Octavious
Hr Manager
Mahr
Head - Human Resources
Jai Bakshi
Handled Almost Entire Gamut Of Hr/ir.
ManMohan Yadav
Asst. Manager Hr & Admin
ACT
Training, Motivational Speaker, Writing,
Yaasmin
Administrations
Sabrina9253
Hr Administrator
+1 Other

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Dear friends,

The story of Patricia Narayan, winner of this year's 'Ficci Woman Entrepreneur of the Year' award is amazing.



She started her career 30 years ago as an entrepreneur, selling eateries from a mobile cart on the Marina beach amidst all odds -- battling a failed marriage, coping with her husband, a multiple addict, and taking care of two kids.

Today, she has overcome the hurdles and owns a chain of restaurants.

An entrepreneur by accident

I was always interested in cooking and passionate about trying out new dishes. But, the thought of becoming a business woman never came to my mind at all as I do not come from a business family. Both my parents were government servants.

But my marriage changed everything. Both the families opposed the marriage vehemently as my husband belonged to the Brahmin community; unfortunately my marriage did not work out as my husband was addicted to alcohol, drugs, etc. I could not bring him out of the addiction. As a young woman, I did not know how to cope with this and I was getting beaten up everyday.

Though my father, a very conservative Christian never forgave me, he gave me refuge when I had nowhere to go. I was thrown out with two very small children. It was a question of survival for me. I knew I should either succumb to the burden or fight; I decided to fight my lonely battle.

I did not want to be a burden on my parents. So, to be economically independent, I could only do what I knew and what I liked. I started making pickles, squashes and jams at home. I just took a couple of hundred rupees from my mother. I sold everything I made in one day and that gave me confidence.

I earned a good income. I invested whatever I earned to make more pickles, squashes and jams. It was quite lucrative in the sense, even ten rupees was a blessing for me.

The first step as an entrepreneur

My father's friend, who was running a school for handicapped children, was handing out mobile carts or kiosks to people who would employ at least two handicapped people. They needed somebody who could run it and I was offered one such cart free. I had to train the handicapped children to make coffee and serve them to customers.

As I lived near the Marina beach, I decided to put the mobile cart at the Anna Square on the Marina beach. I had seen people thronging the beach in the evenings. But I had to make umpteen trips to the Public Works Department and wait for one year to get the permission.

Finally, I started working on June 21, 1982, a day I will never forget. The previous night itself, with the help of the local rickshaw drivers, I had rolled the mobile cart to the beach. It was a small move but thrilling as it was my own and I was going to be a business woman the next day.

While such carts sold only tea and cigarettes, I decided to sell cutlets, samosas, bajjis, fresh juice and coffee and tea. On the first day, I sold only one cup of coffee and that was for fifty paise!

I was very disappointed and came home crying. I told my mother, that I would not like to continue. But my mother consoled me saying, at least you sold one cup of coffee. That's a good sign. You will do well tomorrow. And, she was adamant that I go the next day also.

The next day, I made sold snacks for Rs 600-700 which was big money for me then! As I started making money, I added ice creams, sandwiches, French fries and juices too. I used to keep thinking of adding more items.

I ran it from 1982 to 2003, and the maximum I made from that mobile cart was Rs 25,000 a day. That was during the bandh days! We used to be open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, and later, I started opening from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. for the walkers.

I used to personally stand there and sell all the stuff I made. I never felt scared to stand there late at night. My only thought was to prove myself and move ahead.

There was a fire in me that made me believe that I could be successful without anyone's help. I did not want to be a failure. If you have that fire, nothing in the world can stop you from succeeding.

Offer to run a canteen

On seeing my work at the beach, within a year, the Slum Clearance Board gave me an offer to run the canteen at their office with a proper kitchen. The chairman met me during her morning walk. That is how I got the offer. The canteen was a huge success.

On Wednesdays, it was the public grievance day, so about 3000 people used to come there and I had a roaring business.

I used to get up at 5 a.m. in the morning, make idlis and go to the beach. From 9 a.m. I would be at the canteen. From 3.30 p.m. I would again be at the beach cart and would be there till 11p.m. By then, I had employed people to cook, and clean, and all the cooking was done at the canteen kitchen. My monthly income in those days was around Rs 20,000.

Later, I got an offer to run the Bank of Madurai canteen, I stopped running the canteen at the Slum Clearance Board canteen. At the Bank canteen, I served food to around 300 people daily.

The turning point

One day, after a fight with my husband who used to come to trouble me often, I boarded a bus and travelled till the last stop. I got down and saw the National Port Management training school run by the Central government.

On the spur of the moment, I told the security guard that I wanted to meet the administrative officer. I met him and told him that I was a caterer and that I heard they were looking for a one.

