when you stay positive in a negative situations ,you win. New blessings are always coming in your way , so always be positive.
Staying true to the E Week theme of 2018, ITM, Mumbai has allowed many students live their entrepreneurial dream to the fullest. The event is scheduled for a week and showcases events such as workshops, panel discussions, games and various other activities such as the human chain, treasure hunts and flash mobs, to name a few. The focus point of all these events being, sensitising and spreading awareness about entrepreneurship in today’s growing landscape. This power packed week allowed for students and entrepreneurs to understand the role entrepreneurship plays in converting dreams into reality. With the help of active E-Leaders and faculty, the E-Cell and Incubator Cell at the campus has seen a marked difference regarding the students and entrepreneurs that enter it.
The eye-catching human chain was held on 11th February 2018 and focused on the theme of “Fuel conversion”. It saw dignitaries like Mr Mukul Joshi (DGM Retail Branding, BPCL), Mr Praful Shah and Mr Sagar Gundewar (Rotary Club, Kharghar Midtown) grace the occasion. This human chain was made possible by uniting 400+ students and faculty from the ITM Business School which was about 4.1 kilometres in length. The rope, made of recycled paper was symbolic of the fact that we are all connected by a thread.
Additionally, a panel discussion which focused on the challenges and learnings faced and conquered by entrepreneurs on the path to living the entrepreneurial dream was held at the institute. The panelists and moderators included dignitaries like V. Satya Murthy, M/S Global Logistics Services Inc, Sachin Shetty, Suncity Hotels, Fahim Vora, Be the Local, Prakash J, Knight Chef and Raghav Soni, Jump Start Innovation. The discussion allowed for a high learning curve for budding student entrepreneurs to learn from the shoulders of giants into what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
The ITM Incubator Cell has in its time also witnessed students like Vivek Viswanathan, Founder, VS Works and Souharda Nandi, Founder, Social Legends Web Solutions, who are currently running successful campus ventures and have gone ahead to achieve laurels for their institute. Shedding light on the role played by incubators, E-Cells, mentors and faculty as a whole in the wholesome development of an entrepreneur, Vivek states, “Everything that I have done in my startup is what I have learnt on campus through my incubator, mentors and faculty.” It is thus safe to say, ITM is creating a niche for themselves in the entrepreneurial industry.
The inauguration of Atharva’s E-Cell, Ember Entrepreneurship Cell on 5th Oct 2018 with dignitaries like Dr T Prasad, Associate Professor, National Institute of Industrial Engineering and student-alumni entrepreneurs Nishikant Khandle, Agnee Adventures and Ashish Haldar, Apna Book Wala, revealed a promising start to what the future holds for the institute.
“Students must take entrepreneurship as an idea, and the aim should be to create at least one startup per college so that the country can have more entrepreneurship driven.”
– Dr T Prasad, Associate Professor, National Institute of Industrial Engineering
The institute, during its tenure, has held many events and fun activities such as “What’s my story,” which provides a platform for established student entrepreneurs from the same institute to showcase the challenges they faced and their learnings through the journey. The session also touched upon critical problems faced by most entrepreneurs such as financial management, budgeting and insider tips on how to survive in the market.
The institute has also conducted various awareness programs in entrepreneurship such as the “Entrepreneurship Drive” where the E-Leaders conduct workshops and leadership-driven seminars to educate students about the vast scope that entrepreneurship holds. Amongst other activities, the “Elevator’s Pitch” has been a massive success at the institute, where the budding entrepreneurs are made to pitch their ideas to the dignitaries. This event has seen many star startups gain the spotlight such as Amit Padhy’s Pulsovism Duo, Apna Book Wala, Tiffin for Sure and Glover, to name a few.
Another social entrepreneurship initiative held by the institute is “Adopt a village,” where the E-Cell members adopted a village called Kelwa, to help transform it. The primary focus of the students here was to help empower and educate the housemakers and locals, run successful SME’s and generate revenue through sustainable business models. Alongside this, they also plan on supporting the village to convert into more eco-friendly and sustainable energy resources, such as electric stoves and solar panels for electricity.
The E Week highlight at the institute was the “Idea Generation Workshop” held by Prof. Mohan Kumar which saw overwhelming participation from students across educational backgrounds who fought for a place in the finals. The vibrant and active E-Cell Leaders and members made the event a colossal success. All in all, the event portrayed a promising glimpse into the future filled with entrepreneurial leaders and the change makers of tomorrow at Atharva.
Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore concluded its E-Week festivities recently. The 7-day fest included activities like an E-talks on entrepreneurial journeys, workshop and event, SREC Bazaar, facial painting, entrepreneurship through upcycling, poster presentation, valediction and price distribution, etc.
Management head Dr. R Mary Metilda, SREC, stressed that the college had been gearing up for the E-week for months. “The college supports entrepreneurial activities and our students participate in events throughout the year. Many of our students are highly competitive and win entrepreneurial events at inter-collegiate events. One of our alumni, P Abhinaya made it until the semi-finals of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit event that was held in Dhaka,” she said.
“We try to inculcate social responsibility in our students, and ensure that they don’t just focus on profits. For the bazaar that we put up, we made sure that the proceeds go to charity. We have used the NEN training module to train at least 150 students and want to train more of them. A lot of our students are already interested in signing up for the course. We also intend to add the module in the curriculum in the future.” she added.
The college also organized a talk with the CEO and founder of M/s Webykart Mr. Thirumalai, as part of E-Week. Mr. Nandakumar, CEO of M/s Pixel Social Media Coimbatore also gave a talk and interacted with the students as part of E-Week. The college introduced a new theme during E-Week this year by promoting ‘Entrepreneurship through Upcycling’ where students were encouraged to create ‘Wealth out of Waste.’ Students made products out of e-waste to increase its utility value. SREC plans to bring in more initiatives in the years to come to promote entrepreneurship among students.
GRG College of Management, Coimbatore concluded their E Week celebrations with a baking workshop recently. Every year, the college handpicks students interested in entrepreneurship and helps them build a solid foundation to run a successful venture. These students attend E-talks and also go on visits to various entrepreneurial units organized by the E-Cell. They are given a platform through various events like E Week to demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills.
“As a college, we are very focused towards creating successful entrepreneurs. We regularly hold or screen E-talks with entrepreneurs on the campus. The E-Cell currently has 60 odd members and they are looking forward to starting something of their own,” said Sinduja, the E-Cell coordinator for final year MBA students.
The weeklong festivities entailed a wide array of activities at the college. On the 1st day, founders of A1 chips in Coimbatore paid a visit to the college. The founder brothers S. Rajan, S. Damodaran and S. Murali spoke at length about the journey of A1 chips and offered helpful tips to budding entrepreneurs. It was followed by a Q and A session where they interacted with the students. On the second day, 10 teams started ventures using 50 rupees and came up with some innovative ways to sell products. The third day saw the students put up stalls in the area of their expertise and donated the proceeds to charity.
On the 4th day, students submitted interesting business plans like restaurants for diabetics, animated stories of famous entrepreneurs, small-scale business expansion etc. For the 5th day, painting workshops were held and the E-Cell plans to start an art gallery soon to showcase art pieces by students. The 6th day had the theme, ‘Idea Creation’ where students had brainstorming sessions for innovative ideas to resolve specific problems. For instance, one of the suggestions included a meter to check water usage for homes (to reduce water wastage). The last day had a baking workshop to inspire students, and the students were also asked to provide the E-Cell’s feedback on its initiatives.
Malwa Group of Institutions (MGI) kick-started E Week with compassion and grit. M-Tycoons, as they call themselves, staged an activity called ‘Smallpreneur’, where they created a platform for women from nearby villages to spread awareness about MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises).
The main idea was to educate them about the government schemes for women empowerment, which would further help them in setting up small businesses, thereby making them self-sufficient with minimal investment. Anganwadi workers also joined hands with the students to facilitate the initiative and helped these women comprehend the concepts better.
“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
– Margaret Sanger
The Institute believes that entrepreneurs are not always born but can also be identified, trained and created, thereby making awareness an integral part of E Week and the campaigns run by them.
The other highlight of the day was the Flash Mob, which took place at Treasure Island, Indore. Celebrating the spirit of a woman, the students MGI danced to the beat of popular songs and spread awareness about women empowerment and safety. Their energy and rhythm unified a large crowd. Vibrant posters were being circulated, covering stories and messages of motivation, saying ‘get up and go’.
This week-long drive will surely commemorate more such compassionate actions by the students and distinguished faculties of this institution which help understand and practice the true essence of E Week.
E Week, Asia’s most extensive entrepreneurship campaign showcased some of the best events, workshops and street bazaars; all staged by young, vibrant minds from various colleges across the country.
Acropolis Institute of Technology and Research, staying true to the tagline – Live your Entrepreneurial Dream had a splendid inauguration and a wide range of events for E Week 2018. On the first day of E Week, students and faculties worked together to make the event a colossal success. Today’s celebration witnessed three impactful events namely- Adastraa: the street bazaar, PitchBiz and Blockchain, attended by seven eminent speakers and 250+ students.
The street bazaar was a sight to see, as it perfectly captured the enjoyment, entertainment and bustle which revolves around E Week. There were shops which served scrumptious food, fun games and activities. The event also saw an unending stream of visitors, which added to the glamour of the event.
PitchBiz was the highlight of the day which witnessed a sweet war for the investors’ attention. The top 10 start-ups (out of 84) went through a daunting chain of barriers to reach the coveted platform to present their ideas before the esteemed panel of fourteen investors and six incubators. The presentation included their background, business model, USPs (Unique Selling Proposition, and their future dreams and aspirations.
This year we also saw a wide range of entrepreneurs who were recognised for their efforts and innovations. Deepak Bhaskar, who has a made a niche for himself in the eco-paper products, bagged four investors plus AIC incubation from Aartech Solonics, Bhopal. Other start-ups which stole the limelight were Luminocity Networks Private Limited, Handlooms World, Garveish Herbaceuticals Private Limited, I1lightening Solutions, Inhof Technologies and Dhundhoo. The event also saw 35+ women-run venture entries.
A Start-up named Wordly founded by a team of students from SGITS College received appreciation and intent from IncuSpace, Indian Angel Network and Swan Angel Network.
Kick-starting the first day with a bang has only increased our expectations from the upcoming E Week celebrations. In short, it is safe to say, E Week is all about celebrating the realism and courage of the cosmic strings which break the fabric and create disturbances, unreal, glorious and hard to believe disturbances.
