Saturday, July 14, 2007
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
Small Business Ideas are booming in India. I had the opportunity of spending the first of a few days of this trip in exploring some small business opportunities. The day started with meeting up with my friend James D'Costa who is someone who is living with HIV in India. James has been very active in awareness and education and has grown significantly in the Lord in the last couple years. He volunteers with JSK (Jeevan Sahara Kendra) once a week and also with his Church. I have had the privilege of being in James life since our Positive Retreat almost a year and a half ago.
I am looking into opening an Internet Cafe to generate income for ministry in the country in addition to employing some who are HIV positive. In addition to providing a service to those in the community, it will be a place where we can break down stigma and provide opportunities for those who might not get the chance. Internet Cafe's are popping up all over the place. When looking at some potential office space for rent, James was invaluable in translation and also in discerning when prices were increasing because I am from the West!
WE JUMPED INTO AN AUTO RICSHAW -- which is a very fun little motorcar that scoots along quite nicely. The only thing is I will probably need a week with a Chiropractor because I cannot sit up straight in any of them -- so my neck is always bent. We went to a couple of different locations and the first place we looked at was all sold out. It was a new retail development along with condominiums. In a place nearby I had looked at a year and a half ago -- the prices have increased by 50% in 18 months. I am told the real estate market in the Mumbai/Thane Area is some of the most expensive real estate in India and for Mumbai -- in the world.
The Second place we looked at when the guy heard what I wanted to do along with my suggestions about outside space near the door -- using it as a cafe -- he all of a sudden made a call and then told me he had told me the wrong price. The new price was TRIPLE. We left thereafter!
I find it a very interesting way to be exposed to a different part of the population while looking into business opportunities. You pass through so many areas of great poverty and yet there is a thriving economy here. I will be grateful to the Lord to continue to guide through all of these circumstance and if it is His will for this to work then so be it!
I also had a chance to pick up a few items for the house I am working on in Connecticut and have them shipped back -- it was a productive day. Tomorrow I will meet with an IT gentleman and then prepare for Sunday where I will be bringing the message.