Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Young Unsung Entrepreneur

                                                Images via Google Images. Not of the original kiosk.
 
As I walked into a market last night, I heard a voice “Sir Jee!”. I initially ignored it but then I saw a 18-19 year old boy running towards me. I checked my wallet and cell phone to reassure myself that I am in possession of my stuff and have not dropped anything by chance.

The boy came up to me and I gave him chance to catch up with his breath. “Jee Bhai” was my response to him. “Sir Aapne Mujhe Pehchaana Naheen?” (Didn’t you recognize me?).  I took my memory into test. The face was somewhat familiar but I couldn’t recall him.  “Sorry Yaar Yaad Naheen Aa Raha” (Sorry, I can’t recall).  The story that he later told me was the reason that made a sariyal person like me smile all day.

I think those were last days of October 2010 when a friend stopped his car against a Burger Khokha so we can have a quick dinner instead of going into a fast food chain’s takeaway. This chap who was working for the owner as a road marketer and client handler was weeping. While our burgers were being prepared, I asked him the reason to which he replied that the owner didn’t pay him the committed commission for convincing pedestrians and bringing them in as clients. It didn’t come up as a surprise because that’s a common affair here.  Also he shared his family’s financial situation and I felt really sorry for him.

To be very frank, I didn’t like that burger.  Both fries and burgers were too much oily and didn’t come with an add-on. Moreover the outlet only had the option of Anda Shami Burger and French Fries. I cursed the decision of my friend to eat at this particular spot and was about to move on towards car when I saw him coming towards me in expectation of tip. While handing over the amount, I told him “Dude, this burger is pathetic. You can make a better one using less oil, good vegetables, mayonnaise etc. Also there is no tea/coffee for a caffeine addict like me so I would advise you to establish your own setup as a competitor to give your boss a tough time. Better service and good eatables will give you an edge over him and you can start off initially by saving your daily wage for only 10 days.”

Now the same kid was standing in front of me telling me story how he saved money and only sold 6 burgers on his first day of business with no proper khokha to support his kitchen items. Moreover, how he was bullied by his previous boss and work colleagues while he was establishing his unit near his previous work place. Now he serves three different kinds of burgers, employs two more people at the moment and has brought in his brother as a partner. If his previous boss sells 25 burgers an hour now, he’s selling 30. I took excuse from him for 5 minutes so that I can courier a document. When I came back, he showed me his kiosk and presented me his "outlet’s" two burgers and a pack of french fries with coleslaw. He wasn’t willing to take the money against these items and kept on saying “Sir, aap try tu karein!  Aapse paise kaise le sakte hein hum. Aap tu hamaray ustaad hein.”  (Please Try First. We cannot take money from our teacher), though I didn’t do anything for him. Upon my insistence, he finally took a discounted amount and I came home thinking that people like him should be the guest speakers at Entrepreneurship Summits. We keep on organizing such events to inspire youth but those who want to do just need one comment.

Good Luck Aslam!  Your burgers were delicious and even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t have mattered to me. What mattered to me wasn’t in those burger buns. May you expand this business and life brings many bigger opportunities for you.

1 comments:

Adeel Sheikh said... @ April 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

thats awesome. and totally agreed "who want to do just need one comment".

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