E Week celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and the courage needed to leave the safe havens of one’s home and to go and live the entrepreneurial dream. E Week celebrates the entrepreneur in you.
Asia’s largest Entrepreneurship campaign concluded with grand finale at four regions – Bangalore, Indore, Jaipur, and Kolkata.
The week long Entrepreneurship Week 2016 celebration from 20th to 27th February concluded last Sunday, the 5th of March, with the Grand Finale celebrated at regional level in the north, south, east, and central India. The events saw active participation of a large number of students and faculty from various colleges across India. This year’s celebration has witnessed several impactful events such as direct industry interaction, mentoring sessions, and book releases among other regular activities.
Going against the odds in Jaipur
The Vivekananda Global University (VGU) campus in Jaipur saw over 500 participants from more than 10 colleges attending the Grand Finale of E Week 2016 for the northern regions that include Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh. The keynote speakers for the event were Santosh Palavesh of UMM Studios and Anamika Joshi of Utpatang.com, and they motivated the students with their journey to success – how they went against the odds and challenges, and established themselves as entrepreneurs.
“Not every individual has the guts to follow the path of entrepreneurship. They are the mighty ones who do so. When I see the students planning for the E Week Grand Finale I find a glimpse of that ‘E-factor’ that every entrepreneur must have.”
– Anamika Joshi, Founder of Utpatang.com
“I feel great and it looks like family to me when I look at beautiful E-leaders working with great zeal and enthusiasm and compete at heart for this great event. Thanks to the NEN for providing this opportunity to all the students throughout the nation.”
– Santhosh Palavesh, Managing Director of UMM
The executive vice president of NEN, Shashi Chimala, was the chief guest. Preeti Singh, the associate director for global operations at Wadhwani Foundation, and Vishnu Priya, the consultant at NEN, were also a part of the celebrations in North.
Creating impact in Indore
Hosted by Chameli Devi Group of Institutions (CDGI), the event was attended by over 700 participants from 15 institutes across the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Prabhakar Tiwari, the chief marketing officer (CMO) of PayU was the keynote speaker of the session.
“Congratulations to the NEN for such a spectacular show. I am personally amazed by the sheer enthusiasm and vibrant energy of students and faculty. Kudos to NEN for igniting young minds and contributing to the cause of job creation.”
– Prabhakar Tiwari, CMO of PayU
Asgar Ahmed, the director at NEN, and Marlina Ramachandran, the NEN Regional Manager, were also present at the E Week 2016 Grand Finale in the central region. Marlina Ramachandran believes that E Week has come a long way. She notices that the energy quotient of the students and the quality of programs have increased considerably.
“March is my favourite month of the year only because this is when we celebrate E Week! I love the bonding, late night frantic calls, and endless invites to events across length and breadth of the city, not to mention all the yummy food at start up stalls! This is one event where we see teams coming together in unison for the sole purpose of celebrating entrepreneurship. Cheers to E Week 2016!”
– Marlina Ramachandran, Regional Manager at NEN
Taking to markets in Kolkata
Over 400 students of 30 colleges from cities such as Kolkata, Durgapur and Bhubaneshwar attended the East region finale of E Week 2016 at Heritage Business School (HBS), Kolkata. HP Budhia, the chairman of Patton Group addressed the keynote for the session. He emphasised on how the startup bubble has been booming and it is the right time into kickstart entrepreneurial journeys. Budhia also mentioned how entrepreneurship is well in the reach of common people these days.
“One should have a humble beginning in order to be successful. The fruits of one’s labour tastes sweeter than spending money not earned through own efforts.”
– H P Budhia, Chairman of Patton Group
Atul Raja, the executive vice president for Marketing at NEN was the chief guest at the function. NEN regional manager Subhabrata Bhattacharjee said that he was very impressed by the E Week celebration this year for it was special in multiple ways.
“This year, a lot of the innovations introduced during E Week are being taken to a commercial level. It was another milestone when a faculty turned entrepreneur published a book on Entrepreneurship. The sparkand spart in students, and thenip. The determinationed ot only were a lot of innovations introduced but also they are beingme a in the students and the determination to bag the award(s) next time were inspiring.”
– Subhabrata Bhattacharjee, Regional Manager at NEN
Attaining self-sufficiency in Bangalore
More than 750 people from over 15 colleges from cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode, Hyderabad, Mysore, and Salem attended the South region Finale of E Week 2016 at Mount Carmel College (MCC), Bangalore.
The keynote was a very interactive session by Saveen S Hegde, an entrepreneur, corporate trainer, and humourist. He spoke about his journey from a hard core engineer to an entrepreneur, and how a mentor helped him reach this destination. Saveen also participated the audience by inviting some of them over to the podium and making them do activities. Vasanthi Venugopal, former Carmelite, former NEN educator and trainer, and the associate dean at STRAT School of Media Studies, was the chief guest at the event. She explained how she has witnessed the E Week celebrations over the years and how it has been continuously improving.
“Delivering the keynote address to such a diverse and fun loving audience was exciting. However, my moments of inspiration came after the event, from listening to students talk about their ideas, rejections, and failures. A country of a billion problems or a country of a billion opportunities?”
– Saveen S Hegde, Entrepreneur & Leadership Trainer
The inauguration was presided by Venkatesh Deshpande, the vice president of NEN, and Chaitali Sengupta, the NEN regional manager. Chaitali was quite excited when talking about the event. The host institute had organised and beautifully presented various cultural performances including dance, mime and fashion show. The highlight was that the E-Cell members of MCC organised the entire function with the sole profit gained from their campus company!
“NEN has evolved around the changing entrepreneurial and academic ecosystems. But the energy and passion associated with E Week has never gone down – this gives us inspiration and motivation move ahead.”
– Chaitali Sengupta, Regional Manager at NEN
Looking forward to next February
It is good to see that the students carry the spirit of entrepreneurship with so much passion and dedication. We are humbled that they have carried this essence of E Week to innovating and starting up new companies on a commercial level right from the college level. If this spirit of E-Cells are well channelized by colleges, India would turn into a startup hub and harvest more number of successful entrepreneurs.
Take a look at the NEN Anthem video created by three students of Chameli Devi Group of Institutions. It features snapshots of events that were conducted at all the participating institutes in the Central region.
Far from Bangalore, in the city of Moscow, Russia, Dmitry Tomchuk, Director – Program Development, and Mikhail Azarov, Project Manager at the Rybakov Foundation read about the NEN-led E Week campaigns in India and got inordinately excited. They had chanced upon another non-profit whose initiatives and successful campaigns could provide a primer to what they were trying to accomplish in Russia. Also, the Rybakov Foundation where they worked was looking at organizing E Week at the Russian universities.
Dmitry and Mikhail decided to go to Bangalore immediately, and meet the NEN team and their member institutes. Since they wanted to make it to the E Week celebrations during 20-27 February, they got their expedited visas in two days instead of the mandatory seven days that it takes for a visa to India. Here’s an account of their visit from Chaitali Sengupta, NEN’s regional manager for the Karnataka, Delhi/ Jaipur regions, who took them around to NEN member institutes in Bangalore and Mysore.
The wonderful journey of introducing NEN and E Week to Dmitry and Mikhail of the Rybakov Foundation started on 22 February morning and ended on 25 February when the duo left for Mo scow from NEN office.
Day One – 22nd February 2016
On 22nd, I took Dmitry and Mikhail to Dayananda Sagar Business Academy (DSBA), a new management campus which was participating in E week for the first time. Their entrepreneurship initiative is led by Dr. Veena K N, Dean, her team of faculty and a bunch of very energetic students. Dr. Veena KN, is an experienced NEN faculty who has spearheaded and taught entrepreneurship development programs in various institutes.
The DSBA team greeted us with a traditional Indian welcome and presented the activities oraganized on campus through the year and those planned for E Week. This was followed by a discussion with Dr. Veena on the entrepreneurship culture nurtured by NEN in academic institutions. Dr. Veena also spoke about her institute’s academic curriculum and how it had integrated entrepreneurship education into its system.
Dmitry and Mike interacted with a few student entrepreneurs who had started ventures recently, and took part in activities with the students including a flash mob organized by students. Dima & Mike danced their heart out!
The second stop was at the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B) for a discussion on how the prestigious technical campus manages entrepreneurship education despite the academic pressure. We also discussed about the institute’s Incubation Centre, its initiatives on campus, and collaborations with other players in the ecosystem. Mr. Ramesh Sundaraman, Mentor, I-MACX @ IIIT-B, Innovation Centre, shared his experience and future plans of the institute.
Day Two – 23rd February 2016
The next morning we went to Mysore. The first visit was to the Vidhyavardhaka College of Engineering, which is one of our oldest members having come into our Network in 2007. We were warmly received by the acting principal Mr. Krishnappa, team members of Aspera, the E Cell of the college.
After a warm welcome with a Mysore Peta, Mysore Pak and Kaushalya, the Aspera team took us through a presentation on their E Cell including its origins, organization structure, activities and E Week events; characteristics of a matured E Cell; and association with NEN, and NEN’s role in building the entrepreneurship ecosystem on their campus.
The Aspera team discussed in detail about the activities for E Week 2016. The activities included 36 hour startups, mentoring engagements with alumni entrepreneurs, bootcamps, prototype development at ‘The Vault’ – their Innovation Centre, internship with startups, fund raising for E Week (sponsorships), significance of the E Week pledge and organization of large awareness campaigns in a city like Mysore.
Dima and Mike enjoyed watching the E Week videos from last year, and interacting with the E Cell members and student entrepreneurs at the ‘Control Room’ which is the nerve centre of E Week celebrations on campus. We spent about couple of hours at VVCE.
We also visited NIE IT, sister campus of National Institute of Engineering (NIE) in Mysore. We joined Dr. Vidhya, Principal, faculty team and members of NEON, the E Cell for a traditional lunch while we discussed about the new team putting their best efforts to have a grand E week. At the new and picturesque campus of the institute Dima and Mike joined a workshop on waste management and witnessed the launch of a campus company. Last but not the least, we went to the Mysore Palace, posed for a few pictures and bought presents for the family.
Day Three – 24th February 2016
We started with a visit to Mount Carmel College (MCC), just a walk away from the hotel. Students spoke passionately about their weekly Santhe (local Market place) which is held every Friday on campus to encourage local small entrepreneurs and students to showcase their products and sell. They also spoke about their campus company units, credit courses and programs to empower women by giving them a platform to start their own businesses. They shared some of the innovative ideas conceived during E Week like Food Truck Festival etc. and their plan to approach local media and radio stations to cover E Week events on campus. The students were most excited to talk about hosting the E Week regional finale at their college. Sumita Kumar, Associate Professor, Coordinator , Entrepreneurship Cell, spoke about their growth as educators and mentors under NEN’s guidance.
