THINK RICH TO GET RICH
(A Brief Life Story of Mr. Prakash Bara, Business Consultant)
By Mr. T. Jude Xalxo, for AYIMA
Comfort and convenience are the kisses of death. You have to become uncomfortable if you want to grow, if you want to do something different. If you keep doing what you have been doing, you keep getting what you have been getting before. These three sentences summarize the success story of Mr. Prakash Bara, a village cow boy, from Barapujashali (Nagasuba) village, Dimakuchi, Udalguri district of Assam. Now he is now a Business Consultant as well as a member of the Board of Directors in Magnessa a direct selling company in India. He is the first among Adivasis in Assam to become a business tycoon, to own a Marcedes Benz GLA200, travel across 20 countries of the world on business trips and many more. His journey from rags to riches has inspired many and changed their lives. Know his journey to make a similar journey in your own life.
Mr. Prakash was born of Late Mr. Ambrose Bara and Mrs. Magdalene Minj in the year 1976. He lived a very normal life like any village boy, going to village school, looking after cows, plying games with friends, etc. His late brother Mr. Andrias Bara put him in Don Bosco School Tangla, thinking that he will do well in studies. From here Rev. Fr. T.O. Jose sent him to Savio Juniorate in Shillong from where he completed his matriculation in the year 1991. The Rector of Savio Juniorate at the time was Fr. Joseph Aind SDB, who is a Bishop now. Mr. Bara was please to have a Rector from his own community. He then went to Tura in Meghalaya for pre-university course. From the year 1995 to 1997 he did his Philosophy as part of religious study. From the year 1998 to 2000 he did his graduation in Arts. In 2001 he came to Guwahati lived with his brother in-law, Mr. Isaac Hereh. Here he prepared for competitive exams, which he could not get through. At the same time he joined a direct selling company. In 2002 he started selling oranges for Mr. Bob for 3-4 months which has much to do with his success. Still confused he joined Don Bosco School, Lokhra in Guwahati as a teacher where he taught for a year. At this period of time he lived with his brother in-law Mr. Louis Aind an IPS Officer. Dissatisfied with this job, he joined an NGO named Guwahati Gana Seva Society in the year 2004 and continued for four years. In 2008 he started running a Hostel at Rangia, attached to Fatima Convent School. In 2011 he got job under NRHM as District Community Mobiliser (DCM). While working here, he purchased a School Bus. So by this time he had three businesses (direct selling business, a hostel and a bus) and a job in the Govt. sector. All these could not quench his thirst to become a wealthy man, so he joined Magnessa in the year 2014.
The Contributing Factors to his Success
Boarding life in Tangla, in Savio Juniorate and in the Seminary made him disciplined, provided opportunities to become group leader, gave him opportunity to act on the stage, etc. He gained lots of confidence despite the fact that once he failed in the 7th standard as well as got 3rd grade in the matriculation exam. Mr. Bara acknowledges the contribution of the Salesian Society of Don Bosco that taught him about life and taught him to be self disciplined. While in Guwahati, Mr. Louis Aind IPS officer exposed him to his friend Mr. Bob to sell oranges. This was life changing experience for Mr. Bara. Every morning (for 4months) he use bring 80K-100K money and gave to his boss Mr. Bob. This experience made him sad because the money was in his hand yet he was not the owner of the money. So he decided to become the malik himself. This experience also made him realize that only when you dirty your hands, only when you struggle, you can earn money. Big money does not come easily. During this period, Mr. Bara was inspired by one of his closest friends Mr. Polycarp Kandulna who often use to tell him “we have to succeed in whatever we are doing”. Mr. Bara use to listen to Mr. Jim Rohn, who says “profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living whereas profits make you a future”. This message changed his life. Without any hesitation he joined Magnessa. He attributes his success in Magnessa to the working principles of the company and the emphasis it provides in building the capacity of officials through various trainings and exposures. In addition, the company insists on reading books. As mentioned earlier, Mr. Bara was allergic to books, which now he has got rid of. He used his choice muscle and picked up a book titled “Read and Grow Rich”, by Burke Hedges. The book says, more than 70% of people don’t like to read books after their graduation. “He did the same”. He also read many other books mentioned below.
