While Bihar is perceived as a state of least opportunity, nothing can stop a brave entrepreneur from making his marks. Here are the three such stories that I came across through media: two are from among the 50 unusual entrepreneurs that are listed in the special issue of India Today and reported by Amitabh Srivastava, whereas the story of the other one appeared in Outlook Business.
Ravindra Kishore Sinha is a first generation entrepreneur behind the Rs 1,600-crore venture, Security and Intelligence Services (SIS) that established branch offices in almost all states by 2000. An intrepid reporter has created a business model that provides the basic security to its clients that one expects the state to offer. It is his perseverance and intense human relations of one-to-one interaction with his employees that has made the organization so successful. As reported, every one of the 30,000-odd SIS security guards has his personal mobile number. Interestingly, SIS is an organization without a workers’ union. I can’t say how well the men are trained and remunerated, but SIS has certainly created a lot of employment and helps in improving the quality of life of the affluent group that can afford to pay.
Samprada Singh is another entrepreneur who has proved that the fortune favours the brave. Samprada means wealth and prosperity but Singh had to work hard for many years. Interestingly, Singh started with an intention to become a farmer, tried to teach, became clerk, then umbrella retailer before becoming a retail chemist. Finally, in 1973, aged 47, Samprada set up Alkem Laboratories Limited. The business grew steadily and today, Alkem is one of the top 10 players in the domestic pharmaceutical market. In 2004, 31 years after launching Alkem, the 78-year-old patriarch spearheaded a move into food processing and health-oriented products. And I wish if the company could focus on the food processing and share its prosperity with the farmer community that Singh wished to join at early stage of his life. Can the two entrepreneurs be the role models for many young men and women from Bihar?
Satyajit Kumar Singh has established a firm to collect and process makhana that grows in the water bodies of north Bihar. He won over hesitant farmers. Singh set up Shakti Sudha. Shakti Sudha’s turnover is nudging Rs 50 crore. Singh hopes to expand to 126 blocks, reach 40,000 farmers and touch a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2012.
Are these not the stories of the persons that should inspire the younger generation? Why shouldn’t the politicians of the state create conditions in Bihar that breed more and more of such entrepreneurs?