Lastly, we visited Al-Ameen Institute of Management Sciences, a very old prestigious college of Bangalore, a high entrepreneurially potential new campus too. The visit started with another round of warm welcome by the Chairman, Dr. Mumtaz Khan, Principal & senior faculty members, followed by E Week activities including the innovative idea competition and fun entrepreneurial games under the tree. Dima and Mike in turn entertained the students with song and dance from Russia.
The plan was to give them different flavors of E Week from different institutions who were at different levels in their growth as Centres of Excellence in entrepreneurship development. It was all a combination of energy, seriousness, fun and warmth! We ended the day with shopping at the Cauvery Emporium and a good ‘no spice’ meal.
Day Four – 25th February 2016
On the last day of their visit, I brought them to office. They interacted with our team and collected all possible information. There was exchange of gifts and pictures. It was perfect culmination of all the excitement and learning about WF-NEN and E Week celebrations.
However, this all will be incomplete, if I do not thank my colleges, my faculty members and my students. Their love and respect for NEN is amazing, and the bond that each one of us have built over so many years is evident. A salute to the oldest stakeholders of NEN! Each one of them took so much of effort right from Chairman, Secretary, Principal, faculty members, students to the support staff in making it memorable for Dima and Mike.
No wonder, Dmitry was ready to sign an agreement with us from day one and kept reminding me at the end of each day. He mentioned many a times that the experience was beyond their expectations and yet they had experienced only a part of NEN and E Week. Dima & Mike have taken back with them not only bag full of beautiful presents but memories and ideas that they can use to ignite the passion for entrepreneurship amongst the students of Russia.
I made good friends for a life time! Thanks for giving me this opportunity to experience this roller coaster journey of NEN once again.
Chaitali Sengupta is NEN’s Regional Manager for the North and South (India) regions, and can be reached at Chaitali@nenglobal.org.
Rybakov Foundation is a non-for profit organization, founded in 2015 and aimed at economic growth acceleration of Russia through auxiliary social capital development.
E Week 2016 in Indira Institute of Management, Pune was inaugurated by the Chairman, Director and E-Cell Head Coordinators Prof Dipanjay Bhalerao and Prof Santosh Pullewar on 22 February 2016. In their inaugural address, both the Chairman and Director spoke about the importance of starting up and encouraged aspiring student entrepreneurs on campus to build on innovative ideas.
Workshop on Business Plan
The celebration kick started with a Business Plan Workshop to identify potential student entrepreneurs and innovative ideas.
The activity was focused on students with good ideas but without access to showcase their ideas or reach out to mentors who can help them. Such students were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas. The ones with the best ideas later presented to a panel of experts.
While pitching their ideas, the student innovators also spoke about specific issues and challenges. The mentors gave their feedback, and will continue working with such students to improve their business plans.
Sharing Industry Experience
Alumni entrepreneurs were invited on day three to talk about their experiences of starting up as a student. They also spoke about the challenges faced and ways to get over them.
The week-long E Week celebrations is slated to be chockful of workshops, guest lectures, panel discussions, E Quiz etc aimed to help students work on their ideas, and take them to market.
Innovation is about making changes to an existing process / system with something new. In the development context, innovation should be viewed as changes in thinking, products, processes, organizations, or new ideas which are successfully applied.
While most management institutes give the necessary inputs for various management areas, it is very important that students, who have a whole lot of ideas, be allowed a forum to innovate, experiment and test the viability of their ideas.
Under an initiative to encourage management students for innovative business / Entrepreneurial ventures a Centre for Innovation & Business Incubation (CIBI) at Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Bhubaneswar to undertake suitable projects.
As the first move the following have been setup:
This project was taken on by team Panchsakha consisting of five PGDM students, wherein they took over the operations of the existing cafeteria under a new name and style and their sole intent is to make it profitable. But in the process, it allows the students involved in the team to experiment and discover their strengths and weakness, which is a learning process.
Four plots of land of 1200 sq.ft. each were developed by the institute for the purpose of organic farming. Each plot has been allotted to a project team that has the option of growing seasonal vegetables or cash crops.
Plot 1 – Potatoes
Plot 2 – Brinjal, chillies and palak
Plot 3 – Tomatoes
Plot 4 – A combination of corn, cauliflower, peas, radish and carrots
To date, palak and radishes have been auctioned once. The second batch of radish is also successful, and tomatoes and potatoes are ready for harvest.
Ayan, the E-Cell of Thakur Institute of Management Studies, Career Development and Research (TIMSCDR), were actively pursuing E Week @School and educating students at a school inKandavalion entrepreneurship.
Taking E Week Spirit to Schools
Ayan has conducted various activities and competitions like quiz, crisis management, drawing and singing competition through which the concepts of entrepreneurship was taught. The children were divided in a group of 4 each and were asked to compete with each other.
E-Cell members said that the kids were pretty excited to learn the concepts of entrepreneurship and they even had discussions on the different ventures they want to start.
Another highlight of TIMSCDR’s E Week celebration was a four day workshop for students that would help them develop new innovative inventions by leveraging Internet of Things (IoT), one of the hottest topics in the industry.
The session started with an overview of IoT, its applications and future prospects. The students were divided into small groups – each group was supervised by a professor and was provided a special kit that consists of an Arduino board, a Raspberry Pi board, jumper wires, breadboard, resistors, LEDs, temperature sensors, motion sensors and other electronic components necessary for learning the concept of IoT. Each component and its working was explained to the group, followed by a demonstration for assembling the kit.
The students were even made to compile, upload, and run several simple programs using the programmable circuit boards.
E Week 2016 at ITM kick started on 20th February 2016 with inauguration and oath taking ceremony followed by an international conference on Inclusive Growth through Innovative HR Practices and Alternative Finance. The conference aimed at bringing the academia and industry together for finding the optimal mix between innovation and inclusive growth for co-creation of knowledge.
The conference was inaugurated by Holy Grace Prabhu Surdas from ISKCON Kharghar. Speaking on the occasion he mentioned how spiritual learning can counter the discontent and ever growing problems of modern society and business world.
The chief guest of the event was Mr Ramesh Iyer, the managing director of Mahindra Finance. He guided the audience on how alternative funding market is helping support the ambitions of Indian businesses and providing millions of dollars’ worth of capital.
Prof RSS Mani, the vice president of Institutional Development at ITM, threw light on the significance of this year’s E Week theme, Innovative Ideas for a Better Future.
Industry Experts and Academia Interact
As many as 550 academicians, corporate delegates, research scholars and students from various parts of country and the globe registered and attended the conference. The event provided a platform for young sparking minds to interact and gain knowledge by sharing and discussing ideas in front of industry experts.
Quoting Ms Sheena Thomson, the director of Digital EMEIA at Ernst & Young, about the conference, “An event like this not only helps us learn but also connect, establish relations and share ideas with young generation.”
“Listening to the insights of industry experts live gave us a fresh perspective and outlook to remodel traditional HR practices and financing options,” said Dr Lakshmi Mohan, the director of ITM Kharghar. She added that this event provided valuable inputs that the students can incorporate in their academic and profession endeavours.
E Week 2015 – Revitalising Entrepreneurship
While I hopped, skipped, and jumped from city to city witnessing the excitement and the adrenalin rush of E Week 2015 on various campuses in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, three things stood out prominently across all these institutions – Passion, Pride, and Energy. These intangibles were the driving force of the NEN’s entrepreneurship activities about which HK Mittal of Department of Science & Technology (DST) a few years ago had famously said, “I didn’t know entrepreneurship could be done this way too!”
We certainly have come a long way from the days of explaining to institutes why they need to participate, to today where the community is completely owning and driving the E Week activities. The feeling of ‘belonging’ displayed by the faculty, students, and the management of the colleges is so overwhelming that it makes all the efforts put in by our team more than worth it. If you have noticed, It is no longer just the stories or the experiences of the NEN Trust team members doing the rounds during this carnival of entrepreneurship, today there is so much for us to talk about the trials and tribulations of the students and faculty, the transformations they are bringing about in the community, the entrepreneurs they are creating, their stories of accomplishment… It is just too exhilarating!
All this is without doubt feel good factor. But it is also a reminder that while we have brought about this transformation, it is important that we raise our bar in everything we do – bring in newness in the activities and newer aspirations, and to not only continue being the lead thinkers in entrepreneurship but also be relevant. Let’s share our experiences, learnings and ideas for a better and bigger impact in the coming years.
Director, Student Entrepreneurship Development – NEN
Engaging with Community Entrepreneurs @ Mount Carmel College- THE MCC SANTHE
Steven Spielberg once said, ‘The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves’.
Starting from the previous edition of E-Week , the MCC Santhe has become a signature event for the institution. Mount Carmel College started the Mentoring & Entrepreneurship Development Centre in 2012. Since then the centre has conducted several workshops for women entrepreneurs. However, it was extremely difficult to encourage them to take part , the main reason being – They lost out on an entire day of business . This lack of enthusiasm to be a part of our extremely well planned workshops was understandable considering the fact that our target group were mostly women from the economically backward class.
After a brainstorming session with the E-Leaders, A decision was taken to do a balancing act and thus, the idea of MCC Santhe was born.
The plan of action was pretty simple: From the generic workshop idea, the event graduated to the one-on-one mentoring session which was to be a whole day affair . Entrepreneurs (both men & women) were invited to do their selling on campus . With around 4000 footfalls , this proposal was not very easy to refuse. A nominal fee was charged, considering the fact that nothing given free is truly appreciated.
The outcome has been amazing and the one-on-one mentoring talk have helped in addressing individual issues .
This year, the MCC SANTHE saw the culmination of around 36 Entrepreneurs who put up stalls and exhibited their wares.
This year, like last year was a WIN-WIN situation for both the mentors and mentees . On the whole a great sense of achievement.
It is said that – You can draw a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink . But at Mount Carmel College it seems that SANTHE has drawn the horse to the water AND succeeded in making the horse drink the water too .
On a hot Sunday morning on February 8th,2015, visitors of the famous Amba Vilas Palace Mysore were surprised to see a group of people wearing blue T-Shirts, standing near the entrance of the Palace with E-Week banners to catch their attention. The visitors were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd from Onyx who were all ready with handouts to educate every visitor about the Make in India Campaign as well as the entrepreneurial opportunities in Mysore. The handouts also mentioned the various steps involved in starting a business.
