Many in the subcontinent community are looking towards entrepreneurship as opposed to regular employment
Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of Indian migrants arriving in South Australia (SA). They arrive with hopes and dream to make a better future for themselves and their families. They look for jobs but these are dwindling rapidly. So what’s the alternative?
Recognising these issues Multicultural Youth SA Inc organised an SA Migrant Small Business Expo with the aim of providing information from a variety of sources to migrants interested in setting up a business.
The keynote speaker was Vinh Giang the 2013 SA Entrepreneur of the Year and Magician. His talk, or should I say comedy act, was a brilliant exposition on how to succeed in business. His ideas on influence, perception and ensuring success were all illustrated by the use of his quite incredible magic tricks.
Dr Sam Shahin, of Peregrine Corporation the largest private employer in SA, was living proof of how a recent immigrant family from humble beginnings can get to the very top in business. These talks and others were surely an inspiration to those attending.
During the day I was very pleased to meet Sreekumar Madathil. A family man from Kerela, he has been in Adelaide since 1998 and has an engineering degree and MBA, both obtained in Adelaide. He had been working for nine years as a Product Development Engineer in auto safety systems but with the closure of Toyota Australia his employers have no choice but to close down their operations. He felt that the Expo was good as he was able to collect a lot of useful information. When asked what he really wanted to do he said his passion was to give financial advice so he could help others. But 10 years from now he confidently expected to be managing his own business. I thought one of his final remarks quite profound: “Many big decisions come from small conversations”.
Also present were two charming young ladies, Veenu Gupta originally from Mumbai and Amina Ahmad from Lahore. Both with young families and husbands in full-time work, they seemed to be the classic case of mums finding a little more time on their hands and wishing to add to the family coffers. More importantly, I felt that these mums believed in what they wanted to do and had the will to succeed.
Veenu already has a small graphics design operation creating websites, logos and other promotional material. Her purpose for attending the Expo was her interest in starting a small business importing the very highly regarded Hyderabadi pearls. After studying the market which comprises mainly artificial pearls from China, she feels her idea could work. She expects to deal mainly online and is in the process of creating a Facebook presence.
Amina is already in business having started recently so was at the Expo to gain any further information that might assist her work. Her business sells Pakistani clothing and Indian jewellery. Her online presence is Facebook: stitchnsilai Australia. On the clothing front she takes orders online and has clothes made up in Pakistan. Jewellery, sourced from Bhopal, is sold from home and on the internet. Her aim for the future is to have a retail presence and increase her online business.
Finally I had the pleasure of meeting young brothers Vibhuti and Shobhit Dixit originally from Delhi. Both in IT, Shobhit had arrived from London to consider his brother’s business proposition. Their idea is to develop an App for a social magazine to be available in digital format. The aim of the App is to cover the nightlife in Adelaide, the hangouts, clubs and other places of interest for the young and to keep the information current. Of course, the administrative side also has to be considered, hence their presence at the Expo. I’m sure they will have a great time simply researching all the hangouts in the late evenings!
It was a delight to meet these young, articulate entrepreneurs sharing a vision to make it in business. In the words of Mr Shahin, “Aim high and you will succeed”.