Meet Jonathan Burner, the 19-yr-old CEO from Sikkim
Jonathan Burner was born on December 4th, 1996 to parents Simon Moktan and Karma Dichen Bhutia. He completed his ISC from Tashi Namgyal Academy, Gangtok in the year 2015 and currently he is pursuing his BBA from Sikkim Manipal University through Distant Education mode. He is passionate about writing, graphic designing, music, chess and mostly, stargazing. He loves to to listen to motivational audios by great speakers and motivators.
Speaking to Yougan Tamang for TNT-The Northeast Today, Jonathan Burner talks about his achievements and future aspirations, about his initiative called 'Priority Promotions' and how he intends to bring about a change through this. Here are excerpts from his interview with our reporter:
TNT: What is Priority Promotions and How did it happen?
JB: Priority Promotions is a creative house were we harbour creative minds to brainstorm, formulate ideas and strategies to create promotional and branding materials for various companies in and around Sikkim.Back in 2015, when we were planning to launch a music app called Cisum, I, personally found that there is not a single company to cater to this need of branding and promotion in Sikkim. A simple hoarding is never enough to create the bond between a customer and the company. Priority Promotion started because I love companies which interact with their customers. I make sure all of my clients have a proper contact with their customers via Social Media or via email, etc. This is done by Priority and this helps companies gain a better presence in their market by proper promotion and effective branding.
TNT: Describe your first project? Did you have any failures initially or was it all on a one go?
JB: I love my first project because it taught me to love my work no matter what. The deal ended with a thank you and not a big cheque; but, I felt the satisfaction in my clients handshake and that was real. In a way, this was a failure too. People did not take me seriously since I was only a kid and a learner with zero experience. But it mattered less as I started learning more. What got me going was the satisfaction within and the love for my work.
TNT: Currently what's going in the Priority Promotions camp?
JB: Priority is in a really good pace right now. We deal with huge clients like Kanchenjunga Sikkim Milk Union and Golden Gaming. We have also been working on few in-house projects. At Priority, we refuse to remain stagnant and passive. We believe in growth and pro-activity. We are ever learning and hungry for more.
TNT:You are just 19 and the youngest CEO of any company or firm in Sikkim. How does it feel to be one?
JB: It is the best feeling I have ever felt. Achievements like these make me feel blessed and humble me. Starting off at 18 as an entrepreneur was a challenge but positively- a boost start. I am glad I got myself here early in life. I am getting to learn things colleges would never teach. It is fun to be young and working. For me, being busy is being productive. I agree, as all entrepreneurs do: "Busy is the new Happy".
TNT: How does it feel to be a job provider and not a job seeker?
JB: I was always taught and inspired to be a job provider and not a job seeker. As a job provider, I have my own challenges, and my own solutions to it. Own struggle, own happiness. Own risk, own rewards. It is about the ownership of your problem and solution. It does not happen if you are an employee. The satisfaction is rare.
TNT: What do you think about the employment opportunities in Sikkim?
JB: Now a days, in Sikkim, I think people are understanding the importance and benefits of being self-employed. Like any other place in India, people here struggle to find a job or they find a job aloof from their interest and passion. This affects the productivity and the quality of the service and product created by this person. However, people here have started believing in their dreams and following passion. Income is a byproduct of good work. Hopefully, soon most people in Sikkim will be job providers and not job seekers.
TNT: What are your future goals and aspirations?
JB: Once a wise man said, "It does not matter how fast you are running if you do not know your directions." I have planned my years. I am not a go-with-the-flow person. I feel lucky enough to not be one of them. I wish and work everyday to have built a company nationally and globally recognised for the benefits and difference that it makes in the society. I want me and my work to make a difference in this world.
TNT: Give me few words that describes you the best?
JB: Haha. I am busy. That's what most of my friends describe me as: BUSY. Other words: productive, pro-active, thinker, motivated, prodigy and young. (Please don't put this in the interview. I feel like I am self-praising.
TNT: Who other CEOs do you look up to? Anyone who Inspires you the most?
JB: I am most inspired by the locals who chose to start a business and dream to make it big in Gangtok, Sikkim. I look up to my mentors, Asish Subba and Mandira Chettri, who have been there for me throughout- teaching and guiding me through all this. I look up to Rewaj Chettri. He has been one hell of an inspiration and help to me. I follow people like Robin Sharma, Les Brown, John C. Maxwell, etc. And I love Steve Jobs and his perception of the world.
TNT: Tell us something about you that we don't already know.
JB: I love reading books and travelling. I believe these two things are most essential in life. I am strong believer of my faith too. And, lastly, I started NE Pride with my friends, Divya, Rishab and Priyadarshini few months back. NE Pride is an initiative to help the North-Eastern states in India gain the deserved recognition. We plan to do this with the help of NorthEastern students and employees in other parts of the country and abroad. That's NE Pride (NorthEast Pride).
TNT: Your message to youths or young minds.
JB: Youth years are the years we build or fall, create or destroy, amaze or amuse ourselves. Choices we make during this phase of our lives are the foundation of the empire we dream and plan to build. Having a good direction, a dream, a passion and a positive circle is a need at this age I noticed. We want to live young, wild and free but we must discipline ourselves too. Keep daily, monthly and yearly goals and to-do's, grow in terms of knowledge and skills. We must insanely improve ourselves each day during this era of the 3 C's- tremendous Competition, accelerating Change and overwhelming Complexity.
By Yougan Tamang