Last few months had the opportunity to travel across many locations of India meeting entrepreneurs and so many others coming from diverse communities and capabilities. Opportunities like this come once in a life time and when they do it comes with a wealth of knowledge. I traveled for work but gained so much intellectual humility that it overwhelms me and gives life a new perspective.
During the period encountered entrepreneurs of varied nature, but today would want to talk about the three exciting people who have energized me to look at success and achievement from a different lens. Their stories are very different and they come from different strata’s of the economy. As India changes and we grow further the socio economic framework and the approach of society to success of or not successful needs to change. Effort taken and success based on where someone starts needs to be gauged on individual basis. We should not look at success comparing success form the point of view of a few who’s achievement motivation is through worldly luxuries.
We start with the story of this young 28-year-old Marwari from Bhagalpur, a town towards the south of the state of Bihar. He drives his family business which he took over from his father couple of years back with no less zest and drive to make it big, one could easily compare the energy to any big industrialist who’s names we have read right from the text books in school to the current day newspapers. He starts his day early and post the ritual of puja gets into business managing his seven electronic shops. There is a large 40+” LED TV which acts as a CCTV monitor next to his desk where all the shops are shown. He keeps a hawk eye on all of them even while entertaining me with a tea and discussing possibilities of enhancing and engaging with us. This I remember so vividly as though it happened just yesterday, a customer landed into a shop looking for a fridge but walked away due to price issue of Rs.1500/- which probably he must have got a quote from another competitive shop. He calls the next shop in the chain and tells him to quote right away a price matching what the customer was looking at. As the customer lands into the shop as a planned plot the fridge was sold. He turns to me a tells me dealers generally miss the larger picture we are there only because of the customer and as long as I am selling, money is made. Need to keep selling more and more all the time.
Then there is a driver in Vijayawada who has bet all that he has in buying a second had Nano Car that acts as his home at night and earns his livelihood by day. He is the only bred earner in his family of four post his father’s untimely demise. He takes care of his mother a sister who is studying and an especially abled brother. With so much pressure and responsibility over a young 22-year-old you could forgive him if he would have been bitter but he is so very positive and looks at life with zest and zeal. The energy is unabashed and mesmerising. He takes home a meagre Rs.15000/- a month post all his expenses of operating a car and paying his EMI. The energy and though are contagious he wants to make it big and in just about a year has managed to bag contracts with all big hoteliers in the location. He is sure to leverage this to make a mark for himself that I feel confident about him.
The third such incident is about a middle aged man from Balangir in the state of Orissa. He started with nothing some 15 years back today’s owns a three storied building housing a large electronic showroom. He also operates a mini finance scheme which caters to around 400 people from around the town. He also has managed to fund his inventory through this scheme. I love his ingenuity and ability to sell so very well.
The thought that I am trying to portray is that there are so many such small entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of India who operate in locations and zones one would son easily miss while gazing at the vast map of the country. They are the real drives who with three basic traits to never give up, one track mind-set to attain a livelihood and grow where it seems so very impossible. I learnt a lot from them their never say no attitude, there grasp of the crux of the business, to out shine the competition with mastering the basics and a feather like heart to keep them going all the time.