There are challenges in starting a business – start it anyway!
Oswald Rasquinha was born and brought up in Mangalore with his younger brother and two sisters. He completed his Std. XIIth and came to Mumbai in 1980 and took up employment as a Trainee. However the company closed down within a year. He then joined Chougule’s as a Store Clerk and worked here for two years gaining a lot of exposure and experience. Thereafter, he got a good offer from Essar Shipping and joined them; working with them for a year.
He had always harbored a desire to have his own business. So, simultaneously he began his own business trading/selling transformers. In 1987 he started his own business in manufacturing with a small workshop in Bhandup. He is in the business of transformer lamination and supplies to various electricity boards. He does not have an academic background in engineering but has acquired practical knowledge and skills on the job.
There are lots of challenges in starting your own business he reminisces. On the other hand, without challenges we don’t really come out into our own!
His younger brother, Allwyn Rasquinha worked with him in his business; and later started out on his own. He is married and his wife works in the State Bank of India. His son is now studying MBA after completing his engineering. His daughter is studying in the First Year, Computer Engineering.
Big transformer manufacturers are his customers. When queried on how much he had grown he replies: earlier he did business in lacs; now it is in crores. Earlier, he had 3-4 small units. Now he has sold two of them and has continued with one small unit in Mumbai and bought a large unit at Rabale, Navi Mumbai. Competition is now his biggest problem. The issue boils down to price and getting orders. Quality and service alone gets you the orders, he asserts.
In the Gujarati community for instance, if one family member is in business; he gets all the other involved in the business. The core reason why Christians don’t get into business is we don’t like to take risk. A lot of patience is required to be in business. You have to be very hard working. Even now he willingly works 14-15 hours in his own business.
His twin suggestions for getting the Christian community into business are to conduct awareness seminars for youth and those in transition; and arrange for financial support for those seeking to get into business.
(This interview published in The Secular Citizen issue dated Jan 23, 2012)