MBA is considered a dream degree for the ones who aspire to reach heights in a corporate sector or a business industry and if you happen to be in the most esteemed college or university, your success is guaranteed with the best opportunities coming your way. But despite all this, if you do something out of the box, changing the lives of the poor and working for your own country and not be a chaser—-will you be successful enough? If you are still confused, read about Kaushalendra an IIM graduate from Bihar who chose not the exclusive pay packages after he was done with his MBA but a life devoted to doing something great for farmers.
Kaushlendra, an IIM topper, from Patna, Bihar did something so inspiring which most of us do not even think about doing. After pursuing an MBA with the gold medal from a top-notch college of the country, IIM Ahmedabad, he went back to his village in 2007 to help the farmers of Bihar to earn a good income from selling vegetables and built a network of organized vegetable marketing. He employed farmers under him and started Kaushalya Foundation with his brother to increase the coordination between the vegetable vendors and the buyers.
How Did It All Start?
Kaushalendra before his management degree from IIM went to pursue his B.Tech from Indian Council of Agriculture Research Junagadh, Gujrat where he learnt that , inadequate jobs and poor standard of living in the villages made migration of people at frequent basis where development started to take backseat in the rural areas. Kaushalendra , after completing his Engineering degree did jobs for some time in a corporate sector and went to pursue his dream of MBA in IIM Ahmedabad, securing rank 1 in the entrance. After his masters, he returned to Patna without accepting any job offers as he had some other plans in his mind, a plan that many would never even think of because the risk is high.
He along with his brother, Dhirendra Kumar, founded Kaushalya Foundation in a small rented room to train farmers and alongside, Kids Green Private Limited (KGPL), to provide farmers with good prices for their produce.
“Our agenda was to help farmers optimize their income through fair means while offering the end-customer with the choicest of fresh vegetables and fruits,” says Kaushlendra.
In the beginning, farmers were hesitant to join his foundation's training. People found him of an eccentric character and mocked him for not taking up a job. Some even commented that he might bring losses to this initiative, that he calls a business. Paying no heed to all the negativity around Kaushlendra didn’t stop. He did not give up and that convinced three farmers to join their workshops and now over 20,000 farmers work with him under Kaushalya Foundation. His company even has some 700 employees who work straight under him.
Everything didn’t come to Kaushalendra at once. Years of hard work, belief and determination is all that is paying him now. To change someone else’ life is not easy and if they are farmers, of your state who are mostly exploited at nominal rates came to him as a big challenge. He remembers his first day’s earning from a small shop in Patna which was only Rs 22 and today his annual profit is approx 5 Crores. Now not only farmers but many big corporate names, banks and agricultural institutions are co-operating and joining Kaushalendra in his mission.
The income of farmers and small vegetable vendors have considerably increased with the Samriddhi Scheme. Almost all vendors now are assured that at the end of the month a fairly good amount will be taken by them to their homes. And this was all possible because of Kaushalndera’s vision to bring some change in the lives of these poor.
Kaunshalendra credits his success to his teachers and friends of IIM Ahmedabad and his brother who believed in him when others didn’t.
People like Kaushalendra who are specifically from small states often aim to go out of their hometown or even country because of the lack of scope but this man chose a different path. He finished his education and came back to his place to change the lives of those who might not be important to many of us but are an integral part of our economy like the farmers and the small vendors. He trained the farmers with the latest technology and made them aware of the latest government schemes and advancements.
From the story of Kaushalendra, TSA is highly inspired and urges its readers to edge a start if you are capable enough and be a life-changer to at least some who are not that privileged because education is not about using to make your own life easy rather extending a helping hand to others who are in need.