Alpa Agarwal, 27, from Udaipur, Rajasthan, launched her start-up, Allmin Resources in Ireland four years back and there has been no looking back, ever since. She decided to be an entrepreneur four years ago while pursuing her Master’s in Innovation, Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University College Cork, Ireland.
Alpa credits Ireland for giving her the business knowledge and boosted her confidence to start her company. “During my master’s in the year 2013, I received hands on training on planning strategies for start-ups and established companies. During the programme, we were collaborating with startups based in Ireland and other European countries and charting their growth and acceleration strategies. The assessment was not through exams but the success of these strategies. This helped me understand the entire startup ecosystem in Europe and after the completion of my master’s degree I started working towards setting up my own company, which came into existence in 2015.”
Her Irish friends helped her with the funding for the startup that deals with raw materials in the chemical industry.
“It is easy to manage my business from Ireland which is strategically located and gives access to both European and the US market. One gets substantial corporation tax advantage with the rate of taxation being 12.5% as opposed to 25% in India. The study visa also gives one year of stay back which can effectively be used for job hunting or starting your own business,” adds Alpa,
who now holds a residential visa under the 'startup entrepreneurship programme', which grants residential permit to potential entrepreneurs after their businesses meets the requirement. Today, Allmin Resources has an annual turnover of approximately two million.
For Alpa, the main reason to choose Ireland was that it offered one-year master’s degrees as opposed to two years courses offered in India and other countries. Being a European headquarter to various global companies there is no dearth of jobs especially in the IT, finance and healthcare sector in Ireland, which offers stay back options to international students to search for a job or start their own business.
“Most of our learning took place outside the classroom, while we attended networking events, visiting industries, attending speaker sessions with various industry stalwarts, visiting and interacting with start-ups to understand their key issues and offering a solution,” says Alpa.
She received partial fee waiver for a good academic record and advises Indian students who want to pursue their higher education from Ireland to gain some professional experience as it is given priority during the time of admission.
Ireland is a big global village in the true sense where one would not find the busy hustle bustle of the metros.
“Coming from Mumbai, the peaceful environment of Cork was serene, but being a vegetarian posed a big problem while eating out, so, I was often cooked my own meals. Now with the Indian community growing in Ireland all Indian festivals are celebrated here,” says Alpa, who completed her Chemical Engineering degree from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.
Irish in general are very friendly, relaxed and accommodative people. They Irish believe in taking the community with them and help each other in the best way they can, says Alpa.
“I cannot imagine myself running a successful business here without all the love and support I have been getting. The support from the community, the perfect start-up environment and proximity to my customers in Europe and USA led me to start- up here,” she adds.