Every year we get to hear news about students committing suicides after failing in the Board Exams. Indian-Australian Author-Entrepreneur Nilesh Makwana’s fascinating story is bound to inspire the youth all across the country. Makwana not only rose above repeated academic failures (having flunked Matriculation examination thrice) but also managed to turn the tide against all odds. He narrates the whirlwind story of his failures and triumphs in Perth, Western Australia (WA), first as an international student and later as an entrepreneur, in his book ‘Terminal 4: An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class,’ which was recently launched in New Delhi. Makwana is greatly inspired by ‘Startup India,’ which is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech on 15 August 2015, intended to build a strong ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of startup businesses.
Makwana’s life’s journey is nothing less than a roller-coaster ride. Hailing from Rajkot, Gujarat, Makwana has traveled all across the globe, dined at Prime Minister Modi’s table, met the likes of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Mastercard President Ajay Banga, seen spectacular triumphs and witnessed abysmal losses. But he has never allowed himself to be overwhelmed by his soaring successes or unfathomable failures. In the sprawling retelling of his ups and down in his debut book ‘Terminal 4,’ Makwana takes readers on a kaleidoscopic journey from his childhood in India during the 1980s to his studies in the UK and Australia and his business ventures through the lens of a migrant deeply rooted in Indian values and traditions.
‘Terminal 4’ is intended to serve as a blueprint on how to succeed when pitted against insurmountable odds in totally alien conditions. “I hope that ‘Terminal 4’ will serve as a manual guide to not only those international students who face difficulty to acclimatize to foreign conditions, but to each and every individual who reads the book. It reveals my journey and with it every challenge I faced, every mistake I made, and every problem I solved. My aim through this book is to communicate to my readers that failure is not the end of the world, and within challenges, lie possibilities,” explained Makwana who wrote the book with the help of his wife Lene, a Norwegian artist, who also runs an NGO to promote Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace, equality, and non-violence.
Published by Popular Prakashan, ‘Terminal 4’ was launched as part of Western Australia’s Trade Mission to India, which was the largest delegation to India from Western Australia featuring over a hundred delegates. The book was launched by WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook and the WA International Education Minister David Templeman. Deputy Premier Cook was chuffed to support Makwana book, which showcases Perth as a place where people can live, learn and launch their entrepreneurial journey. “Nilesh Makwana’s entrepreneurial story is a great example of the positive impact Indian migrants have made to not only Western Australia’s business community, but the wider community,” he rejoiced.
Education Minister Templeman commended Makwana for doing full justice to Western Australia’s capabilities as an educational, cultural, and economic hub in his book. “Mr Makwana’s story will encourage India’s tertiary students of the future to think about what Western Australia has to offer. With our world-class universities, strong economy, wealth of job opportunities and desirable lifestyle, Western Australia is a study destination like no other,” he averred. Harsha Bhatkal of Popular Prakashan described the book as “a truly remarkable read about an even more remarkable life.”
The book launch event held at the Taj Palace, New Delhi is a part of a series of programmes covering four cities across India viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Vizag, and Chennai. The larger vision is to open up opportunities for greater collaboration between Western Australia and India across a number of key industries such as primary industries and agribusiness, mining and meds, infrastructure, tourism, and education. “The Indian Ocean doesn’t separate us. It actually binds us and there is a wonderful opportunity now to build on many more people to people linkages in trade and investment. We see India as a very important part of that bilateral partnership. The recent announcement of the early harvest India-Australia Interim Trade Agreement is a fantastic step forward and we look forward to such wonderful relationship building, trade and investment between the state of Western Australia and India,” explained Michael Carter, Head of International Trade & Investment Centre, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Western Australia.
The book launch was also attended by Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Batra’s Group of Companies. He congratulated the author Nilesh Makwana as well as the publisher Harsha Bhatkal for bringing out a timely book like ‘Terminal 4’. “In medicine, we use the term ‘terminal’ to denote an end like in ‘terminal illness,’ but at airports, the terminals are actually the points of taking flights. ‘Terminal 4’ is a book which is a flight of inspiration and experience based on Nilesh’s life. It’s an honest and practical account of the ups and downs that he has faced over the years during the different phases of his life in India, London, Australia, and the world over. It covers the trials and tribulations Nilesh has faced from his childhood to his entrepreneurial journey and how he has overcome them,” summed up Dr. Batra.