Big Bara Thinks & Does Big
Mr. Bara has worked in development sectors, both government and NGOs for several years. As usually done, he went around creating awareness program, provided training, took them for exposures, provided them some schemes, etc. He realized that such programs hardly produce any result. While in business he realized that one has to become an example, one has to become ‘the result’ to see results in other people’s life. You cannot teach development when you are going around with your torn shoes. People can easily relate between what you are teaching/preaching and what your real life is. Your external world is an expression of your internal world. This realization made Mr. Bara to make a gigantic shift in his mindset. He wrote down in his diary - “I am different from others”. He repeated this affirmative technique for days and years which now has become a reality that can be seen, touched and felt. He purchased three costly cars and the last one being Marcedes Benz. He made 20 numbers of foreign tours which completely changed his outlook towards life. By his example, he wanted to send a strong message to all Adivasis that our background is not the cause of poverty, that the social, political and economic deprivation is not the cause of poverty; rather our conscious mind is the unconscious cause of poverty. He says, do meditation and self introspection and listen to your subconscious mind to find your real self.
Questions by the Participants and Response by Mr. Prakash Bara
1. What challenges you faced during your School days?
Though coming from economically backward community, I didn't have much of financial constraints. I had little or no interest in studies but in games, basically a playful child who skipped classes several times, waited for bell to ring to end the class, etc. My main challenge was mental blockade. What I knew and considered myself was that I am an Adivasi; I am from rural background as such naturally I am good at nothing, more so not good in studies. Although I used to work hard (study my subjects) nothing was going into my mind or not remain in my mind; I used to study/read books several hours, (out of fear or compulsion) but never succeeded. My mind was only on the playground; my biggest dream/desire was to play.
2. Your educational qualifications doesn’t relate to your job. What are you takes on this?
In my opinion education qualification need not necessarily relate to your career or even to your life. Education helps you to discover your real/inner self. Look at the celebrities, industrialists, corporate, reformists, etc. Look at Dhirubhai Ambani, a petrol pump worker who became the founder of Reliance India Ltd. Our life is not determined by our academic qualifications but by our mind. Our dreams (the products of our subconscious mind) are more important than academic qualifications. However, education is purposed to make us fit to the needs of the society at a given period of time. As such we need to be educated; go to school, colleges, and universities and develop your skills and knowledge. However, when you decide to start a career, you need to educate yourself on your personality and on the trade you are passionate about. Personality development leads to change of your thoughts which results in better life. It transforms you and makes you a brand of yourself. To develop your personality you have to read books (not the course curriculum alone) but those books that can transform your thoughts, words and actions; read books such as ‘Think and Grow Rich’, by Napoleon Hill, the ‘Magic of Thinking Big’, by David J Schwartz, etc. then only think of a business or think of doing what you want to do.
3. What educational qualification is required to become a business magnate?
There are business magnates like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. who were dropped out from college. These are exceptional cases, however, in real world, a business degree or any other college education is still unbeatable when it comes to developing a business mindset and realizing your purpose in life. All that you require is to attain the age of 18 and have the dream to achieve it. How do you know that you have a mind of a businessman? When you see successful people, when you see a beautiful house, a luxurious car and you start feeling jealous of them, when you have a craving mind for those things, know that you already have the mentality of a business man.
4. Share your views on the impact of social environment towards becoming an entrepreneur?
Families, friends and the society we live in/with, contribute much to what we want to do or achieve in life. This environment provides both positive as well as negative influences in your life. If this environment does not positively contribute towards your goal, you would need to change your environment; you would need to change your associations with people and organizations. Remember, no one is born an entrepreneur and that not everyone can become an entrepreneur. If you want to become rich, be with the rich. If you want to be poor be with the poor. Always make friends with people who are better than you, never ever associate with people of your own level or below. This will change your thoughts and actions and make you great like them.
Just to site a live example of Ms Dipika Minj, a young and dynamic girl from Badlapara tea estate, Tangla. She comes from a very poor background with minimal or no educational background. She had the opportunity to go for studies in Guwahati. While in Guwahati, she came in contact with people from various stratums. She saw big building, luxurious cars, rich as well as poor people. She went back to her village, decided to join direct selling industry as she was convinced that this business will fetch her more money and that she would be able to make a better life like the ones she saw in Guwahati. Today, she has purchased two Scotties, a four wheeler car and a plot of land in Tangla town, which cannot be imagined by many people from the same tea estate. She opted to live in an empowering environment and not in the tea garden.
If you have to become an entrepreneur, associate with entrepreneurs, make friends with them, learn their skills and follow their footsteps. Unfortunately, we (the average/poor Adivasis) are satisfied or very happy with whatever we have. This is the PROBLEM. Remember what John Stuart Mill said, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied”.
5. Today’s Youth (Adivasis) are more into politics and social activism. What is your take on this?
People generally love to go with the crowd because it is entertaining, emotionally empowering and for various other reasons. There are few people who sit and think for themselves, feel for themselves, few people who do self introspections and take action for their personal growth and prosperity. In my view, following crowed mentality does not make you a successful person. I am not against politicians or social activists. My take is self development first, equipping or qualifying first to achieve my goals. My take is to first become well equipped on the subject and become technically and financially independent. Once my foundation is built on the rock, I can become a very effective politician or a social activist. Action speaks louder than horns (mikes). Once I or we, are financially independent, we will not be sold off by people who are in power, position and wealth. At this stage of growth, our efforts and demands are genuine, at this stage we are no more double standard. At this stage we can openly and freely go and demand for justice, demand for ST, etc. and we will certainly achieve our demands because we have already experienced the same in our personal life.
