Prominent platform for Entrepreneurship at IIM Kashipur

 “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

As per the above saying, anyone can become an entrepreneur who understands that entrepreneurship is a very long and arduous ordeal. MBA is also considered a gateway for achieving the entrepreneur dream. Every year, thousands of students take the CAT exam in the hopes of getting into a prestigious business school and taking the most sought-after course, the MBA. These students strive hard to gain admission to a prestigious institute such as IIM, with the hope of a better future and the drive to excel. Out of thousands of applicants, only a few hundred are admitted into an IIM. Some students hope to obtain a high-paying job after enrolling in an IIM, while others seek managerial training and an environment that will allow them to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur. For those who want to start their own business and embark on an entrepreneurial adventure, IIM Kashipur is the place to be.

Among all the newer IIMs, IIM Kashipur is emerging as a hub for entrepreneurial growth. The most important aspect for becoming an entrepreneur is the requirement of a unique and novel idea that demands the necessity for innovative thinking. Understanding this requirement IIM Kashipur serves as a spoke in the DIC (Design Innovation Center) community which is involved in building the thought of entrepreneurship in the young inquisitive minds. Help-Himalayan education learning program, Hum- Himalayan upliftment movement, Hill- Himalayan innovation of land to the laboratory are the innovative outreach programs introduced to enhance the culture of innovation, design thinking, and creative problem solving among the community by disseminating the knowledge in every sphere of the society.

Further, IIM Kashipur is assisting future entrepreneurs by adopting an academic program to assist future start-ups, as well as launching projects such FIED by the Entrepreneurial cell of IIM Kashipur. The Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (FIED) is a project aimed at developing and improving India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. FIED is expected to incubate India’s most promising start-ups in the areas of tourism and hospitality, agriculture, art and craft, and education with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Science and Technology, the Government of Uttarakhand, and other supporting partners. FIED operates with the intention of being the leading incubator by 2025, with the goal of establishing India as a hotspot for entrepreneurship research, growth, and training, as well as assisting start-ups with funding and comprehensive mentoring.

FIED has successfully incubated 150+ ventures, has engaged 500+ entrepreneurs, raised 50 crores of funding, and has established a network of 100+ investors setting a stage for the budding entrepreneurs to learn and establish their dreams. It has also started two new ventures RKVY – RAFTAAR, and Drishti to promote the start-up culture in the young minds of the student fraternity. With the immense success of the very first program it undertook, RKVY RAFTAAR, FIED had a very successful start-up year. More than 350 applicants from across the country applied for the program, of which only 37 start-ups were chosen at the IIM Kashipur Campus for the two-month training program. Ultimately, 22 start-ups, up to 25 lakhs, obtained final funding from the Ministry of Agriculture. 

  • RKVY – RAFTAAR: RKVY Raftaar – There are two programs offered to start-ups under RKVY Raftaar – Sahas and Saksham, which provide an opportunity to receive funding, mentoring & help for the launch and support of commercial products. 
  • SAHAS: Sahas is mainly an Agripreneurship orientation program for startups at the pre-seed stage. The start-ups which are in the ideation stage and have their focus areas concentrated in increasing the efficiency of agriculture can apply to this program. The start-ups have the opportunity to receive 5 lakhs grant-in-aid after the successful completion of this program. The trainees who are selected for this program receive a stipend of Rs 10,000 for a period of two months. The focus areas of this program include – Sustainable inputs, Animal husbandry, Innovative food technology, Supply chain technology, Smart agriculture, Agri Fintech, Agri Biotech, Soil, water & weather technology, Farm mechanization, post-harvest technology, Fisheries, Farm fresh retail, Urban/vertical farming, ICT/IOT in agriculture. 
  • SAKSHAM: Saksham is mainly an Agripreneurship incubation program for start-ups at the seed stage. The start-ups with at least a minimum viable product/ prototype based on innovative solutions in Agri and allied sectors. The start-ups have the opportunity to receive grant-in-aid up to Rs 25 lakh after the successful completion of the program. The start-ups would also receive additional help and mentoring for the successful commercial launch of the program. The program offerings and focus areas of the program are the same as that of Sahas initiative. 
  • DRISHTI: Drishti is a start-up and incubator program by FIED for start-ups working in Edutech, Foodtech, e-commerce, and food safety. The initiative is mainly to mentor and supports the start-ups in the successful launch of the commercial products. The start-ups would also get an opportunity to connect with various investors and partners where they would be guided by industry experts on various growth strategies. The start-ups can avail of seed funding as well as an IIM certificate after successful completion of the program. 

