We interviewed Dr Felipe Jánica, visiting professor of the Sustainability Week (previously called the International Week) course The Effect of Innovative Entrepreneurship on the Sustainability and Perdurability of the Business. Dr Jánica is a global partner of EY (Ernst & Young). He is the market segment leader of the Bogotá office in Colombia and he also leads the Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) in LATAM.
Dr Jánica’s professional experience of more than 23 years has been primarily with industrial and service entities within the retail, manufacturing and mining sectors in Colombia, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Dr Janica’s course focuses on the conceptual framework of innovation and corporate entrepreneurship. Students analyse how global businesses and regulatory entities around the world work together to prevent business failures and drive long-term sustainable growth.
In your opinion, what is the difference between innovative and corporate entrepreneurship?
Innovative entrepreneurship relates to how the entrepreneurs develop a new idea different from those that already exist in the market. On the other hand, corporate entrepreneurship refers to the process of creating new business within established firms to improve organisational profitability and enhance a company´s competitive position or the strategic renewal of existing business. Without innovative and corporate entrepreneurship, companies would be prepared to fail.
What role does innovative entrepreneurship play in the future?
Innovative entrepreneurship will be crucial for new ways of doing business, not only in the local arena but in the global one as well. Putting yourself in the shoes of clients and listening to the market trends will be the raw material for the entrepreneurs of the future. The digital component is a must, not an option.
What are your biggest challenges as a global partner at EY?
My clients and the business communities are a wheel. Movement is not equal to progress. Thus, I have been seeing how some companies move and how others progress. My biggest challenges are related to both kinds of companies. For those that move, my challenge is to persuade them to progress. For those that progress, the challenge is to make them understand and learn (sometimes re-learned) how they do it.
How does the innovative entrepreneurship in Latin America compare with that in the U.S. and Europe?
There are many differences. In my study, I found that there are intervenient variables such as the size of companies and industries. In Latin America, there are a lot of SMEs. This leads to the absence of a budget and human capital is a challenge for companies that want to be global. Latam companies are more highly responsive to changes, as opposed to proactively embracing themselves for future change. Nevertheless, there are valid exceptions to these “rules”.
How can we work towards long-term sustainable growth?
Understanding the role of corporate entrepreneurship, Innovation and diversification in products and services driven by strategic renewal can help stakeholders find new ways to prevent business failure. My proposed conceptual framework considering corporate entrepreneurship activities could be a point of reference for practitioners, academics and regulators. They could use this framework as a jumping off point to develop further studies and models to avoid, prevent or even predict business failure. In the long term, this could reduce the overall number of bankruptcies and improve business performance in companies.