Soichiro Honda, a man who came from abject poverty and no financial support, proved to the rest of the world that it truly takes a dream to realise your passion. Without the means and through sheer hard work, Soichiro built his dream company from scratch and with a focus on the future. From building a cycle in a garage, to creating one of the largest automobile stores in the world, Soichiro Honda’s story is one of inspiration, dreams and success stories!
Belonging to a very small village in Japan called Komya, Soichiro had a very difficult childhood. The twentieth century had just started and the first car the world was exposed to was the Ford cars. In fact, even Soichiro’s love for cars first started when he saw a majestic Ford car on the tiny streets of his hometown. A young Soichiro had difficulty understanding how such a powerful car could drive down the road without anything propelling it forward. So fascinated was he by the car’s super powers, he chased it down to the end of the road to take a closer look at what would be his inspiration for the first ever Honda car.
At the age of 15 (in 1922,) Soichiro’s love for automobiles grew so much, he left home to apprentice at Art Shokai, an automobile repair shop in Tokyo. Dedicated and filled with a passion like never before, the 15 year old Soichiro put his heart and soul into learning everything about the world of cars. At Art Shokai, the young man learnt everything he could. From gaining technical experience about the product, to gaining an in depth experience about the inner workings of a car, this apprenticeship gave Soichiro the wings he needed to fly.
It took Soichiro six years to finish his training and by the year 1928, the young Honda had so much knowledge, he could put even the most trained engineers to shame! Opening a new branch of Art Shoika, Soichiro started working on building everything from two wheelers to trucks. Unfortunately, Soichiro’s investors were not as impressed with the young entrepreneur’s growth chart and refused to back him up when the business started booming. The time had now come for Soichiro to think of a new place to let his expertise and experience shine.
The birth of the Honda company
Undeterred, Soichiro started a brand new company called Tokai Seiki Heavy Industry in the year 1936. Despite being told by the lenders that they wouldn’t back him, the young Honda still worked at the Art Shoika Company. The initial days of Tokai Seiki were quite hectic. After putting a full day’s work in Art Shokai, Soichiro would work at making piston rings at night. However, like any other major venture, the first order taken by Soichiro was rejected almost immediately, pushing him back to the beginning of it all.
Since the very first days of the Honda company, everything Soichiro did was during the most arduous conditions. During the Second World War, when the Ministry of Munitions took control of Tokai Seiki, Soichiro pushed forward instead of buckling down under the pressure. Developing a technique for mass producing wooden airplanes, Soichiro reinvented the way Japanese aircrafts flew and functioned. This new invention was the first step toward the creation of what Honda is today and after the War, Soichiro opened the Honda Technical Research Institute. Realising the scarcity of gas at the time, the Honda Technical Research Institute built the first ever gas propelled cycle.
By the year 1949, Honda Motor Company Limited was established as the biggest bicycle creator and was starting to break new ground in this area. The first ever mass produced motorised bike, the Dream D (painted in maroon) was an instant hit the moment it hit the streets and this paved the way for the creation of the Honda C 100! So famous was the Honda C 100, it became the most popular motorcycle ever made by Honda in the beginning years! From then, there was absolutely no stopping Honda and with every new motorcycle made, the Company started growing with increasing speed and precision.
Over the years, Honda mastered the art of making motorcycles and by 1963, the Company was all set to expand into the world of cars. The first fleet of cars introduced by Honda were very similar to the bikes made during Second World War, with strong influences drawn from Honda’s initial days. By 1973, Honda’s expertise grew so quickly, it started expanding and was all set to sell cars to the United States. The first ever car it sold in the United States was the Honda Civic and since then, there was absolutely no turning back for this superstar! In fact, the Honda Civic was such a hit, it won awards for being the best car during the year it released.
The following years saw Honda grow to not just be an automobile industry but also a beacon of change for the way people all over the world rode their bikes and cars. It was through sheer hard work, determination and understanding of how the automobile industry worked, Soichiro Honda was a man who realised his dream and made it come true despite all adversities.
An inspirational success and a story which needed to be told, Honda’s journey is a true guidance of hope and light. If you think you have an equally inspiring story to share about Soichiro Honda, comment and let us know!
5 Books For Every Entrepreneur In 2020
It is easy to talk about entrepreneurs and look at them with envy for pursuing their passion but what no one knows is the amount of sweat, blood and tears which go into making an entrepreneurial dream come true. Entrepreneurs are expected to be highly competitive in the cutthroat market and at the same time continually strive to set an example for others to follow. The sad truth however is that not all entrepreneurs succeed in their mission because some may give up midway through their entrepreneurial journey, or some might run out of cash while some are just not able to scale up their business.
Many successful entrepreneurs have documented their journey and their thoughts in autobiographies or novels for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking inspiration. These books would manage to scale up your game, improve your business strategy, potential to connect with new people and most importantly would give you courage to persist on your journey.
Here are five books in 2020 which every entrepreneur should read
1) The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss
Published in 2011, this book is still relevant even in 2020 as Eric Reiss outlines a guide to help entrepreneurs to develop methods to manage their startups/businesses. Entrepreneurs can set their strategies according to their needs and runway cash to optimise their business opportunities. The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs, in companies of all sizes, a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it is too late.
