From Student to Mentor
The best reward that a mentor can get is a student who realizes his potential and works ardently towards it. The cherry on top would be if he’d turn into an incubator of that very potential in others thereby facilitating the future of that energy. The story of Abhilash stands testimony to this.
Abhilash is a freelance web and content developer. He hails from a humble rural background and had always dreamt of a career in the field he is working today. To realize these dreams he moved to Bengaluru, completed his masters and started working at a corporate firm.
What sets him apart from thousands of similar souls that ceremoniously wash into the Silicon Valley every year is his commitment towards learning. Through Sampathu, a community that works with young minds and facilitates self-learning initiatives, he got to know about the Udhyam Shiksha program.
In the summer of 2017, along with a bunch of enthusiasts who were also from a similar background, he attended the Shiksha program on the gardens of Lalbagh! The outdoor setting on the fresh grass below a roof of canopies, he learnt about change agency and the mindset necessary to develop one. The facilitators from Udhyam used to conduct group discussions, team building activities and introduce them to novel concepts that inspired him a lot. The Japanese concept of Ikigai, ‘a reason to get up in the morning’ was one of the many ideas that bore a permanent mark on him. Since his group was already involved in their personal career pursuits, he wasn’t part of the on ground entrepreneur project. However, he began to imbibe the principles he’d learn from the program in his career.
A striking message that he took home from the program was the approach towards population survey and the need for one, before beginning any new venture. He claims to have developed a consumer centric attitude in his business outlook through this. It has helped him progress to the current stage he is today.
Inspired by the work Udhyam was doing, he volunteered to help the team out with Udhyam Shiksha programs held in rural Karnataka as part of a logistics support. He also worked with the Udhyam Vyaapar team in Bengaluru. As a volunteer he recognized a stark difference in the mentality of the participants in these two projects. On one hand he saw young school students jut out of campus to market their produce against all odds and on the other hand were seasoned vendors, hesitant to make the smallest of changes to better their business. This not only enabled him to acquire a holistic experience in tackling a range of mindsets but also taught him how to fight the system that forces a person into an unenthusiastic and demotivated lifestyle.
The fear of change tightens its grip with time and the only way to beat it, according to Abhilash is through change. Recognition of small turning points, constant re-assessment of one’s work and updating skill sets on lines with current and relevant trends is his mantra for a better and brighter future. He believes there is a need to inculcate and encourage a mindset that accepts change in a healthy manner and thereby cultivate better opportunities for oneself and the community.