Business networking for the future?

Today I attended one of Bangalore’s BNI chapters, BNI Royale on the invitation of Sundeep Kamath, a business owner in Koramangala (an area in south Bangalore).  To my surprise I found the whole concept very interesting.  Unlike many business networking organisation this one was truly efficient in that it promotes sustainable business relations with each of its members.

The concept is rather straight forward, each BNI chapter has a select number of business owners, each representing one aspect of local business within its area of operation.  No chapters accepts new members if that line of business is already represented within itself, so that there is no competition, only collaboration.  Members meet every Fridays and pass on business referrals to one anther based on their own network of clients.  Each business lead that converts into a sale is recognised with a thank you note, no commissions.  The whole process becomes alive when the members play along to the rules of the game.  Members are allowed to bring visitors to these meetings in order to introduce new businesses to the group.

The beauty of this system is that it encourages a network of businesses to look after one another, promoting each other and thus ensuring sustainable growth.  Active and sincere members stick around and see their business grow in parallel to their peers and chances are these same people will still be promoting one another  throughout their career.  Now that is what I call sustainability.  I find it a robust system that promotes local networks and encourages people to look out for one another.