Story #6/13 – Entrepreneurs in Goa – A series by Puneet Srivastava.
Goa is not just any more sun, sand, beer, sea-food and bliss. In times the place has added several new shades to its terrain. Tattoos, Zen healing, fashion, real-estate, mining, fine-dining, casinos, art, lifestyle and many such blends have got added to the place. One flavour that now gets seen quite universally is Yoga.
Top-hotels, expensive resorts, private tutors and any other possible version, everything is available in Goa. There are large advertisements, big hoardings and attractive promos visible at several places.
Travelling north of Chapora river along the narrow coast-road and towards the beach called Ashwem, one gets welcomed by large boards that make you understand that Yoga and holistic-healing are certainly now a brand, business and industry in themselves.
However, if you wish to find YogaGypsys, then you better drive real carefully. I recommend this for a few reasons. Firstly, they don’t have any big boards or indicators along the road. Secondly, they don’t possess a towering structure that would come visible from a distance. And thirdly, the photo of the cashew tree at their entrance gate that I provide in my slide below wouldn’t be of much help either.
Once you find them, you realize that they haven’t been gifted with an ideal topography either. The plot of land, though next to the beach, is unexpectedly undulating and challenging to landscape for comfort of general tourists.
Once you have realized that you discover that it is these same challenges that they have utilized to create their own environ and carve their unique identity. Once that bit of discovery is done, one realizes that they are not people funded by investors; also not someone who has loads of money to burn. And then, having come this far, you are interfaced with the energy of the people who run the place, its overall ambiance and the pleasant breeze that flows from the sea.
They must be one-fourth the size of their neighbours and competition, yet they have been there for ten years now and even when the founder of the enterprise isn’t around, they not just remain booked throughout the season, but command a premium positioning as well.
What could have made that happen? I thought. What makes such entrepreneurs survive and create their distinctive place in the world?
Self-belief! If not that, then what else!
And well, if you don’t believe these words, then visit Catherine Richardson’s YogaGypsys at Ashwem and discover the answer for self. Adversities, limitations and tests, winning them out - that’s what is the name of the game and YogaGypsys serves as a live example of someone who seem to have done it successfully.
Puneet Srivastava has been author of 'Accidental Entrepreneur - towards self-employment', which was published by one of India's top publisher in 2003. 10 years later the book still continues to be on the shelf.
Puneet is also founder of 'Desire to fly...', a content, training and consultancy firm for entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprising individuals, founded in 2011 and located in Mumbai, INDIA. Website: www.desiretofly.in