July 28, 2022
A goal from your youth can inspire you to start your own business. A child’s role model is frequently created or molded by the family’s elders. In this instance, the business owner attempted, made mistakes, returned to the industry to learn, and tried again. We have all adored them as a result of growing up in the technological era and wanted to be like them. What about these businesspeople most impressed us? Probably their sound technical knowledge, oratory abilities, self-assurance, and interpersonal skills? These are unquestionably necessary traits if you want to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.
Today we are in a conversation with such an outgrowing entrepreneur Mr. Amiya Mahalik.
Amiya’s father worked as an executive engineer for the government of Odisha’s irrigation department. His sister teaches information technology, while his younger brother works in Delhi. In 1991, he earned his +2 science from Padampur, Sambalpur, and his diploma in plastic technology from CIPET Madras. In 1992, he received a post-diploma in mold design from CIPET, Bhubaneswar. Amiya returned to Bhubaneswar as soon as he had finished his education and attempted to start a plastic manufacturing business. He began by going to different clients in and around the Mancheswar area and taking orders. With the aid of CIPET, Bhubaneswar attempted to have the directives carried out. He had hoped for assistance from governmental agencies, but regrettably, none was forthcoming. Then, to develop the mold and product, he tried enlisting the aid of private organizations. He used to accept incredibly few orders but was unable to fulfill them. Then he understood, “I must first establish the industry before accepting orders. If I don’t, no one will believe me, and I won’t even be able to deliver.
After coming to this insight, he resumed looking for work in the sector. He had positions in Shalimar Plastics, Lahoti, and Caprihans (India) Ltd. He noticed that the businesses were producing at a medium scale, something he was unable to do. He might visit a plant nearby that employed German technology at the time because the thermoforming process and goods were new. The workers there used to persuade him to build a facility in Odisha. He returned to Bhubaneswar after deciding to accept it. Mr. Mahalik acknowledges that for the first two to three years, all of his support, direction, and financial needs were met by his father. For the first two years, he had to suffer a loss. For his products, there was no commercial acceptance. Because the machines were manual and not cost-effective, the prepared dies became unusable. A crucial moment occurred when packaging orders were given by the Shivalya multiplex in Mancheswar. Dental burrs are prepared and exported by Shivalya Multiplex, but the export packaging has a quality issue. Amiya obtained their requests, collected a little deposit, and shipped the goods. Since it was now authorized for exports, Shivalya Multiplex was able to increase its exports to several nations. The unit’s profitability rose concurrently, and its financial situation improved.
When Mr. Mahalik discusses his entrepreneurial experience, he acknowledges that although he initially had a lot of faith in technology, it was only after starting his business that he learned about the real process. He concluded that knowledge of management is just as crucial as technology. He did not know things like costs, marketing, people, and quality. He recalls, “At the time, I believed that I could produce and that someone would gladly accept what was made.” Customers informed him that other providers can create it more affordable and of high quality. But he was unable to verify the veracity of the customer’s claim. The most crucial insight was that “Occasionally, clients may assist or bias the entrepreneur; occasionally, suppliers may assist or may extract a significant profit from the entrepreneur and put him in danger.” In essence, he understood that lenders, customers, suppliers, employees, and family members could all support or oppose an entrepreneur.
The success of Techoplast has inspired others to start plastic manufacturing businesses in Odisha. Three to four employees of this company became entrepreneurs as a result of it. Over the years, more than 250 people have worked for this company, contributing to the economy of Odisha. The business has contributed by paying tax, GST of 1 million years, electricity costs of 20 lacs, professional taxes, and income taxes from its workers. It all contributes to Odisha’s expansion. Technoplast also produces for the retail sector based on volume. Usually, a tiny trader is unable to afford the mold. Technoplast produces ready-to-use goods for the general public. Technoplast faces its own set of difficulties as well; in terms of labor, infrastructure, and technology, it finds it challenging to scale up. Since plastic is a niche market, the entrepreneur must handle everything. Their customers are primarily from Odisha, and efforts are currently being made to offer various products in neighboring states. 95 percent of the customers are in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. Plastic is a locally focused sector with volume restrictions, thus importing low-cost goods from China is not a problem. Technoplast is attempting to advance technology to enhance design, tooling, and quality while also attempting to enter the retail market.
Lastly, he addresses that occasionally there will be losses. The entrepreneur without experience should gain some in technology, marketing, or finance, Mr. Mahalik suggests. The second most crucial factor is that business owners should receive effective mentorship.
INTERVIEWED BY- PRISITA DAS
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