6. How important is business in your life? Why business and not Jobs?
Survival of the fittest is the fact of life. We have to fit ourselves with the current socio-economic and political situation, forecast the future and be prepared for the worst, if you want to survive. Indeed this is where AYIMA is putting all efforts, to ensure the social upward mobility of Adivasis. Look, in the 18th century, Agriculture was booming, in 19th century it was the Industrial Revolution, 20th century was the age of Information and Technology and the current (21st) century, is the age of ideas and concepts. All achievers of these centuries, made themselves well equipped with to meet the demands of the time. I want to survive, I want to fly with the time, I want to be demanded by the crowed and not vice versa; and that is why business is important to me. I believe, it is only business that can fulfill these needs and wants of mine and not jobs. While jobs are needed and jobs are not bad; ironically jobs or rather the so called secured jobs also makes people sluggish, not use the full potential of their brain, leading to social and economic havocs in the society. Frankly speaking, it is the business community that is driving the world and not the job-holders.
Back to Adivasi community; we by culture and years of deprivations have been computerized to work under maliks/babus. We are slowly shifting ourselves from being an employee to an employer, though at a very low pace. In the state of Manipur, there is Ima (Mother) Market, the only one of its kind in the world, fully managed and run by Mothers/Women. In Assam, tribes such as Bodos, Garos, Rabhas, Mising, etc. are already into business, especially into petty businesses. Unfortunately we are very slow or not learning from them. How many of us have shops? How many of us are into small or big business? There is fear in us? There are social believes and taboo that selling vegetables, becoming a barber, a sweeper, etc. are menial job. I was selling oranges the so called job of the poor because I experienced that “kitchard mei paisa hai”, ‘there is money in garbage’. Job is just for a generation; business is for the generations to come. You choose what you want.
7. What made you to do business in Magnessa?
Choice muscle is stronger than muscle power. Suppose you have to go to Delhi from Guwahati. You have a choice to go by a truck, by bus, by train or by a flight. There are number of direct selling companies in India and in the world. I realized that some of these companies will take you to the destination/peak very late. This made me leave my previous company and join Magnessa. Today I am a Board Member of the company. Use your choice muscle to decide what business to do.
While working for National Rural Health Mission as DCM, I was looking for alternatives, I wanted financial independence, I wanted to tour the world and NRHM was not providing all these. At this time Mr. Robert Guria Basaumatari, a young and dynamic boy (now he earns more than me) told me that there is a possibility that you can earn 10lakhs per month. Well, my eyes became big and my brain stopped working. I couldn’t imagine what he told because I was earning just 25K to 30K from all sources. Initially I did not accept what he said. During our regular interactions he told me that it is possible for you to tour the world. He then introduced me to Mr. Sreejith Nair, the Director of Magnessa. The Director knew from Mr. Robert that I was already into direct selling business. Mr. Nair told me that he too was working for some other direct selling companies. The Director invited me to join Magnessa with an assurance that if I join, world tour is nearer that far. The same day I met him at Nandan Hotel, Guwahati where he explained me everything, which convinced me to join the company. Today, I am a proud member of Magnessa, I have largely fulfilled my dream of touring the world and I have attained financial independence to a large extend. I am middle-age person and have much bigger dreams to fulfill. I also have a dream to ensure that my footpaths being followed by number of youths, especially the Adivasi youths.
8. What is driving your life?
My slogan in life is “Think Rich to Get Rich”. What you think you get. If you think you will travel the world you will. Whatever you think it will happen because human mind is made like that. E.g. tomorrow you will have to travel at 5am; you will wake up on time without alarm, because your subconscious mind is already working towards that. This is the ingredient of our dreams. So if you think that you will become rich your subconscious mind will start working towards that. However, if you think negative about yourself - that you are Adivasi, backward class, family is financially poor, bagera...bagera..., then automatically you are blocking yourself, and you will never become rich. The mind works equally on both positive as well as negative thoughts. What you focus on - Expands. The choice is in your head.
9. Your last piece of advice
We all live just once so live it to the fullest. Give your 100% to whatever you do. My advice to all the youth or people present here is to “change your mental thinking process”. Change your thoughts and never sabotage yourself. If your thoughts changes, your life will be changed - Guaranteed!
A Journey from Rags to Riches