Foreigners and locals, Young students and adults, children and grownups, everyone was excited to interact with the volunteers. Visitors signed a big banner showing their support towards entrepreneurship and the Make in India Campaign and also appreciated the students’ effort in holding such an awareness drive. After reaching out to thousands of people from various parts of the world in just 3 hours, they set forward for the next major venue: Mysore Zoo.
Like any other weekend, Mysore Zoo was filled with crowd from various parts of the world. Volunteers put up their stalls and waited eagerly for people to approach them. Seeing a lot of people at one place, Rehana Begum, Chairperson of Zoo Authority of Karnataka came down to the stalls to check what was happening. The volunteers of Onyx educated her about Entrepreneurship and told her about the awareness drive. Being extremely supportive, she signed the Banner and also appreciated the team’s work in spreading awareness about a topic which is essential for transforming India.
With two places done and one more to go, Team Onyx reached Chamundi Hills, The Holiest place in Mysore to educate the last set of people for the day. Everyday, Lakhs of people come up to Chamundi Hills to seek the blessing of goddess Chamundi. And on this day, along with blessing they had something more to take away. Volunteers started talking to visitors and people passing by and as the day progressed,many more people started pouring in. The awareness drive went on for two more hours and touched people from varied backgrounds.
Finally, the awareness drive ended after reaching out to thousands of people and managed to get the signatures of people from various parts of the world including USA, Spain, Afghanistan, South America, Japan and many other countries showing their support towards entrepreneurship.
As a part of this drive, various sessions were also held in various colleges in Mysore to educate students.
The students of NIE lit the spark of entrepreneurship in the whole city and covered thousands of people from many different backgrounds and took their first steps towards achieving their dream of turning Mysore into an entrepreneurial hub.
Our trip to Rae Bareilly started with a visit to an NGO (Lok Mitra) which works to educate primary school children. In the evening we visited various schools functioning under this NGO, such as a school where the children are not only taught subjects in the curriculum but are also given vocational training. We observed how they learned various entrepreneurial skills which will help them stand on their own feet in the future. Out of the many activities that were going on, pottery making was the one that intrigued us the most so we joined in.
That evening we also visited a boys camp where they shared their experiences with us. We had an interactive session where we shared our purpose of visiting them and they entertained us with stories and songs.
The next day, we visited some primary schools and nearby villages and spoke to the residents and listened as they shared their experiences with us.
The overall trip was a great learning experience and we also managed to have some fun and meet many new people.
Empowering Women From the Slums – 16th February 16, 2015
As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.
The Mentoring and Entrepreneurship development centre of Mount Carmel College continues to promote community / society where spiritual, moral and genuine human values are lived and witnessed . The MEDC today consciously contributed to the transformation of society through openness to reality and living the challenges of being socially conscious and socially responsible.
This year we teamed up with an organization supported by –
BIRDS – We have been working with these ladies for over a year now and they were a part of our E-Week celebrations today.
BIRDS (Brothers Integrated Rural Developmental Society) is an unit of The Sacred Heart Brothers (Registered Under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act of 1960 – Society No. 3/77-78) Society which involves in the up-liftmen of marginalized people for the last 15 years from the year 1987. Their office is situated in Geddalahalli at the semi urban of Bangalore. they involve in the empowerment of the women, youth and children and tribals through community based organization (Self Help Groups). They work in 65 villages of rural Bangalore, in three Taluks namely Devanahalli, Hoskote and Bangalore North Taluk. In all these villages we mainly focus the empowerment of the women, youth and children with a special preference to the Dalit Community.
12 self help groups were selected from the village Dodda gubbi and the ladies were trained in making artificial jewelry by students of MCC . MCC also provides for the marketing activities. This enables them to earn income and be economically self sufficient.
Today as part of the E-Week theme – Creating Jobs For Millions a training was arranged for these ladies in the following to further supplement their income –
Tie & Dye
The training session was conducted by Ms. Archana , Faculty , Department of Fashion & Apparel Design.
The session had extremely enthusiastic learners with both the women and the E-leaders showing a keen interest in learning the new art .
About the Training-
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to receive a desired image. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate.
Tie dye is a technique for dying natural fabrics that results in interesting, colorful patterns. The technique involves crumpling, pleating or folding the fabric into various patterns, then tying it with string, which is what gives it its name. The tied fabric is dipped into vats of dye, then wrung out and rinsed. Tied areas accept dye unevenly amidst the folds, creating varied patterns in the finished product.
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia as a method of printing on textiles and later paper.
All the material i.e cloth , dyes etc was provided. On the whole a great sense of achievement J .
EWeek Mania hit the streets-Awareness for Entrepreneurship: e Café at RaahgiriDay, Indore
E Café, the entrepreneurship development cell of Malwa Institute of Technology, POWERED BY NEN is famous across its college campus, particularly known for its outrageous, exhilarating and invigorating enthusiasm during the eWeek extravaganza.
With the help of Dainik Bhaskar and the local administration of Indore – A.I.C.T.S.L., PWD, Indore Collectorate and Traffic Police, e Café had the chance to use the platform of RaahgiriDay, a weekly road event for 5,000 Indore citizens (every Sunday from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM) where there is a temporary closure of a network of streets to cars so that they become exclusively open to people.
The entire team of 40 e Cell members hit the streets on February 15th 2015, at 4:00 AM in the morning and created Street-art Graffiti to promote eWeek 2015, and then recorded public opinions in over 500 localities on “Unemployment, and how to create more Jobs in India”, with their motto, EK VYAPAAR 100 ROZGAAR. The E-Cell also offered temporary tattoos for people participating in eWeek 2015, and organized fun events like tug-of-war and flash surveys.
Waking up so early in the morning in the freezing cold, to paint Graffiti and take surveys sounds very monotonous and tedious, but the zest and enthusiasm of 5,000+ Indore citizens participating with their utmost zeal energizes you to the core.
The highlight of the event were 2 flash mobs organized on the streets, and an on-stage performance where the people went gaga . An appeal was raised to help save the girl child and campaigns were done for The Blind children of Maharishi Blind School, Vijaynagar. The Team also received tie-up Proposals from Sanchi Doodh, Mrityunjal NGO and a Beti bachaao Andolan.
The team received coverage on the local news channel: Bansal News live coverage, and a Times of India article was published about them.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by Ember E-Cell, Atharva College of Engineering (Mumbai), 2nd February , 2015
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) is a national campaign launched by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.
The Members of Ember E-Cell made their own contribution to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative on 2nd February 2015 . A committee was constituted to thoroughly inspect the college and its surrounding area. The team conducted a 2 hour inspection that covered every corner of the college and its surroundings. Further, A detailed report was prepared to identify areas that were litter-prone so that these areas can be given extra attention on a more frequent basis in order to ensure that the campus is kept relatively dust-free henceforth. The members of Ember E-Cell of Atharva College of Engineering, Mumbai They intend to institute a prize for people who display a sense of civic responsibility within the College and carry out, regular programmes and drives for cleanliness in the area. Students from both, the NSS and the NCC, will be roped in to help with the effective implementation of the programme. The Members of Ember are confident that this campaign will help accomplish their vision of a ‘Clean India’.
Thakur Institute of Management Studies Career Development and Research (TIMSCDR),owes its name and fame as much to its students as to its dedicated and experienced faculty. Born in 2011, the pioneers of the first edition of E-CELL “AYAN” were immensely talented students who laid the groundwork for future success.
This year the E-Cell Ayan chose to portray the theme, “Creating jobs for millions”, by using a Robot for a mascot. Based on a study conducted by a market research firm, Robotics will be a major driver for global job creation over the next five years. As stated by Metra Martech in their research conducted on Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment: “In world terms three to five million of jobs would not exist if automation and robotics had not been developed to enable cost effective production of millions of electronic products, from Phones to Playstations.”
Keeping this in mind, The members of created a working model using a toothbrush, demonstrating how the smallest thing from our household, can be converted into a robot.
The recent inclination of the youth towards the Selfie trend, convinced the members to make the robot mascot a selfie prop. The students contributed in creating awareness about entrepreneurship, by posting those selfies online with hashtags like: #EWeek #entrepreneurship #selfiewiththebot .
The Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad has a large campus and is teeming with students on most days. It was made even busier by the large E-cell of enthusiastic girls and boys during the E-week. The elaborate festivities, events and competitions that the E-cell had designed during the week required deft planning and and effective promotional campaign. This need led to the birth of a new campus company.
The E-cell team manages big PR impact through media relations and outdoor publicity. This time they decided to float a large air balloon in the campus which would carry the message of entrepreneurship. After the planning was done, the ideas was almost punctured by the high rent of such a balloon that the existing commercial entities charged. A balloon with the dimensions of 5 ft x 9 ft x 5 ft would have cost the college Rs 20,000 for a week.
But, not to be deterred by financial obstacles, a group of E-cell members – Yusra Fatima, Sameed Ahmed Usman and M A Karim – got down to researching for the balloon-making process. They tried different kinds of material and settled for black plastic due to cost factors. Trial and errors led them to go for electro-chemical sealing of the edges. They arrived at the final product with the dimensions of a commercial balloon by making just one smaller prototype and the whole process cost just Rs 1,500. For the E-week, they put air in the balloon, but later they propose to fill it with helium, which will raise the total cost to Rs 3,000.
The success of this exercise convinced the team that they can repeat the same model for other colleges, as most of them look for new means to carry out outdoor publicity during college events. So, they set up a new company SKY, taking the initials of its three founding members. The new company has already worked out a business model. They will target the 5,000-odd educational institutions in and around Hyderabad and rent them these publicity balloons for as low as Rs 8,000 a week. This may mean instant business and force competitors to lower the cost.
The sky seems to be in the reach for this team of young entrepreneurs.
While the Swami Keshvanand Institute of Technology (SKIT) in Jaipur was busy looking for ways to digitise its administrative and educational tasks through a commercial ERP solution, four of its third-year engineering students sensed this need not just at the SKIT but at other educational institutes as well. Ayush Pandey, Shubham Paliwal, Shubham Kela and Manish Lakhara founded Co-Sys as a campus company with the help of their faculty.
Three of them are students of computer engineering and are, therefore, inclined to develop such projects by training. But, the maturity that they have already achieved in the concept right from the coding stage to the marketing is impressive, which can develop into a full-fledged, workable enterprise by the time they leave college. They have decided to build it on open-source architecture LAMP.
