By Hussein Shobokshi
Many people remember the American “Kodak” company which was the brand for the manufacturing of cameras, films and everything related to photography.
As well as the Finnish company “Nokia” which was a pioneer in mobile phones around the world. Not very long ago, both these companies were undisputed brands with great and impressive examples of success during their time but now they turned out to be icons of failure due to their inability to follow the trend and read the winds of change.
Kodak did not visualize the change of pattern in photography that a mobile phone is the future camera and that the film would end its role. It missed the boat, as the mobile phones entered the camera and imaging market and bankrupt Kodak had to exit the market altogether.
Meanwhile, the Nokia story is not less exciting. The leading traditional mobile phone industry did not take the entry of Apple’s smartphone seriously. It did not imagine that the iPhone, which promised the user great facilities of a smartphone, will release people from the grip of the communication companies and their services. Nokia did not accept this development and mocked entry of computers and computer-makers into a mobile phone, arguing that they did not know anything about the market.
Well everyone knows what happened afterward. iPhone became a successful superstar and its technology was imitated by many other cellphone companies because of the success of this type of product, as a result Kodak and Nokia suffered the fate of dinosaurs.
When one refrains from reading the winds of change and its awareness about relocation and restructuring of the market, there will be clear consequences and chilling results. Perhaps the endangered companies today are the giant oil companies around the world, which are unable to read the developments in the alternative energy and the laws for conservation of the environment. They are still immersed in their short-term objectives, like raising the oil production from the existing wells and drilling for oil in new places around the world.
It is important to remember that the most important test facing the oil industry today is that the oil is drained economically before it is drained physically. Coal, which was the main source of energy, still exists physically, produced and in use but it is economically extinct.
The same will be the destiny of oil. With scope for alternative energies like solar, wind and nuclear and attacks from environmentalists, gradually the use of oil will be prohibited as a totally contaminated and harmful energy just as what is happening with tobacco and cigarettes.
There is a strong and clear necessity to re-engineer the oil industry to become the power industry energy without the oil and we are now in the midst of this transition period. The greatest challenges facing the oil companies today is either they face the fate of the dinosaurs — Kodak and Nokia — or read what is going on today and be prepared to shift according to the winds of change without denial and without arrogance.