After few weeks of intense preparation and lot of meetups, a team of passionate individuals joined hands to finally launch Bharat Entrepreneurs Network on 11th February at IIFT, New Delhi.
The BEN Launch started with a candle lighting by chief guests Dr Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International, Prof Prabhat Ranjan , ED of TIFAC (DST), Prof Sudhir K Jain of DMS, IIT Delhi, Asst Professor Dr Tamanna Chaturvedi, IIFT and all the co-convenors of BEN 2017 namely Atul Kumar, Rishi Kant Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Priyanka Manjari, Saqlain and Chandan Kumar. It was followed by prayer of Vande Matram and a video on Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s life and work followed by the inaugural speech by Dr Pathak and a keynote speech by Prof. Prabhat Ranjan, Executive Director of TIFAC who shared Technology Vision 2035 of Bharat and some actual examples in areas like Agribusiness. His example of Guar Gum export potential created by leveraging technology to leverage export potential was a revelation for most of the attendees.
In the second session, the gathering had the opportunity to listen to the wisdom of Shri Jyoti Prakash Gadia of Resurgent India, who shared his experience as an entrepreneur and frankly explained about the key elements of retaining clients and facing challenges especially at the beginning stage.
This was followed by a short video on the story of creation of BEN captured by Rajiv Bhatnagar. In the same session Prof SK Jain of DMS, IIT Delhi talked about Entrepreneurship opportunities in Education across a wide range of areas from pre-nursery, coaching, skill development, language entrepreneurship, advanced research and so on.
The next session had a panel discussion on Health with experts from NRI Family Health Chandan Kumar, Dr Spurdha Sood, Dr Ritu as well as IIT Delhi Ph.D. scholar Vinita Krishnan. They highlighted the importance of tracking health via regular check-ups and using a mix of traditional/ancient sciences like Ayurveda to advanced research and technologies of allopathy.
In the second last session, the teams of startups pitched their ideas to a panel of 7 judges. They included a wide range and our collaboration partner IIFT had also brought few of the start-ups being incubated by their incubation program KITTES. Dr Tamanna who runs KITTES presented one of the ventures Vedic Craft herself to showcase theory of international trade could be leveraged to take the products to global markets by targeting the right clusters. Dozens of entrepreneurs pitched their plans to a panel of 7 judges. Three of the contesting teams received prizes which included cash award of of Rs 11,000 cash & Rs 5,000 cash as well as gift vouchers. Abhinav Anand and Harsh Wardhan Verma, Founders of the start up company of Winwelt Private Limited, got the first prize.
During the last session there was specific panel on Women Entrepreneurship lead by Ms. Priyanka Manjari, Co-Founder BEN. The session was Co-Chaired by Dr. Tamman of IIFT. The team explained their opinion on the challenges & opportunities faced given that many times they have to face social mindset that that has not been very supportive of women entrepreneurship. They stressed upon the need for development of a supportive and inclusive ecosystem of women entrepreneurs.
There were many other representatives from the government as well as non-governmental sectors who participated in deliberations and discussions. A few of the selective names are:
Mr. A K Bhatnagar(Judge, Allahabad High Court), Mr. Lalit Kishore (Director, M-Tex Global India), CA Satya Prakash Gupta Sir, Gaurav Kumar (Asst. Director, MSME), Aman Bhatnagar (Doctoral Scholar,(Cold Chain), Executive Manager, Ministry of Agriculture), Vinay Kumar(Asst. Director, MSME),Rajiv Bhatnagar (Asst. Director, Film Creature), Mr. Murli of Skill India Foundation etc.
The event ended with thanks giving by Co-Founders Atul Kumar (CEO, A++ Ventures), and Priyanka Manjari (Manager, IHC Delhi), Ravi Kumar (CEO & MD, Modlingua), Rishi Kant Kumar, M.Tech (Entreprenuership), Doctoral Scholar at IIT, Delhi , Chandan (Country Head, NRI Family Health), Saqlain (Founder, TheWoodPecker).
Speical thanks were given to Sponsors like Resurgent India Ltd., W for Women, and other Individual sponsors and active participants namely Anubhav Kumar ( BEN Technical Head and Represents, CombWeb ), Soni Prasad, Viswavijay, Ridhima Gupta (Amity University), Vipulesh Shardeo (Doctoral Scholar, Operation), Vikas Gupta (Doctoral Scholar, Finance, IIT D), Sushil Punia (Data Scientist, Doctoral Scholar, Supply Chain), Akanksha Mishra (Doctoral Scholar, Economics), Amit Kumar Gupta (Doctoral Scholar, Statistics), Krishna Vinita (IPR Scientist, Doctoral Scholar, IPR), Kundan Kumar and all other member of BEN Team who worked and supported its activities and it was discussed and decided to hold seminars, workshops, startup meets and conferences on a regular basis.