KOLKATA, March 1: The key to the success of businesses in Bengal lies in cultivating a never-say-die attitude and depending on the entrepreneur’s grit and determination to overcome obstacles even as the administration endeavours to hand-hold investors to the best of its ability, entrepreneurs, young and old, established and fledgling, agreed in a panel discussion titled BRANDS OF BENGAL, organised by TV9 Bangla on February 25, 2023.
The exercise was a part of TV9 Bangla’s endeavour to facilitate and stimulate brainstorming on issues that confront the state. In the past, TV9 Bangla has held a unique telethon on Bangaliana, or what constitutes Bengaliness and a trade fair to create a platform to bring together marketers and consumers across diverse product categories.
As many as 20 entrepreneurs from the state were felicitated for their business journeys and contribution to society.
Sujit Bose, minister in charge of department of fire and emergency services, who attended the event, congratulated TV9 Bangla for arranging discussions on topics that could inspire a few minds to embark on the path of entrepreneurship eschewing traditional job-seeking tendency. On this occasion, he also unveiled the Coffee Table Book on “Brands of Bengal” by TV9 Bangla.
Divided into four panels, the participants enthusiastically and animatedly discussed topics that were inextricably linked with the investment climate of the state. These were “Banglai byabshar sahajpath (Ease of Doing Business in Bengal)”, “Banglai Start-up: somosshya o sombhabona (Start-ups in Bengal: Problems and Prospects)”, “Banglar Shilpa: Kaal, Aaj, Kaal (Business of Bengal: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow)” and “Banglar shilpe medhar akal? (Bengal’s Industry Heading For Talent Drought?)”.
“On the parameter of ease of doing business, I feel Bengal has everything, but it lacks in the essential skill of projecting itself. Promoting the product and the brand in the market is the need of the hour. Bengal is rich in intellect, has a pool of talent in academics, culture and sports. Perhaps we are too harsh in criticising ourselves,” said Shankha Ghosh, Group CEO, Techno India Group.
“A good number of start-ups have started operating in Bengal in the past few years. More than 3,000 start-ups were registered to take the state to the fifth position in India. In the year 2020, during Covid, more than 30,000 companies were registered. Had there been lack of confidence among the local youths, so many initiatives wouldn’t have been launched,” argued Abhinav Gupta, Founder & MD, KGA Home Appliances.
Arun Kumar Dasgupta, principal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan mentioned how they regularly inspire their students to come up with business ideas and how several of them have already been accepted for seed funding.
Manoj Khosla, Founder & MD, Khosla Electronics said, “The government should come forward for facilitating entrepreneurs so that manufacturing can flourish. The ecosystem, thus, will generate business and increasing ease of business will help the investor take it forward. Bengal was initially an agrarian state, but now with IT, software, and designers coming on board, the mentality is changing. The society has to build skilled workers to help industry.”
“Small and ancillary industries should support each other to help scale up. The workers would also benefit from such an ecosystem. Bengal has cheap labour and raw material is easily available. Ease of business is growing in the state providing a fillip to expansion of business,” said Pradip Kumar Shaw, MD, Lancet Pharmaceuticals.
Dr Sujoy Ranjan Deb, director, Kolkata Heart Lung Centre & Research Institute remarked, “There is a demand for trained doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. Bengal was number one in the past, but recently a lot of people have migrated to the Southern states for treatment and medical facilities. Trained workforce can bring back the health business in our state. The post-Covid era provides us opportunity to set up heart, lungs, kidney centres and wellness clinics for which there is demand in Bengal.”
Echoing Dr Deb, the honorary secretary of Saroj Gupta, Cancer Centre and Research Institute Anjan Gupta agreed that meeting the demand of skilled employees and super-specialty medical practitioners has become a need of the hour to prevent movement of people to other states for treatment.
“To push the young generation towards business as a career goal, the family has to play a vital role,” asserted Rana Deb, founder and chairman, Modern Institute of Engineering & Technology. “The government should assist with cooperation, promotion and encouragement so that more startups can blossom in the state,” he added.
Himadri Shekhar Patra, MD, Baffeto, who launched a food delivery app a year and half ago in the state vouched that with a little grit and clarity of vision, one can even rise from a humble background to successfully nurture a business. He gave his own example to highlight that he would shortly employ about 2,000 youths to spread his business in a few districts of Bengal.
“TV9 Bangla Brands of Bengal rides the authenticity, accountability and trust that TV9 Bangla enjoys. We are honouring those who have achieved and are striving for excellence in their respective fields,” said Amritanshu Bhattacharya, managing editor, TV9 Bangla.
The institutions/entrepreneurs whose contribution to society were recognised includes the awardees and categories in the following:
Modern Institute of Engineering Technology (MIET) – Brand Excellence in Education (Engineering)
Lancet Pharmaceuticals- Brand Excellence in Pharmaceuticals
Baffeto – Brand Excellence in Food Delivery App
Dr Prakash Mallick – Brand Excellence in Homeopathy
SRMB – Brand Excellence in Infrastructure
JBG Hexa – Brand Excellence in Real Estate Ancillary
Khosla Electronics – Brand Excellence in Multi-Brand Electronics Retail Chain
KGA Home Appliances – Brand Excellence in Home Appliances and Televisions
Panjabi Museum and Sareer Hut – Brand Excellence in Ethnic Wear
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – Brand Excellence in Education
JIS Group – Brand Excellence in Education Conglomerate
Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal – Brand Excellence in Sarees and Contemporary Fashion
Sister Nivedita University (SNU) – Brand Excellence in Private University
Indian Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) – Brand Excellence in Hospitality Management
Dr Sohini Sastri – Brand Excellence in Life Coaching and Motivation
Saburi Plywoods – Brand Excellence in Product Innovation
Kolkata Heart Lung Centre & Research Institute (KHLC) – Brand Excellence in Hospital (Cardiac and Pulmonology)
Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute – Brand Excellence in Cancer Treatment in Eastern India
Sasta Arogya – Brand Excellence in Pharmacy
Rumpa Jewellery – Brand Excellence in Gold Plated Jewellery
Watch TV9 Bangla Brands of Bengal on 5th March from 4 pm onwards.