He said, to my surprise that they were indeed looking for one as they had problems with the current contractor. I still believe it was God who took me there.

I got the offer. I had to serve three meals to about 700 students. They gave us quarters to stay. It was a new life for me. I got into the groove in a day. It was successful from day one, and I took care of the canteen till 1998.

My first weekly payment was Rs 80,000. I felt so elated having seen only hundreds and thousands till then. During those times, I was earning almost a lakh a week.

In those days, I wanted to do everything personally as I felt only then, things would run smoothly. Now I know if I train people well, they will do the work the way you want.

Starting restaurants

My connection with restaurants started in 1998 when I met people from the Sangeetha Restaurant group. They offered me a partnership in one of the units. But my son, Praveen Rajkumar wanted me to start my own restaurant and build a brand of ours.

But destiny played truant with me again. I lost my daughter, Pratibha Sandra and son-in-law road accident, a month after their marriage in 2004. It shattered me, and I withdrew from all that I was doing.

Then my son took over and started the first restaurant 'Sandeepha' in my daughter's memory. It took some time for me to come out of the shock and start helping my son in the business. Now, I am fully involved in the business. The fire to succeed has come back to me now.

Ambulance to help the accident victims

I still cannot get over my daughter's death as I did all this for my children; to bring them up and give them a good life.

What shocked me was the way the accident victims were treated by the ambulance operators. When they found that all the four in the car were dead, they said they would not carry dead bodies. Finally, somebody carried all the dead bodies in the boot of a car. When I saw the bodies being taken out of the boot, I broke down.

No mother can bear such a scene. That is when I decided to keep an ambulance on that very spot to help people whether the victims are alive or dead. It is in memory of my daughter.

Ficci entrepreneur of the year award

I started my business with just two people. Now, there are 200 people working for me in my restaurants. My lifestyle has changed too. From travelling in a cycle rickshaw, I moved to auto rickshaws and now I have my own car. From 50 paise a day, my revenue has gone up to Rs 2 lakh a day.

The 'Ficci entrepreneur of the year' award is the culmination of all the hard work I have put in over the last 30 years. It came as a surprise as this is the first time I have received an award.

Till now, I had no time to think of what I was doing. But the award made me look back and relive the days that passed by. Now, my ambition is to build my Sandeepha brand.

Advice to young entrepreneurs



Do not ever compromise on quality. Never lose your self-confidence. Believe in yourself and the product you are making. Third, always stick to what you know. When you employ people, you should know what you ask them to do.



http://business. rediff.com/ slide-s...ess- story.htm

Pls give ur valuable comments on this true story.


From India, Delhi
Hi
An excellent post that is both inspiring and motivating. Here are a few learning points that I feel are relevant from the contents of this post
- hard work is never in vain
- no matter what the circumstances there is opportunity everywhere
- one needs to take the initiative and the risks if one has to grow
- just when things are brightening up there can be sudden unexpected turmoil
- if you have self belief you can overcome all odds.
Regards

From India, Mumbai
Dear Jai Really very nice and great story This story goes to prove one more point beyond all realms of doubt and that is "Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" Regards Octavious
From India, Mumbai
Dear Sir Octavious,
Thnx for your positive reply, pls give your valuable suggestion of motivation on this true story. I know you are a guru so please you must give us some more motivativational tips on this subject ( This is true). Pls also give your valuable comments on ANNA QUINLEN (A PULIZER WINNER) which I posted befor this also.

From India, Delhi
I am into business which I stared with sheer effort, bearing accusations and running it so far with moderate success beating many hurdles. I've never called myself a businessman or don't even have it in my mind. I will call it to myself when I achieve it like this Madam. You are great motivation mam.
From India, Madras
Dear Anil, If you think like her, I trust that you must achieve like this Madam Patricia Narayan, and I will must post your strory in this cite, Pls remember me at that time. Pls reply me.
From India, Delhi
Very nice... When i visit Marina Beach.....
Every time I remind this story.....

thanks.

MM Yadav


From India, New Delhi
Thanks a ton for your concern for me Mr. Bakshi. With such positive people around me I must make it like this Madam. Thanks once again. Will be in touch with you. Pls send me your orkut or facebook link
From India, Madras
I truly salute the lady. She such a brave person who can overcome tough obstacles. Not many people in this world can 'fight' back the unwelcome destiny.
I learn a lesson from this story:
1. becareful when we select our life partner
2. fate / destiny can be change provided we really have a strong determination to overcome it.
All the best to the lady

From Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Dear JAI BAKSHI,
A good and inspirational story. Keep sharing such good ones. One thing to be considered is that, a person has to work really hard by not letting down them down, again supported by little luck.
However this story is really inspirational!
Best regards,
Mahesh

From India, Bangalore

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