“After failing my twentieth interview ‘with flying sandals’, I was feeling very distressed and, well, hungry. So I went to a local dhaba and bought a plate of chhole bhature for twenty rupees. It was so delicious that I felt like I could live on chhole bhature for the rest of my life! That was the Eureka idea. I decided, I am going to make (and thus eat) chhole bhature from now onwards. Hmph!” says Atul Butt, smirking. Mr. Butt is the CEO of Chhole Bhature Pvt Ltd—he is one of many next-gen “self-proclaimed” entrepreneurs.
The study, conducted all over the country, has come up with some very interesting results about the status of employment and the lack of it, in India. The results list out the most populated employment sectors, as expected in 2021: 51% (wannabe) entrepreneurship, 9% Facebook, 9% BPOs, 10% Engineering, 9% Medical, 8% government jobs, 2% agriculture.
The most significant observation, which has given the HRD Ministry a sigh of relief, is obviously that every second Indian is, or is on the verge of becoming, a so-called “entrepreneur”.
To get more insight on the wonderful sector that employs half of India, we talked to an entrepreneur, Mr Atul Butt, about the future of (self-proclaimed) entrepreneurship in India. Mr Butt is the Founder and CEO of Chhole Bhature Pvt Ltd. “It’s amazing! Five years ago, when I was rejected by every single company, kicked out of interview rooms and my résumé trampled under the feet, given my ‘out-of-the-world’ CGPA, I thought my world was over!” he recalls from his past.
“I would try and console myself, hoping to locate at least one reason to be proud of myself. It was such a daunting struggle, telling myself silly things like at least my English is better… at least I don’t use disgusting ‘mah’ and ‘yew’ SMS short-hands… at least my Facebook statuses are so original and witty and massively ‘liked’ (unlike those nerds who still go about copy-pasting stale clichés like After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says… W T F!). Man, WTF I say!
“But the truth was, none of this could help my résumé, and even though I thrashed these nerds as fatheads who really need to get a life, I still was who they weren’t—useless,” Atul says with a deep sigh.
“What is your company all about?” NTMN asks Mr Butt. “Sorry that we couldn’t do much research on your start-up. We just needed to find someone who’d call himself an entrepreneur. You were the first person we met, and we assumed that someone as jobless as this must be a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. Fortunately, you did turn out to be that: jobless.”
Butt laughs and says, “Yeah, I understand your plight. Actually there are too many new so-called ‘ventures’ coming up everyday. So much that it’s nearly impossible to make out the genuine ones. We have a chain of chhole-bhature vendors all across my colony, outside every fourth house. We plan to have a nationwide chain by the end of this winter.”
“Chhole Bhature is fine. But Pvt Ltd?” we are curious to know the reason behind the oddity in the infant start-up’s name.
“Ah that! Well, I finally managed to survive four years of my B. Tech in Eye Eye Tee Engineering College, in spite of being so miserable. The Pvt Ltd tag was just a cover. Would any parents on Earth approve of an EET passout son of theirs, running a dhaba otherwise?” Butt reasons. “Besides, there is a feel-good-thing to this ‘Pvt Ltd’ tag, which is a good boost to the self-confidence,” he claims.
“Who exactly is an entrepreneur?” goes our last question to Mr Butt. “Or better, how to become one?”
“Well, there are various factors. One, he/she needs to own a company—an enterprise to be more precise. It could be anything—like my Chhole Bhature Pvt Ltd., or Kulfi Unlimited, FB Addicts & Co., Virgin & Sons Co., and so on! Be creative, innovative, make up new business ideas, however impractical, think of some pun-ny & witty title, add to it a coveted ‘Pvt. Ltd.’ kinda tag and then… off you go about declaring that you have chosen to rule your own world! While actually it is so because no one let you enter their world,” Atul says with a wink.
“Any tips for budding entrepreneurs?”
“Recently I was invited by IIPM to give a guest lecture to its students. I could have given you my lecture video, but jobless that I am, I’ll prepare the entire list of ‘signs that the fat(m)ass you’re seeing, calls himself an entrepreneur’.” Here is the list Butt gave us.
