The Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Reflections on the Inauguration of Jagriti Yatra
Convocation Hall, I.I.T Bombay
Christmas Eve, 2015
20 h 00

I was so scared of failing of losing, that I would never really try to break the mould.

As Peter Thiel says in his book, ‘Zero to One’,

“You go to an elite institution, your worries are over, you’re essentially set for life. This is exactly the kind of thinking that stops you from daring to find the answers to the hard questions-the ones that are really satisfying to answer!”

Given the current entrepreuneurial frenzy, it would seem that starting your own company is the magic mantra of making it big.

But, more often than not, the start-up world is likely to have one BIG-BANG and countless other pouffs.

Enterprising is a state of continous action, becoming the CEO of your newly minted company is but only the first step! Entrepreneurship is a frame of mind. It is about doing what is good for society (as opposed to what you think is good for society). It’s about creating something of value, and the more disruptive that value, the bigger the problem that it solves, the better its prospects!

The ideal founder is someone who can bring out the best in every employee.

Savita Mundhe, a 2012 Yatri, is a case in point. Savita, dressed in her traditional Maharashtrian attire of a kasta saree, speaks confidently into the mike. “I’m from a small village in the Buldana District of Eastern Maharashtra. I’ve already managed to grab a few eyeballs back home, owing to my becoming a Gram Pradhan when I was 21. But the exposure I got at the Yatra helped me fuse the three dearest concepts of my life: women empowerment, education and agricultural development. Today, I run Rajlaxmi Soya Foods in my village, Takar Khed.

I’m glad to tell you all, that after starting with selling soy milk, paneer and mineral water, we have recently expanded into paddy poha and rice murmura.

And all this, mind you, without a bank loan. We started by bootstrapping a total of ₹. 1.5 crore.”

But, as always, every entrepreneurial journey has its mountains to trek over, right?

“Yes, I’m the model of a liberated woman back home. But that just makes my prospects for marriage that much more difficult. After all, most of the men are afraid of having a tigress of a woman like me at home! But, I will remain patient and keep believing that nothing is impossible!

I do hope to win the love of my customers and of a handsome, brave groom soon!”


Photo Credits: Ishtaarth Dalmia

Discover him at:

Shivani Parasnis: shivaniparasnis (Instagram)

Yash Agarwal: blimeyslimey (Instagram)

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