A long long ago (around a month ago), the entrepreneurship Gods came to the earth to tell us that we have to organize a startup weekend in Aurangabad. Those who were present went berserk, to say the least! They were happy that change will begin, that the idea-fairies will come and people will fly away with them. It was raining enthusiasm in the lands of Marathwada. Little did the people know that there was a demon waiting their arrival, the demon called Organizing. This demon was known to create havoc when a community decided to do something great. This demon was against change and therefore he attacked a small group of students who were drenched in the rains of enthusiasm. As is the case with rains in Marathwada, they stop! Thus enthusiasm stopped and the heat and humid of dread attacked. The demon had started making an army of Drear, Stigma, Attendance, Money and the Gods of entrepreneurship had no tools left for the small group of students to fight this war except one, the swords of willpower.
The war broke out and the small group of students stationed themselves into bootcamps. These were the safe places where they could shield themselves from the enemy and create an army of their own. They realized that the entrepreneurship Gods needed their help and they were willing to put everything in line for they believed. They believed in the power of entrepreneurship and the swords of willpower. They started distributing these swords. But the demon was cunning! He asked Money to attack the bootcamps. Money had access to everyone! Money became big, the group of students cut him in half. They started reducing the influence of Money and they managed to slowly but steadily recruited an army of 57. They now had two armies. One army, army of The Students, will attack the demon of Organizing and reduce his power. The other army, army of Startups, will use the swords of willpower to try and bring about change. The demon of Organizing keeps increasing his power by influencing people in the community and breaking them. He positions his army in such a way that the paths of The Students is blocked.
The group of students have fought valiantly, the power of the demon of Organizing is low. He keeps coming back but they have managed to keep him at bay. Due to this achievement, the group of students are being hailed with a new name, The Organizers, those who could tame the demon of Organizing. It is now up to the army of Startups to bring about change and make the Gods of entrepreneurship powerful again. The war is still being fought, today the community sent Mentors who would study the strategies of the army and help them with some firepower of execution, design and finance. It seems that the war will end tomorrow. Come around to see who wins!
I studied in VNIT Nagpur and during my time, it was decided that the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) which was supposed to be set up in Aurangabad be shifted to Nagpur. My alma mater hosts the new IIM (that too in my department!). Coming from Aurangabad, it was indeed a major setback for me as I was hoping that we get a premier educational institute in Aurangabad. I was imagining that it would have boosted the industry if such an institute was present in the city. This was a mere beginning it seems. From then till now, lots of news followed regarding companies choosing to invest in cities other than Aurangabad. For instance, Kia Motors chose Andhra Pradesh (1), LG Electronics went to Nagpur (2), Foxconn is being given land in Palghar etc. This string of setbacks was discussed by many and many expressed angst towards the leadership. It was indeed important for the city to get these projects.
I had developed a habit that when something doesn’t feel right, try to find the core of the problem.
So I thought, not having these companies was the problem.
Why was that a problem?
It was important for the city.
Why was it important for the city?
Because Aurangabad is heavily dependent on its industry. The industry gives jobs to the people of Aurangabad. Many people from Marathwada come to Aurangabad for these jobs so that they can earn a living.
It all seems logical till now except, whenever anyone has a problem, they act in some way by which they feel the problem might be solved. What I and many others did as a part of this act was to blame the leadership. This was done in hope that the leadership would recognize their failure and act upon it.
It is very clear that creation of jobs and developing the economy is the major concern. That is the root of the frustration. To blame the leadership for not acting and hoping that things will work out is a very dormant way of solving the problem. It implies more of avoiding the responsibility of creating jobs and blaming the leadership for being inactive when we ourselves are inactive! I asked myself, what have I done to solve this problem? I did not have an answer. If we the people of Aurangabad really care about the development, it is our duty to stand up and start walking. Why can’t we create businesses which then create jobs? Silicon Valley is famous not because the leadership worked hard for its upliftment, they might have. People created business ventures there which now rule the world in way. Come to think of it, we don’t even need Kia, LG or Foxconn. When the world sees that the people of Aurangabad and Marathwada are able enough, they will seek us automatically.
Thus, I have chosen not stay dormant anymore. Educating people on how to start and run a business is a big issue and we have chosen to work on this front. Startup Weekend Aurangabad is one such initiative and the aim is not to have the next multi-billion dollar idea. The aim is to empower people so that they run a business, however big or small and feel that they are helping the community.
थेंबे थेंबे तळे साचे.