2) Zero To One: Notes On Startups Or How To Build The Future by Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is the co founder of PayPal and an entrepreneur as well as a venture capitalist. Zero To One tries to teach entrepreneurs about how Peter Thiel thinks , his approach towards business and how one can shape the future of their startup. WhilePeter Thiel was teaching a class at Stanford University, a student named Blake Masters took notes which led to the book Zero To One released by both Thiel and Masters.
3) The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank
This book is touted to be the perfect guide for any entrepreneur to scale their business. This book has detailed step by step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The Startup Owner’s Manual is so popular that it is taught in university courses at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and many other universities. The Startup Owner’s Manual follows the theory of customer development, agile, and lean engineering.
4) The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
Although first published in 1968, this book is still a bestseller and widely read by entrepreneurs. The book aims to serve as a guide to philosophy of salesmanship, and success through the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves a life of abundance. The Greatest Salesman In The World is written in the form of ten scrolls.
5) Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
This book is a collection of some really unique interviews done by Jessica Livingston with some of the greatest startup founders in Silicon Valley like Apple, PayPal, TiVo, Yahoo, and TripAdvisor. This book aims to offer wisdom and insights straight from the mouths of some of the most influential entrepreneurs.
Let us know if there are any other books which deserve to be read in 2020.
The Rise Of Gig Economy In India
India is notorious for churning out graduates from colleges at a very high rate and the education system in India is always under fire for not focusing on all round development but on marks and grades, instead. This is a growing concern as there are not enough jobs available to accommodate all the graduates passing out from college. However, the Indian millennial is a smart individual and when put under pressure, a millennial is capable of coming out of it better. So, what did the Indian millennial do when there were less opportunities and did not want to be part of the rat race? They turned to taking up gigs and that spawned an entire economy and industries to flourish.
Gig economy can be defined as a work engagement where on one side, there is a service seeker that is a consumer with a demand for a specific task, and on the other side, there is a service provider that is. a gig worker who can perform that specific task. The gig economy was able to flourish solely because of the advent of digital platforms which were able to connect a service seeker with a provider. More and more Indians are looking to escape from the monotony of a 9 to 5 desk job and instead take up freelance gigs which complement their skills.
In order to put the gig economy into simpler terms, here are some examples. An individual who likes to drive cars would consider working with Uber as a driver partner to earn some extra bucks. An individual who is good at playing the guitar would consider performing in live shows with a band to earn extra money. A person who is good at painting would consider selling their art for extra money. The gig ecosystem offers the millennial an outlet to escape monotony and pursue their passion instead.
The gig economy could only thrive when there are digital platforms which are able to connect the supply with the demand. The digital gig economy generated a gross volume of approximately $ 204 billion from worldwide customers in 2018. India has emerged as the 5th largest country for flexible staffing after the United States of America, China, Brazil and Japan. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana have the most opportunities in terms of growth for the flexible workers.
Gig economy allows task ownership, convenience and flexibility. Based on tastes and preferences, an individual can determine the number and type of projects they can work on, the quantum of their earnings, and thus, their work-life balance. For example, an individual who took on five gigs in one month could take only three gigs the next month to balance life at their regular job.
The gig economy has a disruptive model to connect sellers and buyers for almost all kinds of skills and services. While the size of the gig economy may seem marginal when compared to the traditional economy, it is recognized for its enormous potential with the desire of workers, specially millennials to have a flexible work schedule and the rise in the on demand consumer services. Of In India, almost 70% corporates have already used gig workers for at least one task in 2018.
In India, a platform called Lemonop, is setting an example in the gig economy by providing a platform for students and working professionals to look for gigs of their liking. There are plenty of other platforms like Lemonop which are slowly bridging the gap between talent and job demand.
Mukesh Ambani Enters Top Ten Billionaires List
Mukesh Ambani is the head of India’s biggest Petrochemical and Telecommunications giant Reliance Industries Limited. Mukesh Ambani also achieved a new milestone in his splendid career as he broke out into the World’s Top Ten Richest Billionaires list for the first time in his career.
Mukesh Ambani entered the high profile and exclusive club of billionaires as his net worth jumped to $ 64.5 billion which catapulted him to the exclusive list of the richest billionaires in the world. Mukesh Ambani is now the ninth richest billionaire in the world as he beats Google co founder Larry Page. Mukesh Ambani also holds the distinction of the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive list of World’s Top Ten Billionaires.
Mukesh Ambani is riding on the back of a series of investments into the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd., which Reliance claimed made the company net debt free and also proved the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the fortunes of Reliance Industries.
While a crash in oil prices caused uncertainty in a stake sale of Reliance’s oil and chemicals division, in just two months Jio managed to attract some $ 15 billion which is more than half the investment into telecom companies worldwide this year. A report by popular equity and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein predicted Jio is likely to capture 48% of India’s mobile subscriber market share by 2025.
Mukesh Ambani has an unmatched drive to become the biggest and the best industry leader in India as well as the world. In India, Reliance officially became the biggest petrochemical company last year, when it surpassed government owned Indian Oil Corporation to become the country’s largest company by revenue. Mukesh Ambani said “No power on Earth can stop India from rising higher (sic.)” during Reliance Industries latest Annual General Meeting (AGM.)
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