A memorable journey………
Dealer Name: San Marcom India Pvt. Ltd- Formerly M/s National Construction.
Proprietor Name: Asfaque Alam – Popularly known as Raju.
Address: Akankha, NH-81, Sunny Park, PO- Chanchal, Dist- Malda.
Education: B.A. Honours in English from North BengalUniversity, 1993.
Dear all…..my name is Raju, I would like to share my life’s wonderful journey. It’s said that circumstances and honest efforts make the man you are!
I was born in a small village called Bidhuatola which falls under Harishchandra-I block of Malda district. My family includes my father, mother and two younger brothers.
At the age of 20, as destiny had some amazing things in store for me, I came in contact with a wonderful girl – Masum Karima Lipi and fell in love with her…. soon we got married. That was the turning point of my life. Marriage was like a dream come true for me…. but then there were life’s realities and I was in tremendous pressure to earn, to sustain my family.
Next year, I completed my graduation after which I went to Kolkata to take WBCS coaching but I felt that it was a time taking matter and I returned back home. I badly needed money to run my family and my conscience wasn’t allowing me to take financial help from my parents.
It is not ease, but effort; not faculty, but difficulty, that makes a man.
I got encouragement from my father who was a high school teacher and started earning my first penny by giving private tuitions; my mother also supported me.
After some time in 1997, I felt that tuitions will not take me farther in life, and my dreams. I decided to change things and thought about doing business, but neither I’d enough money nor a suitable place to start business. I gathered all the money that I’ve saved from tuitions, very reluctantly, took money from my father and father-in-law to purchase 3 decimals ie., 1308 sq.ft of vacant land at Chanchal.
I wanted to start soft drink beverages business and approached a distributor for dealership but he suggested meeting him at end of the winter season. Meanwhile, I’d in my possession this small piece of land that I’d brought near Chanchal main road which had a small portion of PWD land in front of it. Here, the local people never leave a chance to occupy vacant area and I felt that PWD portion of land in front of my space may be grabbed by them.
To safeguard my area, I purchased one truck load of red sand & stone chips and dumped it over there. I did not want to sell them. But as the place is situated near Chanchal Hat, a local weekly rural bazaar, customers came to buy red sand & stone chips and a new business went rolling.
There’s an old English proverb – Nothing ventured, nothing gained. After some days, I bought ten bags of Vikram Premium Cement from a local dealer and sold it out the very day. This gave me courage to move forward and I decided to take dealership of this brand.
One evening, while I was watching Sahara Cup Cricket match, the marketing officer of Birla Corporation Ltd – Mr Tuhin Mukharjee showed up with a big dealer to offer me Retailer ship. I refused and asked for dealership to which he agreed. Next day, I went to my father and disclosed the entire matter, he gave me Rs. 29000/- as working capital and Rs 25000/- for security deposit. With this initial fund I started my cement business and that was the last time I’d taken money from my parents.
Now, I was the whole and soul of my business – Owner, Manager, Marketing officer, Collection boy, Labour…..all combined into one. I had only a bicycle with me for commuting. In the morning, I managed my retail sales and banking, while at evening I explored markets to find new retailers. Early in the morning, when everyone was sleeping, I went to nearby villages to sell truckloads of sand, stone chips. My wife supported me very much in my endeavour and she is very lucky for me. She never demanded anything from me and I feel proud of her. She gave birth to our only son, Sarfaraj Alam Neil on the month of July 1998.
I was the first person in our family to do business and I’d been exclusively dealing with Birla Corporation Ltd. for long period of 6-7 years. One day, suddenly the production of Birla Cement stopped for some reasons and I was in trouble as there was no cement supply to sell. And then my Dada, Mr Sridhar Samanta, C&F agent of erstwhile L&T Cement, came to my shop and gave me ‘Jibandan’. In Cricket if a fielder misses the catch, the batsman gets Jibandan and here it was me… like a ball, he caught me and gave Jibandan. Thank you ‘Dada’.
After that I have been proudly, exclusively and honestly working with UltraTech Cement.
The secret to success is constancy to purpose – I have been putting my best effort to give sales growth every year. I am really very happy with my company. I got more than my expectations…always. All the employees of UltraTech Cement Limited whom I met personally during this period are undoubtedly awesome.
I’ve launched a website couple of months back and the URL is www.smipl.co.in
Request you all to visit my website. You can also write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org