Jan
31

Can Technology Replace Human Jobs?

There are massive technology improvements in the form of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science these days. While it has made our life easier and improved efficiency of businesses there is a concern about the future of our jobs. While it can be easy to see that technology has indeed made many jobs obsolete in the past, but it can be argued that due to technology many jobs have been created as well. For example, in the past there were horse drawn carriages or bullock carts to ship cargos which was replaced by motor trucks, the people who used to drive the carriages and carts lost their jobs but at the same time the industries grew at a faster pace which resulted in creation of more jobs.

Technology Makes Menial Jobs Outdated:

Technology usually affects the menial jobs more than the jobs which require skills. Jobs like cashier in the counter of a movie hall is in more danger than a job in the administration department. Technology redefines the job requirements, the introduction of computers offices resulted in a booming IT sector while it was thought as to it will eliminate the need of humans in a workplace. Fintech companies which have facilitated quicker payments has led to creation of many jobs in those companies. E-commerce companies used technology to revolutionize the way we shop, and it too created a lot of jobs.

Technology However Advanced, Can’t Replace Human Thinking:

Driverless cars are coming up and it is predicted that drivers will soon lose their jobs which is possible, but that kind of technology is still very far away. Another reason why technology will not replace jobs anytime soon is because technology is expensive and difficult to implement. It is cheaper to employ human labour than to employ technology. It is for this reason companies outsource their process to countries to China, India and Philippines.

Technology As An Upskilling Tool:

Looking at the other side technology also makes jobs redundant, and in countries which can afford new technologies it can make the current skill set of such employees useless. The use of technology is inevitable and even if not in the near future many jobs later will be automated with improvement in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Sciences. The benefits provided by technology is more than the negatives of it. Manufacturing industries is the sector that is going to be most affected because of automation. Many countries including China and India have presence of substantial automation in manufacturing setups. The solution to this is by providing better education, reskilling and training them for better jobs. The challenges here is that there is lack of even basic education today it would be even more difficult to make people ready for technical jobs and have that level of expertise. There are people who might not be naturally talented in technical skills and those people will have trouble finding jobs.

So, in a broader view Technology has two faces to it; on one hand technology has led jobs to be redundant and many people have become unemployable and it will be difficult to create skilful employees who can get employed in future roles. At the same time it has improved our lives, technology in medicine has helped in finding new treatments, it has created new jobs through various e commerce industries, increased productivity in businesses. It has reduced repetitive tasks which consumed unnecessary time, it has reduced error rates and increased accuracy.

Shrabandip Mahanta

Class 2018-20


Jan
25

Solar Energy and Selling Junk – Stories which Started at Meraki

What separates an outstanding startup from an average one? An innovative idea, a strong product, and the ability to create a brand. FIIB’s Meraki is always on the lookout for such entrepreneurs who can see opportunities in problems and passionate enough to build products and brands that have a sustainable competitive advantage. Being innovative takes a lot of time, hard work, and discipline, and sometimes it is about looking around, finding something that already exists, and improve it, and make it better for your customers. Here are 2 such entrepreneurs who presented clever solutions to real world problems at Meraki.

Company: Enerture Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Founder: Mr. Bhairaw Kumar
Year: 2013

What does the company do?
Committed to building sustainable world around, Enerture provides renewable energy solutions to businesses and organizations and help them adapt to solar power. They provide end-to-end services starting from site survey assessment, feasibility analysis to procurement of materials, designing, and to get government permissions and approvals.

What’s the reason behind starting Enerture?
In the times where we’re all struggling with pollution – air and ocean and burning fossil fuels being one of the biggest contributors to the pollution, it has never been more important to shift ourselves to clean energy. The sun produces 10,000 times the energy the entire world would consume annually and solar energy is one of the least used resources. Mr. Bhairaw saw this gap and wanted to change this scenario. He realized, given the right services, consumers would choose solar energy which in longer run would be cheaper and cleaner. Also, he realized that first it’s the big consumer he needs to focus on – so he started procuring items to make solar panels and engineer solar power solutions to organizations.

How are the solar solutions different?
Solar Panels absorb sun’s energy to convert it to electrical power so it goes without saying that it is a clean fuel. These solar panels are modular in construction, so they can be customised according to the requirements. The panels have an initial set-up cost but it breaks even soon as the cost of generating electricity is less than any other means available now. Solar energy is also free of cost escalation meaning the cost remains same during the life period.

