In the spirit of Independence: Four entrepreneurs reveal what freedom means to them
Culture

In the spirit of Independence: Four entrepreneurs reveal what freedom means to them

With Independence Day around the corner, noted entrepreneurs from across India talk about what freedom means to them and share their best family memories of the historical event.

10th Aug 2019
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Independence Day is around the corner, and right from flag hoisting to sharing sweets to reflecting on the salient milestones of the past, there are many ways to observe this important moment in history.


Here’s how founders and entrepreneurs in Bengaluru observe and remember Independence Day.


Pranesh Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, ZunRoof



Pranesh Chaudhary

Pranesh Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, ZunRoof


What does Independence Day mean to you in the light of owning your own business?


I have been an avid reader and admirer of Indian history so my thoughts on Independence are completely influenced by the visionaries of our freedom struggle. Our leaders during the freedom struggle not only wanted the Britishers to leave, but also wanted complete control to draft the future of India for an egalitarian Indian society. Independence for me, therefore, is complete control over one’s choices today for the future we want tomorrow. In my company, I ensure that values, ethics and morals are never compromised for profitability.


Does freedom mean having a sense of responsibility towards the country?


Yes, it does. For any system to sustain, a balance is necessary. Even the fundamental rights in the Indian constitution are followed by fundamental duties.


In my case, I am an IIT Kharagpur graduate who was working in London for two years before founding ZunRoof in 2016 and the feeling of nationalism is strongest when you are away from your country. The thought of utilising my potential and skill-sets for my country had crossed my mind many times. Three years later, here I am with ZunRoof - the company that has the highest number of solar rooftop installations across India.


How do you observe Independence Day in your company?


Celebrations have been an integral part of our company and Independence Day is celebrated with great joy and excitement. We serve samosas and jalebis in the morning and the rest of the day is declared a holiday for our team.


What advice would you give young people about the importance of freedom in your country?


Your future will be a result of the choices you make today. Make sure you use your freedom judiciously.





Snehil Khanor, CEO & Co-Founder, TrulyMadly



Snehil Khanor

Snehil Khanor, CEO & Co-Founder, TrulyMadly


What does Independence Day mean to you especially in the light of owning your business?


As an entrepreneur, freedom is something that is very important for us. That is why we chose this path so that we can do things our own way and ultimately also reach financial freedom in the process. TrulyMadly essentially gives you the freedom to find your own life partner.


In a country where, until recently, marriages were mostly governed by parents, we have given our users a platform to find their life partners for themselves and by themselves. We are the first generation of India, who are responsible for our own marriages.


Does freedom mean having a sense of responsibility towards the country?


Yes! With freedom, comes the big responsibility of not misusing that freedom. I think the most basic thing we can do is to engage in our civil duties and spread civic sense.


How do you observe Independence Day in your company?


This year we are planning a potluck party where everyone will bring a dish of their choice to share with the team. We have also coupled the celebrations with our Rewards & Recognition programme, so we will be giving away performance awards to our team during the celebrations.


Is there anyone in your family who has an interesting historical moment they can never forget?


My maternal grandmother was born and brought up in what is now known as Pakistan. She used to tell me how they packed not more than one bag each and left their homes, land and wealth overnight during the Partition.


What advice would you give young people about the importance of freedom in your country?


I would say, do not take freedom for granted and do not feel entitled to it. Our generation may not have faced the troubles to get this freedom but it is our responsibility to keep in mind that it didn’t come on its own but was earned because of the struggles of thousands and lakhs of Indians.





Anto Binish Kaspar, Founder and CEO, Roanuz Softwares



Anto Binish Kaspar

Anto Binish Kaspar, Founder and CEO, Roanuz Softwares


What does Independence Day mean to you especially in the light of owning your business?


The day has always been special for me as it drives the life of freedom that I breathe now as an Indian citizen. Our country has witnessed a lot of sacrifices and hardships by many people in the past, which make us cherish our freedom today.


On a personal level, I decided to exercise my freedom of choice some time ago by leaving my high paying corporate job and starting my own venture ‘ROANUZ’. Today, I have a lot of responsibilities as I try to create the right environment for my team to enjoy the freedom of thought and action. I always make sure that my team enjoys freedom in the company premises and I endorse them in whatever they try to experiment and achieve.


Does freedom mean having a sense of responsibility towards the country?


As an individual and an entrepreneur, I believe that our freedom comes with a lot of responsibilities towards the country, since the country has given me the freedom to live and express myself in the way I want. I always want to give back to my country in whatever way I can. I want to create job opportunities as much as possible through my venture and spread the wave of entrepreneurship among people so that they will create something great and make our country proud.


How do you observe Independence Day in your company?


First and foremost, we pay tribute to freedom fighters by observing silence for two minutes and then spend a few minutes reflecting on how we are using our freedom. This is followed by a quiz on India’s freedom struggle. Later, we allow each employee to expresses his or her views candidly and as a team, we make decisions on our work culture on this particular day.


What advice would you give young people about the importance of freedom in your country?


My simple message to the youngsters of this country is that the freedom they breathe today has not come easily; it has come through unimaginable sacrifices and hardship. I would like to remind them to respect those sacrifices and exercise their freedom in the right manner. I would also like to urge them to pursue their dreams, work towards those dreams and achieve them. Try to make your parents and our nation proud as that is what is expected of them in return.





Bhisham Bhateja, COO and Co-Founder, The Man Company



Bhisham Bhateja

Bhisham Bhateja, COO and Co-Founder, The Man Company

What does Independence Day mean to you especially in the light of owning your business?


I have always believed that we, as individuals, should be allowed to make our own decisions and stick to our choices without fear. When I began my entrepreneurial journey with The Man Company, the men’s personal grooming industry was still at a very nascent stage in India. Men only had a few brands to choose from that offered a limited product range.


Through my company, The Man Company, I offer our customers the option to choose from an array of products, ranging from shampoos, anti-ageing creams and more.


Does freedom mean having a sense of responsibility towards the country?


Absolutely, yes.  Responsibility and freedom go hand in hand. If you don’t want to take responsibility for your actions, you can’t enjoy the freedom either. We can successfully discharge our responsibility towards our country in many ways, even with small gestures like taking care of our surroundings, not littering our cities, following all rules and regulations even when nobody is watching, and most importantly treating our countrymen as brothers and sisters, irrespective of their caste, colour, religion, gender or other differences. Let’s all be responsible and project a positive image of our country.

How do you observe Independence Day in your company?


We really give importance to this day in our company as we celebrate India’s freedom from the 200-year-old British government. We want our employees to value and remember the sacrifices of innumerable freedom fighters. We encourage the employees to dress in traditional Indian wear using the colour theme of tricolour. The staff bring home-cooked Indian food from their homes and we all eat together. This year we are planning a Kite Flying competition on 14 August and we also plan to plant two trees per employee for a greener India. 


Is there anyone in your family who has an interesting historical moment they can never forget?


My father was born in Pakistan in July 1939. He was very young when his family had to shift to India at the time of the Partition. I still remember him talking us fondly about his childhood memories and the train journey from Pakistan to India at the time of Partition when he and his family had to survive without water for more than 40 hours. 


What advice would you give young people about the importance of freedom in your country?


For me, freedom stands for something greater than just the right to act however I choose. It stands for securing an equal opportunity for everyone, not taking our privileges for granted and not feeling entitled to them. Certainly, freedom fundamentally does mean the right to do as one pleases — to think, believe, speak, worship (or not worship), move about and generally act as you choose—but this is possible only as long as your choices do not infringe

upon the rights of another person.





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