He couldn’t afford 1 Kg of candle wax once, now his company consumes 25 tonnes of wax in a day
He chose to walk on the path of light and decided to play joyfully all crucial games designed by life. The narration of the stint when he faced and fought problems and braved all of those is worth knowing.
Bhavesh Bhatia, the visually impaired entrepreneur, who runs a successful candle manufacturing industry today, was not born blind. He started losing his eyesight gradually after a childhood illness and lost it completely in his early 20’s. The dreadful reality was harsh and difficult but he accepted that with all grace. Rather than analysing the fact of being blind he zeroed in on the solution. So, he decided to join the National Association for Blind (NAB), the organization that provides skill trainings to visually impaired people and there he took training of candle making, acupressure, Braille and some other skills. During the training, he found candle making more suitable and wanted to start a business of candle manufacturing.
But things were not that easy. The candle moulds were expensive and he was incapable of buying a single one. So, he took the job as a massage therapist and started working in some of Mahabaleshwar’s hotels and managed to save some money and with that savings he bought his first plain candle mould and 5 kg of wax. And with that small step the voyage of the candle entrepreneur began.
Bhavesh started his first set up as a street vendor in front of Holy Cross Chruch in Mahabaleshwar. One day he was peddling his scented candles in Mahabaleshwar’s market and life unfurled a sweet surprise. He met a tourist at Mahabaleshwar’s market who promised to help him selling candles. Their meetings continued and after few days, she asked him to marry her.
After the wedding the couple took Rs 15,000 loan from Satara Bank, where NAB had a special scheme for blind people, and with the help of that, they bought 15 kg of wax, two dyes and a hand cart for Rs 50. Their first factory was their home where Bhavesh even used their kitchen utensils to make candles. Now, the small set up has taken the shape of a big enterprise called ‘Sunrise Candles’ which has clients from many countries across the globe.
With a team of 225 visually impaired people, Sunrise Candles produces over 9,000 designs of candles. The entrepreneur did not have money to purchase wax once. Today his company consumes 25 tonnes of wax in a day. In an interview with an online daily, Bhavesh revealed that it has been a wonderful journey with his loving wife by his side.
I wanted to prove that being blind is not the end of the world. It is not just being employed – it is about having a sense of achievement through one’s work – Bhavesh Bhatia
Bhatia not only provides employment to the people, but also trains them the art of making candles to empower and influence them, so that they can start something of their own.
The entrepreneur is a keen sportsman too and has taken participated in various sports activities like Shot Put, Discus Throw, Javelin Throw and 200 metre Swimming. He participated in the National Paralympics and has won around 32 national gold medals so far in various events.
Bhavesh with his team have built a Wax Museum at Mahabaleshwar and are working on creating a 45 feet high candle. He aspires to make a world record with this tallest and unbreakable candle. The entrepreneur-cum-sportsman also wants to participate in the Paralympics events to be held in Brazil in 2016.