A True Entrepreneur
By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 19-07-2014
Once I was travelling from Dhanbad to Delhi by Rajdhani Express. As I boarded its AC first-class compartment at Dhanbad, one Sardarji also did the same in our four-berth cabin. The other two berths were already occupied. Soon I learnt that Sardarji had no reservation and he had simply taken a chance. Let me mention that it is very risky to board any Rajdhani train without reservation. In such a case even if the person is not detrained, the penalties are very high and full fare has to be paid without getting a berth. But this Sardarji managed the ticket examiner very well and settled himself on the vacant berth well within half an hour. I was watching this entire scene with amusement.
It was evening time and the dinner was to be served in about an hour. For Sardarji, it was time for drinks, which he always carried with him. He was in the habit of doing so in a company and so wanted his co-passengers to accompany him. He had already persuaded one of us and was targetting the remaining two. On my blank refusal on account of being a teetotaller, he showed some signs of disappointment and then concentrated on the third one who was a foreigner and was blissfully relaxing on the upper berth. Unable to speak proper English, Sardarji brought out a small bottle of Scotch whisky from his bag and swung it before him several times. Soon the gentleman was won over and he came down to give him the desired company.
Now I was the only one left. So he deployed a different trick and ordered a soft drink for me and requested me to give them company, even if it was with a soft drink. Somehow, he won over me also and I agreed to do so. For about an hour we enjoyed our drinks and talks, before the dinner was served. During this session, Sardarji told us that in his business trips, he never travelled with proper reservation but always managed to get a berth, whatever be the price. Moreover, he never faced an ugly scene on this account.
Regarding his business and profession, Sardarji told us that to begin with he was a mechanic in an electric cable factory. Gradually, he started assembling his own machines for the industry. He claimed to have the skill of copying any machine after working on it for a few months. Soon he established his own enterprise of supplying machines to the electric cable industry. He also told us that his machines performed almost as well as the original ones, though the prices of his machines were much lower. Anyway the journey went very well and we parted at Delhi. Subsequently, I verified this fact from some of my friends in the cable industry and learnt that he was right. I am still reminded of this Sardarji when I find people complaining in difficult situations. Perhaps, I have not come across a better entrepreneur in my life than this Sardarji.
About The Author
Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.