TP4U Editor Nov 02, 2018 912 Views 0 Comments
Bharat Raghavan is a Dallas resident who manufactures and makes Navratri “Golu” dolls, for the South Indian doll festival, and eco-friendly Ganesh idols, among other things. But that is not what makes him special. What sets him apart is that he entered this line of work only to benefit the poor community in India. He has an interesting backstory.
Making “Golu” dolls wasn’t always Bharat’s profession. He was an IT professional who had come to the States in search of a better standard of living. The 9-5 work life did bring him stability and comfort, but not inner satisfaction. He felt that something was missing. A desire for service was always deeply ingrained in him. Born into a family of priests, Bharat had seen his elders do “seva” all his life. His ailing grandfather still goes to the temple to serve others. Bharat decided that it was time that he also followed the path of service. He gave up his IT job and, with the full support of his wife, pursued his dream. He launched his company - “Amaasing Imports”, in 2013, which is now known as “Srishti”, and became a wholesale exporter of South Asian products.
It was always Bharat’s intention to launch this company as a means of service. So, he employed people who needed support - the physically disabled, mentally challenged, those who had suffered the loss of someone in their family, those who couldn’t feed themselves and were struggling to survive, etc. His employees were low on survival skills, but high on talent and had a drive to prove themselves. Today, these people are his extended family.
“Srishti ” grew from strength to strength. Finally, in 2016, they reached a stage where the entire profit earned from the sale of his products went towards the welfare and enrichment of his employees, and others who needed him.
Bharat doesn’t stop with helping his employees. He identifies others in need. If someone has a musical talent, but lacks the money to spend towards training, he pays for that training.
Not content with the mark that he has made in the States, and the help he has provided, Bharat is starting a second business in India, with an eCommerce website, which will be a completely non-profit venture. Through this business, he wants to support and encourage entrepreneurs in India, by sharing his skills and know-how. He wants to enable them to higher their stations in life and become more prosperous.
For those who go to him locally to admire or purchase his “Golu” dolls, and other items, visiting his workplace is an experience in itself. He regards it as his temple. And it feels like one. He doesn’t specifically ask you to, but you automatically leave your footwear at the entrance. Just like you would at a temple. The moment you step in, the fragrance of “sambrani” envelops you. Everywhere you look, there is a piece of sculpture that he has lovingly crafted with his own hands. He doesn’t delegate everything to his workers. He continues to work on many pieces himself so that his talent and skill are continuously honed. There is a huge 6 foot statue of Hanuman in a corner. Bharat regards him as a buddy and hugs him every day. There is a beautiful lingam in another corner, decorated with rudraksha beads. He also makes ornaments, and body adornments, for the gods and goddesses in the temples, and they are exquisite. You will find it hard to come across such delicately crafted work even in India. Not everyone comes to buy. Some stop by just to meet him and spend time at his serene store. Many end up playing “Dayakattai”, a Tamil dice game.
For Bharat, his work is his worship. He doesn’t want to commercialize it. So, he doesn’t sell or display his products in stores. Nor does he publicize his work. All his orders come by word of mouth. He also doesn’t charge a penny more than needed. When people contact him and ask for things to be shipped out, he promptly pulls out a list that gives them the exact amount that shipping would charge, and asks them to compare all rates. He doesn’t want customers to feel that they have been gypped. There have been occasions when a customer really liked a piece, but couldn’t pay the price, and he automatically slashed the price to something that they could afford.
Bharat is a simple man, with simple needs. He feels he has met and exceeded his own expectations, and needs nothing else now. He has a house. A wonderful, supportive wife. Two able kids, who are well educated and will soon be independent and earning for themselves. His parents are well looked after and lack nothing. He is at peace
A true inspiration, he shines as a beacon of hope, and service continues to be his motto. May his ribe increase.