Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Parsis call for revival of business skills

Concerned over the community losing its entrepreneurial knack over the years, a group of Parsis has decided to inject the much-needed impetus.

The World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce (WZCC), a forum for Zarathushti businessmen to meet and exchange ideas and concepts, and perhaps do business with each other, has announced a contest for Parsi-Zoroastrians to help them hone their entrepreneurial abilities.

"The community was known for its entrepreneurial nature. But over the years, Parsis have fallen back on this score, perhaps because of comfortable homes and good lifestyles provided by parents. Young Parsis are now content with high-salaried jobs at the entry level. Thanks to the community being better off, not many are ambitious and display lack of foresight for large businesses," said Sam Balsara, honorary secretary of the organisation.

The initiative will involve evaluation of the proposal and the candidate, funding assistance, and mentoring until the business is up and running. "Budding entrepreneurs will send us their business proposals, which will be evaluated by a group of eminent businessmen and investors. They will also judge the person’s entrepreneurial skills. Once he qualifies, besides helping him with the seed money, he will also be mentored by experts in honing his entrepreneurial skills," added Balsara.

There is no corpus set aside for the contest at present. "Once it gets underway, we will tap Parsis who can become ‘angel investors’. For bigger funding requirements, we will help the person frame the right proposals so that banks and other equity investors provide free funding," he said.

At present, the only other Parsi organisation trying to boost entrepreneurial drive is the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, which gives Parsis funds in the form of capital venture and equity for businesses.

The last day of entry is September 15, and there is no bar on the age and sex. Details are available on the website www.wzcc.net/bpc.

Original article here.