Jose Thomas

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I DID IT
Thursday 16th December, 2010



     

 

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Lots of fun, lots of money, my IQF processing factory generating profits, new friends and acquaintances followed me through out. I was invited to every party, one too many invitations and I was finding it difficult to cope up with this. Friends, I still remember the days when no one invited me when I was struggling through life. I am sure some of my readers would be going through it now.

When you start a project and that too, a new concept, you need not be sure of how sustainable the venture would be. It can change. I’ll write about that soon. Business soared, banks were happy and started chasing me to borrow because they wanted to lend and make more money. I began to get a bit complacent however I always kept my original goals in mind i.e. - to be successful and that too, in a manner in which I could grow as well as sustain it.

I always looked for opportunities. I don’t know if you remember I had written earlier that opportunities sometimes come and knock at your door but some refuse to accept them as an opportunity and refuse to open the door. This is where I made a difference.

I had completed two years of living in New York and after delegating the Choice U.S. set up I decided to return to India - mission accomplished!
Two years in the U.S. taught me the concept of new living styles which lead to the construction of Choice Gardens, my first apartment building. It also taught me the new IQF technology, which lead to the modern factory in Cochin and also resulted in cutting off the importer by establishing Choice U.S.

When I was back in Cochin I had to admit two of my children to school. I began to look around and I was told that one particular school was the apt one. Accordingly, I visited the school and I was shocked to see the condition of the school, right from the level of hygiene to the concept of education itself. The school had no energy, dimly lit, iron barred class rooms and the children did not seem happy. I immediately realised that education here also needs some kind of reformation.
I began to think “why don’t I start a school?”

Today many ask me why I started Choice school. The reason is not just the abysmal quality of the school that I admitted my children. I felt that every individual had the responsibility and a commitment towards society as well. My kids started to go to this school and I was not too happy with what I heard and felt. My impatience began to grow day by day to start something that would benefit the society I lived in.

I discussed with friends and senior citizens of the country, exploring various proposals and within a short time I was able to short list two proposals - one was to build a hospital and the second was a school, both on a non profit basis. After discussions with doctors, educationalists, and several meetings later, the decision was to start the school - with the clear objective of providing quality education. I had a vision here and I was confident that I could do it. Naming the school from my favorite word ‘Choice’, the Choice School got rolling.

Before the final button was pushed, I decided to have a meeting of the general public in Cochin to express my interest of starting a school and to see what response I would receive. Accordingly, we invited around 500 people - mostly potential parents. We invited them to sound out the idea of Choice starting a school. By this time I had the core group on board – a Principal and the Director. We had our invited guests assemble in the hall. As I saw the crowd from the dais, I began to get nervous. Something new – education – school – dealing with public – being answerable and accountable – long term commitments and that too, something I had to do with a non-profit motive. It was overwhelming!

The program commenced. The principal started to speak, in excellent English, explaining the various aspects of education and I sat on the dais growing more and more nervous. I could not understand why I was so nervous. This was probably my first occasion to address a large gathering and I knew this was simply stage freight. As I waited for my moment to address the gathering, somebody handed me a slip of paper, someone had passed it on to me from the audience through a messenger. It was sent onto the stage, where I was seated. I opened and read it. It said “Mr. Jose Thomas, what is your qualification to attempt starting a school? You don’t have the necessary education nor have you seen a college”
Gosh! I was quite taken aback. Many conflicting thoughts rushed through my mind. I decided not to treat this as an insult, but it triggered something in my mind. I took this as a challenge. I walked up to the podium, spoke very confidently and conveyed my full thought and ideas to the audience and I think, I was able to get across to them. Today, when I sit back and think of this event, I think it was God sent. I converted that moment of discouragement to a great opportunity and proved to my city, my State and my country and now the world over that I could start, grow and maintain this excellent educational institution situated in Cochin – The Choice School.

Friends, what do you learn from this? You not only look for opportunities but pursue them. Keep an open mind, be bold and courageous and at the same time be very focused with what you want to do, and don’t let anything come in the way, and if something does, confidently work towards overcoming those hurdles.

I am proud to see this institution today with over 1100 Alumina world wide – doctors, engineers, pilots, businessmen and so on, 2200 of them attend this institution every day in the hope of becoming individuals who will make their mark in this world. I have been able to deliver, to these children and their parents, confidence in the promise that I made on the day I spoke at that function. I feel very accomplished. Thousands of people are involved, close to 250 staff, including teachers, helpers and bus drivers, our own bus system, efficiency growing day by day, newer ideas, new facilities, new equipment, brand new concepts, amendments made very often, deviations permitted, all for the sake of the children- the children of this growing nation, the citizens of tomorrow.

We all have an obligation to the world at large. All I did differently is, “I DID IT”.

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Responses to
 Prashant Dhavse says:
i like it.keep me posting.
 
 Geejo says:
Your life story truely inspiring & highly motivating.As a fellow changanasserian,I always felt proud of you. Geejo Antony Pullamkalam Projects Manager Galfar Muscat