Essar companies often operate in areas where the communities are disadvantaged and distant from mainstream development process. These areas stand low on development indicators and lack basic infrastructure for essentials like healthcare, education or livelihoods. Essar Foundation undertakes a range of strategic interventions to raise development indicators in such areas with initiatives in health, education, livelihoods, entrepreneurship and women's empowerment.
Essar believes that by nurturing first generation entrepreneurs and providing them with sustainable opportunities, a positive and cascading impact on families and communities can be achieved. The Foundation believes in setting progressive benchmarks to help people harness their entrepreneurial abilities to the fullest.Growth in unison is an award-winning short film that captures the extraordinary journeys of transformation of four individuals and the role of Essar in fostering their spirit of entrepreneurship.
For Indra Mohan Tiwari, a manpower contractor to Essar in Gujarat, Essar's encouragement was most opportune. Tiwari's lone venture soon branched out into other entrepreneurial ventures such as zari making and real estate. Today, he is a successful first generation entrepreneur and runs multiple businesses with a turnover of more than $ 1 million. Tiwari says, "Essar officials have supported me a lot. The administration department helped me with government compliance issues and the safety department has supported my business tremendously by providing training and providing periodic health check-ups. "
Essar understands that first generation entrepreneurs have to compete against better resourced competitors and that failure can be fatal for such businesses. Nurturing first-time enterprises towards success is made possible by absorption of risk and ensuring sustained availability of opportunities. This is how Essar stands out in providing end-to-end support structure and backs the new enterprise through its journey of growth.
Similarly, Mahaveer Jain has benefited enormously from Essar's backing. Starting with a small convenience store in Hazira, Mahaveer has expanded his businesses to include five supermarkets, a construction company and real estate business with an annual turnover of $ 3 million. Mahaveer acknowledges Essar's support by saying, "When I started out, I didn't have much capital to invest. Essar gave us commercial space for free and a vehicle to transport goods."
Appa Darekar, a labor contractor with Essar in Maharashtra, started off with just four workers and has since expanded his business to transportation and farming. He now employs more than 200 people and feels responsible for their livelihoods. He says, "Essar helped me in expanding my business slowly but steadily. The joy of taking up a new job and the contentment of this day are just the same."
Ekta Patel, a single mother, is an outstanding example of a person rising above societal discrimination and pressures through sheer grit and determination. Ekta began as a novice and learnt tailoring at Essar-run Lok Vikas Kendra (vocational training institute) and now single-handedly runs a tailoring service and a small convenience store.
Essar believes that there is no greater way of sharing value than by fostering the same spirit of entrepreneurship that created and helped it grow. The approach has been to nurture the innate aptitude of individuals, to fuel their passion and to sustainably provide opportunities while continually absorbing the risks that come in their way.Over the last decade Essar has grown in unison with more than a thousand first generation entrepreneurs. Essar Foundation reaches out to over 500 villages across India providing healthcare, education and livelihoods, and impacting over half a million individuals annually.
Responsible businesses carry people along with them and help overall growth and Essar is built to lead when it comes to sharing successes and growing in unison with the people it associates with.
|Apa Darekar & Essar: Co-creating value|
|The story of Vinayak Stores|