Lighting up Lives
A first-generation entrepreneur, Rustam had worked extensively in the industry before he had his first brush with entrepreneurship. He completed his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from USA and worked with Deloitte Consulting before pursuing an MBA from INSEAD in France. During this time, he was exposed to the idea of building social ventures as part of a course. There he learnt about the dire need to develop business models around products and services present in cities but unavailable in villages.
After considerable deliberation, Rustam found electricity to be that critical link which could bridge the urban-rural divide. He was convinced that by electrifying villages he would be able to create a level playing field in terms of making opportunities accessible to rural masses. On the basis of this discovery he started Boond Engineering in 2010.
Life as an entrepreneur and that too in the social sector is far different from a typical corporate job. This journey for him has been one of immense self discovery. He has become more patient and feels that his odyssey on the whole has been a humbling one. It has also helped him broaden his perspective. Memories of the sheer joy and excitement the villagers displayed, when they saw a lit bulb for the first time, remain with him till date.
“Keep your head down, keep working, and things will work out. If they don’t, they will teach you a good lesson.”
The process of achieving this success wasn’t easy, to say the least. Whether it was running out of money, or overcoming hurdles at the grassroot level, Rustam has surmounted them by sheer willpower. His interpersonal skills, whether used to build business relations or to form a team, have come in very handy and have contributed immensely to making Boond Engineering what it is today. In the last seven years, Boond Engineering has impacted lives of over 100,000 people and has electrified over 25,000 households across the country.
Supporting his spouse to pursue her higher education, Rustam has now taken a backseat and is not a part of the day-to-day operations at Boond. He now shares his learnings as an adviser and consultant to various organisations spread across the world who are working in the same domain.
He has hard-coded innovation and operational excellence in Boond’s DNA. According to him, these are imperative for any organisation aspiring to impact lives. After all, creating impact is difficult. But when have difficulties ever deterred Rustam Sengupta?