deAsra Helps 25,000+ Entrepreneurs in Their Journey
PUNE: deAsra, a not-for-profit organisation founded and funded by Dr. Anand Deshpande, Chairman and MD of Persistent Systems, recently celebrated the milestone of supporting and guiding 25,000+ aspiring & existing small business entrepreneurs, a goal that was set to be achieved by 2020. Dr. Deshpande said, "When we started, we set up 25,000 beneficiaries by 2020 as the goal, and at that time many did not believe that this was possible. We have not only achieved the goal but have achieved it in less than the 5 years we had set up for this. While we have achieved our first milestone well in time, our mission continues. We have many more businesses to support and much work to do!"
deAsra was established in the year 2015 with the aim to support entrepreneurs to start, manage and grow their business, by providing them knowledge resources such as checklists and tools, combined with the services required while starting and expanding a business. In addition to this, deAsra also provides call based support, where deAsra's business facilitators (Udyog Mitra) assist entrepreneurs over a call.
Need for a platform like deAsra
The inspiration to create and help entrepreneurs came from the alarming rate of unemployment. The Corporate Governance and Finance Lead at deAsra, Abhishek Kulkarni, pointed out that the rate of unemployment within the country is broadly between 3 to 7 percent and the solution to this problem is to turn job seekers into job creators via an ecosystem that nourishes and fosters entrepreneurship. deAsra believes that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the industry and should be nurtured to further tackle unemployment.
Interestingly, the majority of the individuals of the 25,000 who have benefitted from deAsra's support are graduates in the age bracket of 22 to 40 years, thus proving that deAsra is on the right track to help young adults as they aspire to change the economic landscape by turning into job creators at the start of their careers itself.
Often such ambitious entrepreneurs are clueless about the legal compliances necessary for their business. Small and medium enterprises need to mandatorily obtain certain licences and registrations such as Udyog Aadhaar, PAN card, Shop Act licence, factory licences, food licences depending on the nature of the business. These licences apart from making the business compliant, help in the merger and amalgamation of the business and are a necessary step while looking to expand the business. The assistance and knowledge about these licences is another service provided by deAsra to budding enterprises.
Advice for future entrepreneurs
The milestone of helping 25,000 entrepreneurs included help businesses grow from various sectors - beauty salons and fashion businesses to food enterprises and transportation businesses, and many more, displaying the diverse sectors that benefited from the platform. Going ahead, the common advice that deAsra's business consultant and senior mentor would like to give to business owners is to know one's products really well, know the customers better than the competitors and lastly, have a burning desire and passion to succeed. Once these objectives are in place, all other hurdles are taken care of by deAsra's support.
It is noteworthy that this journey of delivering value to 25,000 entrepreneurs has significantly been via online resources and services including checklists for various aspects of operating a business, including loan application checklist, business plan checklist, cash flow management checklist, etc, validating that a digital platform like deAsra can help scale entrepreneurship rapidly. Pradnya Godbole, CEO of deAsra, reveals that the future plan includes getting more knowledge resources, tools, templates, and trackers online, in order to strengthen the platform and enable access to it for aspiring and existing small business entrepreneurs PAN India.