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The Rise of Picsel Technologies Ltd.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ENTERPRISE ASSIGNMENT 2: The Rise of Picsel Technologies Ltd. Case material prepared by Laura Wilson, SIE Case Writer in Residence, University of Paisley. Case Study. The case study material is attached below. Presentation You have been allocated into groups for this case study presentation and written report. The presentation should last no more than 10 minutes. It is anticipated that you will use either slides and an OHP or power point to assist your presentation. The presentations will take place on November 27 in lecture and tutorial time. The exact time and place for your presentation will be posted on blackboard. Prepare within your group a presentation that addresses the following questions: 1. What were the motivating factors involved in this case study of ethnic entrepreneurship in Scotland? 2. How did these motivating factors affect strategic planning for the business? 3. Were the twin commitments to profit and community a help or a hindrance to the team in striving to develop a high growth business. Written Assignment This assignment should be answered in not more than 2,000 words. The assignment can be answered in one part encompassing the two issues you are asked to address. Credit will be given for additional sources used, proper referencing, a structured argument and evaluation of the issues posed. 1. Alternative Publishing was established and financed in quite an uncommon way. Comment on their chosen funding strategies with reference to alternatives that could have been considered. 2. What barriers did the entrepreneurial team face in trying to grow the business? The submission date for the written assignment is 19 December 2003. ...read more.


Alternative Publishing Ltd. was slowly wound down, as the team could no longer see much value in remaining in the limited design and print sector. By 1999, turnover had grown in just three years to a far more impressive �500,000 per annum. Staffing had grown too, however, and the company was now employing 19 people, including a sales team. Serious Money The rapid growth of Web Scotland meant the team had to consider formalising organisational structures and business practices, with the funding growth issue raised once more. Although proud to be Scottish and based in Scotland, the directors at the same time felt the company name, Web Scotland, was limiting their markets and making them appear too parochial, so they changed the trading name to Focus Blue. This was to help attract business from England, which was a far larger market for their internet-based services. After years of self-financed growth, the directors had to approach the bank for an overdraft to help fund taking on more staff for Focus Blue. Imran and Suhail recall that making the payroll every month was often nerve-wracking. As the company continued to grow (they were aspiring at this point to grow and sell Focus Blue for �1-2 Million) the directors realised that they had to have more formalised systems. It was no longer feasible just to buy equipment on a personal credit card when it was needed, what was required now was a proper business plan and departments, managers, cost centres, budgets and HR systems. The company really needed proper investment too, and the directors were still reluctant to sell equity in the company to outside investors. ...read more.


And here we are, 3 years down the road, we've done all the hard work, we've got significant board members on from all across the world and even now it's difficult to find someone who has the experience of growing a global company and penetrating Eastern markets the way we have, and with a technology phoenix. Once we were trailblazer, but I think we recognised fairly early on that we were really going to be master of our own destiny and which is why we probably went through a lot of consultants, we realised very quickly that the help that could be offered was minimal." Imran now calls VC funding that offers nothing more than cash "dumb money". Future Strategies The current ownership of Picsel Technologies Ltd. recognises the commitments and tiny but vital investments made in the early 1990's. The four young men and their wives, ten years on, still have a significant stockholding. Alongside the speedy development of Picsel, the team has also grown their community commitments, involving 15 people today in the management of trusts, social enterprises and community concerns. They also desire to help others to set up businesses that in turn pour their profits back into the community. The team expect to invest 95% of their profits from Picsel in this cascading, innovative charity and they are already looking to new businesses in property, tourism and the exploitation of nano-technologies. Asked if he had any regrets, Imran commented about the time he and Mussadiq spent on community work: "Regrets...It would probably be that we did not get into the business early enough. We should have done this a lot sooner." 1 ...read more.

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