At the outset, the Co-Sys team makes it clear that it is not into social media, hence stamping a tone of seriousness into the project or its talk. It wants to sell the idea to colleges for the management of all its administrative needs, including the interaction, both academic as well non-academic, with students. They have proposed notice boards, attendance applications, students’ interaction with teachers, content sharing, extra-curricular spaces, etc. They plan to have cloud and offline models for these colleges and also want to have restricted set of applications of this solution available on mobile devices.
Their revenue model involves targeting advertisers who want to reach academic audiences and the college authorities which want to take extra activities online, hence buying premium features and using extra space and bandwidth. They have envisaged an investment of Rs 25 lakh, out of which they hope to get back Rs 15 lakh in the first year of its operation. They have calculated that with a clientèle of 50 colleges in a span of two years, they can easily recover the investment.
In the next stage, the Co-Sys team hopes to move beyond colleges and begin catering to the needs of universities. It plans to target open universities, since they have the need to reach out to their students who are based in different parts of the country. That’s where they can make a killing.
The E-cell of the Banasthali Vidyapeth in Jaipur, Oorja, has acquired the character of a serial entrepreneur. Now they have three campus companies to their credit, two of which have already started posting profits. This year they launched the third company Eduzone for over one thousand students of the campus.
The concept behind the new company is fairly simple, yet equally effective. The nine co-leaders of the E-cell realised the trouble the students of this all-girls campus had to go through in getting their notes photocopied through the lone photocopy which was arranged by the university authorities. The students would stand in queue for a long time and same set of papers would be photocopied over and over again. The cost at one rupee per photocopy impression was also not too affordable for students who depended on these notes for studies.
The Oorja team tied the two ends of this process together and brought down the cost, while at the same time brining much comfort to both students and teachers. On the one hand, they got teachers on board and made them give the Eduzone team the notes which needed to be made available to students before the class. And, on the other hand, it roped in a set of Xerox vendors who would take up the bulk job at less than half the price.
At Eduzone, the cost per photocopy impression is only 50 paise now and the notes are delivered right in the class to all students. The teachers are happy that they have to share notes with a responsible set of people and the students can’t have any excuse of not having the material in front of them.
Meanwhile, the earlier two companies Dust to Drain, a laundry service for hostellers, and Juicy Juice Corner, a refreshment stall, has started posting profits. The turnover of Juicy Juice Corner in 2011-12 was about Rs 17,000, in which the students made a profit of over 60 per cent.
In all, a group of 17 students of the E-cell manage all the three companies.
We reach the backside of the Mysore palace, near Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple where an E-week banner draped over a Maruti van stands out catching our attention and that of the on-lookers. We are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, all of whom are wearing blue tee shirts reading E-Week 2013 ONYX*, bubbling with zest and spark. They are visibly excited about their prototypes, which include solar cookers, water purifiers, mechanical wells and biodiesel; they jubilantly tell us about them.
Innovating For India, is the theme of E-Week 2013 and the students of NIE realize it through their endeavors in Green Energy.
The main event for this day was the Greenathon, a cycle marathon with over 120 cyclist and volunteers covering every corner of the city to spread awareness on Green Energy and the sustainable models they have developed. The marathon was flagged off by the Police Commissioner of Mysore, Mr. K. L. Sudhir who after learning about biodiesel and the plant setup at NIE, promised that all the Police vehicles in Mysore thereby would be run by biodiesel.
NIE has a very strong E-Cell with over six hundred members and Alumni. The Almuni are always kept in loop; some of them even take part in the E-Week as volunteers. They say, “Nostalgia brings us back; we like to help and guide, meet, re-unite and bond again.”
The Vice-President of Onyx*, Jyeshta proudly informs us that they made the E-Week self-sustainable this year, totally run by the campus ventures they’ve started and established.
Later, we are taken on a tour to NIE CREST-(Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies) and the Bio-Diesel plant, which is their flagship project, funded by the Biofuel Board of Karnataka. The plant produces about fifty liters per day, providing fuel for all the vehicles in the campus. The source for the biodiesel is the non-edible seed such as Pongamia and the processed seed is sold as manure.
The other major event for the day is E-Hunt, the objective of which is to collate and present the interviews the students have conducted of the entrepreneurs in the city. They surveyed about eighty entrepreneurs in retail, food and beverages, automobile and other industries. Later, they brainstormed on the problems these entrepreneurs faced and also came up with some viable solutions.
The students at NIE are passionate, motivated and focused. They have clarity of thought and proper direction to their efforts, which is bringing fruitful returns on the projects and ventures they have taken up.
*Onyx is the E-Cell of National Institute of Engineering.
It’s a dry afternoon and the sun is scorching when we get down at Maharaja Institute of Technology; what’s welcoming are the two huge banners of E-Week reading “celebrate the joy of entrepreneurship” hanging from the main building of the college. We walk in to the registration desk and meet a few E-Leaders, they tell us about events they are conducting such as the public awareness on entrepreneurship event in a local mall where they roped in two popular singers to attract the masses.
The event ongoing is the self-defense session for women, which is organized as a part of women empowerment regime. One of the E-Leaders volunteers to be the attacker and the martial arts expert deftly shows effective moves to block, avoid and resist such attacks. Many moves from various angles and position are shown, many instances are also considered like attack with hands, knives, stalking and the like. The event happens in the open space of the college canteen and so easily attracts a huge gathering. There are shouts and claps when a particularly neat move is showed where the attacker hits the ground while trying to launch an assault.
eMIT is the E-Cell of MIT which has around 30 odd members with about 10 E Leaders. They have taken up social causes and are holding events such as the solar street lamp rally, a visit to a blind school, skit on mobilization of youth among many others.
It’s a beautiful day, not sunny, not dull, and just about right. I sit in the cab watching the trees outside, waiting for the traffic to clear. This part of the city has lush green cover and I then realize why Bangalore is the Garden City. Soon, we drive into Mount Carmel College; E Week banners, posters, charts and notices are everywhere—on the walls, on the pillars, even on trees! Little alphabets of E and W representing E-Week hang from trees; the atmosphere is that of a mini-carnival, festive.
Students are running around arranging events, putting up more posters, making announcements and giving everyone E-Week stickers. The buzz is great, and for a moment you feel drained seeing so much energy around you. I feel the urge to capture every moment, every frame.
Initium, the E-Cell of Mount Carmel has over 150 members and 12 heads; they have five pods for internship, socio entrepreneurship, marketing, communication and event management. They form an effective team when it comes to organizing and managing events. You can easily see that the E-Cell members are enterprising and committed. You feel ecstatic seeing the E-Week taking off so well, this is almost near ideal—innovation is happening, students are involved; they are coming up with brilliant ideas with feasible resources.
We are told that every year, one of the departments comes up with major events for the E-Week and this year the department chosen was the Home Science.
We loved the Innovative Millets event where millet cuisine was showcased; we got to taste some amazing millet cakes, millet dosas, millet cookies among many others. This is one of their prized innovations—to bring the millets back. In a country where malnutrition is rampant, millets serve as an amazing solution—they have got all the nutritional value, and they don’t need much attention as crops. And tada! You have a practical substitute for wheat and rice or when one can’t afford wheat or rice. It is wonderful listening to students talk about it—why not have nutritional junk food? All the food items are prepared by sixteen final year Home Science students who dared to think different—why do the routine presentations and assignments when we could something real? This thought coupled with the ready support they got from their faculty, Mrs. Sundaravalli made it possible for them to do proper research and come up with about forty recipes. Mrs. Sundaravalli wrote a recipe book incorporating all these ideas and one of the major events for the day was the book release—“Innovative Merry Millets”.
The book release happens under the canopy of the iconic Tamarind tree of the campus. The venue is simply resplendent—there’s something very singular in having an open event where you reach slews of people and if the place is scenic, it just adds.
What is admirable is the amount of socio entrepreneurship the college is targeting at—they have a sanitary napkin production unit which produces napkins using biodegradable plastic. These napkins are provided for free in rural areas for the girl children who otherwise skip school on those special days. I’m told that the practice showed 90% increase in attendance. The unit has been set up in 2010 and every year inputs go in to make more sustainable. They also help empower some women by showcasing their products such as cloth bags for sale in their campus.
Scores of events fun and entrepreneurial are happening—there’s the presentation by students to pitch their ventures and get a seed capital of 10k. The event is conducted and sponsored by the MEDC, Mentoring and Entrepreneurship Development Center which is unique to MCC alone. There was a debate going on with the topic—FDI in Retail. Link Up, a quiz on Bollywood, fashion, brands and sports also was happening in parallel. Richa, one of the E-leaders was briefing up about the events in the E-Cell room when we hear shouts and screams and then a huge around applause. They were from the pantomime that happened. We hurry to catch it but feel disappointed to see the show done. I talk to one of the performers, who’s clearly exhausted by the performance, she’s in drenched in sweat and is in short of breath. She quickly explains how they related the theme Innovating for India to Wind Energy.
There are many campus companies including those for book binding, candle making, bakery, paper bags, etc. We are given candles the students prepared as parting gifts and we leave the campus satisfied that another institute is having its E-Week to its fullest.
I arrive early and find my way to the auditorium of Jyoti Nivas College where a national conference is happening with the theme is “Are our women and daughters safe today?” with a subtext ‘Listen, Feel & Respond to Women’s Voices’. I have my doubts how this conference relates to the theme for this year’s E-Week, Innovating for India. I listen to the conference overview and a few speakers’ speech, one of whom is Srikrishna, our Executive Director at NEN. I’m ecstatic to hear him speak; he speaks effortlessly, easing the audience, giving them a few laughs and maintains his stance on the importance of doing something. He is followed by Dr. Elizabeth V S who gives the key note address, (Dr. Elizabeth V S is a professor in history from National Law School of India University and JNC is her alma mater.) She talks about various issues, predominantly the psyche of Indian Society and its deeply inherent patriarchal values, which hamper and hinder the growth of women. Although, her speech mainly focused on the violence women sustain and the numerous crimes that go unreported, by the end of the speech you realize that changing the attitude and values of people right now is also Innovation, it is very important and much needed and would definitely be a prerequisite for women empowerment especially when it comes to entrepreneurship which is one of the significant ways of innovating India.
The Conference is just one of the 450 odd events Fortitude, the E-Cell has planned for the E-Week. Fortitude is easily one of the most active and vibrant E-Cells out there. Though it has only 18 members, these students with the help of their coordinating faculty manage all the in-house and off-campus events. The E-Cell is thriving with its diversified, scaled up and sustainable campus companies such as Sparkle, Mitra, Sati, Swatch, and Innovative Hub among others.
