Dates all the way…..

Tapan had always been ambitious but like other kids his age, he never looked forward to ensconcing himself in a secured job. He idolised entrepreneurs and wanted to become one.
Tapan grew up with a distinct fondness for biographies of entrepreneurs. He read these and emulated thoughts and actions of known achievers. He grew up in Deoghar, Bihar in an average middle-class family and did not get much on a platter. He knew he had to work hard to carve a trajectory for himself.
Tapan was a bright student who challenged his limits in personal and academic domains. He completed his Bachelors in Philosophy from Bhagalpur University (Bihar). His father is a retired Bank employee and mother a home maker. A go- getter, Tapan knew his personality lacked confidence because of limited exposure, and tried his best to overcome it through reading, learning and interacting with people. Tapan consciously worked towards building certain winning traits in him because he knew that to fulfil his ambition of becoming an entrepreneur, a strong personality was the primary requirement. While he worked on himself, he also kept scanning for a viable business opportunity.
Therefore, when one of his friends, an EDII graduate, mentioned the advantages of pursuing the Post Graduate course in Entrepreneurship to him, he was convinced. He chose the Post Graduate Diploma in Management of NGOs and the reason he gives is, “I am rooted in social culture and ethics. I knew whatever I did had to balance social responsiveness and my urge to become an entrepreneur. This course, I was sure, would give me such a platform. To do something meaningful, I had to feel a connection with society, hence I chose this course.” He adds, “After getting enrolled at EDII, I gradually started getting hold of my identity. I had joined EDII to get a degree but EDII also strengthened my resolve to become a knowledge driven entrepreneur and improved my personality.”
Tapan was clear about setting up a business but before that, he wanted to satisfy his urge for knowing all about as many aspects as possible. He consulted EDII faculty and expressed his desire to work as an employee for some time to test the application-orientedness of his knowledge. Therefore, after completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Management of NGOs (PGDMN) programme at EDII in 2002, Tapan Ghosh joined Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan (KNNA) where he worked for natural resource management, livelihood and agriculture. Tapan toiled for almost 15 hours a day. He gained insights into how a professional organization is run. And, “Confidence , which I had been searching for since childhood, came easy at this stage. I was happy. I learnt the lessons of life through the harshest and the hardest of ways.” says Tapan.
After his stint in the field, he felt prepared to take the plunge as an entrepreneur. He set out to explore his agri-business opportunity. In February, 2008, Tapan teamed up with his brother Amit Ghosh and initiated Eco Cell, a partnership firm offering consulting and facilitation services for date cultivation to farmers in Kutch. However, the journey was not as smooth as they had envisioned. They did meet several challenges but overcame with persistence and hard work.
Explaining one area in which he feels happy to have ventured, he says, “Government offered subsidy for promoting horticulture but farmers were unable to avail it as they were either unaware about it or found the application process to be a time consuming, cumbersome requiring several documents, procedures and requirements. ECO Cell aimed to fulfil such gaps to facilitate farmers.”
Farmers normally grow more than one crop on their farm lands. Usually they cultivate cotton, castor or similar other crops across major areas of their farms with date palm on farm borders. Moreover, they lack competence to develop market linkages and thus accept whatever is offered for their farm produce. Eco Cell’s consulting cum facilitation services has enabled farmers in gaining good returns through exclusive date cultivation across their farm lands.
Tapan and Amit also ventured into Eco Moves, an E-Rickshaw assembling unit in Kutch. Tapan says, “At present Eco Moves offers Passenger and Loader Rickshaws.” In addition to commuting, an E-Rickshaw can also be deployed to transport goods and can also serve as a waste collection vehicle, particularly in highly congested areas where normal large waste collection vehicles are difficult to use. With nearly 18 years of experience, mainly into development sector along with a brief stint in the corporate world, Tapan is all set to take on challenges and believes that his best times are yet to roll in.
Reflecting over his days as a Post Graduate Student at EDII, Tapan says, “When I joined EDII, I was totally an introvert, the PGDMN programme enabled me to open up and helped me identify my skills. I found my footing here and applied my skills carefully and in the right direction. Under good teachers and mentors, I progressed.”
The journey has been satisfying for Tapan. He says, “I have enjoyed my journey. I dreamt big but wanted an endorsement for my ideas. EDII did that and I moved on with faith in the Institute, its faculty and my abilities. Addressing all budding entrepreneurs, he says, “If you are dreaming, find a source to ratify them and then do not look back. “

Congratulations Tapan….May your best come soon!!!