Company: Junkart
Founder: Mr. Niraj Gupta
Year: 2016

What does the company do?
Junkart is a service that buys old and trashy stuff from people through their platform and also sells eco friendly products that are made from junk. They also tie up with scrap vendors (Kabadiwalas) to collect junk. Currently they operate through a website and a mobile app

What’s the reason behind starting Junkart?
Junkart aims to establish a go green attitude in the people of the nation. In the words of Mr. Niraj, “India is a painstaking importer of scrap from neighboring countries, but we don’t have an organized business layout on what to do with all the scrap, our team realized that gap and came up with creative solutions to work with traditional scrap vendors.” Junkart is a blend of Junk and Art. The first part is because the company helps its consumers get rid of the crap they own in exchange of cas and also make their homes and surroundings cleaner. The second part is because they give an artsy touch to the scrap they collect and sell eco friendly goods at affordable prices.

What is different about Junkart?
Junkart is first and foremost a green organization which is making a wider impact in waste management. The company is providing services to scrap collectors and vendors which are mutually beneficial. Scrap vendors recognised the value in tying up with Junkart as they get better exchange in cash for their scrap. Junkart makes it essy for the vendors by also providing them with an app which also works in hindi. For individual consumers, Junkart provides pickups for cash, by making the entire service user friendly, Junkart is bolstering forward in making the country greener. Not just that, with the scrap being used to make eco friendly products such as bags and footwear solves the problem of waste two ways.

Wouldn’t it be great to see the world with less waste and cleaner fuel? We are proud of Mr. Bhairaw and Mr. Niraj, and wish him good luck on their journey to build a more sustainable world.

Jan
24

Practice Ventures – A Spotlight Story On Testing Entrepreneurial Ideas at FIIB

To inculcate the learning’s of entrepreneurship by doing, Udaan Club at FIIB launched a Practice Venture contest in late Oct 2018 inviting students to submit ideas which can be tried at the campus giving them valuable inputs about matching their theory with real life experience of running a venture. The shortlisted team would invest a nominal amount in the venture which would be matched by the Institute. The contest received six entries out of which two were shortlisted for presentation to the panel. Given below is the narration of Neelam Das, Kartik, Akshyesh Arya, Sahil Anand, and Rohit Kumar about their venture – Jump-to-Thrive which was finally shortlisted for launching a practice venture .

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your venture?

A: “While balancing the workload of assignments and coursework, it is normal to feel stressed. I’ve spoken to my friends and classmates, the major concern I heard was their inability to deal with the stress they get through the schedule, hence we got the idea of Jump-to-Thrive, in which we planned to provide short duration fitness de-stress sessions (i.e., for half an hour) to the students, which will include Zumba, aerobics, Bollywood dance, Bhangra etc. This idea was welcomed by our mentor Prof. Arpan Anand. He boosted our confidence by giving us valuable suggestions to make the idea functional in the college.

 Q: What process did you follow to understand the market need for your product?

A: At FIIB, most of the students aren’t from Delhi and as the students get limited financial support from their families, we thought of providing this service in a very nominal price to the students. Despite limited time, some of the fitness conscious students are already the member of the existing nearby gyms which we realise as biggest challenge. So, we conducted an online survey in the college to see the student’s reaction about it, the result was favourable enough to push us to take it forward.

Q: How did your idea take shape?

A: We got the chance to present our B-plan to the panel of Jury consisted of Ms. Radhika Shrivastava (Executive Director, FIIB), Prof. Prashant Verma (Faculty of Business Analytics), Mr. Dheeraj Kumar (Sports faculty) and Dr. Deepak Pandit (Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Venture Creation). Our presentation was critically evaluated and we received valuable feedback from them. We were suggested to incorporate many points in the business plan to make it more feasible and functional. As the panel consisted of highly qualified and experienced professionals, we were evaluated in the similar fashion in which a venture capitalist would’ve evaluated any idea.

 Q: What are your next steps?

We discussed  the feedback received within the team and incorporated the amendments to our plan. We are currently in the process of  arranging  demo sessions for all the students to see the traction towards the idea. Hopefully we’ll soon put things to motion!

 Giving wings to the entrepreneurial dreams of the student, Udaan club at FIIB stands true to its name, another way FIIB creates opportunities to its students.

Jan
23

Driving Entrepreneurial Mindset Among Students – The FIIB Way

Entrepreneurs or not, changing corporate lifestyle and changing business problems demand entrepreneurial skills like risk taking, ownership, analytical decision making in all the managers of today and tomorrow. At FIIB, we realize the importance of entrepreneurial ecosystem early, that is why we introduced  Meraki – FIIB’s B-Plan Competition which is turning 8 this year. We’ve also realized while Meraki discovers and encourages entrepreneurs across India and Pan-Asia, we as a B-School need to do more to inculcate the entrepreneurial mindset in MBA students. Read on to explore how we’re providing opportunities and resources for entrepreneurial minds. 

