Monday, December 19, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dalit businessman breaks the glass ceiling

Business | Updated Dec 18, 2011 at 10:02am IST
Mumbai: Dalit businessman breaks the glass ceiling
Kajal IyerKajal Iyer, CNN-IBN

Mumbai: A Dalit businessman Ratilal Makhwana, who fought against caste
barriers in his profession, now owns three companies with an annual
turnover of a whopping 400 crores. When Makwana started his business
30 years ago, he least expected untouchability to be a hindrance in
his growth trajectory.

"When we got a government contract, manufacturers boycotted our
inauguration," Makhwana said.

Today Makwana owns three plastic goods companies with a turnover of
400 crore. At this trade fair organised by the 1000-member Dalit
Chamber of Commerce, Makwana and other successful Dalit entrepreneurs
are adding a new brand equity.

This new breed of Dalit capitalists who believe in being job-givers
and not job-seekers, Govind Gaikwad, who has invented a machine to
make cartons for pharma companies, feels it's high time the community
broadbases its thoughts from reservation.

"I have not availed benefits of any scheme. I didn't ask for any, nor
did the government come forward," Dalit entrepreneur Govind Gaikwad

For this enterprising first-generation bunch of entrepreneurs,
capital, however, remains a problem. And they are looking at the new
procurement policy to make their job easier.

Dalit entrepreneurs say they are confident of making it on their own.
With the endorsement of Corporate India and stalwarts like Ratan Tata
and Adi Godrej pledging their support, setting up shop for these
entrepreneurs doesn't seem too difficult.

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