What is there to calculate? How close to accuracy is your estimate? Ram Mohan decided to take a risk. And the occasion he saw was April 15, Vishu, that marks an auspicious beginning for Malayalis.
And today was April 12, Saturday. The only thing he kept in his mind was that he has to repay a loan of Rs 25,000 by Wednesday. So he could not allow this opportunity to slip by. Ram Mohan made his way to the nearby school that had an abandoned auditorium. After a long negotiation, the principal allowed it to be used for a cultural feast. The condition was that the hall must be cleaned and refurbished after the programme.
In the evening, the agreement on hiring the auditorium was signed. Then Ram Mohan made his way to a DTP centre. By Sunday morning, he had with him adequate publicity materials such as posters, invitation cards and tickets for a grand ‘vishu sadya’ scheduled for April 15 and venue was Local school auditorium. He contacted a sadya expert and a chef to begin work on the eve of Vishu. Collecting eight of his friends, Ram Mohan, the new entrepreneur decided to invest upto Rs 60,000 in this venture. He priced the sadya at Rs 150 per plate. Local school auditorium could hold up to 250 persons. His target was to sell 750 tickets so he would be able to finish the feast in three batches.
So, the arithmetics is perfect. Now the logistics had to prepared, and everything had to be calculated. The makeshift kitchen, gas cylinders and other equipments came at a cost. He had to plan the size of the kitchen, and the number of tables to cut vegetables. And a few skilled labourers had to be hired on daily wages. Bureaucratic permissions for supply of electricity and water had to be procured. Most important was the planning of time. There was only limited time to complete the sale of 750 tickets. His communication and publicity had to have an intellectual and emotional appeal, making people choose a social ‘Vishu’ than a family ‘Vishu’. His message had to convey the message of a social cause than a personal agenda.
Ram Mohan had to showcase all his entrepreneurship skills. Recruitment of labour, planning of finance, equipment and infrastructure, procurement of raw material, quality control, publicity and sales, all had to jell together to make the porgamme work.
So, where is the crucial innovation? Ram Mohan and friends decided to conduct flash ‘Vishu- kani’ competitions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in not less than 30 locations in the town.
BRAVO! It worked, and tickets were soon sold out. All things went on well as planned. By Wednesday evening, Ram Mohan was richer by over a lakh of rupees. The closing ceremony was a grand affair, and included apportioning a percentage of the revenue to the income tax department.
The required knowledge capital was not limited to conducting the feast. They had to have a vision of the product and the total event for Wednesday afternoon, and had to keep the expense in mind. To accommodate the diverse sentiments of labour, Ram Mohan and friends were required to be at their emotional best. An understanding of the detailed planning was needed for the correct sequence of events. And an intense calculation was evident on estimating the quantity of vegetables and food items that had to be purchased.
The friends also showed immense alertness of intellect to make instant but correct decisions. Only very little was left to chance. Keeping a tab on the hygiene, health and safety standards was also part of their schedule. Above all, the opportunity was culturally compatible.
It was the first time that Ram Mohan’s team learned the eating behaviours and mannerisms of people, and for them it was valuable lessons ranked much above business deals. The team got recogntion for their impeccable organizational skills. Soon, they were showered with requests to arrange wedding sadyas and feasts for other festivals and occasions. It is their aspiration that in five years they can donate an indoor stadium to Local school.
Success is a combination of entrepreneurship, risk and opportunity. Be the wise one. Become an entrepreneur. Incorporate corporate social responsibility into planning, calculation and estimates. And success will come to you.