At a time when scores have realised their worst pandemic fear on the job front and the country is in ‘technical recession’, a 22-year-old college-goer in Tripura has set an example by opening up livelihood opportunities. A second-year student pursuing Honours in English, Rohit Bhattacharjee has opened an LED bulb manufacturing factory that employs eight people.
The 22-year-old said the idea of opening a factory hit him after he ran into a problem with a dysfunctional LED bulb at his home in March. With the lockdown coming into effect, he struggled to get a replacement and started watching YouTube on fixing LED bulbs.
His watch preferences soon drifted to making LED bulbs and weeks later, he took some money from his family and set up a small LED bulb manufacturing unit at Algapur, a small village in North Tripura, 150 Km from the state capital.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Rohit said, “I want to illuminate every household of Tripura with affordable lighting solutions. I named my company RB Illuminations. I browsed YouTube to gain initial knowledge on making LED bulbs, invested around Rs 5 lakh to purchase equipment and machines and set up a unit at an ancestral plot of land at Algapur in Dharmanagar of North Tripura. The factory is running well.”
Months after he started his factory, Rohit said he picked up more knowledge through the internet and spoke with LED chip manufacturers in Delhi to know more about the technology of making these bulbs. Starting from manufacturing 50 bulbs a day, Rohit’s company is now making anywhere between 500 and 800 bulbs every day. His company has obtained a trade licence and other necessary clearances from the government on safety and regulations.
Rohit’s sale graph has rocketed and he now employs eight people, including a manager with 15 years of experience. Three of his employees lost their jobs in Bangalore during the pandemic.
“Hoping for a government job is fine. But I don’t think everyone should hanker after that. I firmly believe entrepreneurship should be explored as a career option as it has great potential for nation building,” Rohit said.
Lauding her son’s effort, Jayasree Goswami, a retired school teacher, said, “We watched him study hours on LED bulbs. We were not aware of his plan but are really happy that he was able to help people with jobs in his limited capacity amid the pandemic and joblessness.”
Rohit’s factory produces bulbs in four variants – 0.5 watt, 7 watt, 9 watt and 12 watt bulbs – and they are priced between Rs 40 and Rs115. He claimed his bulbs have more luminosity, are better in quality and carry a two-year warranty which is more than the other brands available in the market.
Based on how his business has gone till now, RB Illuminations has set sights on an annual turnover of Rs 2.5-3 lakh.
Asked if the government has pledged help to take his entrepreneurship forward, Rohit said he hasn’t sought or taken any loan or other benefits yet but feels that existing schemes to encourage self-employment such as Mudra Yojana and Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojana, among others, have good potential to fulfil start-up aspirations.
Praising the state government’s initiatives to boost self-employment and job creation, Bhattacharya said he hopes to join politics and dabble in social work later in life.
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