“Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure and loss only act as a motivation.” This indeed holds true for Rajkumar Kamat. He is a first – time entrepreneur from an ordinary family background. While studying, he exhibited his leadership qualities through organising Club Level cricket matches and cultural events. He captained the Goa state under-18 and 19 years winning cricket team. The appetite for risk taking was very pronounced in him even when he was pursuing his Engineering degree. While he was studying, he constantly dreamt of setting up his own unit.
He is a Mechanical Engineer Graduated with a post-graduate Diploma in Business Management. He honed his Engineering & Management skills for a decade with ACGL- a bus body making unit under the state government. As Manager Operations he was coordinating efforts of 80 engineers and 400 workmen before the entrepreneurship bug caught on.
The assignment in ACGL gave him a good exposure for moulding his technical and managerial proficiencies. As Manager – Operations with about 80 engineers and 400 workers under his jurisdiction, he was directly reporting to the Managing Director and was enjoying a good take away salary.
On one of the official trips to Mumbai, he chanced upon an interaction with an “Aluminium Fabrication” unit. He was impressed with the huge market potential of the fabrication work. This green signalled the turning point of his life. He wanted start his own entrepreneurial cruise. But some inner urge was dissuading him from leaving, because of the freedom and respect he enjoyed at ACGL, the congenial working environment and the exposure to latest technologies and management concepts.
In order to accomplish his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, Rajkumar decided to cut short his assignment at ACGL. A start-up, EP Industries specialising in powder coating was set up in 1991. Meanwhile, he also secured a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. He also took up the authorised dealership for Jindal and Indal Aluminium products.
Rajkumar entered the business of ornamental gates and raillings under the trade name Omega Engineers in 1999. In 2003, he added OM Ventures for the manufacturing of FRP (fibre-reinforced polymer) doors and thereafter set-up Epee Metals Goa Pvt. Ltd., to market Fire Safety Products. Today all these are part of the vast EP Kamat Group with an employee strength of more than 80. From 2001 onwards, he has internationalised the footprints of his products.
Late Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam – the former President of India and rocket scientist, Narayana Murthy – the founder of Infosys and Mr. Graham Weihmiller, Chairman & CEO of Business Network International (BNI) are his role models. Their simplicity and social commitment is an inspiration for him.
According to Rajkumar, he could create 100+ employment opportunities only because he was able to come out of his comfort zone and plunge into a business with uncertainties. Initial years have been tough and challenging because he had to multi-task with the day to day administration, finance, purchases, marketing, production, etc. He encountered problems due to trade unions and delays in power connection. His strategy was to transform every problem into an opportunity and go forward.
According to Rajkumar, he could create 100+ employment opportunities only because he was able to come out of his comfort zone and plunge into a business with uncertainties. Initial years have been tough and challenging because he had to multi-task with the day to day administration, finance, purchases, marketing, production, etc. He encountered many a problems. His strategy was to transform every problem into an opportunity and go forward.
The positive attitude, stamina to keep on battling, human resource relations, craving for risk and the innovative manufacturing are listed as the main hallmarks of his success story. He maintains a high benchmark for his business integrity and ethics. Even in stiff competition, he is very much concerned about the well-being of his rivals. His employees have been a dividend and work with a feeling of ownership.
Recently EP Kamat Group introduced Bio Toilets with DRDO Technology. Human waste is converted into water and gas thereby contributing to Swatch & Healthy Bharat. Rajkumar has won many national awards including the ‘Best Success Story in Rural Industrialisation’ from KVIC, ‘Entrepreneurship Appreciation Award’ from Chamber of Small Industries Association, ‘MSME National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Entrepreneurship’, etc for his spectacular performances. The products of EP Kamat Group including Bio Toilets, FRP Doors & Fire Safety Products that contribute towards a Clean, Green & Safe Planet.
He was one of the 25 Entrepreneurs selected by CII for a workshop in Yokohama in Japan. He is deeply involved in the Social & Industrial field. As past President of Rotary Club of Bicholim, President of GSIA – Goa State Industries Associations, Council Member of CII, he has shouldered many assignments. Recently he was nominated by the Government on the highest decision making body “Investment Promotion Board”. He is the Founder President of FSAI –Fire & Security Association of India Goa chapter & Director on the Board of Goa Industrial Development Corporation.
He was responsible for bringing to Goa the Concept of Referral Marketing through BNI- Business Network International.
As Managing Trustee he has been instrumental in establishing GEMS- Goa Entrepreneurs Mentoring Services Trust. His long term Goals include facilitating generation of employment for more than 10,000 through startup& growth of entrepreneurship in Goa.
His mantra for the youth is to think big and to act extraordinarily. Dreaming alone amounts to nothing; it should be backed by concrete action. In the initial stages, constraints, hiccups and obstacles may raise their ugly heads; but the youth should be strong willed and have the audacity to face challenges rather than to give a walk over.
Failure should not be a stigma for the youth because innovation and risk-taking always carry with it some quantum of disappointments. The youth entering entrepreneurship should cultivate a habit of not giving up until some positive results emerge on their screen. Before starting a new venture, youth should undertake a detailed study to understand the probable ups and downs.
The youth should be able to choose between the luxury of paid job vs. the experience, flexibility and satisfaction of being your own boss. Due to the absence of appropriate mentoring, the present day youth guided by affluence gets caught up in the whirlpool of a salaried job. According to him, youth should do what they like and be passionate about what they do.
He is a vivid supporter of entrepreneurship and is in the forefront for encouraging youngsters to be introduced as entrepreneurs. Rajkumar along with other stakeholders has been instrumental in setting up Goa Entrepreneurship Mentoring Society (GEMS) for brewing the culture of entrepreneurship in Goa. According to him, opportunities are plenty and for tapping these benefits, GEMS proposes to flag off changes in the outlook of the youth and to make available the services of mentors experienced in their respective fields.
Through BNI he has helped nearly 500 business and professionals in Goa for generating new business amounting to more than Rs. 300 crores per annum and aims at helping more than 1000 Business persons and professionals generate new Business of 1000= crore and generate employment for 10,000.
Employment Creation Through Entrepreneurial growth is what he focuses on.
Recently, in April 2018, he was presented the “Business Enabler of the Year Award’ at the Business Goa Awards for Corporate Excellence. Adding another feather into his cap, he was yet again bestowed with an accolade at the BNI All India Leadership Conference 2018 in Recognition for his “Outstanding Contribution to the Growth of BNI India.”