‘NE youths should explore entrepreneurship instead of civil services’

[ Robin Hibu ]

The best and brightest North East youths need to stop obsessing over state and union civil services. The new goldmine is in the entrepreneurial world.

To me, promising north east entrepreneurs are heroes and achievers and role models for a new India and a new NE. They are far ahead in overall societal contribution than most successful IAS/ IPS/ IFS officer. Unfortunately, many are crazy for British era civil services (now UPSC examinations) whose main motto was to collect taxes and to keep citizens under control.

But for many middle class families in small towns / remote rural/ tribal areas, the posting of young DCs  and SsP in their initial stages of life is seen as an ‘ideal powerful’ career  option.

Most bright youths from developed states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu do not sit for UPSC examination as they mostly go for IIT, IIM and a stint in the world’s best giant companies and start entrepreneurships of their own volition.

My short stint as IGP in Gujarat during election confirmed this phenomenon.

Even in my batch, I did not see any young IAS / IPS from Gujarat and very few from these developed states.

No wonder, today, most top young successful entrepreneurs are from these states, both in India and abroad.

Whereas in North East states, the best and brightest mostly obsess over white collar jobs and put their best efforts and get into white collar jobs through UPSC or state civil services.

Initially, there are lots of accolades when they are selected. However it fades into oblivion as one settles down in the comfort zone of job security. All lofty initial dreams somehow erode due to twists and turns while serving in the line of duty, waiting their whole lives hoping for someday to make it to the top.

The best and brightest NE youths need to change this trend for their better career advancement and for larger societal contribution. These best and the brightest need to focus on a new road map towards new emerging gold mine of entrepreneurship. It has a world of opportunities through IIT, NEET, MBA or even through professional short courses in recognized institutes for their entrepreneurship.

Unfortunately, the recent trend of massive migration to cities by NE youth for menial private jobs after jiffy skill trainings and flooding job markets in unorganised sectors has lead to many endemic woes and exploitation as many are left to fend for themselves in cities.

With government’s special focus for holistic basic development of North East states, there is huge opportunity for promising bright youths if the best and brightest of NE states, instead of focusing on civil services, focus on entrepreneurship not only back home but even in cities.

We can turn the NE region from a cheap, lowly, menial employee supplier to focal centre of opportunities and job hub.

After thread bare discussion with young successful entrepreneurs from Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and NRIs from USA, UK and NE states, I have gathered that following information:

* Know entrepreneurship skills through proper education

*Learn basics running business with stint in some branded MNC or successful Indian companies

* Hand-holding experiences in human resources, finance, etc.

* Supply chain

* Marketing strategy

* Upgrade men and machines

* Have continuous corporate networking for entrepreneurship advancement

NE entrepreneurs:

Some NE entrepreneurs who are pioneers in their chosen fields are:

* Chuba Manan Jamir who runs a chain of eateries in Delhi.

* Arup Jyoti Gogoi, who has IT firms established in many European countries.

* Takhe Rita, who runs Naara Abba, India’s first kiwi wine factory.

* Christina Tayeng, a wedding planner and proprietor of a flower decoration company.

* Haokip runs mobile eateries in the USA.

* Toko Tatung Prakash runs chains of restaurants and resorts through E&Ks.

* James Dhkar, a leading NE weaving and textile entrepreneur.

* Achita Ray, a leading poultry and hatchery farm entrepreneur.

* Janessaline M Pyngtrope, who has a popular ethnic fashion production company.

* Sonam Choden Bhutia, runs the famed Sikkim Chocolate.

* Jonathan Burner, who runs a branding entrepreneur for MNCs.

Gold medal for pioneers in offing 

Helping Hands will introduce gold medal for exemplary NE entrepreneurs to encourage NE youth to become successful game changers in the field of entrepreneurship.

I am convinced that the best and brightest NE students need to come out of their crazy obsession for government jobs and start planning a new road map for a journey toward new vistas of opportunities, where they will be the boss, employer; where they can make more honest money. It is time to give wings to the hidden unexplored talent for better future.

Let us encourage the youths of the region to think out of the box.

(The contributor is an IPS officer. Opinions expressed are personal, based on experiences of working with NE youth for decades)