Vi­sion­ary with a Pur­pose, Chi­ranjv Pa­tel

AN EX­CLU­SIVE IN­TER­VIEW

Storizen Magazine - - What's Inside - - Pria

Youth Icon and MD of P.C. Sne­hal Group of Com­pa­nies is try­ing to change

many lives through his lead­er­ship skills. The founder trustee of Karma Foun­da­tion with one key ob­jec­tive “Giv­ing back to the So­ci­ety”. The First In­dus­tri­al­ist from Gu­jarat to lead EO South Asia as the Re­gional Chair­per­son (2016-2018) and a Global Com­mit­tee mem­ber talks in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view

with Pria You ven­tured into the world of En­trepreneurs at a very young age of 21. What mo­ti­vated you at that point of time? Usu­ally peo­ple at this age are com­plet­ing their grad­u­a­tion and look­ing out for jobs! Any­thing pushed you to be an en­tre­pre­neur?

To have a busi­ness and then con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing and im­ple­ment­ing are two sides of the same coin. Sus­tain­ing it through the ges­ta­tional pe­riod and be­yond is a whole new ball game al­to­gether. (He smiles and says)My jour­ney ac­tu­ally started when I was 18 years old. Be­ing from a mod­er­ate fam­ily, the strug­gle started with the ex­pec­ta­tions and I was kind of re­bel­lious that time, so the pres­sure was al­ways up. Af­ter fail­ing 12 Grad, I man­aged to give it an­other try and clear it at the bot­tom level

with 45 per­centile and I was sent to

Ben­galuru for fur­ther stud­ies. Now the faith­with a wait of 3 days, I was given a slot of 3 min­utes to prove to the dean that I am worth the ad­mis­sion with­out pay­ing do­na­tion. 3 min­utes gave me the pic­ture of life –

Con­fi­dence - trust your­self. Cre­ate the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of your­self by fan­ning the tiny, in­ner sparks of pos­si­bil­ity into flames of achieve­ment

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion -

ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion starts with the un­der­stand­ing that there is MY point of view, (my truth), and some­one else's point of view (his truth). Rarely is there one ab­so­lute truth, so peo­ple who be­lieve that they speak THE truth are very si­lenc­ing of others. When we

re­al­ize and rec­og­nize that we can see things only from our own per­spec­tive, we can share our views in a non­threat­en­ing way. A startup en­tre­pre­neur needs to go through a lot of learn­ings, un­learn­ing’s and re­learn­ing’s. My jour­ney re­flects to ev­ery com­mon man who dreams to do some­thing in life. Those 3 min­utes made me re­al­ize - if I have to do some­thing same like the way I was in that room in front of the dean – the change has to be and start with ME and then there will be a change in LIFE. (A story of his strug­gle and start jour­ney was shared which in de­tail is avail­able on the web­site) He con­cludes by

say­ing - Just re­mem­ber it does not mat­ter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop and have the courage to pur­sue. Some peo­ple see ob­sta­cles as a puz­zle to solve. Some see ob­sta­cles as an op­por­tu­nity to grow. Others see ob­sta­cles as threats. Still others see ob­sta­cles as mean­ing they can­not suc­ceed. Your view of bar­ri­ers to achiev­ing your goals af­fects how you re­act.

My jour­ney started as a student en­tre­pre­neur where I made sure I don’t lose faith in the herbal liq­uid prod­uct that I thought could be a change maker. Many ob­sta­cles made sure I give up , yet the de­ter­mi­na­tion kept me go­ing.

I’ll say - If you see ob­sta­cles as the world be­ing against you or as mean­ing you failed, then you are likely to be over­whelmed with painful thoughts and dif­fi­cult emo­tions when faced with blocks to your goals. Per­haps you don't re­ally ex­pe­ri­ence thoughts when faced with an ob­sta­cle. Maybe you im­me­di­ately ex­pe­ri­ence fear or shame. Fear tells you to es­cape the sit­u­a­tion that you are in dan­ger. Shame urges you to hide. If the sit­u­a­tion isn't one in which you need to

My jour­ney started as a student en­tre­pre­neur where I made sure I don’t lose faith in the herbal liq­uid prod­uct that I thought could be a

change maker.

be afraid or ashamed, ei­ther your thoughts or your emo­tions or both can lead you to stop work­ing on your goals. You lose your pas­sion. Per­haps you be­come re­signed and no longer think about your goals or what's im­por­tant to you.

