A Man With Laudable Thoughts- In conversation with Dr.Siddeek

You are an inspiration among young entrepreneurs in Kerala. What will be your advice to them? Do you have any innovative plans to empower the young entrepreneurs in Kerala?

“Young entrepreneurs should work hard and concentrate on their innovative business ideas; the rest will follow, inadvertently. Do ignite your desires; keep your desires kindled within you and never give up, then the success will embrace you.

In my humble opinion, as you all know, in today’s world, the whole universe is a market and we have immense opportunities around the globe. We need to identify those potential opportunities and make it as a viable, innovative business model.

Most of my upcoming business units are not just for me, it is started to support the budding entrepreneurs as well.”

 

Kerala has already made its signature as an IT hub; do you have any future plans to invest in the IT sector in Kerala?

“Eram InfoTech literally has made a foray in to the E-learning domain recently and it has won the contract for developing the E-learning modules for the Kerala Government from C-DIT, Kerala. Many path breaking products like virtual labs are on the anvil. New pedagogical approaches which developed as a result of painstaking research are being used in our products.

In Kerala we have a State of the art Animation studio named Eram Animation Lab with a team size of 100+ Animators.

Another entity ‘Graameen.in’ is an online portal, a novel initiative of Eram Infotech for providing technological solutions to the artisan community scattered across the length and breadth of the country. Graameen.in, aims to create an online platform for all the Indian village products so that anyone can look into the diversity of Indian indigenous crafts and buy them from anywhere in the world. In short it is an online market space created for Indian rural cooperatives.

Couple of Other big investments in IT sector is under the pipeline.”

 

The Malayalee expatriates are renowned for their hard work, why are they not showing the same passion with in Kerala? Most of the Keralites opt for either white collar or government jobs. How will you reason this?

 

“Our strength is our ability to do multiple tasks under pressure with flexibility, and willingness to do hard work. The working ambiance and attitude must change. As we all know, attitude, skill, and knowledge are the essentials which every employer is looking for. Most of the keralites are interested to work in their comfort zones and are not willing to take risks.”

 

In Kerala, the literacy rate is very high but the employability ratio is far less. How according to you, could change this scenario?

 

“Now as I mentioned earlier, we are talking about the global market. There are many job opportunities, we need to identify and keep hunting, nobody will come to your door and give offer letter. Determination matters.”

 

Most of the expatriates are investing their money on expensive houses back in Kerala, which usually turns back as a liability for them. Most of the gulf money in Kerala is dead money in banks. How do give an awareness to them for wise investments, which in turn helps the economy as well?

“At the end of the day, we all make money for happiness and happiness in fact is subjective; some finds it in expensive home, others find happiness in good dress/ attire, some others in fame, a few finds it in sharing. So what I mean to say is constructing an expensive house with their hard earned money is their choice and wish. But as you mentioned few NRIs are spending money without having an idea about their income and expenditure that in turn fires back.

As rightly said, there is a huge amount of dead money in Banks. I think it might be because of the precarious situation in Kerala which holds them back from investing in new projects; however I strongly do believe that Kerala is not a bad place to invest in innovative projects if we can avoid the unnecessary / untimely debates which only exaggerates cons of all good projects coming to Kerala. Also time bounded decision & approach of the government will attract more business investments to Kerala, media play a major role.

What will be the future of Gulf, and how is it going to affect Kerala?

“I understand this question is in the context of recent fluctuations in oil price, but I am sure KSA and other Gulf countries will strike back since they have immensely rich other natural resources. Especially in Saudi Arabia they have other non-oil products such as Alumina, Bauxite, Phosphate, Gold etc. It’s a gifted nation. Economically strong, Saudi's GDP is equivalent to the combined GDP of rest of GCC countries.”

 

 

How will you take the smart sanitation infrastructure program to next level? Is there any abridged version of e-toilets in making?

“Now we are actively considering a focused campaign for schools in India, the crucible of India’s future. Several Supreme Court verdicts and ombudsman orders have demanded that all schools in India should be adequately provided with toilets. But with the current infrastructure and administrative mechanism, it is a far realizable goal.

 

The issue is compounded because lack of toilets is directly attributed to large school drop outs of girl students. Eram is considering an ambitious plan to provide self-cleaning, durable electronic toilets to schools in India, by partnering with those stakeholders who share this vision.  The experience we gained from implementing over 600+ school eToilets gives us the impetus to move focused in this direction.

 

Spreading awareness about sanitation, environment protection is all part of this massive campaign. We are hopeful that in the next couple of years this campaign would make a remarkable change in the school toilet infrastructure and bring in change in sanitation behaviour of the next generation.

 

The eToilets are under continuous R&D and we constantly keep on bettering the eToilet based on user feedback, client response, market requirements etc. There have been over 1000+ iterations done from the initial eToilet model to create the ideal model for sanitation.”

 

What is your current focus area? What will be the key focus areas of Eram in the upcoming years?

“Our Present focus areas are in Oil & Gas where we have proven experience in the Middle East Market. Then we are focusing on Energy, Power sectors. In these projects we are associating with reputed European Companies and establishing joint venture association in the Middle East. In India we would like to announce about our future investments in different sectors which mainly includes IT, Technical Education and some commercial areas.”

 

Would you please comment on the relevance of corporate social responsibility and initiatives?

“As somebody rightly said, Corporate Social Responsibility- CSR today has become a catchphrase that many unfortunately do not understand in the right sense. Many believe that it is merely donating funds to a charity of choice, when on the contrary; it is truly about building a long-term and sustainable platform for various programs that address the needs of the society in which the companies operate in. Eram Strongly believes in a culture of giving back to the society in which we live. 

 

Eram Group is actively involved in all spectrums of different philanthropies like traditional philanthropy & in-kind philanthropy etc. Particularly, an additional thrust on venture, strategic &systemic philanthropies. Our revolutionary initiative in sanitation sector is well accepted in India now.”

 

What is your success mantra?

“Simply take care of my family , friends , well-wishers and my employees ( I would rather like them to consider as my family members )  and they take care of me and my business.“