FIED of IIM Kashipur not only imparts the zest to achieve and follow up their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur in the minds of students but also helps the entire community to nurture and foster the start-up culture. With the DIC and FIED, IIM Kashipur never fails to astound us with its steps and ventures in sculpting an entrepreneur to serve the future community.

About the author:

Deshmaa R T who is a Biotechnology engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like Media and Public relations committee, Quest – The Quiz club and Team Insite – Admissions Support Body. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

An Internship Experience at Agri-Tech Startup and how it converted to a PPO

PPOs are a major aspect for B-School students in securing a qualified and exclusive offer from companies that they wish to work for in the future. The idea to convert your Summer Internship into a full-fledged Placement Offer is not easy but not impossible too. This article provides a better glimpse of what one needs to keep in mind while looking to secure a PPO.

Agrigator, which is a seed-funded Agri-Tech Startup, is involved in Supply Chain and Logistics stream for providing a B2B Marketplace between the Producers and the Buyers. It was duly catering to HORECA outlets (Hotels, Restaurants, etc.) and FPIs by transporting food grains directly from Farmers and related sources, leading to a reduction in transaction costs, time, efforts, and simplifying the operations of such an unorganized system.

Keeping yourself in such a position, there are a few things that you can follow to slowly chart yourself and the learnings you receive in due course. Firstly, it is important to completely familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the concerned organization and the sector that it functions in. Usual ways include following Annual Reports, Sector-Specific News from verified sources, Online Government Resources and Databases, and interaction with Industry Experts and the employees of the organization themselves. This will build up a robust base for you to understand your line of work for your project

Next, you must continue to interact with your assigned mentor or individuals who work in the same fields/organization to also understand the core competency, relative competition, domain-specific business strategies, and business models. This will ensure you are now settled enough to understand the assigned problem statement for the project and the outcomes/metrics that will measure your performance for the same.

Post this, it is time to directly jump into your project and use your acquired knowledge and resources to design a flowchart of your activities to arrive at a solution. This will involve a preliminary plan to proceed, important parameters to focus upon, following up on previously devised industrial practices, framework analysis, and carefully constructed notes on emerging trends and developments in the industrial market.

To make things easier, communicate with various stakeholders and experts that provide a concise view on the strategic feasibility, implementation, and impacts that a step of approach creates to resolve different issues. Gradually, clarity evolves to choose the optimal way to proceed that provides or maximizes the utility of the defined outcome. Typical meetings or regular brainstorming of ideas can greatly reduce doubts and little hiccups that you encounter on the way. Therefore, don’t rush to obtaining a solution without confirmation and thorough research of facts to avoid last-minute crisis. These little things go a long way to ensure that your final presentation is well received by the majority of stakeholders that reflects the ways and values the company aligns itself to.

Last but not the least, be prepared with anticipated questions and doubts that you are likely to face regarding the work you have done, outcomes achieved and the notes on the Final Presentation you will present to the concerned officials. It is no wonder that your Presentation skills should be excellent with the concise textual matter but supporting visual reports and facts that enforce your views and looks to the proposed solutions concerning various scenarios.
Keep a cool mind and be confident. The rest is on your meticulous way to manage your time and efforts to the fullest.

Getting a PPO depends not only on how well you did, but how well you reflect your skills and knowledge to be part of the company!

About the Author:

Som Samantray, a Chemical Engineer by qualification has pursued MBA (Marketing and Data Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. He has been part of various student bodies like the Econs-Economics Club and TEDxIIMKashipur. He is a fresher and is an ardent reader of books and novels and a blogger. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.