‘Society prospers when women become entrepreneurs’

Entrepreneur Arokiaswamy Velumani speaks during 'Knowledge Factory’ at St Agnes College in Mangaluru on Friday.

A 60-year-old farmer turned scientist turned entrepreneur Arokiaswamy Velumani believes there are many formulas for achieving success.

"There is nothing like a good decision or a good job," he said. “There is a decision, make it good,” he stressed while taking centre stage at the final session organised as part of the fourth edition of Knowledge Factory (#KF2020)--a daylong festival of knowledge, insights and trivia, organised by St Agnes College on Friday.

Velumani, tracing his journey from a small village in Coimbatore district, revealed how he became a scientist at BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) and how he and his late wife Sumathi Velumani quit their plum jobs to launch their own thyroid testing laboratory, Thyrocare, in 1996.

He recollected that at the time of the interview at BARC in 1982, he was not aware where the thyroid gland was. A decade later he had a doctorate in thyroid treatment.

“You will do well if you do work, which you have studied. If you do something which you have never studied, you will become a leader,” he said.

Velumani recollected that he had failed in interviews attended after graduation as he was always posed with the stupid question; “Do you have any prior experience?”

Today, his companies make it a point to appoint freshers. “The mean age of employees in my Rs 3,000 crore worth company is 26,” he declared with pride.

Sharing tips from his chequered career, Velumani advised students, in particular, to focus, learn, grow and enjoy. “Do not copy neighbours, plan to lose, learn story-telling and life has two innings,” he stressed.

Unlike conventional entrepreneurs, Velumani adopted an informal style relying on his personal life to ensure that his every word had a strong impact on the young minds. His punchline ‘Marks are Marks. And Marks are not Knowledge’, was greeted with thunderous applause.

He paid glowing tributes to his mother and wife, Sumathi who passed away in 2016. “If man becomes a success, his family prospers. But if a woman becomes successful, society will prosper,” he declared as loud cheers filled the hall.

Earlier, Nandini Srikar shared her thoughts on different music styles and making music. Later quiz master Gaurava Yadav conducted a history quiz.

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