Story about Jay Kumar—graduate of Asian Access leader programme in South India—highlighted by City to City - Asia Pacific
22nd August 2020
Greetings! We’re excited to gear up for the upcoming Faith & Work Roundtable on the topic of Financial Struggles in the Pandemic. To paint a backdrop for it today, here’s the story of Jay Kumar—a pastor, entrepreneur, and strategic leadership trainer from Chennai, India. Jay attended the City to City Asia Intensive 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan.
In addition to serving as the Lead Pastor of The Ark Victory Church in Chennai, Jay is also the founder and director of Petras, an organisation which houses three diverse business units: Petras Talent Acquisition, Petras Construction and Petras Software Solutions.
Petras was founded in 2010 after God planted a dream in Jay’s heart to serve the pressing needs of the people in his community for housing and employment at the time. Jay and his wife, Anjali, sold their house to fund the seed for the business which eventually took off into three verticals of construction, HR consultancy and software solutions.
Jay’s core passion is for serving and building The Church—the body of Christ—and empowering them to experience a wholesome relationship with the Lord, grow in faith and accomplish the purpose of their lives. In the years that followed, as business picked up, Petras was able to raise the funds required for Jay’s church to have its own facility in a land that they purchased for the church, which has grown from 160 believers to over 1,000 members and they’re now looking for a new facility.
With a vision to build lives & build-up selfless communities, Jay has pioneered an ‘Integration Model’ called REACT to bridge the divide between the church, the marketplace and the underprivileged to ultimately build a selfless community. Through the years, God led Petras to raise funds to support numerous church plants across the country. Jay and Anjali also run an NGO called Rakshak which works for the wellbeing and holistic development of underprivileged children from the slums in their city.
Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged across India, Petras was thrown into choppy waters. The talent acquisition wing of the business took a big hit as the markets crashed and jobs were scarce. Jay and the senior leadership team of Petras were challenged to take tough business decisions which resulted in a cutback of the workforce by almost 50% in the talent acquisition team!
The construction wing also faced a difficult time as real estate development projects were stalled for months and there was an exodus of migrant workers, who constituted the majority of construction laborers, all across the country owing to the dearth of work in the cities. Petras Construction was able to look after the wellbeing of the migrants who worked for them by providing food and shelter till they were able to travel back to their home towns and villages.
Despite the challenging times, Jay is hopeful that the future of the construction business is bright and things will pick up again as they have a few projects in the pipeline at present and are praying for its fruition soon.
When asked about what God has been teaching him through the pandemic, Jay said that Jeremiah 6:16 has been an encouragement and timely reminder for him to take time out in the middle of all the busyness of life with the church ministry and business that he runs.
“The past few months have been an incredible learning experience and a time of restructuring, reorganizing and believing God for restoration. I’ve been encouraged to pause and take a deeper look at our vision and focus and realign it to what God has purposed for us because ultimately, that’s what matters more than anything else we do."
— Jay Kumar
We hope you were encouraged to read Jay’s story. To listen to more stories of gospel-centered resilience in the face of the challenges of the pandemic, be sure to register and tune in this Friday, 28th of August, at 2PM SGT as we have four distinguished panelists share from their lives about the things that God has been showing them over the course of the pandemic with relating their faith to the falling global economy.
Reposted with permission from City To City - Asia Pacific. Originally posted on 22 August 2020, here: https://mailchi.mp/9b8c4634b7c2/1ruzrbk96l-4555298?e=652d702ea9
- Pastor Jay Kumar is an alumnus of the A2/India leader development program and serves as Lead Pastor of The Ark Victory Church in Chennai, as well as the founder and director of Petras (Petras Talent Acquisition, Petras Construction and Petras Software Solutions)
- Country Profile: India
- Related story: A2 alumnus Virukshan Perera highlighted by City to City - Asia Pacific
- City to City - Asia Pacific
- ABOUT: City to City - Asia Pacific is the global affiliate of Redeemer City to City, New York. We are a gospel-centered leadership development organization that prayerfully recruits, trains, coaches, and provides resources for church planting leaders. Our hope is for gospel movements to be cultivated in key global mega-cities through church planting. The formation of City to City Asia Pacific is the answer to many years of prayer from many - Redeemer City to City leaders in New York, as well as pastors, business and cultural leaders alike in Asia Pacific.