E Week Yatra Stories
'I will invest my entire retirement money in my son's venture'
National Institute of Engineering, Mysore
Feb 11, 5 pm
I spent some time today in Canara Bank speaking to P R Venkatesh, father of twins Ajay and Vijay, who are both NEN E Leaders in the NIE E Cell.
Mr Venkatesh had participated in ‘Big Fight’, an open house talk show between entrepreneurs and parents, organized by the NIE E Cell on the opening day of E Week. It was a hugely successful event, with over 500 students attending this face-off between 20 entrepreneurs, 20 parents and 40 aspiring E Cell members on the subject of Entrepreneurship.
I asked him how his experience was, and frankly, I didn’t need to ask him any further questions. “I never imagined my sons were so passionate about entrepreneurship. I am a bank manager for 37 years, but my sons know as much as me about establishing and running a business. Ajay coordinated the event and he did it so well. I felt very proud being there,” he beamed.
He also let me in on a secret. “There was a small domestic squabble the night before Big Fight. Ajit asked me if I would invest my retirement benefits into his venture if he started right after graduation. I negotiated. I told him to gather a few years of experience. I told him I will give him 50 percent of my money. But after watching him at the event, I have decided to give my entire retirement fund to him. I know he will become an intelligent, ethical entrepreneur one day,” he says.
For Ajay, entrepreneurship is a way to make one’s parents’ dream come true. “My parents wanted me to become a doctor and open a charitable hospital for the poor. But I disliked biology and chose to study engineering instead. Entrepreneurship is a way of improving the society – I want my venture to generate employment and provide livelihoods,” he shared.