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Entrepreneurship story of Thubten Sherab

By Liu Fang, Tenzin Sydron Source:China Tibet News 2019年12月06日 09:47

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Photo shows Thubten Sherab is working in his office. [China Tibet News/Lhapa Sangmo]

When it comes to pens, "Hero" brand comes up to most people. However, there is an ambitious Tibetan young man, who quitted his job of national public servant and started his own business in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. He has maximized his passion for inheriting traditional Tibetan calligraphy culture through a special Tibetan calligraphy pen that doesn't scratch paper or leak ink. He is Thubten Sherab, the founder of Tibet Boyi Cultural Communication Co., Ltd.

When meeting Thubten Sherab at the first time, he was discussing with his staff about their newly printed Tibetan exercise books, giving people an impression with mature and steady. His passion for the career also added more charm to him.

Thubten Sherab comes from Maizhukunggar County of Lhasa City, and it has been five years since he started this business. "Five years" is not a long time, neither a short time. According to his introduction, there were many difficulties and setbacks on his road of entrepreneurship, he once thought about giving up, but still insisted on.

Thubten Sherab had been working hard since his childhood, and was admitted to Zhejiang University with excellent grades. During his college study, in addition to studying professional knowledge, he spent a lot of time in learning and practicing Tibetan calligraphy. "I have been very fond of Tibetan calligraphy since I was young, but I couldn't find a pen specialized in writing Tibetan at that time. So I have been thinking of making a pen specialized in writing Tibetan calligraphy," he says.

When he graduated from university in 2011, he took his parents' advice and applied for a post of civil servant like many college graduates. However, after becoming a national civil servant, he found life being different from that he has imagined, and the idea of making the special pen always came to his mind. Two years later, he quitted his job and came to Lhasa alone to start his own business.

At the beginning of the business, Thubten Sherab went to almost all pen manufacturers in other provinces of China for finding one factory to cooperate with him. However, because of special equipment and technician requirment, no factory was willing to do it. "At that time, I was running around every day, but always ran into troubles, I often slept at airports, railway stations, with the hope of finding a factory," he says.

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Photo shows "ZhiJian" pens specialized in writing Tibetan calligraphy. [China Tibet News/Lhapa Sangmo]

In January, 2015, Thubten Sherab led his team to set up Tibet Boyi Cultural Communication Co., Ltd. His conviction and love for Tibetan culture eventually persuaded a factory in Guangzhou Province. During a one-year researching period, the company visited several Tibetan calligraphers and teachers, and constantly improved product details. Pens in line with the features of Tibetan calligraphy, named as "Zhi Jian", were finally designed, which have solved the shortcomings of ordinary Tibetan pens in the continuity of writing and the preservation of traditional Tibetan language. 50,000 pens were sold out in just two months, and "Zhi Jian" pen obtained the national utility model patent.

Although his "little dream" comes true, there's still a long way to go. The company is mainly engaged in cultural goods, handicrafts, office supplies, organization and planning of cultural activities, and many other aspects. It sells a lot of Tibetan writing pens and exercise books every day. The business is growing with an annual sales volume of 7 million yuan RMB. Nowadays, the company is developing high-end custom pens, and planning to expand the market outside Tibet.

"New products of our company are standard-compliant pens and exercise books are made by wood pulp, which are harmless to children. We are also developing specialized pens for adults. The purpose of our innovation is to enable people to write better Tibetan calligraphy, as well as make tools more complete and up to standard." Thubten Sherab says. At the same time, the company has offered many working positions, making great contributions to social employment.

Thubten Sherab has his own idea on entrepreneurship: he thinks that it requires comprehensive abilities. "A business starter should have self-confidence in culture, firm belief and spirit of contribution, that's why I hire poor people and the disabled. An entrepreneur should have substantial knowledge and experience, as well as strong psychological enduring capacity, for taking responsible for the company's products and serving the society." He says.

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