How Parsis Promote New Businesses.
At a glittering Awards Night held on Sunday 20th December, 18 Parsi about to become businessmen were felicitated and of which, six were awarded with cash prizes. The cash would come handy for them. The World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce – India whose Mission is to encourage Entrepreneurship recently conducted its first all-India Business Plan Contest. Applications were invited from Parsi / Irani who wished to start to start their own business. After an initial response of 40 entries, training and coaching in writing a business plan, and presenting it to group of investors was provided. Many went through it for the first time in their life and so had lot to gain from it. 18 finalists were shortlisted, who presented their Business Plans to a group of Investors. Nearly 25 investors, many of whom are experienced professionals and businessmen, evinced keen interest to invest in the several proposed ventures. Several Parsi professionals in areas of HR, Legal, Finance offered free services for web hosting, company registration and finding right people. Cyrus Bagwadia, ex-M.D. and CEO of Essel Propack who conceived and led the program said “The Contest intended to encourage those with business ideas to develop their Business Plans in a professional way and be able to interact directly with Investors for funding of their projects. There are angel group funds in India, but none offers the kind of coaching and mentoring that we did. Also, this is the first one in India which is promoted and run by a community. The whole program took 6 months but the results and outcome are terrific.” All youngsters were unanimous to say that it was a great learning experience and are much more confident now than ever before. Parsis are known to be entrepreneurial and have been worried about the recent trend in drop of new companies being registered by community members. So they came up with this very innovative method. Dr. J. J. Irani was the Chief Guest for the function and he gave away the prizes.