Most of us have come up with a great idea for a product or a solution, only to see someone else do it and make a ton of money. Why do some people succeed while others get left behind? It's simply because they've had the courage to get out of their head, and get into their life. In other words, they embraced the power of opportunity before someone else could. Here are the real-life stories of three individuals who saw the power in an opportunity and created a meaningful impact.
From Mug to Mike: Lifting bathroom singers to the top
Did you know that bathroom singing was serious business? A majority of bathroom singers secretly dream of being on stage and belting out tunes, but indulge in our passion only within the four walls of our bathrooms as there's no opportunity to pursue that dream professionally. Techie-turned-musician Sunil Koshy saw potential in bathroom singers when no one else did. He quit his job in Intel to found Mug to Mike, a pioneering initiative to train bathroom singers to break free from their inhibitions, and move from their shower to the stage. Anyone from the age of eight to eighty can walk into the studio, get trained by renowned singers, experience the complete studio feel, and walk out with the opportunity to live their dream. Sunil is debunking the notion that music is technical and not for everyone. "If you can sense what people want and you recognise that there's no market for it yet, that's your window of opportunity to create something new," he says.
TRRAIN: Encouraging retail associates to grow
It is said, "A business is only good as the people it hires." The bustling retail industry in India, which employs around 43 million people across 12 million retailers, is a great example. While the industry itself is growing at a rapid pace, the same cannot be said about retail associates who don’t have proper avenues for growth.
B.S. Nagesh saw opportunity in the industry and started Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN), a public charitable trust with an aim to be a catalyst for change in the retail industry. He recognised that like everyone else, people with disabilities have the right to dream, and right to equal opportunity, but their employability is less than 1 percent. Today, with his initiative Pankh - Wings of Destiny, brands in the retail industry are providing employment opportunities to the specially-abled. "It's time for retail to become inclusive. I want leaders to see the diversity that's possible in this industry," says Nagesh. He embraced the power of opportunity to create better consumer understanding, better retention, better creativity, and better inclusivity.
Tenzing Bodosa: Owner of an elephant-friendly tea plantation
Everybody loves tea, it's the perfect pick-me-up, calm-me-down, keep-me-focused kind of drink. Assam is known as a major tea-growing state in India, and Tenzing Bodosa owns his very own tea plantation in the state. Soon, he realised the harmful effects that chemical fertilisers had on his farm, and decided to take charge of the situation, by becoming Assam's first organic tea farmer. As he was a layman in the field, the advice he got was to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides, to get the fastest and highest yield. He started by doing that but over time, he realised that the water from the tube well was killing fishes in his pond, and so he moved from conventional to organic farming.
His plantation is unique because he only uses 25 acres to grow tea, and the rest of the land is retained as a jungle where animals can move freely. Bodosa wanted to maintain ecological balance, and his effort earned him the certification by WWF for the world's first elephant-friendly farm. "I realised why should I grow only for me? I should grow for the animals too. With every innovation, opportunities grow, " he says. Today, his tea is sold in the US, Canada, UK, France and other global markets.
ACCA: Experience opportunities in finance
Like these individuals with their out-of-the-box thinking, the Indian education market also has a relatively new entrant that is enabling stories of opportunity, innovation, diversity, accountability in the world of finance. Introducing ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), an all-round finance qualification that equips its students with the knowledge and skills needed to create opportunities and build global careers in business and finance across a range of industries. Present in 179 countries with 219,000 members, 48 learning partners and 527,000 students, ACCA is defined by a set of core values that informs everything it does.
- Opportunity: Provide an opportunity, free from artificial barriers, to people around the world - whether students, members or employees – and support them in their careers
- Diversity: Respect and value difference, embracing diversity in their people and their output
- Innovation: Create new and unexpected possibilities, providing innovative solutions for the future
- Accountability: Accept individual and corporate responsibility for actions, working together to deliver quality services and to promote the best interest of stakeholders.
- Integrity: Act ethically and work in the public interest, treating people fairly and honestly and encouraging the same from others.
Like Sunil, Nagesh and Bodosa, the only thing you need to prove is your mettle, and ACCA will help you discover a world of opportunity. Whether you're a student, member, recruiter or learning partner, experience #ThePowerofOpportunity with ACCA.