The Art of Living Creates Solar Power and Rural Entrepreneurs


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Sarang Agrawal is an entrepreneur today. He hails from a middle class family consisting of four members. He  completed his diploma in Automobile engineering at Government Polytechnic, Achalpur Taluk, in his hometown Paratwada in Amravati district of Maharashtra followed by a  degree in mechanical engineering from Dr. Rajendra Gode Institute of Technology & Research in Amravati district. ‬Since 2012, he had a desire to visit The Art of Living International center in Bengaluru since he had heard numerous stories about the amazing trainings and programs being conducted. Unfortunately, he was not selected in the online test in 2016 to attend a training which was cleared by a few of  his friends. Finally in 2017, his dreams were fulfilled when he could attend the PMKVY Solar Skill training programme at the center under Sri Sri Rural Development Programme.

During the training, Sarang realized that the program  was very useful and productive. He also found that all his  teachers were very supportive. Coming from a mechanical background, Sarang was  apprehensive as to whether he would be able to grasp the nitty gritty details of another  domain. He was pleasantly surprised as the training was conducted in an easy and simple style so that anybody could  understand. He gives all accolades to his trainers for the success of the training program. He was able to learn the basics of solar PV models, how to install, safety procedures and how to start his own business. He expressed his gratitude to his principal who always treated students as comrades.

Sarang says that his experiences during his stay helped him immensely to become an entrepreneur. Previously,  he was quite a lazy person who was afraid of taking risks in life and always running away from responsibility. Since childhood, he  had dreams of becoming a millionaire. However, he lost all hope of fulfilling his dreams as he grew up. Subsequently, he started facing  criticisms and accepted life that way.

But his perspective towards life changed entirely after arriving at The Art of Living International Center. He sensed a feeling of belonging. He  developed confidence and a desire to become an achiever. He started taking responsibility. While it may be possible to acquire knowledge from various sources,  The Art of Living programs gave him values, hope and confidence to become an entrepreneur and achieve his goals.

Success Story

After completing his training , Sarang  started scouting for a job. The task was difficult as his communication skills were not good. Fortunately, he managed to get work with the local solar companies in and around his hometown Paratwada  because of the skills and knowledge acquired by him in the certificate training program in ashram. After working in the solar field for a few months and encouraged by the successful results, he decided to  start his own business. He launched his start-up, Sarang Solar. He received good opportunities for installing both on-grid and off-grid solar systems. He has completed three solar projects so far and hopes to do much more in future. The 23 year old currently earns around 70 to 80 thousand rupees from each project. Even more satisfying for him is the chance to make a difference through his work.  For instance, it gave him immense pleasure to install solar lights in a residential school for poor children. Recently, he also started a water plant “Sri Sri Aqua”.

A real busy bee, Sarang is also working on  business diversification. Today, he sells solar water heater, water purifier, CCTV, mobiles and printers . He is also into personalized gift printing  business. He now has a good customer base and is able to acquire funding from different sources for starting any new venture. Today, he runs all his  businesses successfully with the assistance of his brother.

Promoting Entrepreneurship

After completing his  training in Bengaluru, Sarang  returned to his hometown. Along with  a few friends from Art of Living family, he formed a team. The team organized Youth Leadership Training Programs (YLTP)  to develop future leaders. They have conducted   six courses so far with 80 – 100 participants in each course. It is heartening to note that more than 500 youth have  completed Youth Leadership Training Program. The program has brought major transformation in the lives of participants. Previously, they were very apprehensive about their future. After doing the program, they became more focused. Furthermore, the good news is that many of them are employed now and others started small scale businesses like tea point, food corner etc .

Sarang is actively involved in this endeavor to promote entrepreneurship in his  home town by conducting courses and guiding youth to start their own business. He has also involved a few  youth in his own business for short periods.

Finally, he summarizes that his entire life changed after  going and taking the training in The Art of Living international Center. Sarang says that he faced many challenges in his entrepreneurial venture. He learnt that running a business is not easy  especially when ethics are compromised by many. Dishonesty and greed are common traits in the business world. He is ever thankful to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for guiding him in his entire journey.

He finally reiterates  his favorite quote from Management Mantras, book by Gurudev

‘Management begins in the mind. When the mind manages itself better, it can manage anything.’

 

To Know more about Rural Development Projecs, click the below link:

https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/projects/rural-development

 

 – Jayashree Patnaik


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