Entrepreneurship at an all-time high in isles

Banks disburse around 4.90 crores *90 embrace self-enterprise in 2018
Report by: 
ZEENATH BIBI
Port Blair
9 Jan 2019

With the country registering sharp rise in new businesses every year, entrepreneurial ambition among the unemployed in these islands too has witnessed a surge in the recent years. Availing benefits from a number of government schemes, the youth of these islands are today chartering unknown territories unabashedly and fearlessly - be it in the field of travel, tourism, retail, fashion etc to start their own enterprises. Staunch support from the Union Government, different agencies in the UT Administration and financial institutions has helped change the mindset of the youth in these islands that earlier sought after jobs in the government as they afforded stability and guaranteed income and considered starting a business as a venture reserved for the wealthy or the foolishly ambitious.
Along with the rest of the country, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands too is witnessing a major growth in entrepreneurship. As per data, atleast 90 unemployed youth of these islands took up self-employment ventures under different schemes of the government like PMEGP in 2018. Different banks operating in these islands disbursed financial assistance to the tune of around Rs 3.6 crore to at least beneficiaries in 2018 along to enable potential entrepreneurs take up careers in the tourism industry by purchasing tourist vehicles or motorised boats for tourism operations in different parts of these islands making it the most popular free-enterprise among youth here. At least 29 unemployed youth availed financial assistance from the government to procure public transport autos last year. Many other entrepreneurs opted for opening businesses like Beauty Parlours, Grocery Stores, Automobile Workshop, Photo and Video Studies, DTP Centres, Retail Sale and Service of Electronic Appliances, Printing Press, Internet Cafe, Lamination Centres, Restaurants, Tailoring Centres, Confectionary Stalls etc. In all, different banks functioning in these islands disbursed financial assistance to the tune of more than 4.90 crores to 90 potential entrepreneurs of these islands between January to December 2018.
“A national level survey conducted last year found that around 83 percent of workforce liked to be an entrepreneur higher than the global average. Schemes like PMEGP, Digital India, Make in India, Mudra Yojana etc are fostering new and ambitious Indians willing to become a part of the MSME ecosystem. Rapid evolution of technology has contributed to the rise in entrepreneurship in many ways. The astronomic rise of the internet, easy loan schemes has created several new markets which never existed before and has breathed new life into sectors like travel, hospitality, food etc. The idea that entrepreneurs are answerable to no one, not entirely true though, is a temptation too great to ignore. It's not as though there are absolutely no good jobs in the market today, it's just that people are no longer attracted to the idea of working for someone else. It’s good to find that people of these remote islands are slowly but gradually becoming part of the worldview of careers has evolved over the past few decades,” said an official of the District Industries Centre here, who didn’t wish to be named.
The District Industries Centre is the sponsoring and field agency; but does not sanctions or grants any loan or financial assistance to any individual or organisation. The Centre Organizes ‘Awareness-cum-Motivational Programme’ on Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and other Govt. Sponsored schemes of DIC at regular intervals in different parts of these islands to disseminate information to the participants about the PMEGP Schemes apart from other incentive oriented various schemes of the departments. Such camps are followed by first hand guidance to the entrepreneurs for completion of documentation and online procedure. They are also guided on the procedures of online filling of PMEGP application for submission of the same before the appropriate Task Force Committee for consideration.