Employee to Entrepreneur transition legacy engineered during adverse situations: Sanjesh Dhall

A transitional shift for an individual is much easier against changing it for an entire generation that always had employees as the trend in the family tree of Dhall’s over various age groups. 


India: The story begins with his grandfather whose name was lost in the records of British Raj as he served during undivided India of British Colonization and was made to shift from Karachi to Kolkata by ship. The records of his employment must have been maintained in the archives which are now in control of Pakistan or the British Government but it still remains untraceable. His grandfather’s legacy of being a public servant was adopted by few of his children while others switched to private sector jobs that had similar perks. The trends were always maintained of being an employee by almost every member of his extended family that made it difficult to switch but Mr. Sanjesh Dhall ended it with an alternative career. The transition stood with being in a job that followed by having a side-business during employment and then took a complete shift to become an entrepreneur in multiple types of business sectors.

The feedbacks that came by his way were always to remind him that he would be responsible for all the good & bad decisions of switching his career life. During his good decisions most family & friends tried to enjoy the perks and during his bad decision he was protected only by his wife & children at ground level. He maintained his job until he got both his sisters married and satisfy the rituals as per the Hindu wedding kept forward by their husbands. At some occasions he also tried to satisfy similar demands of his cousin sisters and took the additional responsibility to make sure their married lives were also settled. Such responsibilities are considered as normal demands by families due to which he kept satisfying even after businesses were established by him for all his sister’s husbands.

Nevertheless, his art of being an Entrepreneur was more of being an incredible opportunistic to create something from nothing by making it not possible for someone else to do the same. This forced him to make big decisions about what he must do, when and how. He didn’t wait for things to happen or for someone to tell him what to do as he had to make it happen all by himself. These decisions were hanging all around his thoughts while the galaxy of his mindset had four generations to feed that included his grandparents, parents, him & his wife, two children and all other families. Furthermore, his house in Mumbai also became a transit for many other cousins who wished to shift abroad and wanted a pit stop. Regardless of all the troubles, he knew that opportunities may be short-lived and developing them with a sense of urgency is required to achieve the goals in the middle of family commitments.

His short-term visions were focused on his job as he worked with one of the most prestigious company of those times and simultaneously the long-term vision was transforming for business. Considering that he had to project his mind forward, thinking about the potential pitfalls he created a framework of things he could do by himself and grey areas where support of others could be required. Every decision as an entrepreneur is based on uncertainty and that was the reason for him to maintain employment with ‘The Times of India Group’ while he kept the option of consultancy for constructing a 24 floors tower. He was prepared to resign from his job at any time as his acts would impact his short and long term situations. With piled up commitments from personal, professional and family life, he made his comfort zone of feeling uncomfortable which has never changed over the years. He had already stopped thinking inside the box and started creating every act which was outside the box till the time he realised of having no box as a growing entrepreneur.

He saw what others couldn’t, he tested new ideas which others didn’t accept, he seized new territories which others couldn’t dream and accomplished with risks that others feared. The courage was already at display as he became the first generation to make the transitional shift from being an employee to entrepreneur. Eventually, he become a thick skinned and showcased the ability to keep going despite of rejections and scepticism. His continuous journey made him venture in the sectors of construction & real-estate properties, L’Oreal collaboration ultra-luxurious salons, newspaper, restaurants, trading, stock market, social activist, NGO trustee and funded many lives for their sustainability. As an entrepreneur he bonded himself to keep learning new skills while appreciation came from very few locations for him although he never gave up his will power. He did what had to be done and not having excuses became the attitude of being an entrepreneur.

His numbers didn’t lie and that started to bite those who had discouraged him during the transitional period. There was no requirement for him to flaunt because the market reflected his presence in every manner possible with his enviable lifestyle. While he loved his business, he also tried to be objective and took another jump by sending his child abroad immediately after High School which was never done before in his family tree. On the other hand, his counter-parts in family & colleagues took almost a decade to match the standards of sending their children abroad for their development. Nevertheless, those who could manage dreaming about foreign stay also required financial support of his generosity and termed it as his responsibility. He wasn’t bothered about it because he was a giver more than a taker. With his children he had already acquired a global perspective by looking closely over the possibilities where the next big thing is awaiting.

As an employee he had a timetable to work to but the entrepreneur made him work 24×7 which became his way of life and breathe. He didn’t under-estimate the time that he took to make the transition to an entrepreneur as he created the opportunity to develop skills and build experiences. Currently, his one child is still an employee with e-commerce giant but the other chose to continue his legacy of being an entrepreneur in the field which no one has dared to explore. He is categorised as the generation who took a big leap with transition from employee, however, his child took his legacy by establishing as the first generation of being an entrepreneur against all odds. The family tree still continues to have maximum employees than tycoons.


About Rita Chahwan

ريتا بولس شهوان، صحافية وباحثة صدر لها عدد من الكتب منها "الكويت وإرادة الاستقلال في الوثائق العثمانية" و "ماذا فعل مدحت باشا في الخليج"(ذات السلاسل) وعملت في عدد من الصحف والمواقع الالكترونية العربية. تلقت تدريبات دولية على الاستقصاء وتخصصت في الاستقصاء الاجتماعي – الاقتصادي كما تولي اهمية كبيرة للشأن السياسي.

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