‘What guts do you have’? Neil exclaimed huffily. ‘Kicking your job at times of recession needs you to be courageous at heart and by brain too’, he added further.
‘Risk toh spider-man bhi utha tha hain, mein toh fir bhi salesman hu’ (Even spider-man takes risk and am just a salesman!), he winked and they both chuckled as Neil wished him success for his future.
He had left the job in such circumstances where one would do anything to cling to ones job. Such was his nature and style of functioning – To be unpredictable at times much to everyone’s disbelief. An impromptu decision that shocked everyone, even his family.
Having seen, learnt and understood the trade practices that people follow to the riches that the job gave him both mentally and monetary wise to those ugly office politics people played to being the company’s go-getter man, he had experienced it all. But off late it give him a feeling that his freedom is being gagged and is being reduced to just a puppet in the hands of his bosses.
‘Time to move on, young man.’ He said to himself as he gave a final look towards his workstation.
With a sense of pride and a tinge of happiness in his heart he left those premises forever to the new dawn awaiting, asking to be ready for a new chapter in his life.
Call it nature’s magic wand or sheer luck, he happened to visit UAE for a vacation. A surprise planned by his family for celebrating and welcoming the following year. A bit hesitant at the beginning due to job search – interview saga, he agreed for the vacation after a lot of persuasion from his family.
Over there amid all the fun and frolic he happened to visit a restaurant for lunch. Friendly reception, delicious food, nice soothing ambience and a generous owner left a mark on his mind. He was so amused with the overall hospitality and especially with the young thirty something owner that he decided to meet him the next day itself.
‘If a thirty something person can own a restaurant then why can’t I?’ He said under his breath. ‘This will need a huge amount of investment’, his inner voice said to himself, thus sending his plans of owning a restaurant one day to a peaceful death.
‘Don’t come to conclusions. One step at a time’, he calmed his inner voice.
The next morning he decided to visit the restaurant during the lunch hour as he hadn’t requested the owner for a meeting. Keeping his fingers crossed and counting his chances of meeting him, he entered the restaurant. His face lit up as soon as he saw the owner and straight away went forward to greet him.
Hours passed by as they kept on chatting. From being somewhat unusual at the beginning with each other’s company to what seemed like two best friends chatting after a long time, walls of discomfort and aloofness had been bridged.
Soon the discussion turned towards the business side when he offered his willingness to sell part of his stake in his baby, his restaurant.
‘Oh – My – God! He is offering me a part of his stake in his restaurant!’ He exclaimed. His heart did a somersault. He couldn’t believe his ears.
He committed an answer upon landing back home, keeping the option alive. A series of e-mails were exchanged before he took any concrete decision.
After doing a detailed SWOT analysis, taking his near and dear ones into confidence, he agreed to purchase the stake in the restaurant. A calculated risk had been taken by him. Getting a ready-made and running restaurant that too in a foreign land bereft of much competition made him take the plunge. The only rock that needed to be taken care of was money, as his inner voice had said. The valuation came to a huge sum which required at least fifty percent funding from other sources. The rest can be met off with personal savings, said his SWOT analysis.
He paid the first tranche of payment from his own savings, PF and Gratuity. Yes, from all those resources which are the sources of money when one retires. A risk taken to fulfill now what had become his dream. A dream to own a restaurant and see it grow in size, just like a baby.
The path ahead was full of challenges but it was surely the dawn of new beginning for him.
With no income and rising expenses he kept on relying upon his sons to run the house which they did promptly and happily. So his one major worry had been taken care of. Now only thing left is to search for the funding options for the remaining stake and to fulfill the balance and final tranche of payment for the entire acquisition of the stake.
From phone calls to friends, to meeting them, to meeting various investors, to applying for a loan, he tried everything. But nothing worked. Frustration grew upon him. He could have easily asked for a reduced stake equivalent to the payment done but he didn’t. For him that was the last resort.
“When money poses a problem, time comes to rescue”. With this he bought some time from the owner for the balance payment.
In the mean time he took active interest in the operations of the restaurant. Be it administrative or marketing, he was completely involved. From the menu for the day to the price of the dish everything was on his fingertips. This enthusiasm and active involvement led him to meet many people from various fields for marketing related purposes. Slowly and steadily, watching and judging by the progress of the restaurant many small investors and interested parties came forward. But he kept them waiting.
It is said that fortune favors the brave. And how true that is.
A land deal that he had entered many years ago had materialized and the plot of land had been sold entitling him to huge commission. Thus enabling him to fulfill the balance trance of payment and acquiring the desired stake in the restaurant.
Today he is the owner of the restaurant and has seen the valuations soar and profits multiply keeping all the strategic investors at bay.
‘Dreams come true only when you act accordingly to turn them into realities.’