The paper "Entrepreneur: Robert Bob Fredrick Clifford" is a perfect example of a business case study. Dr. Robert “ Bob” Frederick Clifford represents one of the most popular entrepreneurs in Australia. Clifford was born in Tasmania, Australia. Currently, Clifford lives in Surrey, England. He is much celebrated as a shipbuilder, businessman, and entrepreneur. The business activity that has made Clifford so much celebrated as an entrepreneur is his Incat catamaran building company which was founded in Australia but has become one of the most celebrated global brands selling wave-piercing catamaran ferries around the globe, including ferry operators in Europe and the United States military. Much of Clifford earlier days were spent as a fisherman.
Clifford had a strong passion for fishing. This passion was later to be translated into a boat building operation. He adopted the idea of fast commuter ferries as his foundational business venture. The business became very successful in Australia thus establishing a strong foundation which enabled Clifford to expand his business into the global arena where he has become one of the leading manufacturers of high-speed catamaran ferries.
When Clifford started selling catamaran in 1977, he encountered significant challenges – challenges that would dampen a person’ s efforts. According to Clifford, the attempt to sell his first catamaran was unsuccessful (Mather 2016). He indicated that the authorities he tried to sell the catamaran to at that time did not like it at all. However, the situation is completely different today because of many users of Incat ferries like it. The harbour authorities that declined to but Clifford’ s catamarans in 1977 are the ones placing orders for them today. The reason they have an opportunity to buy these catamarans is that Clifford did not give up even after their refusal to buy them in 1977.
Mather (2016) indicates that Incat is currently manufacturing six commuter catamarans for Sydney Harbour. Clifford’ s Company was awarded this supply job after winning a tender by the NSW Government. It is important to note that the tender was very competitive because it had attracted bids from different companies around the world. Clifford’ s earlier days were not always a success. In fact, he had experienced several failures before becoming one of the biggest success stories in Australia.
For example, Clifford says that he failed many subjects in school, including the subject that would eventually become his main revenue-earner – woodwork. His father was a butcher. According to Clifford, he did not receive much help from his father during his early years (Mather 2016). However, he gave Clifford direction in life when he bought a fishing vessel which they could both use in fishing. Together, they also built several fishing boats. This represents one of the areas from which Clifford developed his passion for sea vessels. The 1975 collapse of the Tasmanian Bridge became the catalyst for the soaring good fortune for Clifford’ s business.
At that time, Clifford owned five boats which were used to transport people across River Derwent. This operation continued for a period of two years with the five boats having transported more than nine million people over the period of the two years. In addition to boats, Cliffords had a hotel which also boosted the business to a significant extent. The business has blossomed over the years under the care of Clifford and his family.
In the recent past, Incat has supplied ferries to one of the Japanese ferry operators (85 metres) and River Thames in London (35 metres). Incat’ s supplies around the world continue to increase. Work-in-progress represents a 1000-passenger ferry which is being manufactured for Denmark. The construction of this ferry has forced the company to expand its operation. According to Clifford, more and more new orders continue to be received from the European ferry operators which may make the company expand its current workforce of 350 employees (Mather, 2016).
Therefore, Clifford’ s venture continues to be one of the most attractive business ventures not only in Australia but also in other countries and continents around the world. This shows that Incat has continued to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors.
Runge, W., 2014. Technology Entrepreneurship: A Treatise on Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship for and in Technology Ventures. Vol 2 (Vol. 2). KIT Scientific Publishing.
Mather, A. 2016. How Bob Clifford became the captain of a global fleet. Available at http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/how-bob-clifford-became-the-captain-of-a-global-fleet/news-story/5377f9a2673ae0672123d992d784fe4c