Bimal Agarwal, owner of Plywood Agencies has made his mark in his hometown Jamshedpur and now even on a national level. He started off as a working hand at his fathers’ small firm and then with his intellect, hard work, patience and determination to carve a niche for himself established one of the biggest plywood firms in Jamshedpur. In early life he used to walk back home covering a distance of three kilometers just to saving a penny, it was this phase that taught him the value of money. The fevicol arena that is quick adhesive zone is also a feather in his cap.
Apart from his efficiency in handling business, Mr. Agarwal is also a well renowned social activist. He was the founding President of the NGO Marwari Yuva Manch and then he became the Jharkhand state secretary and now he has been nominated for all India presidential elections and said to be one of the strongest contenders. He is also an executive member of the Chamber of Commerce and Business. As a member of the NGO, he has adopted a village providing them financial assistance for food and education. He also started a children development annual summer camp called “Innocent Smiles”. He has seeked Government permission and constructed water outlets at major water scarcity affected areas. Mr. Agarwal is a youth icon and a celebrated name in the business as well as social arena. The present youth, who know him, look up to him with a respect which he has garnered over a period of eighteen years.
I was extremely honored to have the opportunity of interviewing him. He was seated in his office while dealing with immense conviction, with customers.
Me: Good morning Sir.
Mr. Agarwal: Its’ such a pleasure to have you here.
Me: The pleasure’s all mine Sir.
Mr. Agarwal: You people have given me so much respect and all this interview makes me feel like ‘am nobody less than Shahrukh Khan.
Me: Sir, you are Shahrukh khan of your arena.
Me: Sir, how did you make it into the business sector? Generally youngsters today abhor hard
work. But you chose the most trudging of all, the mica and plywood sector.
Mr. Agarwal: When I was young my father sent us to a Hindi medium school that too with great difficulty. One day on my day back I was all ready to shout and scream as I did not like the way my friends spent Rs.5 every day and we got just Rs.1 including transportation. I strode into the shop to see my father moving an extremely heavy door frame. He must have been around fifty and seeing him sweating without a fan, something dawned on me. I forgot my anger and rushed to embrace him. I helped him and from that day onwards I am into this business making his dream bigger.
Me: That was very motivating. How did you make it into the social sector I mean from businessman to a social worker?
Mr. Agarwal: In eighteen years of setting up my business I got to learn so much. During this course only I was called for a workshop. The speaker opened to me a new sight. I had not thought that I would be here someday but I just began working for others’ benefit. I had read about MYM in the newspaper so I applied through an application. With the passage of time team work bore fruit and we could open a new wing of MYM called the steel city branch. Now we also have a ladies wing called the “Survi”.
Me: That’s quite an achievement. How did you make the difference? I mean many youngsters are coming up with business ideas but a few like you shine.
Mr. Agarwal: Everybody makes space for themselves if they have the conviction and patience. You should have the audacity to stand out and bear the consequence of your decision.
Me: Can you tell me any memorable incident?
Mr. Agarwal: Once I had to catch a train from Patna to my home town. But when I reached the station I was informed that my train was cancelled. There was another direct train only next morning. So instead of waiting for the next morning I boarded one that would arrive at a small station near my home town and from where I could catch another train to reach Jamshedpur. What I did not know was that the train I boarded did not stop at the station but just slowed down. Realising this I stood ready at the gate to jump off. The energy of those days, I jumped off and even hurt myself. To my dismay the train which I was to board had already left. It was a very small station with just one food stall which was in a terrible condition. But hungry as I was and bleeding too, I went a bought two chapattis which seemed undercooked. But I had no refugee. Next morning I had to board the train for which I had not waited and cause of which I had to suffer all night. This taught me two lessons. First, not to cringe about food and second, never take a decision in haste.
Me: Will always remember that Sir. Thank you for your time and sharing your experience.