Your re­ac­tions to ob­sta­cles stopped you from try­ing. The truth is that achiev­ing most goals means over­com­ing ob­sta­cles. That's nor­mal and part of the process. There's a quote from Frank Clark, "If you find a path with no ob­sta­cles, it prob­a­bly doesn't lead any­where." Some­times one can over­come ob­sta­cles and some­times can't. Some­times you have to work around them or find al­ter­na­tives. The key is to not give up with­out wise con­sid­er­a­tion. Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way. These lessons will be crit­i­cal to your suc­cess as you make progress along your jour­ney to­ward your goals.

You be­lieve in the no­tion of 'Giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety.' Can you elab­o­rate how this in­spires you and what role it plays in your suc­cess?

All our adult lives we have learnt to com­pete, con­trol, and col­lab­o­rate to live a bet­ter life, but of­ten end up be­ing stressed, has­sled and fa­tigued from run­ning a con­stant rat race. With ev­ery lit­tle thing we ac­quire or ac­com­plish, our re­quire­ments in­crease, and more of­ten than not, this be­comes a cy­cle dif­fi­cult to break. And yet there are peo­ple will­ing to take things easy, giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety a part of what they ac­quire with an in­ten­tion to see others be as happy as they are and set­tle for a qui­eter and more peace­ful life­style, even if it’s not as fi­nan­cially vi­able as a su­per ca­reer-on-thego. We can choose to ex­plore the side of our per­son­al­ity that al­lows us to be gen­er­ous in giv­ing, with­out ex­pect­ing any­thing in return. Giv­ing back to so­ci­ety not only makes us more gen­er­ous, it also gives us a sense of pur­pose, and hap­pi­ness in do­ing some­thing for others who need it more. Giv­ing back to so­ci­ety can be­gin with even the small­est of the ges­tures. Shar­ing knowl­edge for free, adding your voice to a com­mon goal, or help­ing in a com­mu­nity project with your time are just the ways a be­gin­ner may start to give back. I al­ways felt in­debted by what I have and al­ways had this heart of do­ing my bit for up­lift­ment of peo­ple. It feels good, and cre­ates a sense of self-worth. You can al­ways choose to of­fer help in any way you can to peo­ple who need it most, and see for your­self if such an ex­pe­ri­ence can be life-al­ter­ing. Peo­ple in­vest thousand and a lac ru­pee for ex­al­ter pro­grams but we don’t re­lease that the en­tire con­cept is be­ing faked with re­gards to men­tor­ship or startup pro­grams. Now my

way of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety is - “1 Ru­pee Men­tor­ship Pro­gramme “

1 year - 12 months - 12 meet­ings - 12 hours – 1 Ru­pee. Each start up at a charge of ru­pee is my way of giv­ing back to the en­trepreneurs to­day. "Ev­ery mile­stone is iron­clad with an urge to give back to the so­ci­ety." (a broad smile en­cir­cles him)

You started your jour­ney for the EO (En­trepreneurs' Or­ga­ni­za­tion) as a Founder Pres­i­dent of EO Gu­jarat with you be­ing elected as the re­gional di­rec­tor and chair­man of en­tire EO Asia (2016-18). Can you elab­o­rate the jour­ney so far?

En­trepreneurs’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion (EO) holds true to its vi­sion - “to build world’s most in­flu­en­tial com­mu­nity of En­trepreneurs”, through a one-of-it­skind net­work­ing plat­form for en­trepreneurs that fos­ters learn­ing, shar­ing and grow­ing to­gether. Apart from learn­ing and draw­ing from ex­pe­ri­ences of renowned speak­ers, as well as from re­gional and global events, I feel the most im­pact­ful take away comes from peer-to-peer in­ter­ac­tion. The rea­son I feel this as the or­ga­ni­za­tion is among the world’s most in­spi­ra­tional is be­cause of its as­set and driv­ing force. It of­fers its mem­bers unique once-in-al­ife­time kind of ex­pe­ri­ences, through its ever-evolv­ing outof-the-box re­gional and global events.

