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I don’t want to leave 100 crores behind as it may make my 22-year-old son aimless! Prashant Ugemuge

Prashant Ugemuge
Prashant Ugemuge

In the journey of life, one who does whatever he wants to do, with patience and hard work, is bound to be successful, happy and content. Prashant Ugemuge certainly fits the profile. He started his career in 1992 with a sales job, even before the result of his final year engineering exam was out. From being a sales executive to becoming the chief promoter of Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd and the owner of Highland Park and IT park in Nagpur, Prashant has come a long way. Hes known for his chilled out attitude and least complicated approach towards life in the business circles of Nagpur. In an hour-long interview with Nation Next, Prashant Ugemuge opens up about his struggle and his love for the three pillars of his life – his wife Jyotsna and his two sons – Shreyas and Karthik.

Excerpts:

You come from Vadner in Wardha district, where your parents worked as schoolteachers. Your mother left her job to raise you and your siblings. How was your childhood like?

I had a typical childhood of a village boy. My mother would motivate us by narrating various motivational stories. My parents focused on good upbringing of ours and most importantly, gave us good education. They taught us to be good human beings.

You once said that your father was very strict and you owe your success to his strictness. Do you think today’s generation is being served everything on the platter?

Yes, it’s true, but in my case, it’s the other way round! While my elder son Shreyas, who is in Florida for his engineering, is cool, my younger son Karthik, who is still in school, is a bit too strict with me. He doesn’t approve of my careless and fun-loving approach towards life. Hes extremely disciplined and organised.

You hold an engineering degree in electronics from Amravati University and an MBA degree in finance and marketing. You started your career as a sales executive. How did you become an entrepreneur?

I never planned anything in my life. I would never worry about my engineering even then. The only things I plan are my personal commitments. Like after your interview, I plan to enjoy a couple of chilled beers with my friends! (Laughs)

Surprisingly, you have been vocal about your vices i.e. love for gambling, alcohol, etc. Aren’t you bothered about your reputation?

I’m highly bothered about my reputation, especially as a father. But if you talk about my personal choices, I’m bothered about my reputation only in my eyes. If I feel I’m a good person, I believe I’m a good person. I’m basically a content man.

You worked part time as a photographer to fund yourself during your college days. Are you still passionate about photography?

I am not passionate about anything. I only live for the moment. As we had a limited source of income, my parents started using their bath soap every alternate day to fend for the expenses incurred on my education. I always had the guilt that I was bothering my parents with the financial burden of my education, so I started pursuing photography in the third year of my college. I clicked pictures of our colleges annual gathering. My fellow students were keen on buying the pictures of our female batchmates as they, being less in numbers, were very popular. I grabbed the opportunity and earned some quick money!

After working in a cellular company in Mumbai, why did you relocate to Nagpur?

I think initially, I was allergic to Mumbai. I couldn’t cope up with the fast life there, so I relocated to Nagpur. But now things have changed and so has my approach towards big cities. Many of our businesses are being driven from Mumbai these days.

You worked with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on developing software and online system for Octroi, which was previously being managed manually. You also developed similar Octroi systems for Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC)…

It was quite an interesting experience for me. Because of the automation of the octroi system, speed and transparency came in. Working with BMC was a sort of an eye opener for me. I found it to be the only corporation, where most of the employees loved their job, and their priority was the wellbeing of the organisation. I realised that contrary to the public opinion, only 10% of the babus are corrupt in NMC. As the hierarchy goes up, corruption decreases.

Your detractors accuse you of leveraging your proximity with certain bureaucrats and politicians to manipulate the system to bag projects and make quick money?

Whats wrong with that? I don’t mix business with friendship. If I have some business issues with a person who’s also my friend, I won’t alter my friendship with him. There’s nothing wrong in talking help from friends, unless it’s illegitimate.

While there is a perception that businessmen fuel corruption, business community claims to be the victims of the corrupt system. As a businessman, who has dealt with the organisations like NMC and NIT, where corruption is very prevalent, how do you perceive this

It is all about an individuals choice, perception and patience level. Our company (Vidarbha Infotech Pvt Ltd) is known across all the corporations as the one, which never bribes. Our files go through all the required checks; and this process takes at least, 10 days for the payments to be released. If somebody doesn’t have the patience to wait for 10 days, he will pay bribes.

I’ve a simple business philosophy; I never evade taxes or do anything that troubles my conscience or comfort in life.

You bought Highland Park a couple of years back. How do you plan to revive this loss-making amusement park

I love challenges. I know my business and have my calculations in place. Highland Park is the only place, so near the city and bang on the highway, where you have a lake and a hill. We would soon be offering destination wedding facility and family entertainment zone there. Innovation is always needed for any business to flourish.

Please tell us about the IT Park you are making.

It’s basically a DBOOT? project (Design, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) with Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). We are soon coming up with three projects – core IT Park, convention centre, and service apartments. Another upcoming project of ours is at Saoner where a person can enjoy nature closely. It’s designed on the lines of Jindal Naturecare Institute, along with a resort, which would have 101 service apartments.

Your wife Jyotsna majorly owns most of your businesses Do you believe in lady luck

The logic behind making my wife the majority stakeholder is that if something happens to me, my wife should not wander for help. She should be independent and aware of my businesses.

After making a humble beginning, you’ve made it big in life. Whats your success mantra?

My employees! They don’t feel they are working for my company. Rather they feel they are working for themselves. They have a feeling of ownership. My priority is to give delightful experiences to the customers of all of my businesses. I’m a content man, as I don’t have an agenda of amassing wealth for my kids.

How practical is this in a world, where parents are obsessed with accumulating wealth for their kids?

