We see them everywhere. Like mushrooms after the rain, so are thousands of entrepreneurs coming up with new ideas every day. These aspiring young minds seem to challenge the very fabric of the working world thanks to their daring pursuits in startups and E-commerce. But we must ask the question; Do you need an IT background in order to start an E-commerce company? The answer may seem obvious if we consider the likes of Sundar Pichai, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.
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It is true that an educational background in IT proves worthwhile if you are in the Start an E-Commerce Company startup world. But look a little further and you will find that in Malaysia, if you look at who did start an e-Commerce vompany you will find that many do not have an educational background in IT or computing, yet lead successful e-commerce companies. Let’s look at some other background factors that contribute to the successful for those who want to start an E-Commerce company.
A Strong Business Core
From a recent study conducted, we found that out of 65 e-commerce founders and 30 startups, business and finance courses were the most popular, especially in startups focused on non-tech e-commerce. When venturing into any type of business opportunity, it is important to have a strong foundation to build on. Taking on a formal education in finance, business administration, economics or marketing could expedite your endeavours to successfully open said business.
The study also showed that the majority of entrepreneurs also had bachelor-level degrees while smaller percentages went on to do their Masters, MBA, and PhD degrees. Getting a head-start into the business scene allows you to create your own path. It enables you to see the needs of society and provide solutions. As Bill Gross puts it in a Ted Talks video – great execution, a great idea and timing – all contribute to a company’s success.
Successful Management Skills
When you start your own business, you become your own boss (in some sense). But as your company expands, recruitment and employee management become a large part of your job scope. A foundation in management science will prove worthwhile in these circumstances. Understanding how a management-staff relationship works allows for insight into what concerns and challenges both parties face at work.
Look into any MNC and you will find strategic decisions in selecting, hiring and managing personnel in every department. Academic majors in Human Resource, Psychology and Sociology all contribute to the understanding of human behaviour at the workplace – which are vital to a company’s survival.
Start An E-Commerce Company - Legal Expertise
From an outsider’s point of view, startups seem to have unlimited freedom in their marketing plans and creative idea execution. But that does not mean that they don’t follow rules. In Malaysia, there are strict rules regulated by government bodies that startups must adhere to. What’s worse, many of those rules can be amended from time to time to suit the economic situation. This is where an education in Law is the best option for startup founders.
In the study conducted, we found that a large percentage of non-tech startup founders had a background in Law. Their legal expertise gives them insight into the way e-commerce startups are monitored and operate. A Law background also brings a sense of confidence in investors and potential customers that the company is not only legal, but ethical.
A Good Media Relationship
Those startups that flourish usually have great repo with the media. A good relationship with the Malaysian media could mean automatic publicity. This is why many founders from Telecommunications and Visual Arts majors have key contacts in the media – both digital and printed. This networking creates an avenue for the startup to bring its products or services to the public without too big of a budget. Imagine having your company promoted on the cover of the business section in the top-selling newspaper. How awesome would that be?!
Ultimately, e-commerce startup founders that come from a background in creative arts majors, Media and Telecommunications have ample opportunities to bring their company to the limelight.
So, what then?
As a conclusion, let’s revisit the question – Do you need an IT background in order to start an E-commerce company? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If starting the company from scratch is part of your plan, you will need a significant educational background in IT and possibly Computer Science. Alternatively, if you have your resources (ie: a strong team of software engineers) for your company’s base, then your background would matter more in terms of business plans, management, legal and publicity. What matters most is the passion for discovering new possibilities each day and the drive to excel in the world of startups – to graduate from an idea to a global, productive company.
Written by Joel Vijay from iPrice Group