After completing his PGDM from SCMS Cochin in 2002, Amit Goel had a flourishing career ahead of him. He made his mark with Kotak Securities Limited as a sales executive in their online trading division. Within a short span of time he climbed up the corporate ladder and joined India Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL) as Deputy Vice President. But this meteoric rise in the corporate world wasn’t enough for Mr. Goel, who harboured entrepreneurial ambitions. And that’s how Pawanputra Bags Ltd. was formed.
He is the first one to admit that walking away from a well-paid job and promising corporate career is not an easy task. “It’s not an easy decision to leave a job which pays you a handsome salary every month, and chase your dream. But being from a community traditionally known for entrepreneurial skills, I was destined to be the master of my own fate.” And his fate led to Pawanputra Bags Ltd., the first fully integrated manufacturing unit in Eastern India, which makes completely recyclable environment friendly paper bags.
The company began its operations in August 2013 and makes customized paper bags using 100% environment friendly raw materials. His father provided inspiration not only for the name of the business, but also for the risk Mr. Goel took at a crucial juncture in his career. “My late father is my inspiration. He always encouraged me to take risks in life to succeed. He would say, ‘Only when you chase your dreams can you be truly successful’,” remembers the proud son.
Mr. Goel is equally proud talking about his business ventures, because that is something very close to his heart. “I had this project in my mind for a long time. All the raw materials we use can either be completely recycled or do not cause any harm to nature. Even inks used for printing are natural dye based instead of regular chemical based. Handles used are natural cotton yarn handles or twisted paper handles, which cause no harm to the ecology,” he explains.
Being a creative and tech savvy person himself, Mr. Goel handles the design aspect of his business today and completely thrives on the challenge. But ask him about the best part about being an entrepreneur – besides chasing his dream – and pat comes the reply, “It feels good to provide employment and opportunity to people who become associated with you and your company.”
This belief, Mr. Goel admits, comes from the impact of the learning at SCMS Cochin. The institute tried to instil entrepreneurial skills in its students and make them leaders of tomorrow. And it has left an indelible mark on this new entrepreneur’s life. “We were lucky to have teachers who had vast industry experience. They would share their experience with us through case studies, etc., and we would listen to them intently. Today we come across those situations in real life and are forever grateful to our teachers,” he points out.
Mr. Goel talks about Late Prof. Krishnan, Prof. Paulose, Prof. P.V. Ignatius and Prof. Filomina from his institute and their immense contribution to his learning curve. He also makes a special mention of the curriculum at SCMS Cochin and the difference it made to his life. “The curriculum of SCMS is designed in a way that, no matter what career path you choose, it creates a strong foundation of knowledge for you.”
Mr. Goel has now built on this foundation and is raring to go with his business venture. Does he have any advice for young students who might harbour entrepreneurial dreams like him? Mr. Goel is quite encouraging as he says, “There is no right time to become an entrepreneur. You have to look at opportunities around you and have the courage to take a risk. As an entrepreneur, you not only follow your dream but feel good about the fact that you have made more people self-dependant.”