A bamboo entrepreneur right from his childhood, Rajib Goswami wanted to do something of his own. With this vision, after completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, he started going into opportunistic businesses on a case to case basis until he had the opportunity to set up a retail fuel station under Indian Oil Corporation in 1986 – the Ambika Service Station. But, still his quest for doing something of his own remained, his mind constantly on the lookout and exploring possibilities.
In the year 2001, on a personal trip to Australia, he happened to come across bamboo floorings and other bamboo products which were manufactured in China and, suddenly the idea clicked that he could do something on bamboo in his own state Assam, which being a part of India’s North East had an abundance of bamboo. In fact, the region is home to 67% of the country’s total growing stock.On his return, he explored every possibility of setting up a bamboo based unit and happened to come in contact with Guwahati based Cane and Bamboo echnology Centre (CBTC). Subsequently, he was selected as a part of the delegation to China as an exposure cum study tour of bamboo based units organized by CBTC-UNIDO in 2003. He returned, fully convinced that a Bamboo Window Blind / Placemats / Floor Mats manufacturing unit would be the one he was looking for. Immediately, he was on the job, prepared the TEFR and submitted to a national level bamboo based agency funds units on 0% interest. But, his proposal was rejected on various grounds. However, he was determined and convinced that by starting such a unit, he could become a change agent, and if successful, could be a model unit to be replicated elsewhere. Subsequently, he approached State Bank of India, who sanctioned the project and funds were released. From then, Rajib Goswami never looked back.
In 2005-06, he started with 3 looms and, within a year, increased the installed capacity by 600% i.e. to 18 looms. Also, lots of improvements have been made on quality of his product and prices were structured better, becoming globally competitive as he was competing with Chinese manufacturers with a better product quality. His unit has become the only of its kind in the entire country and buyers who were earlier importing from China in bulk are buying his products and many more now exploring to purchase. The products – Bamboo Blinds, Placemats and Floor Mats – are manufactured with full mechanization and quality control. In order to be a leader in the market, the product demands innovation both in terms of design and quality. Today, Rajib Goswami’s unit – Rhino Bamboo Industry – has many innovative designs along with 150 standardized designs. The unit stands as a testimony to show that with proper channelized effort bamboo can turn out to be a very profitable and socially enhancing sector.