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.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Excellent article! However, what is not mentioned is that younger Parsees are also facing very stiff competition from nonParsees, and this is also deterring many from starting their own businesses.

    Gone are the days when the “local” population was relatively poor, uneducated, and undisciplined. And gone are the days of us getting help from our British masters/benefactors (as a way for them to subdue the “locals”).

    Now, higher education is not uncommon and competition is fierce. When our younger people manage to get into large firms, they naturally want to cling to their jobs and sense of security.

    So I think those days of entrepreneurial spirit are all-but gone, deekras.

  • rustom jamasji

    Good on you WZCC.
    In days of racial reservations especialy in India…your good deeds will aid the younger zoroastrians…Having recieved help n paid back from one such Instituion years back put me on my feet and also gave me a sense of pride and responsibility towards my clan

  • Delnavaz

    Hi

    It is a good initiative. Hope many avail of this opportunity.