An entrepreneur’s tribute to every employee out there

I am an entrepreneur – self-employed, without a boss, without restrictions – I am an employer.

I have always been an entrepreneur. Around three years ago, before I was involved with Amitoje India, I founded an e-commerce company called madeinhealth.com which did really well for a year and later got acquired by a larger company. Post the successful acquisition, I got a very decent work offer from another well known e-commerce company. Even though I did not know how long I would stick around I accepted the offer. To be honest I did that just to see what it felt like to be employed. And on the day that I quit my first job after 7 months, I had a major epiphany.

Earlier, I subscribed to the popular belief that it is much easier and secure to have a job than to run your own company. To go everyday and get your due salary, whether the company made profit or loss. But after this experience I found reality was much different. I realized how important my employees were and how they were responsible for the smooth motion of the company.  I experienced a part of what they experience everyday and found out it’s not as convenient as I earlier imagined it would be.

For a change, this time I’m not writing about printing, or signage or retail display or any of the services Amitoje India (my company) offers. I’m just writing to express the heartfelt respect and regard I have for anyone and everyone employed under someone else. I have genuine respect for people who work with all their heart and the greatest commitment to create value. These people have the courage to work with restricted freedom, to obey unreasonable orders  from people who’re often not as smart as them, much less experienced and further away from ground realities. A lot of times, they have to perform tasks just as rituals, knowing they are less efficient. Every single day they deal with bosses and managers and leaders filled with egos (unwarranted in many cases), bear their worst temperaments and act as per their whims and fancies.

A frame from movie Office Space

A frame from comedy movie Office Space (watch it if you haven’t)

Don’t get me wrong – there are good times in a job. Like the great feeling of exhilaration of seeing your ideas manifest by long-sustained effort. And of course, there is the monthly high you get when get the SMS from your bank with your salary credited. Surely there are bosses who are wiser, smarter and more experienced than you who will help you a great amount. There are managers who will mentor and teach you, but as you and I know, they are rare.

These people work who for someone, wake up with extreme discipline at early hours because they know they have to be in on a certain time. They take the bus, train, metro or drive through heavy traffic and still make sure works starts at on time. They put their heart, soul and long hours into their work considering it their duty sometimes even without the due credit – even though the greatest human desire is not money or fame but genuine appreciation. And after all of this, they stand strong in the face of office politics and backstabbing. I respect such people for having the strength.

I respect such people because they suffer all this and more in a job, and yet go back to the same place everyday. Just because quitting is not always an option. I’m writing for all those people to know that even though I belong to the “other side”, I respect them for all these reasons and for all the steady resilience they possess.

Everyday I meet new people who ask me why am I not doing a high-paying corporate job after getting the best technical education in the world (I graduated from IIT Delhi and did my masters at MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology). It’s true that running your own company has it’s ups and downs, and huge risks and major rewards and it’s a very intense roller-coaster ride. But I am convinced working for someone is equally hard, and takes courage and therefore I pay my tribute to anyone who experiences some or all of these things on a daily basis.

I request you to share this with your colleagues and friends who will be able to relate to this. And all said and done – for digital printing, retail branding and POP display, please give your business to only our company – because our employees are simply the best ;)