Mumbai. Just a few days before Diwali, when the country was hoping to celebrate economic recovery, comes the shocking news of complete financial disaster of Vijay Girpade, a first generation entrepreneur, who lost everything as he tried to build a multimillion dollar enterprise. Vijay has finally given up on his entrepreneurial pursuits, sold off his office space and furniture, fired all his employees including himself, and now is seeking a government bailout.
“Look dude, I know all those government data and statistical figures suggest that the economy is rocking, but I’ve been putting up with this bullshit for just too long now and I can’t take it anymore. I am hardly receiving any orders for business and nobody is ready to invest in my business. My wife has gone to her parent’s house, my car has gone to my debtor’s garage, and yesterday my dog ran to my neighbor’s house to eat Dog Chow and even barked back at me when I tried to call him back. This is just too much and now I can’t take it anymore.” a seemingly exhausted and frustrated Vijay said.
Vijay had taken up the path of entrepreneurship post his MBA degree after he attended a rather vague and ambiguous lecture of a successful businessman who had come to his B-school SPJIMR for a guest lecture. Vijay couldn’t understand much of what was said but he fell in love with the word “entrepreneur” as it sounded too cool when compared with banker, salesman or consultant.
To make things worse, Vijay went on to win a first prize in a business plan competition organized at IIM Ahmedabad that made him a darling on the campus. Vijay started believing in his business plan, which was about selling personalized and custom-printed underwears through a bidding website, and decided to pursue the same business post his MBA. He even raised a loan of 12 lakh rupees to get the required capital to start the business, which was supposed to grow to become a 48.98 million USD business as per the discounted cash flow projections in the original Excel Sheet of his business plan.
“My father wanted me to take a job but I told him that I want to create jobs. I even hired three guys who had just finished their college. All my SP Jain batchmates, who took up jobs, used to ‘like’ my status updates on facebook whenever I used to tell them how my business was shaping up, and I felt I was doing really good even though it just meant changing the layout of the website. I even got married as I remembered that successful businessman had told that initially he had survived on his wife’s salary. But then Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and I started facing some serious problems in my business and my family.” Vijay recounted his experiments experiences.
Vijay went through some real hard times and gradually found that none of the actual figures related to his business were matching the figures in the Excel Sheet. He even upgraded to the latest version of MS Office as he suspected that there could be a bug, but there was no improvement in the figures. Vijay was devastated and finally decided to give up today morning.
Although he’s quite depressed and disillusioned, Vijay claims that now he’s got a sharp focus in his life and he’d do just about anything that pleases his parents, wife and his dog. Vijay is deeply pessimistic about any economic recovery happening in India or worldwide, and wants the government to help him out.
“I might have erred in my own projections but I also have been fooled by economic projections and false hopes given out by the people in power. They must recompense me and pull me out of this situation. I don’t want any more reassurances as I’m sure that the economy is going to be even more unpredictable in coming times. Come on man, they gave a Noble Prize in Economics to a woman, what more proof do you want?” Vijay said.