The Telegraph
Friday , September 5 , 2014
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Innovators sell success mantra

- Call for competitive spirit
Jamling Tenzing Norgay speaks at the conference. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Sept. 4: An idea driven by passion and sold well can change lives.

Speakers at a session on Promoting Entrepreneurship in India at the NICT 2014 here spoke about their success stories, be it empowering rickshaw-pullers with a remodelled rickshaw or battling the odds to make naturally organic lemongrass tea acceptable among conventional tea drinkers.

For Pradip Kumar Sarmah, a veterinary surgeon, leaving a government job was not hard. “It was not hard because I wanted to set up a veterinary clinic which I did. But an idea struck after I came to know about the plight of rickshaw-pullers and the amount of physical stress their bodies endured. So, I set up a manufacturing unit and came up with a remodelled rickshaw, a vehicle that was safe for both rider and passenger, with guidance from IIT Guwahati experts. Today, 10,000 such rickshaws ply in Guwahati alone. The model is being replicated in cities like Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad,” Sarmah, founder of Rickshaw Bank and executive director of the Centre for Rural Development, said.

Speaking about his challenge in a state that has its share of problems like power cuts and strikes, Ragesh Keisham, founder of CC Tea, spoke of how he had overcome failure to fulfil his passion.

“An entrepreneur should have the passion to spend sleepless nights and money to follow his dream. My company, SuiGeneris Inc, has grown from two to 2,000 workers and currently empowers many families in Manipur. It owns and manages a pristine 200-acre plantation of cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) in Imphal. But I have battled the odds to create a product and market it. Initially, banks were reluctant to give loans,” he said.

“Now, my aim is to acquire a one per cent share of the world tea market,” he added.

The session also saw speakers talk about starting young. “There is no concept of failure in entrepreneurship and the key is to start young and take more risks. You will fail once but you only learn from failures. So, it is important to make a mistake and learn from it,” said Vishwas Mudagal, CEO and co-founder of GoodWorkLabs, a technology firm that builds high-end software products.

Mudagal, who began with an Internet start-up company, had left a job in a Canadian multinational company to set up his firm.

“The firm was founded in 2012 and we have 20 clients at present,” the entrepreneur, who recently penned a book, Losing My Religion, said. “The book inspires youths to take up entrepreneurial ventures and follow their passion. It has become a bestseller in two months, which was not the idea when I started writing,” he added.

The first session on “Climbing your own Everest: Exploring resilience of the human spirit”, a talk by mountaineer Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay, was an inspiring one.

A member of a living dynasty of climbers, with 11 of his relatives climbing Mount Everest, Jamling said anything could be accomplished if one had the will and determination.

Jamling who was chosen as the climbing leader of the international climbing team, which led to the inspiring IMAX documentary film Everest, said there are no shortcuts to success and one has to take the difficult way.

“Keep negatives away and there are chances of less mistakes being made,” the celebrated mountaineer said, when asked about the route to success.