Entrepreneurship-A Pursuit Beyond Wages, Kolkata

IAIP Kolkata, on 29th June, had the honor of hosting Banwari Lal Mittal, Promoter & Chairman of Microsec Group, which is one of the renowned names in India’s financial sector. In order to define the objective behind entrepreneurship, he started the presentation by asking the following simple yet pertinent questions to the audience-

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. Are you a problem solver?

During his session, he cited examples from the Bhagwat Gita and Kautilya’s teachings in Arthashashtra. These historic resources can be used as a ready reference for understanding the nuances of modern day business.

Mittal pointed out the following traps or impediments that an aspiring entrepreneur should avoid and which can be detrimental to his /her future development-

  1. Do not act as a mere postman, at work. Instead, add value to the work assigned to you. A person who is a problem solver in his job, is also an entrepreneur in his own right.
  2. Do not get confined to your degrees. Entrepreneurship is all about exploring new horizons and coming out of your comfort zones.
  3. Have a fire in the belly but keep a cool mind. Be hungry and open to new things.

According to Mittal, we should learn from children and have an insatiable desire to explore and experiment. Children have an immense power of imagination and so do entrepreneurs. Power of imagination is in fact, an essential quality of an entrepreneur. We should not be confined to our old acquired knowledge but be always willing to test new waters. Working in an unknown territory broadens our horizon and enables us to think creatively.

Mittal stressed on understanding the broader meaning of Entrepreneurship as well as to get away with the myopic view of the term. He believes entrepreneurs do not measure happiness in terms of wealth. According to him “Accumulation of wealth is a rat race, even if you win you are still a rat”.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should not focus on accumulation of wealth but on problem solving. By solving problems of others, an entrepreneur achieves real happiness and contentment. Wealth creation is incidental to this achievement.

Mittal emphasized the importance of staying true to your values for being successful. He firms believes that one should never compromise on his / her core set of values. In this context he also narrated the values practiced in Microsec namely Commitment, Transparency, Partnership and Knowledge.

The event was concluded by a Q&A session. In reply to a question raised by one of the participants regarding difficulties faced by him as an entrepreneur, Mittal not only showed him the way forward but also formed the vision and mission statements of his proposed business- right on spot!

Contributed by: Babita Agarwal, IAIP Volunteer

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