The air in the campus is convivial and infective as E-Cell members gather around and shout “We can! We will!”. It’s easy to drown in the info the E-Leaders Sharon and Meghana flood us with. They are chirpy and go on giving us a non-stop soliloquy of the events they have conducted. They show us around the Green Store where they keep all the products from their campus ventures. We see cloth bags, recycled notebooks, key chains, accessories to name a few. In a session on business opportunities in India, they have come up with viable options such as corporate gifting, floriculture, freelancing, etc.
The campus is well decorated with posters, banners and charts. The corridors are filled displays on the traffic rules, women abuse, drugs, and environmental issues among others. Meghana explains us, when we thought about innovation, it occurred to us that it’s not always inventing something new but sometimes it’s also removing what’s bad and undesired.
There have also been a number of outreach programs wherein students went on industrial visits to small scale businesses; they have also conducted a survey on the impact on FDI on retail stores by taking up about 25 stores in and around the place.
Dayanand Sagar Institute is massive with over twelve departments having about fourteen thousand students. We reach almost at the end of the event, CEO Connect, where they have arranged a talk by Mr. Mahadevaswamy who is the CEO of Applied Inventions. He talks about collaborating members, pitching ideas, applying for patents and procuring finances. The crowd intently listens to him, they catch his every word. We smile when the faculty giving the vote-of-thanks quips, No Sir, we are not letting you leave just yet. She tells him the students will keep in touch with him and take his guidance for their setting up and incubating their ventures. She then presents him with a memento as a token of remembrance.
We are then taken to the MUN; the air is tense, the delegates of Russia and the USA have agreed to help Greece with a fifty billion dollar bailout plan (Greece is in severe economic crisis). The Euro Council has agreed and press releases are read from both parties (Russia and the USA). The Chair reads the motion to adjourn the meeting; all are in favor and the MUN ends. I ask around about the event and eager participants launch their experiences all at once. It’s the first MUN for them and they say, it broadened their horizon to a new perceptive and was a great learning experience. The MUN was a two day event where topics such as State Supported Terrorism and the Euro Crisis were discussed and delegated.
It was simply delightful to see a huge banner of IEDC for DSI, E WEEK powered by NEN in one of their buildings. We were told that the banner would be placed in other buildings in rotation, wherever the prime events of the day were supposedly happening.
The next event on the list was the quiz; the participation was decent with 32 registered teams of two each. The organizers talk to us about this event and the others they have planned. They tell us what about the flash mob they conducted to promote the E-Week. We can see that they were ecstatic about the turnout (about 250 students). They also put placards of E Week on the vehicles of the college as a way of promotion. We can see the absolute pleasure in their eyes when tell us they received about 400 registrations the next day. The Quiz ended with a signature campaign, where students signed in their comments about the event.
Since the IEDC is fairly new in the campus, the majority of the events are focused on creating awareness among students on Entrepreneurship and their E-Cell, Aura.
It’s around 3’0 clock in the afternoon when we reach BMS College of Engineering, it’s sunny and we walk into a fairly deserted campus. Our NEN consultant takes us to the main building where the events are supposedly happening. We find the place quiet, most of the students are giving their exams; one of the faculty takes us to the business quiz, the current event and we seat ourselves at the back.
The room is filled with students and we see the questions being projected on the white screen, beside the screen is a huge banner of E Week and BMS EDC (Entrepreneurship Development Center). The Quiz Master is fantastic, he does a brilliant job at firing questions, clarifying doubts, giving subtle hints and background knowledge about the topics used. The participants are an enthusiastic crowd of about forty students from all disciplines. The questions asked were probing, making the students think, we even found ourselves discussing the answers to some. I felt jubilant when I got an answer right; they showed a logo of fictional bank and asked us to name it. We had to leave so I controlled the urge to shout Gringotts and the quiz master moved on to the next question.
Sadly, we didn’t have time to catch up on the photography event which was happening in parallel.
Verdancy is the first thing you notice at AIMS—Acharya Institute of Management and Sciences, filled with canopies of climbers and shady trees. As we move inside we see the theme Innovating for India everywhere around, on charts and thermocol cut-outs of India brightly coloured and decorated. We see huge placards of NEN E-Week and Innovating for India in the lawns and an industrious volunteer arranging a few letters which have fallen off against the wind.
We can sense a lot of hustle bustle as we head into the Boardroom of the AIMS campus where the day’s agenda is being chalked out and discussed with the volunteers. Prof. Madhuri Sharma, amiable and full of action, who is the manager of AIMS E-Cells quickly briefs us about the schedule. In joins Prof. Ranganathan, loquacious and ecstatic about the E-Week, he tells us about their take on the theme, Innovating for India; how they have decided to interact entrepreneurs, research institutes such as IISc, entrepreneurship educators among others. Students step in and tell us their experiences, how they have been motivated and how they learnt about the various challenges and opportunities Entrepreneurship brings.
Interestingly, it was from Prof. Ranganathan that we got most of the inputs; he clearly was the most enthusiastic of the lot! He is rapturous when he talks of Miraz and Vaishnavi, the former a current student and the latter a recent pass-out. These two have started their own ventures; Miraz is into website designing and Vaishnavi is in chocolate manufacturing. Pride is in his eyes when Prof. Ranganathan apprises us that only 5% of the small scale businesses in the country are registered and that his two students have finished the first process for registering. They have taken the step further where compeers usually dither, acting as beacons for the rest to follow.
The Innovative healthy Breakfast Competition for AIMS Staff, I was very happy with this particular event. The yummy smells of freshly made dosas, idlies and pancakes make our stomachs grumble (we didn’t have any breakfast), we take a quick tour to avoid temptation of grabbing a bite. The items displayed include greenpeas halwa, cabbage dosa, biscuit cake, sprout salad, rice veg pancakes among others.
One of the major events for the day is honoring Ms. Madhura Chatrapathy, an impressive lady, easily a force of nature, for the Kholapuri Chappal Innovation. She talked of innovation and invention, how they differ in definition and impact. Time constraint impeded us from catching the whole talk as we had to head to another college.
Enterprising students tend to be social more often than not. Sometimes, they tend to mix their entrepreneurial spirit to meet social goals. On other occasions, they just add on to the entrepreneurial spirit of the grassroots entrepreneurs. The E-cell of the Vasavi College of Engineering in Hyderabad chose the latter option when it chose to involve street vendors in its B-plan competition.
The idea was simple and heart-felt. Ten teams of students went around the college to study and improve the business models of street vendors. They chose fairly successful vendors, dealing in car mobile chargers, local Hyderabadi snacks, etc. whose micro-enterprises could benefit from such an interaction.
It wasn’t a vertical sharing of knowledge though. The students were asked to share the alternative or improved business plan with the vendor in question and record their opinion, which counted in the business-plan competition.
One such alternative business strategy stood out. A local vendor sold car mobile chargers. A common complaint of users of these chargers is that they work only for a few days. The Vasavi college team suggested to the vendor that he take the responsibility of the product. The vendor immediately took note and got stickers carrying information on his name and contact details pasted on these chargers. Now, he promises to replace the charger if it goes bust within a few days. Though it is too early to see a significant change in the sales, the vendor is happy about the change he has made.
The E-cell team plans to collate the learning from this year’s exercise and then build on it the next year. It wants to train micro-entrepreneurs in implementing the improved strategies from the next year onwards.
There are all kinds of stock exchanges in the world, which trade millions of dollars worth of entities every day. They largely control the money markets and price fluidity in an integrated global economy. However, in an innovative contribution to the E-week, Siri Kalluri, a fourth-year engineering student of the Vasavi College of Engineering, Hyderabad, conceptualised an exchange for innovative events which are part of the college’s e-week schedule.
The college E-cell Swayam found the idea interesting. Its members developed it further with Kalluri and created a Swayam index with a maximum value of 10,000 in rupee terms. They issued a virtual currency of a maximum of Rs 500 to 50 students of the college. They were asked to invest in five formal and 12 informal events during the E-week, where the crowd participation became the bottom-line of each event. The student whose prediction of the number of participants comes closest to the actual number who attend it gets to take the investment of the rest of the investors.
This process has multiple advantages, which can be used both by the innovative students as well as the faculty and even other people in the event management industry. First, this index invokes active student participation even among those students who otherwise are not directly participating in E-week events. When the data is collated, organisers can easily announce the ‘richest’ investor in the college who predicted the trends of events accurately. Second, it tells the E-cell how far they have been successful in creating a buzz around the events. A perfect score of 10,000 for the index can indicate the popularity of the E-week. They can also find out which events attracted better response from the investors, thus setting the agenda for future events. And, third, if the concept is further fine-tuned and extended to everyone in the audience, the way an open stock exchange works, it can be a better indicator of the popularity. This can tell the faculty, other organisers and the industry that an index of popularity of such events can be developed with virtual currency.
The Swayam team wants to add more features to the index to take it closer to the functioning of an exchange where real money is traded.
At Atharva, both the management and faculty are equally involved in celebrating E Week. The effect of this support is evident in the quality of events, projects and student ventures on campus. E Week at this college started with a five-day seminar called iCreator Series facilitated by its faculty and guest speakers. The seminar focused on the requirements of starting and running a venture. Participants were encouraged to brainstorm and discuss viable ideas. Of the six venture ideas discussed, 2/3 ideas are ready to be implemented!
The E Week centrepiece was a huge model of an ideal urban and rural setting at the entrance of the college. The model was replete with innovations that can solve infrastructure problems and boost urban-rural connectivity. They demonstrated the benefits of implementing innovations from across the world including transparent concrete from Barcelona, dome-shaped earthquake proof hostels from Mexico, multi-banking centre in rural areas among others.
Atharva College of Engineering has the distinction of having received IEDC funding; among their student run IEDC projects, the All-in-one CNC machine caught our attention. Its creator Suyog Vyawahare demonstrated the viability of the project through a technology demonstrator. Impressively, the CNC machine is ready to go to market after a modification that requires the procurement of a laser. The product will be sold through Suyog’s venture Suyog Technologies.
The other successful projects include Aquatech, a tap extension modified into an affordable water filter; Vertical Axis Windmill; Solar Based Regeneration, to use solar energy to power devices; and Application of Smart Streetlight, installed in a residential complex outside the campus.
Entrepreneurship is also thriving at Atharva and it was gratifying to meet some of the student entrepreneurs. Konnections, run by Divyesh V. Rajput offers web design and development services, event and publicity management, and are into android app development. Infusion, run by Abhishek Pathre is a graphic design and branding solutions company. They have in fact designed some of the E Week branding collaterals at Atharva.
