“A Firm conviction can do wonders”: Vivek Poddar on Youth Entrepreneurship | The Readers Time




Silchar: The Readers Time

   During this time of COVID pandemic, around 81 million jobs were lost from around the Asia-Pacific region. Now that the situation is on the verge of improvement, while a plethora of wage earners are trying to get back to the employment sector. Meanwhile, there are cluster of enthusiasts who have taken the initiative of starting up their own small business. Youth unemployment is one of the major challenges faced across the globe including India. Youth entrepreneurship in any society is a sign of progress. It has an impact on social as well as cultural and economic progress of the society. Building and nurturing ‘Entrepreneurship’ among the youth is one of the priorities as well as one of the solutions for solving the problem of unemployment.

Be it in the digital platform or dealing in the physical market, our own Barak Valley has produced several successful start-ups in the last few years. With the intention of addressing the budding market of new employment and to encourage aspiring young entrepreneurs, The Readers  Time organized a talk show “Q-TALKS” on Saturday, January 2, 2021. Hosted by Ms Payal Bhowmik and moderated by Ms Jyoti Singh, a Masters student of Law, the event was jointly organised by Inteliqo Services and the entire team of The Readers’ Time under the leadership of Mr. Dibbyan Nath, CEO & Founder of Inteliqo Services.

Preceded by the lighting of the lamp and a small cultural programme by Rudrani Das, The show was attended by renowned journalist Mr Atin Das and Mr. Vivek Poddar, a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is President of Assam Commerce and Kreeda Bharti and the MD of Poddar JCB and Poddar Toyota. Local industrialist, Mridul Mazumder was also in attendance.

Vivek Poddar, a well known face of the state, shared his journey and recalled how he started off as an aspiring chartered accountant but had to quit halfway because of his father’s ill health. Starting off in the shoe business, he gradually shifted his focus towards acquiring a JCB dealership license even with an insufficient capital.

He further shared his experiences dealing with the start-up environment and highlighted the importance of skill development. Associated with many philanthropic organizations like RSS, Podder’s contribution in boosting start-ups and his active role in helping out the people of Barak Valley during the NCR-CAA crisis was greatly applauded and appreciated. 

Addressing the issue of the ever fluctuating graph of start-up companies, Podder emphasized the importance of conviction while navigating the world of business. “A firm conviction is necessary and can do wonders when you’re in the business field” was his message to aspiring entrepreneurs. He further added that not getting discouraged by the setbacks is a key factor to survive the competitive world of start-ups. Honesty is one more quality, he said, that every businessman should possess. 

Regarding the contribution of Government to the start-up sector, he spoke of different schemes and programs launched by the government to help youngsters during their start-up journey. “You need an idea, that is unique and profitable, the government is there to help you with capital and other needs” said Poddar. Answering a question from the audience on whether he would be willing to invest or help a budding start-up, Poddar was quick to express his willingness to lend a helping hand. 

“It is my wife who kept the family together. She looked after my children and cared for my parents. Without her, I wouldn’t have come this far.” was his reply on how he balanced his profession and personal life and thanked his wife for her unwavering support. 

His mention of his personal experience dealing with corruption where he refused to pay any bribe to certain officials and instead spent twice that money to get his work done legally and honestly attracted one of the largest cheers of the evening. He emphasized on the need to say NO, whenever and wherever necessary. For the young and aspiring entrepreneurs in the audience, Poddar further added in his conversation about the importance of health and fitness. The absence of a clear mind and healthy physical, the road to success would be full of roadblocks. 

The show covered different aspects of youth entrepreneurship and the evening ended with a Q&A session with the audience. The speakers were gifted with an honorary memento and certificates of appreciation were presented to a few successful start-ups of Silchar and neighboring areas. 

“From Crisis to Opportunity” an initiative taken by ILO (International Labourers Organization) is worth mentioning in this regard. It is true, that the pandemic has somewhat shifted the major focus from office jobs to self-employment, but initiatives and help groups, be it government or private, have always been there to support young entrepreneurs and start-up enthusiasts. It is a unique and profitable idea that makes all the difference. Youths are the future of our nation and the inheritors of our tomorrow. Globalization has brought the entire world under one roof and created a vast and ever-changing world market. In the present society of endless competition, Youths are the worst affected. Investing in today’s youth will produce better leaders tomorrow. 

Challenge and progress go hand in hand. Setbacks and roadblocks are the stepping stones towards success. Entrepreneurship has emerged as a leading example of the challenge and progress story. 

So what is it that the youths of Silchar crave for? Is it a stable job or the adventurous and happening life of an entrepreneur? As stated by Atin Das, “Become a job giver not a seeker” so as to eradicate the rising problem of unemployment. Working under others or becoming a leader of the society? It is a question that still remains unanswered for the youth of Barak Valley

 A Very Happy New Year to all our readers.

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