A BNI Goa voyage led by a visionary leader

Mahesh ‘Mac’ Srinivasan, elaborates on BNI in Goa and the work carried out by them

BNI (Business Network International), the world’s premier business networking and referral organisation, has made remarkable achievements in India, becoming one of the world’s largest and most successful business networking organisations. BNI Goa strives to enable its members to thrive in the business scenario by building relationships and creating a well-thought-out and compassionate system of giving and receiving business referrals, with core objectives of offering the best business opportunities, contact sharing, and business referrals.

The historical beginnings of BNI Goa
Rajkumar Kamat was asked by GSIA (Goa State Industries Association) in 2008-2009 to form and chair the Micro Industries Development Cell, where micro industry problems were discussed at length.
During one of his 2009 visits to Pune, Rajkumar was invited to a BNI meeting for the first time. He was absolutely mesmerised by what he saw: business owners collaborating to help each other grow their enterprises by exchanging referrals and recommendations. At this point, Rajkumar comprehended that ‘this’ is precisely what he was looking for in Goa! BNI included all industries, not just manufacturing as GSIA emphasised.
In October 2009, Rajkumar received a detailed discussion and training after contacting the BNI India National Director. Rajkumar, who is the Founder and Managing Director of EP Kamat Group, decided to put his own business on autopilot and, beginning in December 2009, began working towards the establishment of the BNI chapter in Goa. In April 2010, approximately four months later, BNI Aparant, the first BNI chapter in Goa, was inaugurated with just 20 members, under the leadership of Manoj Patil.

The Ideal group: Though Rajkumar planted the seeds of BNI in Goa and has been overseeing its overall progress in the State, BNI Goa has been nurtured and grown by many of its passionate BNI stalwarts, all of whom have generously donated their time, experience, and energy to help BNI reach its current level of success with 14 chapters, 850 members, and 350 crores in business through referrals. Concurrently, BNI Goa has been actively organising a variety of programmes and events aimed at business development through the medium of learning and networking.

Enhancing Worth: It is a remarkable accomplishment that BNI Goa, in addition to providing entrepreneurs with a platform for business growth and the community with employment opportunities; also develops more than 100 leaders for the community each year. BNI Goa began organising the ‘Goa Biz Fest’ in 2015, providing learning, networking, and development opportunities not only to BNI members but also to other Goan entrepreneurs.
This festival featured participation from a variety of prominent industries, organisations, and government agencies.

BNI Goa Cares: During the quarantine period, BNI Goa provided aid to the local community by distributing ration packs and hot meals on a regular basis to migrants, labourers, and the poor; as well as to stray animals.
The Quarantine Centers at TB Hospital and ESI Hospital in Margao both benefited from donations of paper plates, tissue papers, and paper cups from BNI Goa members. A total of 1025 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits were donated to the Health Department of Goa by BNI Goa and the Vibrant Goa Foundation. Collectively, BNI Members set out to aid the poor, with a focus on those who were worst hit by the pandemic and lockdown.
Now, in 2023, 110 BNI Goa members have visited 27 colleges, had sessions with 2715 students, and educated/inspired them to begin their entrepreneurial adventure; some of them have already begun their entrepreneurial journey, and a student has already joined BNI Goa. With this milestone, BNI believes that empowering small businesses and promoting cooperation can contribute to the economic development of both local communities and the nation.

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