Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka’s book ‘The One-Straw Revolution’ showed how it takes just a straw to start a revolution and bring about a radical challenge in a global system that supplies food to the world. However, it also had a bigger message – sometimes, it doesn’t take more than one person to bring about the said change.
The observation also stands true for the entrepreneurial ecosystem and sometimes it takes just one entrepreneur to inspire another. This can kickstart a chain reaction which in the longer run evolves into a self-sustaining movement enough to democratise entrepreneurship and enable people to climb the socio-economic ladder.
Entrepreneurs are often inspired by their peers who are able to overcome the odds and succeed as it motivates them and convinces them that despite the challenges and tough days, there will come a day when they can be like the person they look up to. Here again, while many entrepreneurs are inspired by the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, the draw of success stories from their own home town remains unmatched. Because, the struggles, challenges and opportunities share an uncanny resemblance.
Entrepreneurs from Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship’s (GAME) Xcelerator Ludhiana cohort are doing just that with its new initiative ‘Opening Doors’. As a first step, three successful entrepreneurs from Ludhiana will be sharing their stories of growth and overcoming the odds with the larger community.
The entrepreneurs who will be at opening doors are:
Nikhil Dhand, Partner at Dhand Steel Traders
Nikhil dreamt of working as an engineer in the US and living it large. But his burning desire to do something for India saw him turning towards entrepreneurship and joining his family business. The company which was started in 1974 worked towards meeting the needs of the bicycle industry, which is a key hub in Ludhiana. However, the hard work of three generations of entrepreneurs saw the company expanding its capabilities to meet the demands of other industries. Today, while leading the company, Nikhil is vocal about how a digital transformation can power MSME growth. As an entrepreneur, Nikhil enjoys working in a challenging environment as it tests your mettle and passion when growth doesn’t come easily, he says.
Tarvinder Singh, CEO & Founder, Technocrats Horizons Compusoft
With an expertise in social media marketing, e-commerce marketing, learning management systems, Tarvinder Singh’s web and mobile application development company services global clients by leveraging the local talent in and around Ludhiana. The company is passionate about building products that can have a big impact on the common man. He decided to try his hand at entrepreneurship when he realised he could no longer bring out his best in a corporate setting. As an entrepreneur, Tarvinder believes in working smart, rather than just working hard – a life lesson that he learnt from his mentor and role model.
Jasjot Virk, CEO, Wepay Finance
Jasjot Virk’s family needed an urgent loan, but their request was denied by the bank. Years later, the family started lending loans to those who needed credit but weren’t serviced by the financial institutions. In 2019, Jasjot decided to transform the unorganised family business into an RBI-approved company Wepay Finance. The move aimed to achieve two goals. One, it wanted to continue to offer loans to those who don’t have access to fair lending, but in a more streamlined manner. Two, he wanted to change the perception of loan lenders. He shares that as an entrepreneur one of the best pieces of advice he has ever received was to never deal in a product that cannot be scaled or easily underwritten.
Opening Doors: An initiative by Xcelerator Ludhiana
On March 12, the three entrepreneurs, who have been part of the first cohort of Xcelerator Ludhiana programme will be sharing a candid account of their growth and the lessons they learnt along the journey. ‘Opening Doors’ is an initiative of Xcelerator Ludhiana – a place-based small business accelerator programme to support promising growth of enterprises across sectors in Ludhiana and scale to the next level of productivity, efficiency and profitability. The accelerator programme was launched by GAME, in partnership with the Punjab government and Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), in August 2020.
Today, with 24 entrepreneurs on board, Xcelerator Ludhiana is working towards boosting the local entrepreneurship ecosystem’s growth and enabling access to capital, market linkages, building engagement and ownership among local stakeholders and more. One of the key focus areas of the programme is creating early role models who can help create a systematic and robust pay-it-forward culture. Paying it forward helps create bonds of goodwill, trust, a sense of camaraderie and most importantly inspire others to either take the entrepreneurial plunge or work towards overcoming the odds, ultimately translating into enhancing local capacity and scaling up the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Register here to book your slot March 12, 3-5 PM