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All about the drive

LAST PAGE Entrepreneurship is not new to any country.  A peek into the history books reveals the spirit of entrepreneurship, when  Chinese silk found its way to Rome.  Closer to home, who can miss the cherished beautiful Chinese porcelain cups that adorned  Bhutanese kitchens, brought in by  early entrepreneurs of our own?

Why then do we have the feeling that entrepreneurship, as the backbone of creative business sense and drive, is making its presence felt only recently?  Perhaps, part of the answer lies with two very important, but often overlooked, facts.

Firstly, the very efficient welfare mechanisms put in place by our gracious leaders, and the decades of public provisions and pampering have made most of us a little lazy and sluggish, waiting for the next handout and generocity of the state.  Embedded in most of us is the sense that everything comes easy.

Secondly, coming out of our isolation, and the opportunities that were possible, made some of our early entrepreneurial lot overnight millionaires.  This has also drilled in our Bhutanese psyche that doing business means their kind of success.  Staying in our venture and surviving out the storm is not preferred.  It is hardly about focussing on the core venture, but counting the returns first, and that should come fast, or it means nothing. “Let me try this out and see if I can make a million tomorrow,” is the logic.

This has to change, and it is changing now, but it will take some time.  The inherent need to do well in society, coupled with  newly acquired academic credentials in business, push some of us out of our comfortable dens.  Create our own niche and quench that innate thirst for thinking out of the box.  Some of our forefathers made the difference between gathering the next meal from the forest, and feeding the entire village with a little effort and ingenuity.

We need to get out of our remnants of lethargy set in by the generous and constant government charity.  There is no dearth of entrepreneurs in Bhutan.  It is just the mindset that has to change.  Entrepreneurship is all about the drive.  It is not always about pushing the grass to turn green today, but to plant the seed, nurture it, water it and let the sun grace it.  The greens will happen.

Karma Sonam Dorji is a Senior Analyst with Druk Holding and Investments

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