Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Crorepati who lives in hut - His advice: Never give up! - Part 4

Prizes won by E Sarathbabu, Founder, Foodking

In the last two years, I have given more than 120 lectures in various institutions in India. When I got the first opportunity to speak, I thought 'God had given me an opportunity to encourage or inspire entrepreneurs'. When youngsters tell me they are inspired, I feel good.

"When you just dish out the theory, nobody believes you. But when you do it, they believe you". What I tell them is based on my own experiences.

When I thought of starting a company, I felt India needed 100 people like Narayana Murthy and Ambani. If 100 such people support 2 lakh people each, imagine how many Indians get supported.

Entrepreneurship is needed to uplift the poor. It is not easy to be an entrepreneur, especially a first generation entrepreneur.

There will be lots of challenges in the beginning but you should learn to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up even if there are hurdles. There are many who give up within a week. You need determination and a tough mind to cross the initial hurdles.If you are starting without much money, you should not have any overhead expenses.

He still lives in the same hut: As I am in the food business, I know how much the price of every food item has gone up. Many people will languish in poverty because of inflation. Had my mother been working as an Anganvadi ayah today and earning Rs 1500, she would not have been able to feed us and educate us.

On the one side, we talk about India Shining and India Growing, but we should ensure that people do not die of hunger. We can be a developed country but we should not leave the poor people behind. I am worried for them because I know what hunger is and I still remember the days I was hungry. That is why I feel it is our responsibility to take care of them.

I wanted to buy a car and a house for my mother. I bought a car first, not a house. I still live in the same house, the same hut. I can build a house right now but I want my business to grow a little more. "I feel good in the hut; that’s where I get my energy, that's where I lived 25 years of my life. I want to remind myself that the money and fame should not take me away from what I want to achieve."

But within six months, I will build a good house for my mother. Her only advice to me is, don't waste money. Till I was in the 10th, there was no electricity in my house. I had to sit near the kerosene lamp and concentrate hard. That's how I learnt to concentrate. The two year journey has been very enriching. It seems like a 20-year journey for me. I was living every moment of the two years, from sleeping on the Mumbai railway station platform to this level.

Hats off to 'Sarathbabu'

  • Part 1 : Crorepati who lives in a hut - Nothing is impossible

  • Part 2 : Sleeping on the railway platform

  • Part 3 : What Changed My Fortube

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