Why are entrepreneurial skills important?

Entrepreneurial skills help students who have the desire of starting their own businesses. Equally, they also teach those going into the established corporate world entrepreneurial skills, a strength for which recruiters of today are looking. Students often feel that entrepreneurship courses are not relevant to their career prospects if they are not inclined to pursue new venture creation in the near future. Little do they know the importance of having an entrepreneurial mind-set for growth and survival in today’s corporate sector.

What is the challenge?

There is a need for exposing students at an early stage in their education to  methodologies  that  make  them  aware  about  their entrepreneurial intentions before teaching them to systematically  validate  a  business  idea,  chisel  it  to  perfection  and take  it  to  market.  However  most institutions of higher education have courses which directly target  idea development, opportunity assessment, product development, value proposition, business plan preparation among other topics. There is negligible effort towards making students self-aware about their own entrepreneurial traits, attitudes and beliefs and their impact on ideation.

How can it be solved?

A  foundation  course  focusing  on developing  a  sync  between  the  Idea  and  the  Individual  by  making  students  self-aware  about  their entrepreneurial intentions (or lack of them), entrepreneurial and/or career aspirations and individual style preference while working in teams can set the tone right and sow the entrepreneurial traits early in a student’s journey. These three elements of the student’s personality will be synced to make the student aware of a synergy or dissonance so that corrective action as required can be taken.

The FIIB way of tackling the challenge:

Learning Through Theory – Courses

To address this gap, at FIIB, entrepreneurship is taught as required subject both in first and second term in the institute, inspired by the belief that entrepreneurship education is a viable tool for developing the entrepreneurial mindset. The foundation course focuses on entrepreneurial self-awareness and is titled Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. The feedback from the two batches has been extremely encouraging and students have been able to calibrate their aspirations , team style and intentions based on learnings from the course and accordingly work in the core course that follows and/or opt for an elective based on their interests. In the second semester students are taught a course titled Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation (ENVC). The curriculum of the ENVC course is designed in  collaboration with the curriculum provided by National entrepreneurship Network (NEN) of Wadhwani foundation. In second year students have a choice of four elective courses on Entrepreneurship to choose from. These are courses are: 1. Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital 2. Social Entrepreneurship 3. Corporate Entrepreneurship 4. Entrepreneurship & Family Business.

A paper was presented by Dr. Deepak Pandit in the 20th Conference of Strategic Management Forum India on 25th Dec, 2017 at IIM Trichy showcasing this foundation course as an innovation in pedagogy in the area of Entrepreneurship education.

Learning Through Practice – Student Clubs

At FIIB, student clubs are another unique dimension where these learnings take shape into entrepreneurial traits. The 10 student clubs which cater to various domains and interests of the student like marketing, operations, english speaking etc., These clubs are student-driven and entrepreneurial in nature meaning the operations and management of the club are driven by student co-heads. In addition Student clubs are managed in the same way a business organization is. The co-heads act like the management to drive and plan for the annual events of the club with the help of their fellow club members. These are the signature events organized by each club every year:

 

Annual Event Description Student Club
Samavesh  Annual Cultural fest at FIIB where students learn about management through fun and cultural activities Cultural Club
Sustainability Summit The Sustainability summit provides a forum to deliberate on key issues to create Sustainability across all walks of life Jaagriti (Social Conscience Club)
Meraki Meraki is an annual Business Plan competition for students to showcase their talent for industry preparedness Udaan

(Entrepreneurship Club)

TEDxFIIB TEDXFIIB discusses ideas worth spreading through renowned speakers who have built a stage for themselves through their remarkable achievements. Cue (Public Speaking Club)
National HR Conclave Human Resource Conclave offer an interactive platform for meaningful discussion on the latest Trends in HR and its impact in the corporate workforce. Cynergy (HR Club)
National Marketing Conclave The National Marketing Conclave is an interactive forum to deliberate on contemporary Management practices and discuss the roadmap for future. Brand Rovers (Marketing Club)
OPex Conclave OPex Conclave is an initiative of FIIB Operation domain. The conclave deliberate on operational excellence and strategy for a sustainable Business Sigma Club(Operations and IB Club)
Finance Conclave Finance Conclave is an initiative of the FIIB finance domain. Eminent speakers deliberate on key issues related to the finance and Banking sector during the conclave. Fortune Stock Exchange (Finance Club)
Ranbhoomi Ranbhoomi is an annual sports event at FIIB. The students enthusiastically participate in the games and fun activities with spirit and pride. Sports Club

While organizing these events, each member is assigned a specific responsibility like planning, promotion, inviting speakers, volunteer coordination etc. These activities teach leadership skills, problem solving, and out of the box thinking which are also the top entrepreneurial qualities that people look for. This is how we help students practice what we teach at FIIB.

Jan
23

Top B-Plan Competitions in India by Credible B Schools

India being one of the world’s largest provider of management education and with retail industry accounting for over 10 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it offers infinite opportunities to young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and ambitions of becoming successful entrepreneurs.

With entrepreneurial dreams, comes bigger challenges of shaping thoughts and ideas into realistic concepts that could facilitate the establishment of the startup into an entity. As the startup industry gets more competitive and combative, there is even a greater need for developing a robust business model that could not only fetch larger investments and funding but could also sustain in the long-term. According to a recent report, ‘The 2017 Global Retail Development Index’ titled ‘The Age of Focus‘ published last year in 2017 by London-based business consultancy ‘A T Kearney’, Indian retail market witnessed investment and wealth funds worth over $800 million by private equity firms and was ranked first. This further prompts the new-age innovative aspiring entrepreneurs to generate new business ideas, demonstrate the meaningful vision and proposed solutions that could engage the prospective investors.

Entrepreneurship is not a profession or a career but a path chosen by the one who is not held by the obstacles rather takes challenges head-on. Entrepreneurship is a character that is defined by certain specialistic traits such as building a business from scratch, develop, organise and manage a business venture but most importantly risk-taking. Risk-taking is a term synonymous with entrepreneurship as openness to learn, embracing failures is imperative for success. Below are some of the other top business plan competitions in India by renowned business institutions

FIIB’s Meraki:

In its endeavour to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit within the new MBA entrants, FIIB’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship gears up for the 8th edition of Pan Asia B-Plan Competition Meraki 2019 scheduled to be held on March 23rd.

FIIB provides a much needed platform to young budding entrepreneurs enabling to pitch, present and justify their business plan before a panel of decision-making jury comprising of noted industry leaders, incubators, and investors who fund the most worthy ideas and extend unconditional mentoring and support for execution of the idea into a business set-up. (For more information on Meraki , please read our previous posts). The competition aims to facilitate meaningful interactions and networking with eminent industry leaders, innovators, business entrepreneurs, C-Level officials and top notch influencers, amongst others. Leading investors such as AsiaBridge, Canaan Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Providence Equity and Zephyr Peacock. Each year Meraki registers numerous entries from top colleges across India and South Asia including IITs, IIMs, NITIE, FMS, IIFT, IMT. The panel of judges evaluate, assess and analyse the most striking b-plans to fund and provide counselling. In its eighth year of success, Meraki is considered amongst the leading b-plan competitions of the country drawing over 3000 teams, over 60 experts and mentors. The competition primarily focuses on the Mentoring by prominent Entrepreneurs, Networking with investors, funding support, recognition, industry exposure a well as feedback opportunities.

The prize amount for the winning b-plans proposed by students includes amount of upto INR 3 lakhs, medal & trophies along with a merit certification.

To know more about what Meraki 2019 visit http://meraki.fiib.edu.in/

The B-plan competitions are designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs a realistic experience of interacting and convincing the eminent personalities from the business fraternity for successful commercialization of ideas and plans.

Eureka! by IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurship Cell

IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurship Cell, strives to encourage innovation and develop entrepreneurial spirit  within students. The competition aims at fostering ideas and actionable concepts that could be turned into a business set-up. Eureka! is perceived as one amongst top international Business Plan competition offering sum of INR 2.4 million apart from the legal and mentoring support. The contest is also perceived as a platform to solve queries and seek important guidance for projects and startup plans in development stage. Eureka! Is considered one of Asia’s largest business model competition drawing most of the major business personalities, investors, incubators, and leaders.

 Empresario by Entrepreneurship cell of IIT Kharagpur

 Empresario is an another popular business model competition organised by the Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Kharagpur in association with International Business Model Competition (IBMC).

The cell promotes innovative and enterprising ideas of the students and aims to provide a platform that primarily focuses professional mentoring, knowledge sharing and expressing of industry insights. Besides that, the competition helps students demonstrate their venture plans before the Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors and Industry leaders and obtain instant guidance with respect to the business plans and models.

 IIT Delhi’s Vishishth

Vishishth, an another flagship b-plan contest promoted by the Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Delhi, and is considered a popular one for its focus on the 360 degree mentoring, support and guidance through industry leaders. The competition aims to ensure accomplishment of students through supervision by prominent industry leaders on formulation of ideas, preparation of business plan pitch to stage of investment and required support.

Conquest by BITS Pilani

Conquest, known to be India’s first Student-Run Startup Launchpad, is a competition that provides a six-week long summer mentorship program at Bangalore to ten early age startups from across the country.

Conceptualised by an active Entrepreneurship Cell, Conquest through a month long fully-sponsored residential startup mentoring program aims to connect winning teams to investors for investments and financial support.

Eximius by Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IIM Bangalore

IIM Bangalore as one of the prestigious institutions too encourages facets of entrepreneurship through Eximius with the motto ‘Dream. Dare. Defy.’ and a dedicated Entrepreneurship Cell that aims at development of student communities and creation of exemplary business personalities. The competition offers winning teams and individuals reward of upto INR 1.5 Lakh.

The competition entails meaningful and insightful workshops, events and seminars.

B-PLAN COMPETITION WHY PARTICIPATE ORGANISER Prize Money & Support Judging Partners & Mentors SUCCESS HIGHLIGHTS
MERAKI Opportunity to launch a new business

 Receive expert first-hand feedback, advice and mentoring by industry thought leaders

 Network with venture capitalists, investors & prominent entrepreneurs

 Chance to win hefty cash reward

 Merit Certification

 Recognition & Appreciation

FIIB’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Up To INR 3 Lakhs

 

 

 

Manish Kheterpal, Partner, WaterBridge Ventures

 Vishal Dixit, Ex-Partner, Mayfield Ventures 

 Amit Khosla, Managing Partner at Cataylst

 Sarbvir

Singh, Managing Director, J.P. MORGAN

 Puru Vashishtha, Director, Deal4Loans & Angel Investor

Anshoo Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, MagicPin

2018

 Winner: Abhivyakti, Dharmesh Goyals, IMT Ghaziabad

 1st Runner Up: Cynotech(Spirulina), Kumar Anadi Anant , Pondicherry University

 2nd Runner Up : Project Rahat, Poorvi Gupta (Team Lead), Shaheed Sukhdev Singh College of Business Studies

 2014

 Winner: Teams from D J Sanghvi College of Engineering, Fortune Institute of International Business and Goa Institute of management

 2012

 Winner: Team We Thinkers from SNDT Women’s College

 1st Runner Up: Team from IIM Bangalore

EUREKA! Turn innovative ideas into commercial success

 Investment opportunities upto INR 10 million by Naman Angels India Foundation to the finalists

 Support on Drafting a B-Model

 Incubation Opportunities

 Networking with industry leaders

Chance to win cash prize

Mentoring support

 

IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurship Cell Upto INR 5 Lakh

 

 

Exfinity VENTURE PARTNERS

 GRAYMATTERS CAPITAL

 50K VENTURES

 ASTARC VENTURES

 ASTARC VENTURES

 Napino

 Startupxseed

QUALCOMM VENTURES

 GENNEXT

 matrix PARTNERS

 Sachin Karnik, CEO, Mumbai Angels

 Pratik Poddar, VP, Nexus Venture Partners

 Atit Jain, AVP, SAIF Partners

 Lavin Mirchandani, TiE Mumbai

 Kunal Shah, Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor

Eureka! Social winners, 2014

SAFER Smart Pendant by Leaf

 Eureka! Business winners, 2013

Zostel – First Backpacking youth hostel  chain

 Eureka! Social winner 2011

Smart Stove by Greenway Grameen Infra

 Winners of Eureka! 2002

TheraNova

 Winners of Eureka! 2001

EInfinitus

 Winners of Eureka! 2003

Whizlabs

 Greensole, a social venture, refurbishing discarded shoes to comfortable footwear

EMPRESARIO Key Business Model Hypotheses

 Testing Products

 Customer Development

 Customer-Validated Business Model

 Direct Entry to Semi-Finals of IBMC 2019

 Expert Mentoring

 Elevator Pitch

 Networking

 Startup Services

 Incubation Opportunities

 Feedback from experts

IIT Kharagpur’s Entrepreneurship  Cell in association with International Business Model Competition (IBMC) Upto INR 25 Lakh

 

 

UNICORN INDIAN VENTURES

 

unitus capital

 

PARAMPARA

 

ICP INVENTUS CAPITAL INDIA

 

50K VENTURES

 

Startup

Oasis

 

Anthill

 

Artha India Ventures

SleepDoc+ by mBreath

First of its kind product that wirelessly measures different physiological parameters such as respiration rate, heart rate, and body movement. 

GAMEZOP

 A casual dating app, allowing to play a lot of games without downloading other apps.

2015 – 2016

 SWAGENE

 A Knowledge laboratory that helps you discover the uniqueness of one’s DNA or genes and use it for healthier life.

 2014 – 2015

 COEO Labs

 A health technology startup creating new technology to reduce ventilator based pneumonia

 2013 – 2014

 RETENTION.AI

 (Formerly BataGlide) World’s 1st uninstall intelligence platform for mobile apps. The platform allows app developers and marketers to track uninstalled users and understand their behaviour.

 2014 – 2015

 Roder (formerly InstaCab)

 Intercity travel throughout India and aims to provide cabs at the cheapest rates, anywhere and anytime.

 2012 – 2013

 Social Cops

 A data analytics startup using a network of mobile-enabled human sensors tracking the most important parameters in the world – access to healthcare, income & savings, adherence to drugs & quality of infrastructure – from the remotest parts of the world. Their data stacks changes the way organisations consume, retrieve or make data.

 2013 – 2014

 INTUGINE

 Intugine has created a mobile device called Nimble which help users to control computers at their fingertips with comfort and accuracy. The product is currently available on Pre-Order now.

VISHISHTH/ STARTUP SHOWCASE COMPETITION Put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience

Formulate ideas into business plans

Opportunity to be mentored by some of the best Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists of India

 Cash prize

IIT Delhi’s Entrepreneurship Development Cell Upto INR 20 Lakhs Not Mentioned Not mentioned
CONQUEST Six-week long summer mentorship program at Bangalore for ten early age startups

 Commercialization of plans

 Networking and Mentoring support

 Cash prizes and merit certification

 

a month long fully-sponsored residential startup mentoring program aims to connect winning teams to investors for investments and financial support

BITS Pilani’s Entrepreneurship Cell Not mentioned Blume Ventures

 Lightspeed Ventures

 Matrix Partners

 Indian Angel Network

 Early Stage Investor, Saif Partners

 AD Ventures

 LetsVenture

 Nirvan Capital

Digbijoy Shukla

Amazon Web Services

 Karan Sandhu

Co Founder, BrainPlay

 Bharat Sethi

CEO, Co Founder, iDecorama

 Samir Dahotre

Co-Founder – CEO, Artbugs

 Abhash Kumar

DM and Growth Head, Ex-Yourstory

 Abhishek Nayak

CEO and Co-founder , Bicycle AI

 Aditya Sandhu

Co Founder, BrainPlay

 Ajay Rungta

Engineering Lead, Practo

 Amruth Br

CEO and Co-founder, Guru-G learning Labs

 Nirvan Capital Advisory

 Accel Partners

 Brajeshwar Oinum

Partner, Alaris Prime

 Deepanshu

Co-Founder and CEO, Shuttl

 

Not mentioned
EXIMIUS Skill based events

Consultation by Experts

Workshops

 Intern Fair

IIM Bangalore’s  Entrepreneurship Cell Upto INR 1.5 Lakh Amitabh Shrivastava, Managing Partner, Indian Angel Network

 Neeraj Tyagi

Managing Partner, Venture Catalysts

 Nidhi Saraf

Founder, Key Ventures

 Deepak Ohri, CEO, LEBUA HOTELS

 Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra

 V.S.S. Mani, Founder & CEO, JUSTDIAL

 Parth Jindal, MD, JSW CEMENT

 Yashish Dahiya, CEO, POLICYBAZAAR.COM

 Rajeev Baphna, CEO, Analyttica Datalab

 Upasana Taku, Founder, MobikWik

 Nina Lekhi,

MD, BAGGIT

Not mentioned

 

Jan
22

10 Coolest Ideas in Social Entrepreneurship Presented at Meraki

For young geniuses who chose to solve real world problems over text book problems, Meraki has been the platform to experiment, innovate, and prove themselves.Started in 2012, Meraki grew over the years receiving hundreds of B-Plans every year. The plans range from solving business problems to tackling societal issues. They are carefully evaluated and the best 10 plans get to present to a panel of Venture Capitalists, and Serial Entrepreneurs. The winning entries not only receive cash prizes worth 3 lakhs, but also gain access to exclusive pool of investors on the lookout for the next big idea. We have compiled 10 such coolest social venture ideas presented at Meraki. Take a look.

