INDIA: An engineer turned social scientist, Sonu Sharma aka Shona didi from India, is the president/director of Koshish Ek Ashaa Foundation.
Koshish Ek Ashaa is a nonprofit organization working consistently on programs in the fields of healthcare, education, empowerment, support, and financial aid for the most vulnerable populations in India. “Combining volunteer missions with ongoing in-country projects, we’re able to bring short and long-term support to our partner communities. Together, we are focused on building healthier and sustainable communities by empowering people,” says Sonu.
Born in India, Shona had a keen interest in public service since childhood. Her father was a military man and a social worker, she closely understood the problems faced by the underprivileged and felt the need to serve them. Her mother who has been working for years for the society wanted to start an organization to assist and support women who are financially weak. She helped them in making a livelihood through stitching.
Inspiration is contagious
For Shona entrepreneurship is a chance to create a difference in one’s life and make them smile, which serves as her greatest source of inspiration.
“An inspirational person spreads inspiration everywhere. When you have inspirational people in your organization, it affects others positively. It’s human nature to expect more. Therefore, rewards encourage us to work harder. For instance, if you’re done with a smaller task treat yourself with a chocolate after lunch. Cheer up people around you, small compliments have a way of brightening any day, regardless of the dark shadows that may be overhead. Don’t believe me? Find someone in your office wearing a frown, tell them how stunning they look today, and watch a bright smile take over their face. If your compliment doesn’t make their day, I’ll buy you a beer,” the motivational speaker believes.
Handling global issues with the help of entrepreneurship
“Koshish has always appreciated the work of every individual and needs more people to understand the value of self-independence. Through the work, at Koshish we try to support women to work and change their lives. The rhetoric of ‘Make in India’ could be turned into reality, if only we could begin manufacturing for world markets as large international firms, coining the phrase, Vocal for Local, so it will fulfill the need for sustainable livelihood for all.”
“New technologies, strengthening customer demands, societal shifts, and the COVID-19 pandemic are transforming the business landscape. These factors have paved the way for location-independent companies, niche markets, disruptive industries, as well as closely knit global teams. People at a very young age are being encouraged to become entrepreneurs when they grow up. This idea takes deep roots in many of the young people’s minds. Entrepreneurship for many is all about freedom. It is your dream. Young people don’t seem to lack reasons to become entrepreneurs. So, let’s just expect to see younger successful business owners in the future,” says Shona about entrepreneurship in the coming years.
‘Work for those smiles’
“Throughout history, people have detested working for others but they continued to do so as there was no other choice. But many found entrepreneurship to be the answer to this problem. The idea that entrepreneurs are answerable to no one, though not entirely true, is a temptation too great to ignore. It is not as though there are absolutely no good jobs in the market today, But many are no longer attracted to the idea of working for someone else. Work for the smile that gives you the kick every day. Gaaliyon ki awaz Taaliyon me badal jaayegi (the noise of the streets will resonate with applauses.)”
“Every woman’s story is equally inspiring and influential. Keep going, the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. But I have never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something while sitting down.”