Dimensions of business environment mean all the factors, forces and institutions which have direct or indirect influence over the business transactions.
General Environment is the most important dimension of business environment as businessman cannot influence or change the components of general environment rather he has to change his plans and policies according to the changes taking place in general environment.
- Economical Environment
Economic Environment consists of Gross Domestic Product, Income level at national level and per capita level, Profit earning rate, Productivity and Employment rate, Industrial, monetary and fiscal policy of the government etc.
The economic environment factors have immediate and direct impact on the businessman so businessmen must scan the economic environment and take timely actions to deal with these environments. Economic environment may put constraints and may offer opportunities to the businessman. After the new economic policy of 1991, lots of opportunities are offered to businessmen. The common factors which have influenced the Indian economic environment are
(a) Banking sector reform has led to many attractive schemes of deposits and lending money. The Banks are offering loans at very nominal rate of interest and with minimum formalities to be completed.
(b) Recent changes in economic and fiscal policy of country have encouraged NRIs and foreign investors to invest in Indian companies.
(c) Lots of economic reforms are taking place in leasing and financing institutions. The private sector is allowed to enter in financial institutions; as a result customers are gaining.
Some Aspects of Economic Environment
(i) Role of Private and Public sector
(ii) Rate of growth of GDP, GNP, and Per Capita Income
(iii) Rate of Saving and Investment
(iv) Balance of Trade
(v) Balance of Payment
(vi) Transport and Communication System
(vii) Money Supply in the Economy
(viii) International Debt
- Social Environment
Social Environment consists of the customs and traditions of the society in which business is existing. It includes the standard of living, taste, preferences and education level of the people living in the society where business exists.
The businessman cannot overlook the components of social environment as these components may not have immediate impact on the business but in the long run the social environment has great impact on the business.
For example, when the Pepsi Cola Company used the slogan of “Come Alive” in their advertisement then the people of a particular region misinterpreted the word “Come Alive” as they assumed it means Coming out of Graves. So, they condemned the use of the product and there was no demand of Pepsi Cola in that region. So, the company had to change its advertisement slogan as it cannot survive in market by ignoring the sentiments of the people.
In India also, there are many Social reforms taking place and the common factors of Indian Social Environment are:
(a) Demand for reservation in jobs for minority and women
(b) Demand for equal status of women by paying equal wages for male and female workers
(c) Demand for automatic machines and luxury items in middle class families
(d) The social movements to improve the education level of girl child.
(e) Health and Fitness trend has become popular.
Some Aspects of Social Environment
(i) Quality of life
(ii) Importance or place of women in workforce
(iii) Birth and Death rates
(iv) Attitude of customers towards innovation, life style etc.
(v) Education and literacy rates
(vi) Consumption habits
(viii) Tradition, customs and habits of people
- Political Environment
Political environment constitutes all the factors related to government affairs such as type of government in power, attitude of government towards different groups of societies, policy changes implemented by different governments etc. The political environment has immediate and great impact on the business transactions so businessman must scan this environment very carefully.
The businessman has to make changes in his organisation according to the changing factor of political environment. For example, in 1977 when Janata Government came in power they made the policy of sending back all the foreign companies. As a result the Coca Cola Company had to close its business and leave the country.
The common factors and forces which have influenced the Indian political environment are:
(a) The government in Hyderabad is taking keen interest in boosting I.T. industry, as a result the state is more commonly known as Cyber bad instead of Hyderabad.
(b) After the economic policy of liberalization and globalization, the foreign companies got easy entry in India. As a result the Coca Cola which was sent back in 1977 came back to India. Along with Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and many other foreign companies are establishing their business in India.
Some Aspects of Political Environment
(i) Present political system
(ii) Constitution of the country
(iii) Profile of political leaders
(iv) Government intervention in business
(v) Foreign policy of government
(vi) Values and ideology of political parties
- Legal Environment
Legal environment constitutes the laws and various legislations passed in the parliament. The businessman cannot overlook the legislations because he has to perform his business transactions within the framework of legal environment.
The common legislation passed which has affected the business transactions are Trade Mark Act, Essential Commodity Act, Weights and Measures Act, etc. Most of the time legal environments put constraints on the businessman but sometimes they provide opportunities also. The common instances of Indian legal environment which have influenced business transactions recently are:
(a) Deregulation of capital market has made it easy for businessman to collect capital from primary market.
(b) Removal of control from the foreign exchange and liberalization in investment is encouraging foreign investors and NRIs to invest in Indian capital market.
(c) Advertisement of alcoholic product is prohibited.
(d) Compulsory to give statutory warning in Tobacco production.
(e) Delicencing policy of industries.
Some Aspects of Legal Environment
(i) Various laws and legislative acts.
(ii) Legal policies related to licensing.
(iii) Legal policies related to foreign trade.
(iv) Statutory warnings essential to be printed on label.
(v) Foreign Exchange Regulation and Management Act.
(vi) Laws to keep a check on Advertisements.
- Technological Environment
Technological environment refers to changes taking place in the method of production, use of new equipment and machineries to improve, the quality of product. The businessman must closely monitor the technological changes taking place in his industry because he will have to implement these changes to remain in the competitive market.
Technological changes always bring quality improvement and more benefits for customers. The recent technological changes of Indian market are:
(a) Digital watches have killed the prospects and the business of traditional watches.
(b) Color T.V. technology has closed the business of black and white T.V.
(c) Artificial fabric has taken the market of traditional cotton and silk fabrics.
(d) Photo copier and Xerox machines have led to the closure of carbon paper business.
(e) Shift in Demand from vacuum tubes to transistors.
(f) Shift from steam locomotives its diesel and electric engine.
(g) From typewriter to World Processors.
Some Aspects of Technological Environment
(i) Various Innovations and Inventions.
(ii) Scientific Improvements.
(iii) Developments in IT sector
(iv) Import and Export of Technology.
(v) Technological Advances in Computers.