“To think like an entrepreneur is the first step to becoming an entrepreneur. It is all about the entrepreneurial mindset”, says Mr. Shiladitya Samaddar, Principal Lead Operations, Tata STRIVE.
Learn more about Tata STRIVE’s courses and their initiatives in skill development – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/tata-strive/
Entrepreneurship plays an important role in enabling people to have a sustainable livelihood. The right skilling and training will put them on the right entrepreneurial path through which they can start their own business. We conversed with Mr. Shiladitya Samaddar, Principal Lead Operations, Tata STRIVE to know more about the objectives and awareness that needs to be created on entrepreneurship, how to provide entrepreneurial opportunities and most importantly develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.
Q: How can we bring skilling and entrepreneurship closer?
A: If skilling a person or making them an entrepreneur is compared, the latter one is much harder as it has more work to do. Entrepreneurship opens up several opportunities.
As people try to become entrepreneurs, the ecosystem around them also develops, providing the necessary materials and needs. More demand will lead to more people coming forward to be an entrepreneur. However, the biggest challenge in entrepreneurship is to motivate somebody to take the plunge and for them to get the initial seed capital.
We have organisations that support the ecosystem with the government giving skill loans, Atal Yojana for MSME, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, etc. Entrepreneurs may not always have sufficient initial seed capital which the business requires to be set up. We need to motivate the entrepreneurs and make them an example for others so that they get the courage to do the work.
When we see Qualification Packs (QP) in most of the trades, there are a few job roles which have an entrepreneurial bend. It has to be a collective effort where the Sector Skill Councils speak of available entrepreneurial ventures. We often see street hawkers and electricians who are given recognition in terms of RPL and become better in their respective fields. At the same time, there are multiple loan avenues for people to get the initial seed capital but there is no proper awareness regarding the same. In skilling, there may not be unicorns coming up from the first day but a few can definitely become small enterprises.
Q: What have been the objectives and outcomes of Tata STRIVE’s initiatives in entrepreneurship promotion?
A: Since the very beginning, we from Tata STRIVE have always been talking about employment, employability and community enterprise, entrepreneurship. We had two courses for electrician, refrigeration and air conditioning at our first centre established in 2015 at Aligarh. There were people in those courses who asked not just about employment options but also about entrepreneurial opportunities. Hence, we always encouraged them and guided them with the right connection for them to start their entrepreneurial journey.
Since 2019, Tata STRIVE organised the pilot programme in Odisha in collaboration with OSDA. It is the first programme that was conducted to create entrepreneurs. The people who attended the programme were asked to submit a plan and based on that, they were given the initial seed capital. Now, if we look back at the day we started in July 2019, we have 500+ entrepreneurs out of which 400+ entrepreneurs set up their businesses. This programme was also taken to Nasik in Maharashtra where our focus was on agri-based entrepreneurship. There were 62 people who started their businesses during the pandemic. The entire set of businesses was towards food, packaging and logistics.
Q: What would be the most important points to keep in mind before someone ventures into the entrepreneurial journey?
A: As facilitators, we must realise that the person standing in front comes with a lot of passion, optimism and hope. Four important points need to be considered and explained to the aspiring entrepreneur –
- The need for a proper business plan that is sustainable
- Create awareness about the market linkages, logistics partners and suppliers
- Look for long-term sustainability
- Understanding operating Expenses
Q: How do we cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset among the students from a young age?
A: Entrepreneurship is a journey. To become an entrepreneur, there have to be multiple factors in place to take a step forward. At Tata STRIVE, we have a module called entrepreneurial mindset, which the students go through irrespective of which course they are pursuing. It is more about the way you prepare your mind with the right attitude, optimism and learning the right skills. This simple journey of solving a problem, and identifying it is mostly about the attitude that one lives by.
In one of our centres in Mumbai, two of the learners who are part of the auto-technician course have opened a Pizzeria. They saw a wide opportunity in opening a pizzeria than opening a repair shop. Hence, it is all about the mindset.
The capital and domain knowledge should be able to provide a solution. It’s not a blind risk that a person should be taking but a calculated one.
Also read: Skill training in the Hospitality industry: Story of resilience and revival – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/skill-training-in-the-hospitality-industry-story-of-resilience-and-revival/
Q: Is there anything else you wish to share with our audience?
A: To become an entrepreneur, one should first know the domain, learn it and know their work. They need to get their hands dirty in what they intend to do. Get the domain skills for whatever you intend to do irrespective of your field of expertise.
Working as Dairy Consultant, at Pune. Since 2000, trained 20,000 Un-employed Youths from Rural Maharashtra.Among them 2000 participants started their Business of Value Added Dairy Products Manufacturing, and Earning their Livelihoods. The activity is still going on.