“EO is a place where you can learn and grow from other people’s encounters with different situations, be it business or personal”

Atreya Sawant, Chair of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Goa Chapter, elaborates on the organisation and its objectives.

Elaborate on the journey of EO in Goa.

The Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) in Goa was chartered in 2018 with Ashwin Khalap leading in the first year. EO is an international organisation spread around six regions. It was started in the United States of America and there are approximately 12,000 members, currently. India falls in the South Asia region, which has countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. We started with 20 members and are growing steadily. EO has a unique concept of forums which are sub-groups within the chapter. These forums function on detailed protocols and makes it a go-to place for any member of that forum to share their achievements as well as roadblocks in their way. It is a confidential/non-judgmental group where the ‘forum buddies’ share their experiences and everyone evolves through experience sharing.

What are the current projects being undertaken by EO Goa? What are EO Goa’s upcoming projects?

The mission of EO is to help entrepreneurs achieve their full potential through connections that will lead to infinite possibilities. EO is based on its four core values which are, Together We Grow, Trust and Respect, Thirst for Learning, and Thinking Big to Be Bold. EO is about self-development of an entrepreneur so that he can achieve what he thought was impossible. Therefore, all our learning events are focused to scale up members professionally and personally. For the coming month, our chapter has collaborated with EO Navi Mumbai for a learning event with Verne Harnish from
USA, Author of the bestselling  book ‘Scaling Up’.

Most of the projects that we undertake are about the selfdevelopment of the members. That’s the base of the whole organisation, which helps you grow as a person, and in turn, you increase your life skills which aid your business, community, and family. EO is a place where you can learn and grow from other people’s encounters with different situations, be it business or personal. This is how our members self-develop themselves and have a better understanding of how to deal with various challenges in life.

How is EO Goa in sync with its national and international objectives?

The theme of EO Goa this year is ‘Blur the Borders’ which will focus on four different categories; Self Development, Business Development, Community Development, and Family. All these four categories need to be integrated with one another by blurring the lines between them. It means you do not have to strive only in one direction. One must not only develop their businesses but should strive for an overall growth as an individual. We are trying to work towards all these four directions and see that we make time for all of them. The current year is focusing on programs and learning events for a 360 degree transformation for our members.

What is unique about EO Goa that Goa’s business community should be aware of?

Being a part of EO Goa has given its members a huge opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs across India, Asia, and the world. It has given them significant connections, especially when they visit a different state or country. Once you are an EO member, you are already screened and in turn, you have confidence in other members that you meet, even if it is for the first-time. There are examples where EO members from Europe have helped a member’s family from EO Goa with a health issue in a foreign country. It has proved useful when children of EO members
have gone to different cities and countries to study. Similarly, members have managed to
acquire relevant business connections which have helped them to develop and grow their businesses manifold.

EO Goa is aiding student startups. Elaborate on the same.

We have a global competition called the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), which is held initially at the local chapter level. Our idea is to give an opportunity to student entrepreneurs who are still pursuing their studies while managing their businesses at the same time. This is a platform where they can represent and showcase their project to potential investors and established entrepreneurs. At the state level, we select three best entrepreneurs who then go on to the national level. At the national level, they will be competing with students from all over the country, where they will be selected to go on to the South Asia level. The ones who qualify will then go on to  compete at the global level. At each level, there are plenty of investors, so these students get an opportunity to meet and network with them. At the global level, one can be the recipient of the prize money which helps them get funding for their projects. We look forward to a lot of Goan students participating in this competition as they can benefit from the exposure, both in
India and abroad.

As a Chair of EO Goa, what would you like to leave behind as a legacy for your successors?

As our theme for the year is Blur the Borders, I along with my team are creating learning programs and membership engagement fora 360 degree transformation. We are focusing on all four quadrants of life and that is development of − self, business, community, and family. I will feel accomplished if the above is met.

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