THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After completing his studies in 2011, Michael Raj, like many other youngsters, found the road ahead grim. Being over 80 per cent visually impaired since birth meant that the chance of getting a regular job was even tougher. That is when he decided to chart his own course.
“My parents advised me to prepare for various competitive examinations. Maybe they thought I would get a job under the disabled quota. But I wanted to make a mark of my own and never let disability come in the way,” says the 27-year-old who hails from a humble background.
With Mass Communication as his core subject of study and an in-born flair for organising events, Michael decided to try his hands at small-time event management jobs.
Being a University Union Councillor during his college days helped Michael establish a good network with youngsters both within the campus and outside.
Learning from the mistakes committed by people of his age who launch start-ups in a big way and end up with their fingers burnt, Michael decided to first test the waters by beginning in a low-key manner.
Michael started supplying noon meals to 10 employees of a private organisation based in Vellayambalam. He partnered with a local catering company for the task and charged a nominal service charge from his ‘customers’. Then, it was a step-by-step growth. After catering, he tried his hands at stage decoration, organising entertainment programmes, arranging wedding photography and videography services and gained a first-hand experience of what event management was all about.
Now, the youngster runs a company called ‘Pebbles Event Management’. In order to cut costs involved in setting up an office, Michael runs his business mostly from his house at Kunnukuzhi. He plans to open an office once his venture fetches more returns.
Michael’s friends who work in various fields comprise most of the ‘staff’ whose services are sought for specific assignments. “My role is that of an organiser. A few phone calls is what it takes. Manpower has never been a problem. If one person is busy with some other assignment, I am able to quickly arrange another person for the task,” he says.
“I am happy that besides doing what I wanted to do, I also help others earn a living,” he says with a smile. ‘’There are some customers who doubt how a visually impaired person can effectively organise events. Photographs and video clippings of my successful ventures are all that I have to convince them,” he says.
Michael can be contacted at the following numbers: 9895726066/ 9846451234.