With its 360-de­gree learn­ing pro­grammes, EO has been of phe­nom­e­nal value to me, not only in my learn­ing as an en­tre­pre­neur but also in terms of peers, net­work­ing and per­sonal growth. From the small­est to the big­gest chal­lenges, this or­ga­ni­za­tion and my peers have im­mensely helped in trans­form­ing not only mine but ev­ery mem­ber’s life pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally.

With be­ing on board it gives me even more op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to en­sure that the re­gion grows and con­trib­utes glob­ally. My ob­jec­tive is to turn our ideas into

As a leader, I need to con­trib­ute my best to achieve the high­est level of growth for the South Asian Re­gion. I would like to share, that we as a re­gion will achieve or are al­ready in the process of achiev­ing ini­tia­tives planned to­wards greater mem­ber value some agen­das. Serv­ing this great com­mu­nity as a Re­gional Di­rec­tor of South Asia, I feel re­ally happy and

proud to be a part of the En­trepreneurs’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

ini­tia­tives that ben­e­fit our mem­bers/ fel­low peers and the or­ga­ni­za­tion as a whole. This needs to be done stay­ing close to our strong set of EO core val­ues that de­fine us. As a leader, I need to con­trib­ute my best to achieve the high­est level of growth for the South Asian Re­gion. I would like to share, that we as a re­gion will achieve or are al­ready in the process of achiev­ing ini­tia­tives planned to­wards greater mem­ber value some agen­das. Serv­ing this great com­mu­nity as a Re­gional Di­rec­tor of South Asia, I feel re­ally happy and proud to be a part of the En­trepreneurs’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion. It is a 360 de­gree or­gan­i­sa­tion that shapes an en­tre­pre­neur’s life and ex­pands one’s think­ing to a dif­fer­ent level. For 30 years, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has been shaped by en­trepreneurs who have built a war chest of prod­ucts and pro­grammes for others around the world. What ac­cord­ing to you are the chal­lenges that star­tups are fac­ing nowa­days in In­dia? What are the pos­si­ble so­lu­tions at the macro/mi­cro level? En­trepreneurs face many chal­lenges in to­day’s ul­tra­com­pet­i­tive busi­ness world; for­tu­nately, con­tem­po­rary times have also blessed en­trepreneurs with more re­sources for tack­ling those prob­lems than ever be­fore. The list can be a longer one. I ll sim­ply ad­vise them to

re­mem­ber that per­se­ver­ance and in­tel­li­gence are your al­lies; use them to your ad­van­tage keep work­ing to­ward your goals. Un­der­stand that you’re not the first to strug­gle, and be­cause of that there are many re­sources avail­able to help you get through your dark­est days as an en­tre­pre­neur so you can reap the im­mea­sur­able re­wards that come with build­ing your own suc­cess­ful busi­ness. In­dian star­tups face its own set of chal­lenges and some stel­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties

In­dia is at cross­roads where it now has to cater to the as­pi­ra­tions of a bil­lion peo­ple. Ex­ist­ing frame­works can prove to be in­ad­e­quate and there is a great need to lever­age a bil­lion minds and be­come a global power. The new boost to the start-up sec­tor in In­dia has opened many doors for en­trepreneur­ship de­vel­op­ment; this is true es­pe­cially for tech­nol­ogy start-ups. There is a lot of po­ten­tial with a huge ta­lent pool in this coun­try. How­ever, the youth need ap­pro­pri­ate guid­ance and proper in­cu­ba­tion cen­tres to make sure that ta­lent is chan­neled in the right di­rec­tion, with proper guid­ance. Also, with the In­dian govern­ment it­self be­ing sup­port­ive with flex­i­ble com­pli­ances, tax har­mo­niza­tion, ex­emp­tions, en­hance­ments and such other ben­e­fits to the start-ups, In­dia is def­i­nitely now be­com­ing a des­ti­na­tion for the start-up sec­tor.