Thankfully, my parents gave me a good upbringing and made me realise the importance of education. When I look at the people around me, I think nobody is wealthier than me, as nobodys as carefree as I am. I’m not indebted to a single person. I’m fearless because I feel I don’t have anything to lose. I have secured my familys future financially, so they don’t need to work hard for their livelihood. They can pursue what they want to. But I don’t want to leave 100 crores behind (for my kids) as it may make my 22-year-old son aimless!

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Remembrance

The BR Ambedkar you didn’t know… | BR Ambedkar facts | BR Ambedkar history

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Suyash Sethiya | Nagpur

Mahaparinirvan Din 2022 is marked as the death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on December 6. He eradicated untouchability and promoted gender equality in India. Watch to know more about him.

6 दिसंबर 1956 में डॉ. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर का परिनिर्वाण हुआ था. आज मुंबई के चैत्यभूमि जहां उनका परिनिर्वाण place है वहां पर पूरे india से उनके दर्शन और उनको श्रद्धांजलि देने के लिए हजारों की तादाद में उनके followers पहुंचते है. 14 October 1956 को नागपुर के दीक्षाभूमि में लाखों लोगों को बौद्ध धम्म की दीक्षा देने के डेढ़ महीने बाद ही उनका परिनिर्वाण हुआ था. आज हम बाबासाहेब के उन rights की बात करेंगे, जो women को दिए गए है.

बाबासाहेब ने India में ऐसा revolution किया, जिसके कारण सैकड़ों सालों की ग़ुलामी और छुआछूत से backward classes के लोगों को मुक्ति मिली. बाबासाहेब के इस revolution को इतिहास में सबसे बड़े revolution में से एक माना जाता है. उन्होंने सभी के लिए equality की बात कही और सभी को समान rights constitution में दिए. बाबासाहेब ने women empowerment की बात सबसे पहले कही थी.महिलाओं को कानूनी रूप से अधिकार दिलाने और खासकर ancestral property में हिस्सा देने की बात बाबा साहेब आंबेडकर ने ही की थी.

बाबा साहब ने Constitution में तीन major बातें liberty, equality और fraternity की बात की, जिसमें उन्होंने fraternity को सबसे अहम माना. बाबा साहब भारत की तमाम महिलाओं के liberator
हैं. लेकिन अफसोस इस बात का है कि आंबेडकर को कई classes की महिलाएं ही अपना नहीं मानती हैं. बाबासाहेब ने अपने life में सभी articles के माध्यम से womens की problems को पुरज़ोर तरीके से उठाया था .Riddle of Women, women and counter-revolution, rise and fall of Hindu woman ऐसे कई articles बाबासाहेब ने समय–समय पर लिखे थे. हिन्दू कोड बिल की मांग को महिलाएं कैसे भूल सकती हैं, जिसके ना लागू होने के कारण बाबा साहब अपने मंत्री पद तक को छोड़ देते हैं. बाबासाहेब कहते हैं “मैं किसी भी समाज की तरक्की उस समाज की महिलाओ की तरक्की में देखता हुं.“ जिस समय india में लड़कियों को पढ़ाना भी गलत समझा जाता था और बेटों को ही पढ़ाया जाता था, उस समय कई बड़े -बड़े नेता भी लड़कियों को education और property देने के विरोध में थे. उस दौरान बाबासाहेब लड़कियों को बेटों की तरह ही पढ़ाने और कम उम्र में लड़कियों की शादी न करने की बात अपने articles में कहते थे. बाबासाहेब ने sc,st , obc सभी को अधिकार दिए, freedom of speech उन्हीं की देन है.

नागपुर और मुंबई से उनके followers का ख़ास रिश्ता रहा है और दोनों ही जगहों से लोग emotionally जुड़े हुए है. नागपुर जहां उन्होंने बौद्ध धम्म की दीक्षा ली और मुंबई जहां बाबासाहब ने अपनी अंतिम सांस ली. आज के दिन मुंबई के चैत्यभूमि में मायें अपने छोटे बच्चों को गोद में उठाकर, जिन बुजुर्गो को चलना नहीं होता है, वे अपने बच्चों के कंधे पर हाथ रखकर, बुजुर्ग महिलाएं हाथ में लकड़ी के सहारे सभी बाबासाहेब के दर्शन करने मुंबई पहुंचते है.

Nation Next की तरफ से बाबासाहेब के परिनिर्वाण दिन पर उन्हें भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजलि

Script by – Shamanand Tayde

Also Watch: VIDEO: Rahul Gandhi blows kisses at BJP office during Bharat Jodo Yatra

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Politics

VIDEO: Rahul Gandhi blows kisses at BJP office during Bharat Jodo Yatra

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Avani Arya | Nagpur

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on December 6 morning during Bharat Jodo Yatra made headlines when he gave flying kisses to people at the BJP Jhalawar office’s rooftop who wanted to catch a glimpse of the march. 

Bharat Jodo Yatra is passing through Rajasthan now, it resumed from Khel Sankul and crossed Jhalawar city in the morning.

Just a day ago, Rahul Gandhi targeted opposition BJP and RSS, asking why they were not chanting ‘Jai Siyaram’ and ‘Hey Ram’.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Govind Singh Dotasra, and several MLAs are accompanying Gandhi on the yatra.

Also Read: ‘Maharashtra government responsive towards issues of traders,’ assures Eknath Shinde

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Nagpur News

Vidarbha’s 1st LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic opens in Nagpur

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Avani Arya | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

SAHYOG – LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic in Nagpur

Vidarbha’s first LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic ‘SAHYOG’ was inaugurated in Nagpur’s Mohan Nagar area on December 5. Sarathi trust and Humsafar trust came together for the needful. Sony Pictures Networks India also supported the event. Nation Next brings you some exclusive photos from the opening.

Also Read: Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur

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