July 23, 2019

Let’s focus on Diversity

Today we are delighted to welcome Nabil Hawa , Muslim Chaplain,  Royal Holloway College; who provides his own personal take on Diversity. Nabil shows us how the many diverse faith backgrounds prevalent in our universities, can lead to creativity and innovation in the modern world.

There is strength in diversity. McDonald’s knew this when exporting their normal menu (the Big-Mac, Filet-o-Fish etc.) but then added in a tiny bit of culture when localising e.g. the McKielbasa in Poland or McKebab in Turkey.

A focus group can be the silver lining in getting a business moving in the right direction. An ambition of this form of qualitative research (in business) is to gauge engaged customers’ or users’ attitudes and emotion towards a product or concept, and potentially discover enhancements to it.  If done correctly, a representative sample of the target audience will be giving their time to offer thoughts on what a business seeks to deliver or improve.  So consider the last busy café you sat in and try to remember the others who were around.  They were likely a diverse group of people; varying ages, ethnicities, professions etc.  If that business owner wanted to work out how they can improve their customer service, menu and the general shop-floor without purely looking at data, they should aim to gauge the thoughts of all of these people (or people of similar disposition).  A combination of qualitative and quantitative research may give a great result; data may suggest nobody buys a carrot cake but speaking to the customers may reveal that they don’t buy it because it’s too sweet, or may be cheaper in the café next door.

This type of research is a suitable exercise for the dynamic entrepreneur who is keen to bring something to market whilst also taking the due diligence to get it right, for his company but also for the customer. After all, there is no use being passionate about something for yourself if you cannot attract customers to it and therefore attain business success.

The world is more interconnected than ever before. We can be more informed with the politics overseas than in our own neighbourhoods due to the power and reach of social media and businesses can serve a multi-national clientele with greater fluidity than before.  Our country’s capital gives an opportunity to get a product right for the modern world.  Have you ever considered how many different languages you might hear on a regular tube/bus commute?

The university environment therefore brings even more freedom for innovation. The student is in a diverse environment where they are surrounded by people who they might not normally befriend or meet in wider society but who share a focus on the same subject area, and that can be an asset in bringing a product or service to market.  Business owners and future entrepreneurs – particularly those studying in business schools – have a window of opportunity to work out the formula for success.

Despite the additional commitments life may throw at you, there is a convenient chance for students to measure the response for their next great idea amongst their peer group. After-all, many of our modern day-to-day necessities were thought up in universities.

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