Difference Between a Businessman and an Entrepreneur

When I was in high school and the early days of engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, I had very little insights about the distinction between the ‘Business’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’. I knew that Steve Jobs is a great entrepreneur but Mukesh Ambani is always hailed as a shrewd businessman. Many times I thought that both have a common goal of making more money and generating employment. I think there would be some of you who must be using this term interchangeably. This article would talk about the major distinctions between these two.


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

What’s unique about Tata CLIQ, an e-commerce platform in India?

Basically, nothing.

Tata CLIQ is just like any other e-commerce platform which was launched in 2016. Before that, several players like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Alibaba existed in the market. Since e-commerce is ever-growing in India, the Tata group decided to enter into this burgeoning market to leverage some profit.

However, Amazon was one of the first e-commerce websites to be created in history. While the Tata group chairman Ratan Tata would be hailed as a businessman, Jeff Bezos is an entrepreneur. Bezos had an original idea and started his e-commerce platform in the 1990s, a few years after the launch of the internet.

An entrepreneur creates a new business with an original or innovative idea while a businessman enters a growing market to make profit.

2. Disruptive Innovation

netflix is a disruptive innovation
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In September 2010, Blockbuster, an American video rental company filed for bankruptcy. The rise of Netflix is cited as the primary reason for this.

The Harvard professor Dr.Clayton Christensen was the first to coin the term ‘disruptive innovation‘ in the 1990s. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), aa business disruption takes place when a small company with limited resources outwits an existing large business. Netflix is a business disruption because it has changed the entertainment industry.

In the early 2000s, when I was a kid, I used to rent CDs or DVDs to watch a film. But today, I resort to Netflix to watch content of my interest. In fact, people using Netflix have stopped taking television cable subscriptions, which has led to the loss of business for cable TV operators. After Netflix’s disruption, several other competitors emerged like Hulu, HotStar, Vue and Pluto TV. Netflix created a whole new business industry in itself. So, it is rightful to call Marc Randolph, the founder of Netflix, an entrepreneur.

3. Competition

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

A businessman faces tremendous competition in the market. However, an entrepreneur who creates a startup has a unique position in the market. He faces the competition when few other businesses start similar companies later. An entrepreneur always starts it small before moving on to get series funding and expanding the business.

An entrepreneur creates a market with less competition in the early days but a businessman already has a lot of competitors. Afterall, a startup becomes a business some day.


As a kid, I always thought that the rich grocery store owner in my town and the travel agent next door is an entrepreneur. However, over time, I realized that he is just a businessman, with the sole motive of making more money and not keen to change things around. I hope you would have also brushed up your fundamentals regarding the difference between the two terms used interchangeably.


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