Reportsnthesis.com offers educational consultancy services and offers content development services. The venture has the distinction of having Venu Shah, a NEN Faculty leader as one the founders. Exotic Art Tattoos had a stall on campus and is run by an Atharva alumnus Harsh Kava.
E Week 2013 at Thakur Institute of Management Studies, Career Development and Research (TIMSCDR) has taken on the cool factor after the institute was declared as Runner-Up in the small institute category at E Week India 2012. Into their second year of celebrating E Week, the E Leaders at TIMSCDR have already mobilised the students in their college from being unresponsive to enthusiastically participating in entrepreneurship activities.
Ever since winning the E Week Debut Runners-up award last year, the aptly named E Cell Ayan meaning to progress, focused on creating greater awareness about entrepreneurship on campus. The E Cell Leaders organized workshops to change the perception of students. The impact has been positive. For instance, many students volunteered to organize activities for their second of E Week celebrations. This is gratifyingly different from last year when students participated only because it was mandated by the college management.
The preparations for E Week started a month and half ago at TIMSCDR. The team created around 30 videos to explain the scope of E Week for their E Week@School initiatives. The most successful events however were the flash mobs and street plays at the Oberoi Mall in Goregaon and Growel’s 101 Mall in Kandivali. The theme was safety of women and the team was able to engage 1800 people at Oberoi and 750 at Growels.
Within a short time of initiating entrepreneurship programs on campus, the college is already supporting many student ventures. Around The Globe Holidays run by Tejas Wani was selected as TATA First Dot 2013’s Top 30 student ventures of India. Appic Mobile’s student founder Naumaan Khan lists Cleartrip, Fiat Cafe among his clients. His venture provides software solution and application development across various popular platforms and devices. Pstatic Studio, founded by four students, offers a host of digital marketing solutions including web design and development, app development, graphic design, SEO/SEM.
The lazy winter Sun and the cool morning breeze would make an average Indori feel as if it was just another Sunday morning. It was 7 am when I reached Hotel Ginger to pick Asgar and our special correspondent Nishant for the day ahead. We had a lot of activities lined up on our agenda today , a day which was to begin with a marathon and a bike rally organized by not one, not two but four of our participating institutes; and guess what? All of them within close vicinity of one another! We proceeded to Chappan (56 shops), a famous Indore hangout for foodies to grab the staple breakfast of Indore, ‘Poha & Jalebi’ before we embark on our yatra.
At chappan, there was more energy than usual and somehow we were able to sense excitement in the air. Post Poha and tea, we moved onwards to Janjeerawala square; the starting point for marathon organized by Malwa Institute of Technology. On an otherwise deserted Sunday morning, we suddenly saw masses of Red, Green and Blue. These colors were nothing but the reflection of the energy of the students. The Director, Training and Placement Officers and other faculty members were also in their brightest best, ready to go and run as a part of the NEN marathon.
Just half a kilometer away, I could hear bikes going Vroom Vroom and it seemed students of Prestige Institute had roped in all bike clubs of Indore as sponsors to run for the cause ‘Real Men make a difference’. When we walked in to check out what was happening, Rajat, our student entrepreneur and main chef of Hungry Birds (Campus Venture) came running asking for tea. Before I could shake my head, a steaming cup of tea was placed before me. Tea was arranged for all participants courtesy ‘Hungry Birds’. Red was the colour of the season, or so I thought till Arpan (Prestige E Leader) came and tried in vain to sell Red Hoodies to me (again a product of Aaghaz Ecell), that were selling like hot cakes.
While the organizers were rushing around, shouting orders, giving interviews, I suddenly heard loud slogans of ‘Jitega bhai jitega Acropolis jitega’ and in comes Mr. Atul Bharat and team all branded NEN; faces full of excitement. Amidst all the chaos and confusion of who is from which campus, Sujith drops in from the airport all set with his camera wondering which institute to start with!
Things are on a peak when I get a call from IPS Academy asking about our whereabouts. They just finished their marathon, had close to 250 participants and wanted us to join their celebrations with tea and poha! Again! So off we go to join the madness and from there on to a new destination.
Next day sees NEN boldly shouting out loud from pages in Indore dailies: Four colleges, an awesome bunch of charged up students, Harley-Davidsons and handsome dudes sure made the marathon worth a watch on the streets of Indore. It was not so lazy a Sunday after all!
Thirty-one women entrepreneurs bound by a spirit of peer learning and enhancing their business skills got together at the Birla Institute of Management Technology in Greater Noida as part of the E-week. This eclectic group had language trainers, life trainers, doctors, business consultants, finance experts, cosmetics professionals, architects, etc. in it.
Despite being so diverse in sectors, this group had many positives and negatives in common. With a few exceptions, they were young, had good eduction, urban, English-speaking and had already had a profit-making business in place. Most such businesses fall under a turnover of Rs 10-15 lakh to Rs 1 crore category. So, the basics were all worked out. They were looking for strategies to expand or consolidate. Many women entrepreneurs help their partners in in joint businesses, while many women decided to do it solo. Most women in the latter category came from technology-related businesses.
Prof. Abha Rishi, a Fulbright scholar, steers this programme of women entrepreneurs with the help of faculty and support staff. The concerns that the faculty seeks to address over a period of seven days can be categories under existing business management coordinates despite the varied backgrounds of the candidates: for example, a lot of these candidates spoke about human resource issues and difficulty in, first, getting the right people for their enterprises and, then, to be able to retain them; on the personal front, a lot of women felt difficulty in time management between family responsibilities and work requirements; better marketing was almost a universal concern; and they also sought guidance in raising finance and keeping books.
Rishi has been involved with this programme for a while and has already trained over a hundred women to run better, more effective enterprises. There are some notable success stories and a lot of past candidates vouch for the effectiveness of the bonds they build as part of this programme.
The E-week of the National Entrepreneurship Network has led to flow of creativity at many business and technical institutions in the country. The Jaipuria Institute of Management in Noida in the National Capital Region led the exercise by choosing seven different themes for the week.
One of the most interesting of these themes was the Rural Day on 11 February. Combining the innovative thinking with the goal of social responsibility, the E-cell of the college invited a group of about 45 farmers from the nearby Shergarh village of the Ghaziabad district.
This campaign was spearheaded by the first year student Kamal Rana. He hails from the Kurukshetra district of Haryana and comes from an agricultural family. During this students days, he helped his family in tilling the land and taking the produce to the market. He realised early in life that in a tough profession like agriculture there is a very big information deficit. His university education enabled him to access information on various government schemes that exist for the welfare of farmers. Soon enough, he realised that either the benefits of these schemes did not reach farmers at all or a large part of the benefits are availed by middlemen. He gives the example of subsidy that a sugar-cane farmer is entitled to claim from the government, but because it is disbursed through the sugar mill owners, the farmer cannot avail the full amount.
Once at the Jaipurai Institute, he combined his interest with the E-week programme and with the help of other students from the institute started visiting nearby villages. The team soon found that the concerns and apprehensions of these farmers were not too different from what Rana had discovered as a farmer. They invited these farmers to college and the Agri Cell of the college connected them to Indian Farmers’ Fertilizers Cooperative Limited, popularly knows by its acronym IFFCO.
The IFFCO representative Dr Virendra Kumar showed the Shergarh farmers a documentary film on soil nutrients and how they could test soil to find out what they need to add for its health. The practical knowledge of the farmers often clashed with the procedural details of the IFFCO representative, he did not represent any government department. The farmers felt that corruption and casual approach of the government soil-testing agencies makes them lose faith in the government schemes, even if they are meant for the benefit of farmers. The farmers said that there were aware that their soil lacked certain important nutrients, like potash, phosphorus, carbon, zinc and sulphur, but instead of depending on testing reports they used soil observation to replenish it, as not much help came from the above.
Rana and his team saw the obvious gap here and have decided to step in. Taking this interaction to be a base, they want to launch an awareness drive for farmers, where they can tell them more about government schemes and put them in touch with the right government or non-governmental agencies which can address their grievances.
It’s Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology’s debut E Week and they are an excited lot. The college sports a festive air with a host of activities including a blood donation camp, short movie festival, and game and food stalls. The ice golas look especially inviting.
But a debut does not warranty baby steps at Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology. The college is attempting to break a world record in most people involved in making paper bags simultaneously. 300 students and faculty will try to make 3000 paper bags in less than 30 minutes. The current world record is held by 273 people for making 1357 paper bags in 30 minutes. They want to bring attention to the importance of avoiding plastics and encourage people to do their bit to prevent global warming. The world record is to be certified by Elite World Records UK Pvt. Ltd (London). Good luck to them!
There is an ebullient mood at Sri Krishna Institute of Management (SKIM) who are E Week 2012 Champions. It’s a mood that comes with passion for E Week and a determination to repeat last year’s performance with more impactful programs and events. Take for instance, the initiation for Sewage Treatment Plant which started with E Week 2012’s Invent the Future theme. The members of Laksheya (Sri Krishna’s E Cell) kept at it for a year and now it’s almost near to completion. Of course, a great deal of the credit goes to the guidance of their tireless Faculty Leader Vijaylakshmi Menon and Faculty Co-leader Julian Gnana Dhas.
Taking a classic corporate approach to E Week 2013, the team created a mind map and departments to handle different aspects of the event including documentation and technical departments. Each department has a lead, team and office space assigned to it! This to ensure a smooth execution to the 211 events planned for E Week 2013.
During E Week 2013, SKIM wanted to deepen the impact of its EWeek@Schools program. Their vision was to conduct 50 rupee exercise to students all over Tamil Nadu (except Chennai) especially in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Salem, Vellore, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Madurai and Namakkal districts. There’s already a sense of satisfaction with what has been achieved – the team has reached out to 55,000 school students. To create a greater sense of accountability, the team was encouraged to reach out to schools in their native towns and districts. The team also went back to the schools they had reached out to last year, and they have observed a growing maturity among the students. From general awareness about entrepreneurship, school students are thinking as any entrepreneur would – how to position their products as more valuable and have customers come back for more.
To take the message of ‘Innovating for India’, the team is organizing large public events. The most recent one was a rally which had 400 participants. The participants included students, NCC cadets, public etc. To ensure the event was completely eco friendly, they banned all kinds of plastic and synthetic articles. Even their banner was made of cloth and created by a local painter. They hope to revive the painting of banners instead of using flex printing. This in turn, they contend will boost local painters whose numbers are dwindling from lack of support and enough work.
Adarsh Mohan Dixit, Akshay Vyas and Aditya Desai are three mechanical engineering students of the Malwa Institute of Technology in Indore who have been leading a hostel life since coming to the city for this course. Their proposed venture operates in the fast food space for students like themselves.
