November 13, 2018: Googling will reveal several successful stories of professionals who dared to quit their green pasteurs to undertake an uncharted uncertain journey –only to make it big. But then in our own neighborhood we have a young entrepreneur in Agartala who quit high flying jobs and returned to Tripura with a vision and mission. And now Gautam Debnath – son of Nagendra Debnath and Suniti Debnath—has a story to tell, a story that will definitely inspire hundred others.
It was 2006, when Gautam Debnath started his professional career in Oil and Gas sector and handled several vital infrastructural and highly sophisticated projects like ONGC’s Mumbai Offshore. He was also in-charge of a mega project in Qatar.
“However, I was always thinking about doing something which would contribute to the growth of my state,” he said. After a lot of thoughts and deliberations with likeminded friends, Gautam ultimately left his job and returned to Tripura. During this time, he met Jyotirmoy Sarkar of Agartala – a graduate engineer and well placed in New Delhi. Incidentally, Jyotirmoy was also thinking in the same line as Gautam Debnath.
After several failed attempts and overcoming innumerable obstacles, Gautam and Jyotirmoy, finally, founded Oval Projects Engineering (P) Ltd at Bardowali in Agartala in 2013.
Based on their working experiences ONGC awarded several projects including Pipe laying and constructing Watch Towers at Palatana project etc. The company – “Oval” also got contract of a Rajasthan-based Company to implement ‘Fabrication, Erection and Testing of Mechanical Equipment and Piping systems.
“Battle is only half-won as now we are experiencing growth, but our mission was to make Tripura hub of several industrial activities using its natural gas and talented man-power”, said Gautam. Talking about status of ‘Oval’, he said, “presently, around 56 graduate engineers are working with us while around 400 people are associated in different project works. Total turnover is approximate Rs 36 crore per year”.
Flipping through papers, Gautam detailed about his mission.
“We have already prepared comprehensive plans for employment generation. We are also expanding our activities in agricultural sector, infrastructure development, logistic solutions, high-end consultancy services etc”, he said.
“We submitted a plan to Power Minister of previous Left Front Government in vein. This time with a new government, we may try to place the plan once again”, Gautam maintained. The plan is related to building Gas Generator set with power generating capacity of 20 MW and chilling unit with capacity of 500TR in integrated module on the premises of Old Power House at Banamalipur. This would ensure 24X7 power supply to city.
As it happened with many other such spirited youths, Gautam also started from scratch. In his words, “I came from a very humble family. My mother was a housewife while father did odd jobs – even worked as a conductor in a bus – to earn daily breads. Obviously, I did not have the luxury of taking private tuitions – nevertheless, I did well in HS (+2) exam and won a scholarship and later completed BE from Assam. After completing BE, I could not study further due to my financial constraints and entered into job market”
Both Gautam and Jyotirmoy hailed Chief Minister Biplab Deb’s cattle rearing and duckery projects and said, these will ensure regular income flow at micro-level and entrepreneurs may use products to generate employment opportunity at macro level.
With a strong commitment to work harder for the development of the State, both of them lamented some companies from outside, which bagged work orders on several construction projects are bringing work force from outside State depriving the state’s skilled workers. “Government may consider putting a condition to utilize State’s workforce while bidding for a project”, Gautam suggested.
While the State Government is desperately looking for a viable model for development, Gautam and Jyotirmoy – the returnees to state quitting lucrative jobs – are gearing up with innovative ideas. Bubbling with confidence, these youngsters are determined to make youths of the State entrepreneurs and employed.