PEOPLE WHO HAD THE COURAGE
Imagine you are living in a luxurious apartment, earning close to Rs. 80 lakhs a year working as a corporate executive in US. But you have a dream. A dream to create your own path. A dream to leave behind your corporate life and luxuries to pursue something you always wanted. What would you do?
Most people will crush that dream to enjoy sleeping on their luxurious apartment bed. But the person we are going to talk about did the complete opposite.
Rustam’s journey is an interesting one. He lived the dream- MS from the University of California, USA, followed by an MBA from INSEAD, Paris, and then he started working at Standard Chartered, Singapore. With a paycheque in the vicinity of $150,000 (around Rs. 80 lakhs) a year and living on the 32nd floor of a posh building in Singapore, something was amiss in his dream. At INSEAD, Rustam had won an award for the best original business idea. The idea was to make services that you would usually find in the city available in rural India. But he was not satisfied. “I felt guilty. I had this great plan, but I was not doing anything to make it a reality,” he says.
So, Rustam came back to India and established ‘Boond’ in 2010. Boond (or 'a drop' in Sanskrit) is social enterprise setup to provide development products (solar lamps, water filters and mosquito nets) to poor people in rural India along with financings schemes and payment plans so that the products are affordable. They range from Rs 250 for a dynamo mobile charger and go up to Rs. 14,200 for a home lighting system.
“There is a great sense of joy and achievement when you see that in a village with no electricity, a child is studying under a solar lamp you provided,” Rustam Sengupta, Founder- Boond.
The impact we can make, if we are ready to step out of our comfort zone to take ownership and responsibility of the situation, has no limits!
For more inspiration, watch Rustam’s TEDx Talk-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2tSVIfH9rU