Celebrating Entrepreneurship: Tibetan Entrepreneurs are creating great enterprises
45 years old. Visionary & Innovator. Change-maker. Already a star. Winner of TechnoServe organized USAID funded Business Plan Competition. Super Driven. Surreal conceptual clarity. Doesn't speak English but hired his daughter [ex ITC hotel management trainee] as Director-Marketing. Yes, that's Dorjee Palden who heads Dorpan Scrap Trading.
Dorjee Palden and his daughter Rinchen Dolkar realized that they could make a business out of collecting/procuring scrap across the settlements and promote a eco-friendly drive in their settlement, Mundgod. A hugely profitable business with impact, this model looks to replicate successes soon. This father-daughter duo, first Tibetan entrepreneurs to enter this business have received enormous community popularity, a key business driver. It's all uphill from here.
"I got my business idea, when I came to know that useless things can be recycled. So I thought it will prevent wastage, will be very profitable, and most importantly we can keep our environment clean. I started my business when Tibetan football tournament happened in Mundgod. That time I collected all the scraps like Bisleri bottles, paper boxes which were lying on the ground and i sell it to the dealer. At that moment I come to know that this scrap trading business will be very profitable without any investment. Soon I grew in size, as I hired labour and started trading metal scraps as well. I want to grow this business first in all Tibetan settlements across South India, and then grow even bigger"-Dorjee Palden.
With his business plan competition win, Dorjee was able to buy a vehicle, which increases his scrap collection efficiency and also allows him to sell his scrap in Hubli [2 hours away from Mundgod] without incurring additional travel costs. More so, he bought a registered vehicle which gave legal sanctity. Even before coming to the program, Dorjee was enterprising enough to distribute his business cards all over Mundgod, a strategy that allowed him to be just a phone-call away whenever a monastery or a family had to dispose off scraps.
5years from now, Dorjee wants to develop his business further by following a few strategies. 'I would like to buy a paper wrapping machine so that I can make a direct contact with company instead with the dealer. In 5yrs I would like to sell my scraps directly to the company and like to become a first Tibetan dealer.' Dorjee, along-with a fellow Tibetan entrepreneur in Mundgod, has also initiated a volunteer hiring process where foreigners can come and service the Mundgod community by helping Dorjee with his scrap collection business. His business popularity has already soared and he has been interviewed by Voice of Tibet and Radio Free Asia.
One of Dorjee's biggest challenges was to procure a courtyard- he has managed to do that successfully. Dorjee is a very good people's person and has managed to retain loyal labour- a very tough to nourish quality. [Can you spin the good person bit to also show how he does this business because he likes to keep the community clean and he is planning awareness drives, etc?]
Rinchen Dolker, Dorjee's young and bubbly daughter, has managed to bring to the business professional marketing experience, and will be a great person to expand the business by striking appropriate partnerships.
Watch out for this success story unfold and we will be sure to keep you posted on the tremendous success!
Watch Dorjee La in action: