Saturday, 12 November 2011
Innovation in navodyami program is really a process innovation. The success lies in delivering the training program. Following is a quote from a navodyami candidate who shared her story of establishing a new business and turn it into a a lakh rupees a month turnover.
Mrs. Lalita Kantaraju treasures mentoring she received through Navodyami. She talked about her journey of revamping her internet cafe and computer training center.
“I had worked in BPOs for 8 years and I was confident to start my own Internet surfing and computer training center. Navodyami provided me with the seed capital and linked me to the bank also… But my earnings were not even sufficient to pay EMIs on time. Navodyami arranged for special mentoring sessions for me and linked me to successful entrepreneurs from whom I received mentoring which proved to be extremely useful. Prasanna [Dixit, Director, Mahaveer Infoway Ltd, Hubli] sir advised me to get E Governance projects and service affiliations. He also gave me reference and initially I got a local contract for filling educational scholarships. As per his guidance me and my husband visited schools and collected scholarship applications. We did the online filing and this idea really clicked. We got further contracts from other departments like printing of ration card and election identity card. This also helped us improve footfall in to our café and our turn over went up by more than four times. Navodyami team was with us in every step of our progress.”
Navodyami is an initiative of the Deshpande Foundation based in Hubli, Karnataka to support entrepreneurs at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid with financial and technical support. The focus is on individuals that live in rural and peri-urban areas with limited access to resources but have ideas and the aspiration to run their own enterprise.
Navodyami seeks to provide both resources and linkages to entrepreneurs who are willing to set up these enterprises in the ‘Hubli Sandbox'. Sandbox is an environment where fresh ideas get incubated and one can build a meaningful relationship with like-minded peers, learn from senior leaders and gain access to opportunities that will help them grow. Sandbox region includes districts of Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Uttar Kannada. Some examples could be, an entrepreneur looking to start a food processing unit; a mobile repair shop or services, a product shop in rural areas and so on. The program looks for business ideas that are innovative, responsive to people’s needs and are run by ethical means.
The program will run in two stages. In the first stage, aspiring entrepreneurs submit an application that will be screened by a panel of judges and scholars. Once selected, the entrepreneurs will go to phase II, where they will receive a mentor who focuses on the skill development of the applicant and works with them to create business plan and strategy for setting up the enterprise.
“The foundation has made a remarkable contribution to building an ecosystem that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, focusing on building relevant and responsive solutions to social issues,” said Mr Iranna S. Rotte, Programme Manager, Navodyami.
The Deshpande Foundation was founded by serial entrepreneur, Mr Gururaj Deshpande, in Hubli, Karnataka and has taken the stance to offer assistance to small scale entrepreneurs located in tier II and III cities in north Karnataka.
Mumtaz completed her PUC and nowhand makes high-quality candles to sell at her business called Star Candle Industries since 2009. Mumtaz’s business is both profitable and socially impactful, for she specifically employs individuals experiencing poverty to work with her. Her main customer is the Rajin Candle Industry. Mumtaz herself has a license from the government to open a candle industry but will still require additional business training and 1 lakh rupees to kick start her potentially successful career.
Vishwanath has a textile business and manufactures shirts, coats, towels and other everyday products via a handloom which he uses to weave the cloth himself since 2007 and has an income of Rs. 60,000 per year.Vishwanath has completed his education up to 10th standard. His clientele revolves around established companies and individuals, including but not limited to the Ravi Shankar Guruji Ashram, Charaka Institution, Sandur Karakushala Kendra, and Karnataka Kaimoga A.N., Gadag. While his products are well-regarded among his customers, Vishwanath still faces competition against electrically-run weaving companies and other local weavers. In order to successfully expand his business and make it more efficient, Vishwanath will require business and marketing mentorship a total of 5 lakh rupees worth of seed capital.
Ramchandra owns a relaxing vacation getaway called Amara Homestay since 2007, currently has 8 employees, and has invested 8 lakh rupees with a profit of only 1 lakh rupee. He wants Amara Homestay to accurately portray the culture of Sirsi to visitors interested in immersing in the local culture. He even aims to further enhance their experience by providing traditional and home cooked food. Mangala aspires to expand his business by building cottages and providing free Ayurvedic spa consultancy to guests. However, Ramchandra first requires business advice and mentorship along with 5 lakh rupees worth of seed capital. Ramchandra has completed her education up to 12nd standard.
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