By Diganta Gangopadhyay
Global Links Participant,
As part of the Global Links program, I was assigned to an entrepreneur, Ms. Sumitra, who runs a business of ready-made garments for children. My client dropped out of school after the 8th grade. She started this business in 2002 and have grown tremendously since then. I set many goals seeing the situation of the business. My main goal was to expand and grow her business not just in the city, but to other parts of the country. I learnt that they do not use computers at their store therefore I planned to help her with purchasing a computer. I also got some sources and sites by which she can purchase second hand computer which works very good and will save her money. My observation was that they need proper signage and décor, so I decided to teach Sumitra about that. Lastly, I tried a lot to make the shop air conditioned, but stay within their budget. This involved getting some permissions from the State to so as to abide by the guidelines. I personally learnt via books and internet about the interior decorations so that I could help her modify the shop in a better way.
Being a part of this process, I have learnt how to deal with the client and how the business can be developed. I learned about people, social development, and how to develop businesses. My client’s husband was the worker of the shop and now they own the shop, from this I leaned how hard work and determination leads to big achievements. The Global Links program has taught me and my client a lot and I am sure it will help me to go a long way. I am still on my way to teach my client about the interior decorations and as well as about the computers.
Global Links and my involvement in the program changed my views a lot about social entrepreneurship. Earlier, I equated social entrepreneurship to green marketing but after my involvement in this program my thinking changed social entrepreneurship is far more encompassing. It involves all the things that help not only the business development but it helps the society as well.
I really want to thank this program and Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee who worked as a pillar of strength and motivated us. I am thankful to Dr. Conway, from her I got ideas and things to learn. Michelle, the Global Links GA, helped me a lot with presentations and projects and gave many ideas for development. The immense support that Abira ma’am and Anushri ma’am gave us helped us perform better. This was a great journey and I learnt a lot.