“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
This man from Bihar raised the status and lives of 3000 farmers and 500 street vendors with his foundation in the state of Bihar. He is non-other than Kaushlendra Kumar, the star of the story, the pride owner and founder of the Kaushalya Foundations. He changed the lives of thousands of farmers and vendors with his venture Kaushalya Foundation established in 2007, which is focused on mobilizing and organizing the informal, and shattered vegetable sector.
The life of an entrepreneur is never a glassy path. It is a jagged path filled with hurdles, criticism, failures, and what not! It is filled with mixed emotions and thoughts. People think you are crazy but never realize the true essence of it until you succeed.If you give up you lose. But if you fight, success will be your slave which prompts you to do great things.
The life of Kaushlendra is no different. He was born in a remote village in Nalanda, Bihar. He moved to Nawade town to do his secondary education after completing his primary at his village. Coming from a village background, he had grown up observing the life of struggles of small farmers. He was deeply moved by the mass migration and poverty of vegetable farmers in 1987 when a catastrophic flood destroyed the only railway track for the farmers to the wholesale vegetable market.
“They laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at them because they are all the same.” -Kurt Cobain
After his graduation from IIMA, he spent his life in Patna without a penny in his pocket. He faced a lot of criticism, and people laughed at him making fun of him during his days in Patna. He was judged as a failure because of his unfulfilled commitments. But he believed in himself even though everyone around him raised their eyebrows. But, he knew that at the end everything would come in place, and he followed the way he believed.
Kaushlendra then started a venture in 2007, named Kaushalya Foundation which primarily focused on mobilizing and organizing poor vegetable farmers and vendors in the state of Bihar. With their “Samriddhii” project which aimed at professionalizing street vegetable vendors and marginal growers helping them face the future challenges of global economy.
With the help of Professors from IIMA, Kaushalendra managed to form attractive partnerships between farmers and vendors. He then established a public-private partnership with Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Patna. Within two years, they expanded their operations working from Patna and Nalanda hubs.
“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” -Colin Powell
After a few years, he introduced the concept of “farm fresh produce” (FFP). This is a Retail and Supply chain model in which directly partnered the farmers and street sellers. The Kaushalya Foundation also introduced the Samriddhii AC Green carts model for keeping vegetables fresh for extended periods.
Kaushalendra thus with his foundation increased the farmer’s income by 25-50% and the vendor’s revenue by 60-70%. His organization is now working with the farmers in the districts of Jahanabad, Agra, Gaya in Bihar and some villages of Lucknow.
Although the world is against you, if you believe in what you are and how your ideas and efforts can impact your future and the world around you, you will be the most successful person. So, dream big, start small, work hard and keep moving forward.
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