It is easy to get depressed today when we are deluged with bad news on a daily basis. Newspapers are full of crooked politicians, corrupt bureaucrats and slimy businessmen who have become rich quick by taking shortcuts and cheating millions. When you realize how we have shamelessly frittered away our demographic potential and natural resources in order to line the pockets of the rich and powerful, how can you not feel sad and guilty ? Indian children continue to die daily of hunger, while the rich build billion dollar palaces in the sky with impunity.
How can you not feel sorry - not only for yourself , but for your country and your countrymen ? We are all happy to trot out a long list of the reasons for this deplorable state of affairs - the politician-criminal nexus; crony capitalism ; and unethical professionals . While venting may make you feel good, it doesn't really change anything – and if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You start feeling morose and wonder what the future holds for your children. What are we bequeathing them ?
This is why it can be such a pleasant and refreshing change to talk to entrepreneurs ! Entrepreneurs have to be optimistic , because they are creating something for the future - something which doesn't exist today ! They don’t know how many hurdles they will have to cross in order to reach their goal – or even if they will ever get there – but they have the courage of their convictions that they're willing to try to achieve something productive and valuable. It can be extremely heartening to associate with entrepreneurs and listen to their dreams – it is such a refreshing change from the negativity which otherwise surrounds us ! My faith in humanity is restored again , which is why I am happy to be a member of the Mumbai Angels Network , which identifies entrepreneurs , and helps to fund them .
I am even more hopeful when I meet social entrepreneurs - clever people , who are willing to invest their time , energy and money in order to try to do good and achieve real progress. The apply their brains to create enterprises which have a positive social impact – organizations which are sustainable, and which will grow. This is why I am a member of Intellecap Impact Investment Network , which encourages social entrepreneurs and puts them in touch with investors , so that they can bring their ideas to fruition with the infusion of money and mentorship.
I enjoy participating - not only do I learn a lot of new things, some their optimism rubs off onto me, and life seems to be worth living , as there is something to look forward to. If , in the process of investing in them , I make some money as well , then this is going to be icing on the cake for me !