channels for the products to reach the consumers. Developing strong relationship with distributors will take time as it happens gradually over time as the brand starts gaining market share. In the mean time the author will need to identify the best possible ways to introduce the business opportunities for the distributors as this will be the starting point. Therefore the author will need to have the ability of developing good relationships with all relevant parties to the business. Further it will also be important to have negotiating skills to implement the most effective processes for the business. Therefore it can be seen in order to start up a business relating to the organic industry, the author need to have multiple skills.
- Financial Support Requirement
In order to start up the business it can be seen that from the beginning the company will need to be financially strong in order to fulfill the requirements. It is important that the company uses the correct technology to enhance the production and the quality of the fruits and the vegetables. In addition it is also important to have the correct storing facilities and an effective delivery system to reach the customers with the quality expected.
Therefore, in order to to support the infrastructure requirement the company will need to be strong in it’s initial finances. Further it will be challenging to have the required financial support and to identify the sources that these will be funded through.
- Competition and Strong Marketing Strategy
In Sri Lanka it can be seen that the interest towards organic food is heavily rising. Understanding the opportunities this has created in the market place it can be seen many businesses are entering the market relating to organic food industry. Therefore the organic producers will also be increased. This will create competition in the market, and the company will need to build strong relationships with distributors and other related parties in order to gain the trust to enter into longterm contracts. In addition to face intense competition in the market the company will have to have a strong marketing strategy. To develop a strong marketing strategy it will be imp[ortant for the company to continously monitor the changing internal and external factors. Conducting research relating to the industry and consumer behavior will be very important in identifying the most effective strategies. In order to identify the most effective startegies to face compation the author should be able to analyse the market very effectively. therefore having strong analytical skills will be very important. This is important to identify market trends and changes in order to face the challenges in the future.
As it can be seen that there are many challenges that the author will have to face when starting up an organic farm in order to grow vegetables and fruits.
Understanding the nature of these challenges, it will be important for the author to conduct a strong feasibility study, in order to identify how extreme these challenges are. As the focus is to have a startup as a family business, it will be important for the author to identify how each member who is participating in the business is going to contribute.
As it can be seen the business will need a large amount of financial support. Therefore it will be important to work closely with a person that is well aware of the finances and create a breakdown in order to have a clear estimation. This will enable everyone taking part in the business to have a clear idea on the finacial requirements. Therefore the team can have a clear understanding of the financial viability. This will enable to identify the sources that can be used in financing the business. This will allow the author to have a good understanding on how the finances needs to be managed in starting up a business.
In addition this will enhance the decision making and analytical abilities of the author that will help in identifying how different situations need to be monitored and faced in understanding the best available option. The psychometric test will allow the author to have a clear understanding on the personal gaps and to develop them accordingly to make the new business a success.
In order to face the challenges identified it is clear that the author will need to make changes in his personality in order to make the new business a success. The ways in which the characteristics of the author need to be changed will be discussed in the following section taking the psychometric test into consideration.
It can be seen that the author needs to have effective leadership qualities, in order to manage the team and to drive the business to the success. The Belbin Team Role Report highlights the implementing ability of the author and the ability to lead a group effectively. But at the same time it highlights that the author should be clever enough to bring together separate areas of expertise. Therefore it is important for the author to enhance the ability of identifying the skills of others and to use it effectively in order to overcome the challenges.
Further the author will need to have strong analytical skills, in order to understand the financial requirements, other resource requirements and the market behavior. According to psychometric test the results gained which is 91 percentile for the situational judgmental highlights that the author is in a strong position to understand how the business needs to be conducted taking the environmental changes into consideration. But the work personality test highlights that the author is more of an introvert. As a start up the author should be able to listen and respect the ideas of others and implement them appropriately in order to make the business a success.
The author has a more of a target driven personality according to the work personality test. This is important when the business is running. But at the same time it is important to focus on the employees and their needs in order to make all the functions more effective. This is further highlighted in the work personality where it indicates that the author is more self-focused than being people focused. Using the verbal reasoning test report it can be seen that the author needs to improve the skill of listening to others as the score gained for this is only 39 percentile. This will allow making more effective decisions in developing the business in the market. Improving the ability of listening to others also play an important part in building relationship with various parties. As a startup it is important that author build strong relationship with different parties as discussed in challenges in order to enhance the stability of the business.
Being an implementer, the author should also be able to identify the skills of each employee and handover responsibilities accordingly. This will enable the author enhance the productivity. In order to do this the author will need to work very closely with the employees from the inception of the business. It is also important that the author focus on following a more transformational leadership style rather than focusing only on targets and performance. This will allow the author to understand the needs of the employees, needs of the customers and the environment changes and to act accordingly to enhance the business opportunities.
In addition the innovation score gained from the test is 32-50 which is in average level. Being an entrepreneur it will be important to enhance the innovation abilities of the author, as this can be challenging when creating competitive advantage. Therefore, it will be important to work together with the teams in implementing an innovative culture in order to gain better market share in the future.
Focusing on the business of organic fruits and vegetables will be a profitable business to get into looking at the opportunities it will be creating in the future. Hence in order to make it more successful, it will be important to identify not only the internal and external challenges, but also the personal challenges when starting up a business.
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