15 Aug 2019, 10:00 — 9 min read
From the moment the dream of an “Azad Bharat” rooted itself deep inside the minds of nearly 390 million people of then ‘undivided India’ to fighting for independence and gaining it in the year 1947, Indians have truly embraced the term ‘independence’ in every possible sense. Fast forward to the 21st century and you can still see the fierce determination and the need to be independent in the nearly 60 million SMEs who are creating such a valuable impact on the lives of millions of people in India. Rightfully called the backbone of the Indian economy, SMEs and startups have been instrumental in positively transforming the Indian economy.
As we celebrate yet another year of Indian independence, some of our GlobalLinker members share why owning a small business is the best kind of independence for them.
For Vijay Shah, CEO of Petals Professional Services, owning a small business gives you leeway to work at your own pace. He says, “We all know that owning a business gives you certain lifestyle advantages, most notably being able to control your work experience – hours, career path, work environment, etc. And this advantage is a big factor in small business owner happiness. When you dictate your own schedule and are your own boss, control is in your hands. For many, this equates to greater personal happiness, but control also brings with it opportunity. I am able to create jobs. I am so proud of the fact that my little initiative is impacting the lives of so many people in the country. Those three things are incredibly meaningful to me. They fuel my sense of purpose and of pride. I am directly contributing to the health of our industry."
Girish Sachdev, Partner of Drishti Lifestyle feels that, "Entrepreneurship is a dynamic expression of creating connected values with compassion."
After successfully managing the business at his parent firm, Drishti Lifestyle, with his mother and brother, he wanted to create an independent business. He named his new entrepreneurial venture- Funkaari.
He shares, “When I started Funkaari, money wasn’t a cause of concern as I was getting enough from my parent firm. What I wasn’t familiar with was the effort it takes to build a company from scratch and more so, what it takes to build it on a bootstrap budget. But anyhow my passion led me to create a brand around my imagination and I called it “Funkaari”. It’s been four years since then and we have been meeting customer demands and trying to plug gaps in the fashion industry via customisation at affordable pricing, Funkaari was created keeping in mind the sustainability of the environment and re-using every piece of scrap available. The essence is to keep the artisanal art of hand making alive."
He continues, "Last year, I was introduced to the powerful ecosystem of GlobalLinkers. I attended a GlobalLinker’s flagship programme, TradeConnect in Singapore. This ecosystem enabled me and the people we crossed paths with, to be independent in choosing our connections. When I say connections I mean a 360 view of a business. From buyers to suppliers, all at one place. That is the sort of Independence MSMEs have been craving for, principles are simple and it empowers companies more meaningfully. This platform became a language for me to express my business model. The Independent principles help an aspiring entrepreneur to adapt quickly. It also makes it easy to navigate the future, which is unknown. Anyone with new ideas in mind will also fear the constraints one might have to face. Independence came at a cost so does independent business."
Also read: Leaders of India’s freedom struggle: Lessons for business owners
Building a small business stems from the passion and purpose of an individual who carefully nurtures h/er dream until it is ready to fly as an independent business. For Suvarna Bhat, Director of Inquisite Innovations Pvt Ltd, a small business gives you the freedom to achieve all your dreams and turn them into reality that positively affects the lives of millions of people.
She shares, “Business is run with a set of people and with set of rules and regulations. But there are quite a good number of differences when it is big or small. A small business is run with more personal touch whereas the systems or processes set in place take care of big business. In my view, the satisfaction a business head gets in small business is manifold. The feeling of having the freedom to make decisions, to work independently and to achieve dreams that they have, is profound. When the business is big, corporate rules or shareholders are the major factor in decision making. Hence you lose your essence, the human touch and the uniqueness which you can find in a small business."
Prabhakar Shetty, the CMD and founder of Tamanna Hotels Private Limited, feels that a new venture comes with a fair share of challenges. The real strength however lies in emerging out of the troubled sea and completing the journey.
He shares, “I worked abroad for 10 years prior to establishing my own business in India. I started my business career in in the year 2001. It is a very difficult task to establish a business independently and I had to face the wrath of local politics, licensing authority, taxation regime and high rate of interest, labour issues etc. But my perseverance helped me overcome all these challenges and I currently own three properties in Hinjawadi ‘s IT hub of Pune including Executive Tamanna Hotel, Bizz Tamanna Hotel and Grand Tamanna Hotel. Today when I look back, I can proudly say that the challenges made me a stronger leader with a much stronger purpose. As a successful entrepreneur I am contributing to India's growth story in a minuscule way with employment generation, contribution of funds to exchequer by way of taxes, contributing to the welfare of our employees and the social activities of my country."
Also read: Should you pursue your passion?
For Shruti Ajmera Reddy, founder of Sattva Life Foods Llp and Geet Jalota, Director of Askgeet HRD Solutions OPC Pvt Ltd, a small business allows you to make a significant impact to the lives of people around you and also makes you capable to tackle every problem.
Geet shares, "Well, for me, having my own small business has enabled me to give shape to the kind of HR that is needed to tackle today's workplace problems. In a job, it becomes difficult to manifest that vision. In an MNC, employees have the freedom to exercise their opinion, however very few domestic companies give employees that luxury. You end up doing what the owner or the CEOs want you to do. For me, there is no angst now. I have to sell my perspective harder - but once sold, I am truly doing what I KNOW will make a difference. So I may end up creating something new, something meaningful and relevant TODAY. Secondly, in a small business, there is freedom to decide what I want to learn, not what will benefit the company's bottom line. Currently I am learning about promoting books which I never would have done in an HR Job. And last but not the least, control on my time and autonomy which only a small business can give you."
Let us know in the comments section below on why do you think owning and running a small business is the best kind of independence?
Wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day!!
Also read: As a small business owner, what does freedom mean to me
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com
Network with SMEs mentioned in this article by clicking on the 'Connect' button on their profile. Vijay Shah, Girish Sachdev, Suvarna Bhat, Prabhakar Shetty, Shruti Ajmera Reddy and Geet Jalota.
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured members. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.
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