Project Raahat – Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi
Year: 2018
Raahat is established with a mission to eradicate open defecation and provide safe sanitation in urban slum communities through means of innovation in management of community toilet complexes and sensitizing people on good sanitary practices. Their unique selling proposition is that they do not just focus on operations and maintenance of the complexes, they also focus on aesthetic modification of said complexes (Popular Bollywood dialogues, political slogans and cartoon related statements are used along with concepts of color psychology to change the perceptions and mindsets of people regarding open defecation and sanitation

Project Virasat – Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
Year: 2018
Project Virasat, Molding Vessels of Hope, aims to revive the dying craft form of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab who make copper and brass utensils; modifying the design as per the contemporary needs without compromising on their traditional art. They sell handmade brass tea sets, handis, candle stands,flower vases, clocks made from parats, double-sided clocks, bathroom sets. They also use designers to modernize the art form, and help make products that are both aesthetically appealing and suit modern-day tastes. They also sell our products on websites such as Its handmade, The Indian Craft House, Souvenir & so on. Design, Development and Training: The Thatheras are then trained the basic designing skills of our modern wide product range without compromising on their craft skills, strengthening our supply side.

Manram, Institute of Rural Management Anand, Gujarat
Year: 2018
The social impact that millet processing and value addition will create is the ultimate aim behind this project, as this project will help in reducing groundwater depletion by promoting millets, the nature’s gift to farmers and also will help in reducing the infant mortality rate among tribal farmers(a study states that ever since the millet consumption and cultivation among the tribal parts of attapady reduced, the infant mortality increased. The idea is not just to provide a gluten free, protein rich and healthy food to the health seeking consumers but also to incentivize farmers to produce the God’s own crop

Thereforyou, Fore School of Management, Delhi
Year: 2017
The team has identified a web portal based one stop solution to the needs of the elderly, such as medication, general emotional and physical wellbeing or mere companionship.

Helpusgreen, Warick Business School, England
Year: 2017
Helpusgreen® is an award winning social enterprise that preserves the river Ganges from becoming a religious sewer by flower cycling® the waste from temples/mosques dumped in the river into patented lifestyle products providing livelihoods to 128 manual scavenger families in Kanpur, India.

Project Sattv, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
Year:2017
The Project is aimed to promote scientific cattle rearing practices and value addition to milk at the village level and revive the rural economy by establishing a direct link between village level producers and urban consumers.

Leaf, IIT Delhi
Year: 2015
Leaf is a standalone wearable device which connects mobile app to control room to protect women in dangerous situations. The idea was rooted from deep concern and the unsafe conditions for women in India. Leaf is easy to use and quick to respond.

Utopia, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi and SCIT, Pune
Year: 2014
The venture has planned greener, quicker and most economical transportation systems for the last mile in metros like Delhi, Mumbai. The team has launched its first product – a ‘green’ rickshaw that can also be operated by a disabled person and the business model involves working with the municipal corporations and helps generate better employment opportunities for the disabled and existing rickshaw pullers.

We Thinker, SNDT Women’s College, Mumbai
Year: 2012
The Business Model is to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for under priviliged people, through vocation of imitation jewelry making.

Rainmakers, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
Year: 2013
Rainmakers provide financial solutions to Indian farmers through forward contracts, micro-lending, and crop insurance.

Which one of the above did you think was the coolest? Do let us know in the comments!

Jan
18

8 Key Components of A Business Plan as Told by Real Venture Capitalists

A Business plan not just paves the path for a successful business venture but also helps fetch expert consultation, mentoring, and funding from leading Venture Capitalists and industry thought leaders. A B-Plan is a blueprint of an impactful business idea. At Meraki, FIIB’s annual B-Plan competition that provides platform for innovative entrepreneurs,  esteemed judges Mr. Manish Kheterpal Co-Founder, Waterbridge Ventures,  Ex-Director-  Providence Equity Partners, Vishal Dixit – Partner, MF Advisors, Mayfield Ventures, Mr. Amit Khosla Managing Director, AsiaBridge Capital, Mr. Anshoo Sharma – Co-Founder and CEO, Magicpin, and Mr. Sarbvir Singh – Managing Partner, Waterbridge Ventures, an effective B-Plan captures critical factors that helps a VC decide if it’s wise to invest in the venture. Speaking about the specifics of the plan, they said “We look for functional prototypes and scalability of the product, some of the most important aspects B-Plans are judged on are:

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a document that summarizes the entire purpose behind formulation of a business plan. The executive summary is essential in providing justification on What, Why and How an idea to be shaped into a full-fledged business model. The document will simply provides a glimpse the into whether the investors should be more interested in knowing about the plan further. The document should grab the attention of potential investors. In other words, the document should entail the core components of the proposed business idea, which reflects upon the realistically executable concepts in order to implement the business idea.

which problem the entrepreneur is trying to address or what business offerings or services are directly linked with the problems in the society.

