Days after the suicide of NRI businessman Sajan Parayil, who was reportedly refused a license to open his auditorium in Kannurâ€™s Bakkalam, entrepreneurs from the district have formed a helpdesk to deal with issues faced by them. The help desk is formed under the patronage of Positive Commune, a community of entrepreneurs in Kannur. The idea emerged following a brainstorming session held among members of the commune. The commune is preparing a long-term plan for the functioning of the desk, with the aim to help the entrepreneurs overcome the worst situations in the entrepreneurial life.
Smitha Suresh, a mentor and member of the helpdesk told TNM that the desk is the need of the hour because entrepreneurs are facing lots of issues because of lack of awareness and mentorship. â€śEntrepreneurs are left to themselves in the event of a crisis. There is nobody to help them. Those who have survival instinct will escape from the situation,â€ť Smitha said.
She also pointed out that entrepreneurs very often do not share their problems with others. Pointing to Sajanâ€™s suicide, Smitha said, â€śIn the case of Sajan, he was a friend of several entrepreneurs in the district. But he did not share the bone of contention with the Anthoor Municipality. At that time, he talked about other things even two days ago before his death,â€ť said Smitha. She pointed out the importance of speak up. The desk will act as safety valve in such cases, she said.
The desk includes experts from various sectors and they will give direction, advice and mentorship to the entrepreneurs, with regard to issues such as red tape and finance. There are presently five members in the helpdesk, and five more will join soon. The desk will also help entrepreneurs with legal issues.
Smitha pointed out that several entrepreneurs begin their venture with passion but without the knowledge of rules and regulations, as a result falling into a trap. She also pointed out that several startup founders struggle with financial issues. â€śThey only recognize the importance of financial management in the organization at a later stage. When a private limited company has a cash flow, it should be done through a corporate account. But most people do not know about this. Also, they do not have a point person to discuss such issues and the point of contact is not easily available. In this case, a member of the desk will act as a resource person,â€ť she said.
The helpdesk also has a member with experience in psychology. This to counsel entrepreneurs who are dealing with depression, stress and other problems related to the business.
As of now, due to lack of availability of mentors, all entrepreneurs are not getting mentoring chances. The desk will act as platform to fill the gap.