You must have heard about the highs and lows of many entrepreneurs before they finally made their claim to success, but the story of Parth Bhatt is singularly out of the ordinary. Bhatt, who did his MBA from England and worked in the country for about two years while pursuing his studies, had no idea that once in his hometown, life will have different challenges ready for him. The very first that came his way was setting up of an eco-friendly business and the next was to make it profitable. Sunrays, a company that manufactures eco-friendly handmade papers, paper bags and corporate gifts made of paper, did not come to Bhatt as a legacy.
The company, established in 2006, was an outcome of the laborious hours he spent in the scorching heat, running from door to door to get his consignments ready.
“My dad always wanted me to come back to India and do something productive here. Well, job was an option, but when I compared it with the fee I had to pay for my MBA, I realised that it will take me more than five years to break even. Business was the only alternative I could think of that could help me settle down in a couple of years,” said Bhatt.
He was 24 when he decided to become an entrepreneur. With only Rs10,000 in his hands for investment, he set out to make it big as a businessman. “I’ve been to many countries and learnt about the growing demand for Indian goods worldwide and about export as a prospective business. It was then that I resolved to start my business using the eco-friendly concept,” explained Bhatt.
The initial years after setting up the business were very discouraging, but Bhatt did not give up. With no experience in the field and no clients, he literally started from scratch. Besides, since it wasn’t his family business, Bhatt only met with disappointment when he looked for support from the market. However, the biggest challenge was of arranging for the capital investments and marketing. “I come from a middle class family and did not have the funds to advertise my business well in the newspaper or through hoardings. In fact, since I did not have my own production house, I travelled all day long on my bike to meet different workers for getting my consignments ready on time. From jewellery shops to shopping centres, I went from one place to another to ensure that the work was done,” recalled Bhatt.
“When I got to know the market well, I came across a person who had an extraordinary talent of making bags. I appointed him for my business, and today, he is in charge of the entire production front. I believe having met him was the turning point in my business career,” he informed.
Ask him if he ever felt like giving up his venture for a job or for something more unique, and he says, “I never worked very hard when I was studying, but I realised that it wasn’t easy to earn money, especially in India. I have learnt my lesson the hard way and now, I don’t want to switch back to a job.”
New orders, money, new designs, new contacts, big business and big queries drive Bhatt to stay buckled with his business. While Bhatt plans to have Sunrays gets its ‘Private Limited’ tag by 2010, he will also foray into the export business soon. This apart, Bhatt has also expressed the desire to spread awareness about natural, eco-friendly products. He said, “The support of my family, the challenges posed by competitors and the appreciation I receive for my work have been some of the major growth drivers, and I’m sure the business will witness massive expansion in the years to come.”
Tips for budding entrepreneurs — Always believe in yourself. Be positive in your approach and struggle hard because every effort put in will bear fruitful results. Promise only that which you can deliver and success will be yours.