By | Ramesh Ranjan | Editor www.humanengineers.com
There is a raging debate in the Country about jobless growth, future jobs, future of work etc. For most average Indian, a JOB means studying in College, amassing a degree, applying to an Organisation – Private Sector, Public Sector or a Government Department and settling into a 9-5 job with an assured pay at the end of the month.
If this is the definition of a JOB, maybe we are heading towards a Jobless Growth- but the Country is indeed progressing with around 7% GDP growth, being the 5th largest Economy with a 1.25 billion population. This couldn’t be possible if it were true (Jobless Growth). When you travel across the country urban & rural, for most parts you see a vibrant India, oozing with energy and a general sense of wellbeing. You don’t hear in most parts of poverty, starvation, beggary etc. except in pockets.
So where then is this growth being fuelled. How are people making a living? Is a formal 9-5 Job the only source of living or is there an alternate to this.
This story explains to some extent of real India.
The Samosa Vendor
At Bombay…It was my regular train journey home from work.
I boarded the 18:50pm train from Church Gate.
When the train was about to leave Marinelines,
A samosa vendor with an empty basket got on and took the seat next to me. As the compartment was sparsely occupied and my destination was still far away I got into a conversation with him.
Me: “Seems like you’ve sold all your samosas today.”
Vendor (smiling): “Yes. By Almighty’s grace, full sales today.”
Me: “I really feel sorry for you people. Don’t you get tired doing
This tiresome job the whole day?”
Vendor: “What to do, sir? Only by selling samosas like this every day do
We get a commission of 1 rupee for each samosa that we sell.”
Me: “Oh, is that so ? How many samosas do you sell on an average each day?”
Vendor: “On peak week days, we sell 4,000 to 5,000 samosas per day.
On an average, we sell about 3,000 samosas a day.”
I was speechless…..for a few seconds.
The guy says he sells 3,000 samosas a day; at 1 rupee each,
He makes about 3,000 rupees daily, or 90,000 rupees a month.
That’s Rs. 90,000 a month. OMG.
I intensified my questioning and this time it was not for time pass.
Me: “Do you make the samosas yourself?”
Vendor: “No Sir. we gets the samosas through a samosa manufacturer. And we just sell them. After selling we give him the money. And gives us 1 rupee for each samosa that we sell.”
I was unable to speak a single word more but the vendor continued…
“But one thing…most of our earnings are spent on living expenses here at Bombay. Only with the remaining money are we able to take care of other business.”
Me: “Other business? What is that?”
Vendor: “It is a land business. In 2007 I bought 1.5 acres in Palghar for 10 lakh rupees and I sold it a few months back for 80 lakhs. Now I have bought land in umroli for 40 lakh rupees.”
Me: “What did you do with the remaining amount?
Vendor: “Of the remaining amount, i have set aside 20 lakhs for my daughter’s wedding. I have deposited the other 20 lakhs in the bank, post office, mutual funds, gold and bought cash back insurance.”
Me: “How much schooling have you had?”
Vendor: “I studied up to third standard;I stopped my studies when I was in the 4th standard. But I know how to read and write.
Sir, there are many people like yourself,Who dress well, wear a tie and suit, wear shoes,Speak English fluently and work in air-conditioned rooms. But I don’t think you guys earn as much as we do wearing dirty clothes and selling samosas.”
At this point, what could I reply. After all, I was talking to a True Indian Millionaire! The train chugged into khar station
And the samosa vendor got up from his seat.
Vendor: “Sir, this is my station…have a good day.”
Me: “Take care.”
Welcome to the real India.
Well there are millions of similar stories in India. It reflects the true entrepreneurial spirit of Indians. A new India, where individuals are taking upon themselves to carve out a future for themselves and to the Nation. A career or better still a living is not just pursuing a 9-5 JOB working for someone else and most often not living your passion but by pursuing your dreams & driven by your passion with a will & determination to succeed against all odds and constraints. More importantly its about DO WHAT YOU LOVE & LOVE WHAT YOU DO
The future jobs will come out of the true entrepreneurial spirit of millions of Indians. At present, many young fearless entrepreneurs have set the path for a wave of entrepreneurship in the country. This entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in not just innovation but also in entrepreneurship being recognised as the driving force of the market. Also, with government actively endorsing start-ups and small businesses, the wheel of entrepreneur-driven innovation has started rolling. Today, India is at a threshold of start-up boom, as we are world’s third fastest growing start-up eco-system.
People now aim to start their own ventures. The country’s youth today are more inclined towards the idea of launching a start-up instead of settling down with a regular 9-5 job. This drive is also fuelled by necessity.
It has been estimated that in order to accommodate the 300 million people who will join India’s workforce between 2010 and 2040, India needs to create roughly 10 million jobs a year. This gap can’t be filled by Government, existing and large enterprises alone. Therefore, India must increase employment opportunities by not only forging partnerships with industries domestically & overseas, but also supporting and empowering its people & especially the youth to start businesses. As we have seen in the other countries, small businesses, especially those positioned to grow both locally and globally, drive the economy and employment.
The emergence of entrepreneurs and their contribution to the national economy is very visible in India. In order to harness their potential and sustain development, it is essential to devise appropriate policies & strategies and create an environment that fuels the growth and success of the entrepreneurs and their start-ups.
Given the need to promote entrepreneurship and their entrepreneurial spirit—as a means to job creation and social and economic value addition—our Country has miles to go. If we want to address the issue of Jobless Growth & make the best of the Entrepreneurial Spirit for the country’s development, there is a need to move with a lot more speed and focus. It is well known that these Entrepreneurs need a handful of ingredients to flourish: creativity, demand, capital, infrastructure and network. A creative mind is required to solve a problem and thereby meet the demands of customers in a way that is better than the existing ones. Capital is required to convert the idea into a commercially viable product, and support them to overcome risks to make profits. Infrastructure is the key in delivering good value to the consumers. Networking helps in reaching out to many far & wide and help them achieve all of the above in this competitive world.
However lets not think that StartUps / Entrepreneurship is only the prerogative of the Urban people. Just as we saw in the Samosa Vendor story, even the less fortunate people, the Rural people should also be included in this journey.
Rural development is more than ever before linked to entrepreneurship. Institutions and individuals promoting rural development now see entrepreneurship as a strategic development intervention that could accelerate the rural development process. Furthermore, institutions and individuals seem to agree on the urgent need to promote rural enterprises: development agencies see rural entrepreneurship as an enormous employment potential; politicians see it as the key strategy to prevent rural unrest; farmers see it as an instrument for improving farm earnings; and women see it as an employment possibility near their homes which provides autonomy, independence and a reduced need for social support. To all these groups, however, entrepreneurship stands as a vehicle to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities and to sustain a healthy economy and environment.
It will also help in stopping the migration of the population to the already crowded Cities and help bring in parity across the sections of the country.
The future JOBS and the Future of India is not in merely pursuing a 9-5 JOB in a organised sector in the Urban world but truly by encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in each Indians across the Rural & Urban worlds.