1. “People who inspire me”: Watch out for this space in your Facebook profiles, buds. Do make sure that as many names as possible, are found from among these—Steve Jobs, Gurbaksh Chahal, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and the likes. Mind it, every entrepreneur claims to be different from the rest, while actually, we all are the same. All of us looked up or came across an enticing success story, started yelling that it inspired us and each time added a new name to our list of inspirational men, dead or alive. As simple as 123.
2. The “I am my own boss” attitude: All the same, again. Many of us were probably sacked by our bosses. Some, not even hired. And the ever-so-cool excuse is: “I can’t work under anyone. No no!” Always stick to this.
Though it’s a funny fact. Since as an aspiring ‘entrepreneur’, at least in the initial stages, one has to go about pleading a lot more people than just one wobbly boss, you know. And yet, even as the real boss of your own venture, not one employee would be interested in calling you “boss”. Don’t know why is that so. They aren’t even entrepreneurs—real or proclaimed.
3. Publicity-hungry: New venture, no takers, high stakes. Obviously, a lot of publicity is needed. And if it comes for free, nothing could serve better.
We entrepreneurs are poor people. And not as high on self-esteem as we pretend to be. The ones with websites are the funniest. They do all that it takes to rule everyone’s Facebook and Twitter timelines. Extensive spamming, repetitive sharing of links, self-praise, liking-unliking-again-liking their own website links and what not! If you have a website, dive to levels any low/deep to get more and more
unpopular popular! (Like I am doing this write-up, hoping to fetch some limelight. )
4. Best entrepreneurial quotes: This is the best sign. Every wannabe entrepreneur loves saying or sharing already-said verses and quotes about dreams, entrepreneurship, hard-work and stuff, by important personalities of the world. Very typical, but also our favourite tool of self-promotion and publicity.
So do as much of this as possible; anyway you’d be free most of the time. Mention your venture in everything you utter… tell people how much you value it, it’s your baby and rest of the crap. Even if no one’s interested, freaking tell them!
5. Never stop talking: The entrepreneurial syndrome is bound to make one obsessed with all that has been mentioned above. One shouldn’t ever stop blabbering about his ‘start-up’. People do appreciate it, after being pestered to do so. Flirt with the ugliest girls around and praise the dumbest guys, if that is what serves the purpose. Learn that business needs lack of human emotions and that is how we need to proceed with it. It’s all about getting our work done!
6. Staff-strength: Here is the best part. You are your own boss, yes. There is only one company for us where we could get the title of our choice. And that is, our own ‘start-up’. Choose the title that you like most: CEO/Director/Owner/Founder/Manager/Peon… anything! For you are, everything!
But be prepared for one thing. For the first ten years at least, everybody in anyway ’employed’ with your company would be earning, except, YOU. Well…
7. Facebook profiles: Very important. We folks couldn’t get our résumés right, so we’ve got to make this one thing look purr-fect! When a regular internet stroller stumbles upon your profile, the ‘Employers’ part should shine through most prominently. Make it heavy, you know, with as many things as possible. I am this, I am that, lots of quotes from the B-world, et. al.
In the end, we all know, more than just many girls are bound to be impressed by this, so stay hopeful. No, they don’t know how much you’re earning.
We hope the tips will help many more unemployed people in India get a way out on their own. If the stats continue to be like this, every Indian would be self-employed very soon—earning or not earning. And then, the government would be left with the zillions of other issues to (not) concentrate on. If you’re unable to begin,
“No work and all play makes Jack an entrepreneur.” — Steve Jobless.
P.S: The line that follows is all that we had promised to pay to Mr. Atul Butt, in return for this lecture: “Chole bhature Pvt. Ltd. is the first officially registered chole-bhature venture in Asia. We are recruiting new talents. The selection criteria would be strict, unless you don’t demand salaries that we can’t afford. If you think you have it in you—the skill to make tasty chole bhature, contact me on phone: 996829xxxx. Lots of vacancies left. For more, log on to our awesome website tastychholebhature.com.”