Nitin Kuncolienker explains the workings of BNI in Goa and the bond created between its various stakeholders
In earlier times, Goa had several small MSMEs and huge chains of these MSMEs were spread across the state. The associations of these MSMEs present at the time were small and had distinct objectives of conveying of demands to the government and other such competent authorities. Beyond that they served little to no purpose. Besides that, the control of these associations lay within the top few stakeholders, which was disproportionate to a high degree. Isolations of businesses from north to south or east to west was common. Basically, there was little to no B2B engagements beyond local regions. Then Rajkumar Kamat established a chapter of BNI in Goa. Things changed for the better in an exponential format.
Many state level, district level and town level events were held for business networking. I was invited as a chief guest for many such events and I was highly impressed. I had the privilege of meeting Rajkumar Kamat after he himself was introduced to BNI and attended many of their events. Rajkumar’s passion towards the business growth in Goa and his fresh perspective on business itself was inspirational.
The ‘Giver’s Gain’ philosophy is something that I truly believe in personally. The reference to this is also found to be a part of the ancient Hindu texts and Indian culture. My mother has always been an advocate of giving first without expecting anything in return; and givers, in my experience, never lose.
Whenever I was invited as the chief guest, I judiciously observed the whole working of BNI. The referral system that they introduced was truly revolutionary in its nature. Hence, eventually and quite inevitably, BNI reached the strength of 850+ members. A feat achieved by no other organisation – making it the single largest organisation in Goa for business referrals; a truly magnificent feat for Goa!
To delve more into the characteristics of BNI Goa, the diversity it displays is simply amazing. From a small-scale salon to a huge manufacturing company, BNI has it all. The inter-mobility of the thoughts created by this diversity can make an entrepreneur grow beyond his/her business. An individual’s horizons truly expands. That is the nature of change that BNI has had in Goa and the individuals who are a part of it. The interpersonal relationships and the bond that is created between its stakeholders is truly a beautiful sight to behold from an outside perspective. The key differentiating factor seems to be the frequency of the meetings between members of BNI; where other organisations seem to be meeting quarterly or at the most on a monthly basis, BNI members meet on a weekly basis and this creates a robust and efficient flow of information and maintains a level of discipline when it comes to business targets and strategies. Despite its size, as many readers of the article must be wondering, what about the disputes or controversies which forms a part of any organisation operating on this level?
Well to anyone’s and my own surprise, the disputes and controversies are close to none in this mammoth organisation. The internal dispute mechanism and the frequency of the meetings itself seems to be playing a crucial role in limiting the misunderstandings and a potential dispute/controversy. Rajkumar himself has played a crucial role on focusing the growth as a singular organisation and aligning everyone’s interests to limit the potential disputes in its seed stages. The Vibrant Goa Foundation is also a great initiative undertaken by BNI Goa, while also helping out in social responsibilities that all individuals carry for the society. Furthermore, the Foundation was able to unearth 100 individuals with great stories and businesses and put them on the forefront; while also helping out in social responsibilities that each and every one carry for the society.
As things stand today, BNI will reach a total membership count of 5000 plus in the upcoming 4-5 years and these numbers are impressive, to say the least. In my opinion, moving forward, BNI should focus on the future of the world and the role of technology in bringing about the inevitable change that awaits all. 6 Ds of Technology are crucial to consider for the same. Technology demonetises, as in the case of Uber and Airbnb where they do not have their own product but they piggy back on other services for profit. Next is the democratisation of technology, which is basically the on-boarding of the entire population of the world on the internet and social media among other things. Dematerialisation; devices, processors, sensors and everything else that can be imagined is getting smaller and smaller and digitised. Furthermore, the nature of the technology is deceptive and disruptive. So, these are the 6 D’s that BNI should sensitise people more about as technology is driving scarcity into abundance.
I believe that BNI with its sharp presence and capabilities will be ready for an exciting future that awaits us all and I wish for their growth to continue well into the future