From Contributing to the PM’s relief fund to taking care of his employees during the lockdown, Mr Ragu has clearly raised the bar for all business owners and redefined a citizen’s duty to the country. Since the lockdown, with his cement pipe manufacturing unit shut, it has been tough for Ragu. Despite that, he has been rendering all the necessary support to his 30 plus employees, including 10 migrant labourers from the north. Ever since the lockdown 5 of the migrant labourers were helped by Ragu to safely reach their hometown. He supports the rest of his employees with accommodation and food expenses on a weekly basis and ensures full payments to all his employees. The empathy that he has probably stemmed from his own experience and background – a life of struggle and hardship, before he made it big as an entrepreneur. Ragu, hailing from a scheduled tribal community in Oragadam village, Tamil Nadu, started his career in 1992 as a lorry cleaner. In 2001, he joined as a loader in a small company that manufactured cement pipes. There, he learnt the role of “cement manufacturing business”. Working as load-man, Ragu established contact with a Karur-based firm and started marketing their cement pipes in Chennai. After gaining experience and confidence in the field, Ragu incorporated his firm “Everest Cement Pipes” in 2009 with an initial investment of INR 20,000. Possessing few sub-contract orders from Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Ragu approached every local bank to get a business loan, however his efforts failed. In 2012 a newly established branch of IOB bank near his unit lent 24,000 which he successfully repaid in 2013. He was referred to BYST by the Bank for his second term loan. BYST supported Ragu in maintain all his records properly and hand-held him for nearly a year. In 2014, BYST successfully assisted Ragu to get INR. 16 Lacs from Indian Overseas Bank, Mudichoor. In 2017, he was given an additional loan of Rs 440,000 Lacs from Indian Bank. Ragu started with just 2 employees in 2009 which rose to 12 in 2014 and further to 30 after BYST’s intervention. Ragu enjoys good customer base from an array of industry. His reputed clients include KSA Power Infra, Sterling and Wilson, Lotus Wireless Technology VJN Builders, EK Infra, TJR, PMR Constructions, Marutham Apartments, Amar Prakash Builders, Naveen Construction, Swan Electricals. Ragu now handles Korean based international companies namely K&K and Kotak Infra. Everest Pipes manufactures a wide range of customized products including Cement pipes, Hollow bricks, manhole covers for building roads and drainages, favour blocks (used for setting car parking floors) and well-rings (used for setting up septic tanks). Mr Ragu, who resides with his family in Perungulathur, considers it his duty to support his employees during such challenging times. He also believes that it’s his duty to contribute to the initiatives of the Government and adhering to this belief, he has contributed Rs 5000/- to ‘PM Relief Fund’ as well as another 5000/- to the ‘CM Relief Fund’ Even though he has been facing challenges in getting payments from his vendors, he was able to get 10% corona fund out of the cash credit amount of Rs.25 lakhs from Indian bank. With this amount, he has effectively managed to afford the salaries and other expenses of the business. He is coping well and thereby expecting to resume his business post 20th April, as the Govt. is likely to extend permission for certain industries to function. Ragu is full of hope and looks forward to resuming his business in full swing!