You are one of the Found­ing Mem­bers of the Karma Foun­da­tion along with the com­mu­ni­ties Ahmed­abad Book Club and Gu­jarati Book club. Your thoughts!

With an urge of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety, it was also the birth to Karma Foun­da­tion in De­cem­ber 2011. What started as a two-mem­ber ven­ture with Priyan­shi Pa­tel (God Sis­ter) and my­self it is to­day a

68-mem­ber strong team of vol­un­teers that is en­gaged in pro­mot­ing the cul­ture of read­ing and writ­ing, pro­mot­ing Gu­jarati as a lan­guage, ig­nit­ing young minds by show­ing them the end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties, en­gag­ing se­nior cit­i­zens and sup­port­ing aban­doned chil­dren. The foun­da­tion runs Ahmed­abad Book Club to pro­mote read­ing and writ­ing, Gu­jarati Book Club to pro­mote Gu­jarati, in­ter­ac­tive Pi Club and Sci­ence Club for teenagers, Shu­ru­aat for pri­mary school stu­dents, Vadil Ni­vas for se­nior cit­i­zens and Shishu Gruh ini­tia­tive to sup­port aban­doned chil­dren till the age of six. We all had a com­mon goal to not let our cul­ture fade and with ev­ery thing pos­si­ble we made sure we hold our grounds strong and let the gen­er­a­tions to come cher­ish and learn.

What mes­sage you would like to share with the youth of to­day to pre­pare for his/her bet­ter fu­ture?

Pow­er­ful peo­ple, men­tors and their ex­pe­ri­ences can help you change your life. A new day – fresh and brim­ming with bound­less pos­si­bil­ity is here. But to­day, like most days, will be wasted. We will sit qui­etly and let the world around us change, but we will not our­selves seek to change it. We will keep silent as in­jus­tice and prejudice dev­as­tate our land, for we will not ut­ter a sin­gle word in op­pres­sion. We will dream of a bet­ter to­mor­row, but will deny our­selves the vigor needed to wake from our com­pla­cency. For too long, we have re­lied on the wis­dom, courage and power of those who have come be­fore us, shack­led by our frag­ile im­ma­tu­rity. But it is on our quiv­er­ing and naïve shoul­ders – not theirs – that the fu­ture of our world rests. Be­cause you are young, you can charge ahead with reck­less aban­don. You can be dar­ing and bold, al­ways re­fus­ing to ac­cept the sta­tus quo as an ab­so­lute. It is in your

un-cal­loused hands that des­tiny it­self awaits you, yearn­ing to be shaped to your will which is truly your own. Never be afraid to make mis­takes, since they’re of­ten the best way to learn won­der­ful new things. And when­ever you are told you are too young to un­der­stand, tell your crit­ics they’re never too old to lis­ten. Your in­ex­pe­ri­ence will in­evitably close many doors for you, but it is that same in­ex­pe­ri­ence that will al­low you to dis­cover path­ways that are still vir­gin to the com­mon trav­eler’s foot­steps.

There will be times when you feel com­pletely lost and un­sure of what to do next. All you have to re­mem­ber is that the world is round. Keep putting one foot for­ward and you’ll even­tu­ally reach home again. There will be other times where your heart will be bro­ken into a thousand jagged frag­ments. Do not hes­i­tate to pick them up, be­cause even in pieces, you will even­tu­ally find some­body who will make you feel whole. And there will be times when you will de­spair, where the fu­ture will seem un­end­ingly bleak. But it is when the world looks its dark­est that we are able to best ap­pre­ci­ate all the tiny ran­dom sparks of kind­ness from those around us.

You are the young and able-bod­ied, and

it is for you that an en­tire fu­ture full of op­por­tu­nity waits. Refuse to sit back and let life pass you by. Live each day with pur­pose for the bet­ter­ment of your­self and for others. Use the gift of time that we of­ten squan­der to make a real dif­fer­ence in this world of ours, for the big­gest re­gret we can ever have – greater than fail­ure, greater than re­jec­tion – is to have not even tried. Above all else cher­ish each and ev­ery mem­ory you make, for it is to­day – and not to­mor­row – that mat­ters most.

(As told to Pria)

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