I stand here amazed at the sea of faces I see here tonight. I know it is your expression of love and kind regard towards me.
Thank you very much for being here when you had the choice to stay back home due to the rains pouring down outside.
I would like to thank the Management Association for selecting me for the Best Entrepreneur Award.
As I look back this has been a long journey. At the very outset of this journey there was disbelief among those who knew me. They questioned me on the wisdom of choosing to walk a road less travelled by.
The next challenge was finding the right people to believe in my dream. To my left and to my right they have been seated here. The manner in which each one of them became a strong pillar of support in this Organisation is a story in itself. Thank you dear members of my team. This award rightfully belongs to each one you.
Like any entrepreneur the fight for survival due to cash crunch and business idea failure came my way too. Those times were difficult. Those were times when I too questioned my leadership. The temptation to quit was stong. But I thank God Almighty for the grace given to survive those tough times. Success always comes with a price tag attached; doesn’t it?
If you ask me, at the end of the day, what it all meant I can answer in one word–wisdom. The wisdom that comes from experience that no management text book can ever teach.
If you ask me again, what gave me the motivation to go on; I can say it was the difference that my dream could make. Look at this village. Today it is a marked presence in all maps and not just a forgotten speck of dust in a vast land mass. Today so many families live with dignity and respect because of the work they have taken up not as a job but as a calling.
Today our Paper Bag making unit has impacted the society in a larger measure than we had dreamed of when we started. We have been able to diversify into eco-friendly bags not just paper. This I believe have encouraged a lot of people to say No to plastics and preserve this Planet Earth for the next generations to come.
If you ask me once more, what are your plans for retirement, my reply would be there aren’t any. For no true entrepreneur ever retires. The last lap is where the glory lies. It is a time given to give back yield in rich dividends from what you had received. This I wish to do with all my heart and with all the strength that God will grant me.
I dedicate this award to my team who stood with me in all the testing times.
Let me end by challenging each one of you to go back from here with a greater dream than you have seen so far. Live with a purpose and look back and see that long line of lives and families you empowered to live with dignity. What greater legacy can anyone hope to leave behind.