Living in hostels, it is difficult to miss the dependence students have for fast food, particularly inexpensive options like ready-to-cook noodles. This team realised that there was no one way of preparing this fast snack, especially given diverse backgrounds of theses students. Most popular noodles brands give three or four options in flavour, but students innovates with their own kinds of masalas. The matter is made worse by the near-total monopoly of a particular brand in this segment.
This young team of students realised that to crack this segment as a business idea, they needed to have a diverse preparation of noodles. So, they have decided to cater customised noodles to students. Their team collects noodles recipes from students, taking notes on the choice of masala and ingredients. So far, they have collected 24 different recipes. Desai is single largest contributor to this list, with a list of seven flavours behind him. All a student needs to do is choose a recipe, which may or may not be the one that he or she has contributed to the menu, and in a few minutes, a tasty, steamy bowl of noodles is presented to them.
This young team – which credits its innovative idea to the inspiration from other management students from the city, like Chai Bar, who have gone on to turn their passion for food and drinks into successful business ventures – wants to cater to the large student community of Indore with the first outlet in the Gita Bhawan or the Bhawarkuna area, where there are at least 10 hostels for outstation students. It feels that with a list of ingredients and masalas, like cheese, eggs, pav bhaji masala, chhole masala, etc. they can satiate a large majority of students. Depending on the ingredients, a plate of noodles can cost anything between Rs 25 to Rs 125. Another feature of this venture is that they propose to use regular noodles rather than a brand already available in the market to create a niche for themselves.
A student knows what a night is worth. The ideas of both fun and hard work involve claiming a fair share of nights in the lives of most students. That’s what Abhas Kataria and Akshay Jain of IPS Academy, both the first semester students of this prestigious Indore institute, realised early in their days in this industrial hub of Madhya Pradesh. Most of their nights around the examination time were spent studying in groups. However, they often felt that most of them had to curtail the studies because they would start feeling hungry after midnight.
Though the city is known for its delicious snacks and a great appetite for all kinds of food, most eateries shut shop by 11 pm, leaving the student community to fend for itself. This gap in the food business and a desire to reach out to the student community appeared as a viable business opportunity to Kataria and Jain. They formed a team with their friends Anurag Chhajjed and Rahul Singh Vaghela and started a new venture Mid Night Food.
With a youthful play on words, they created a punchline ‘Now no one sleeps hungry’ and set up the first outlet in the Bhawarkuna area of the city on 6 February 2013. The choice of the area was rather careful. This area caters to the residential needs of the large student community of Indore that comprises people from all over Madhya Pradesh and uses its 40-odd business schools and a much larger engineering institutes.
Mid Night Food only delivers food home and operates only from 10 pm to 3 am. The timing serves dual purpose. On the one hand, it becomes a USP of the brand, which helps the student community connect with it and, on the other, it lets the entrepreneurs carry on with their education. Three of the four founders of this eatery are still students, who work in shifts in a team of two with the help of one chef and one delivery boy. Of course, the founders take turn to deliver too.
Though their enterprise is rather recent, they have done enough ground work to see the trends in the business and augment their capacity to face the challenges of the business. They noticed during their pilot study that the best demand for their food articles comes during 11 pm and 1 am. So, all six members of the team are present at the outlet during this period. Keeping the economic profile of their customers in mind, they offer items starting from Rs 15 and a maximum of Rs 75.
Looking ahead, they hope to recover investment in this self-funded venture in the next two to three months. After which their next target is to cover the whole of Indore and expand beyond the student community in the next six months. The team hopes that once this target is achieved, they will be all set to take their brand out of Indore.
A unique mix of a hackathon and workshop, Silicon Connect at SSN College of Engineering saw a mix of hackers and aspiring student entrepreneurs working on ideas and prototypes. As part of the initiative, the students of Lakshya (SSN’s E Cell) will video conference with entrepreneurs and CEOs from Silicon Valley (California) who will guide them on the viability of their ideas and prototypes.
The workshop is third in a series of workshops which informs aspiring student entrepreneurs on different aspects of starting and running a venture. The third workshop focused on reverse engineering business plans of Starbucks, Hero Honda and Nike among other existing companies and brands.
Among the apps of the Hackathon, two caught our interest – Badge It and Trackash. Badge It is an app developed by the duo of Karthik Subramanian and Madhumita Viswanathan. The app automates the process of creating badges for events. Instead of labouring away for hours on designing software platforms, Badge It allows the user to use pre-existing templates or upload new ones, choose format & fonts, and simply upload a list of names to create and print badges. The fact that the app has been used by different events including TATA First Dot shows the popularity of the app. The app also won the Google Apps Developer Challenge 2012 in the Not for profit category.
Trackash is an expense tracker Android app that allows the user to record, track and analyze their expenses through a simple interface. The app is developed by Mukund M and Isaac John, and is already available for download on Google Store. If you are a spendthrift then download this app and read more about it here.
There are dreamers and then there are doers. The world needs both. In some ways it is serendipity to spend time at SSN because the E Cell members, innovators and student entrepreneurs are a balance of dreamers and doers. What else explains their vision and the steps taken to make it happen. This year, the team decided to continue on the successes of last year by focusing on small but quality projects.
Our time at SSN began with an introduction to the batch of biodiesel they had made from ‘used’ cooking oil. Claiming this to be the second best method of making biodiesel, the team explained the process from gathering the raw materials –in this case all members of the Lakshya team (SSN’s E Cell) brought used cooking oil from their homes. After many trials and errors which included arriving at the right proportion of the different chemicals used, the team was able to filter a small batch of biodiesel. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the eco friendly diesel, they had drained out all fuel from a tractor (hired from a local farmer) and into its fuel tank they poured a concoction of biodiesel and diesel. And yes, the tractor started and even carted a load of students around.
The success of an idea especially a green one depends a great deal on the distribution. The team pitched their biodiesel to Southern Railways who have promised to implement a workable solution of the biofuel.
The team wants to empower women from rural areas by introducing them to crafts that have a market. Of the many crafts, they are positioning terrariums as a craft that has a ready market. Terrariums are enclosed gardens generally in used bulbs, soda bottles etc. The team has pitched the idea to the Director of Khadi Crafts who has expressed interest in giving the terrariums shelf space in their stores.
More than their projects, what strikes me is the thought they have put into their approach. They want to stay small, scale and focus on impact. After all, the Lakshya member chorus, “It’s not about one week in the year. We want to do this all year round.”
‘We can. We will’ is an integral part of NEN. It’s our cornerstone. The Trust Team quotes it at every given opportunity; more so during E Week. So when I heard it in the chorus of Saveetha’s E Week anthem, I was ecstatic.
To do something different for E Week 2013, the team at Saveetha created an anthem which was recorded in a studio with vocals support from popular singer Nikhil Mathews. The anthem was released at the E Week launch and a lot can be said about the catchiness of its tune if the audience hummed along at first listen.
As much as I’d love to write more about the anthem, it’s time to talk about SAM-Uth (Science, Arts, Management Youthopia). SAM-Uth is a conference themed on the lines of TED Talks with the objective of creating ‘Youthopia’. It featured 12 speakers who spoke on innovation, success, entrepreneurship among others. Radhika Ganesh, an activist, social entrepreneur and fashion publicist all combined in one had the audience singing and dancing during her talk. Krishnakumar Balasubramanian, a professional actor, director and playwright, spoke about success and importance of going at it one-day at a time.
There is no dearth of student ventures working on innovative ideas at Saveetha Engineering College. We met two such ventures. Gopinath K and S Karunakaran of Itronix Automation are working on a solar powered robotic device which they claim will innovate agriculture is done in India. They are also working on an Automation Control device which will control voltage and tell a home appliance when to switch off. Ahem, do we see a need for such a device?
Mandox was the other student venture which impressed us with a compact IC trainer device. IC trainers are used in digital electronics experiments but are too ponderous and unwieldy. This was pointed out by associate professor S Karunakaran who challenged Mandox to build a more compact device. The result is a portable and user friendly device which is ready to go to market and is five times cheaper than the existing device. The team has already identified their clients and are in the process of adding finishing touches to their business plan.
E Week couldn’t have started on a better note. We were standing on the boulevard of the Marina Beach in Chennai on a Saturday morning. A slight fishy smell wafted through the sea breeze; fishing boats were onshore taking their well deserved rest. There was a mood of leisure and everything seemed to move lazily. That is until one spotted the long lines of young people hold placards, flags and banners. If the number of parked yellow coloured buses were anything to go by then these young people were from Saveetha College of Engineering, Dental, Medical and Physiotherapy colleges. They were ‘People on Mission’ (that’s what their banners read) to participate in a rally to create awareness about entrepreneurship and breast cancer.
When Sesha Sai, Joint Commissioner of Police, Chennai city, arrived, the excitement turned into restless anticipation. Even the awaiting inspectors and group of women constables came sharply to their feet. When asked to comment on the rally, the congenial commissioner said, “Students’ limited knowledge of entrepreneurship is picking up. Now they don’t want to be employed. They rather be employers and provide jobs. Also, you don’t need to be rich to be an entrepreneur. Today, anybody can be an entrepreneur.”
The flag off ceremony commenced with a speech from Gita Premkumar of Vector Indojanix Pvt. Ltd. Gita has been an entrepreneur for 22 years now. Her passion for entrepreneurship was evident when she eloquently urged the gathered students to work towards the betterment of society by becoming entrepreneurs. She said that to be a successful entrepreneur all it took was to bring out a good product and provide employment to at least 10 people.
A couple of speeches later the rally was flagged off by Gita and Dr. Mallika from the Cancer Institute, Adyar. The participants stepped boldly ahead and Saveetha’s E Cell members cheerily called out “Al Kati Veeral” (to point out the way with the index finger). They were really requesting for index fingerprint of all around as part of their E Week signature campaign to pledge support for entrepreneurship.
Besant Nagar beach sported a happy facade with a colourful sand art. Created by seven students from Velammal Engineering College with assistance from the College of Fine Arts students, the sand art depicts the essence of innovation and entrepreneurship. The team plans to display the art for four days (and nights!) as part of their Public Awareness campaign. Just within a couple of hours of installing the sand art, 30 curious people came asking. The team instead asked the onlookers to interpret the art and gratifyingly many spoke about innovation and entrepreneurship. Good work team!
The budding entrepreneurs (and artists?) are Poojith Kuma, G.B. Prashanth, Pon Balaji, Arun Lal, Dilip Kumar and R. Rajesh Krishna.