Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 24th 2016 Contents A33
April 24, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
By Bavina Sookdeo
Many who were not born into a busi-
ness may feel as if they cannot succeed
in such a field. Here is one man's success
story. It certainly shows that anyone
who is determined, committed and ambi-
tious can go from being a simpleton to a
Harry Ragoonanan, owner of Harry's
Water Park had great struggles in his life.
All he had was a dream of seeing his 10
siblings permanently employed. Ragoo-
nanan was not born into this business nor
did he have any assistance to start the
business. His father earned a mere $700 a
fortnight which had to support his entire
family. His burning desire was simply to
help his family.
Whatever little money he received, Ra-
goonanan saved it and bought a cow. That
cow reproduced and eventually he had 19
cattle. "Every day I would milk the cow,
bottle the milk and go house to house
through Brother's Road to Tabaquite on
my bicycle and sell the milk," he related.
Yearning to go further, Ragoonanan then
joined the Youth Training Programme
where he was paid $50 a day and taught
how to rear livestock and grow vegetables.
He said, "I had to ride 13 miles from my
home to get to the venue where the
course was being given".
Always thinking constructively, the
young Ragoonanan saved the money he
got and purchased what was necessary to
start planting vegetables and rearing pigs.
While on the training programme he was
also sent to a goat farm to assist a farmer
there. The owner of the farm gave him a
goat and Ragoonanan began rearing goats
Still, he stuck to milking his cow and sell-
ing his milk from house to house but while
he did this, he now sold his vegetables and
picked up orders for pork (whenever he
slaughtered the pigs). He delivered the
pork in the same way -- riding from house
to house. "I used the milk money to buy
feed for the pigs. We were really poor and
I had to do something to help," he recalled.
His first loan came from the Agricultural
Development Bank. He was just 18 years
old and received the sum of $3000. With
the loan he began rearing chickens. He
started with 5,000 birds and as he sold
the birds he built more and more coops.
With just two additional coops the num-
ber of birds went up to 11,500. He contin-
ued working hard and smart until
eventually the number of birds went up to
40, 000. At that time there was no elec-
tricity in the area but determined as ever,
Ragoonanan saved his money, paid
$28,000 and got the service straight to his
home in Jeffers, Tabaquite Road.
He eventually closed down his poultry
business due to the weather pattern and
the high mortality rate of the birds and
then went into the hardware business. The
hardware he started, still stands today at
the entrance of Harry's Water Park. He
then delved into the business of selling
fishes but that was short lived. However,
the ponds that he dug for the fishes were
still in existence. That was when Ragoo-
nanan got the idea to start the water park.
Today, thousands of locals and tourists
flock to the water park to have a good
time. While many do not know of his
struggles, they do know the name 'Harry's
Water Park'. Asked what advice he had to
offer to entrepreneurs and those who
wished to get into a business he encour-
aged, "Never give up, be ambitious, work
hard and smart and always remember
your dreams, do not let anyone ever dis-
courage you. Keep trying."
the milk money
to buy feed for
the pigs. We
poor and I had
to do some-
thing to help..."
Yes, you need money, investors, a really good idea and all sorts
of things to start a business but what many people forget is that
they need confidence too. Being a confident leader is very impor-
tant to the success of your business. Here are some tips on how
to become that confident leader:
Know yourself. You need to know what you are good at
and accept that you may be good at that but not at something
else. Whatever you are not good at, hire others to do it and just
focus on what you know best.
Set reasonable expectations. We are all guilty of
setting expectations that are unreasonable but when it comes to
your business, you need to know what you can accomplish and in
what time-frame. Do not go beyond that.
Stay away from negativity. Stay away from negative
people and get negative thoughts out of your head. If you feel
anxious or you doubt something, look into it further and ask why
you feel that way. Is it because you are not confident enough in
that person who prepared the presentation? Is it because you are
not prepared to address your employees? Figure it out, fix it and
get rid of any negativity.
Dress for success. It is extremely important to dress for
success not only to feel good about yourself, but also because
there will be eyes on you. Live, feel and breathe success.
Act with confidence. Always act with confidence. Make
decisions and deal with employees and clients always with confi-
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