Your Next Pitch Deck
Business Description

Business description is a document mentioning detailed facts and information about the new venture or idea of a business. The document would elaborate all necessary details pertaining to the business which an investor seeks to understand his interest about extending the funding and support. The document would definitely consist of all elements that define the entire functioning of a new venture idea along with strategies to overcome failures in encountered while operating the business. The document should be prepared with utmost sincerity and consciousness.

Marketing potential and strategy

To fully explain the market understanding and demonstrate advanced market research conducted to cope with the new challenges. More than the information of existing trends and concepts in the market, the proposed solutions to counter such challenges should be emphasised within this document. A detailed analysis and assessment on the sector within the market, which the business is aiming to penetrate should be carried in order to project the effective target strategy, offerings defined by customer preferences, innovative techniques and success strategy. The document should appropriately explain about the market size along with a in-depth comparative study on the competitors existing in the market. The document highlight the USP of the proposed business in comparison to the offerings by the competitors. It should also importantly forecast the demand and supply volume to meet the needs of business as well as the pricing, promotion, distribution of the product.

Operations

The document should give out the important information pertaining to the technical, operational and logistical requirements to run the business. The information should suitably explain how the entire operational strategy can be made seamless ensuring the flow of the operations and functions within an organisation.

Financial Projections

The document on financial projections should be a detailed document that should specifically and strictly be prepared with a sharp focus on Cash flows, income statement, break-even analysis, funding needs and sources. This should clearly inform about the balance sheets, past financials if applicable, financial projections for 12 months, income and expenses. The section may also state the startup cost and capital requirement, funding or banking assistance.

Management Team

Just like the other important components, this document would most importantly explain about the management structure within the proposed business. The document should give out the complete information about the management force and the expertise of the appointed superior professionals. The emphasis should be more on the strengths of the supervising body comprising owners, shareholders, and investors. The focus should also be on the talent acquisition ability of the senior professionals and managers who plays a vital role in selection of highly skilled workforce in an organisation.

Risks and Opportunities

To express that considerable thought has been given to the pros and cons for the successful establishment of the business, this document should absolutely be prepared incorporating all major and minor aspects that poses serious damaging threat to the business. While producing this document, each risks that is predictable should be given the highest priority with most importantly the problem-solving methods to deal with the complexities and challenges. With special emphasis on the key risks factors, the document should highlight the opportunities along with the sustainable competitive advantage. Apart from that, the future plans to enable successful formation of a new business should be stressed mainly within this document.

Milestones set and achieved

In relation to the milestones and achievements, another document listing the major priorities and challenges along with achieved outcomes should be prepared. This document would act as an overview for the proposed business goals and objectives of the business. The document should particularly explain the past effective success strategies which is expected to be beneficial to drive the business towards the success. To conclude with all the plans, this document should given the highest priority, attention, and deliberations. The document should serve as an overview substantiating the proposed business formation strategy and should also suggest what new challenges and risks are presumably expected in the near future.

These broad sub heads give a skeleton to a well rounded business plan. These pointers not only help you understand your business well but also can help you win funding. If you are an entrepreneur and are looking for funding, register on Meraki (http://meraki.fiib.edu.in) and give your business plan the stage you deserve. All the best for your venture!

Jan
17

An Entrepreneur’s Quick & Clever Guide To Growth

Peak of Success or Valley of Death? The crucial factor that decides where your startup is headed is the rate of growth – how soon are you able to scale up from a start up. It seems a crazy idea to run a taxi services company without owning a single cab. Crazier even that it would grow into one of the world’s biggest cab services provider. So, how do all successful founders grow and how do they evaluate the market and seize the opportunities at right time? Here’s a quick and clever rulebook that answers these questions and bolsters your startup on the launchpad to success.

Understand Your Users – Make Something Your Users Want, And Want A Lot:

You see, building a product or service is easy but building something which a lot of people want is the only way to grow. Think about your users, what problem are you solving for them, and offer a solution that has huge (because large is not good enough) market potential and which your consumers will come back for more. How do you do that?

  • Ask them – Customer Surveys and Feedback: It’s important that you listen to what your customers are saying, what do they like about the product, what don’t they like about it,  what will motivate them to buy your product again etc
  • Track Engagement: How are the customers interacting with your brand, are they searching you on Google, how active are they while on your website/online platforms, what are people clicking on your website – blogs, discount offers, links etc
  • Retention Cohort Analysis – simply, group your users, see how they behave: Retention Cohort Analysis is a technique in which you make subsets of your users in terms of platform they use or date of signup or channel of acquisition. For example, out of a group who signed up on your app 10 days ago, let’s say 40% of them came back on day 1 and only 10% came back on Day 7, that means 75% of your customers are lost in the week, this gives you an insight on what strategies can you develop to retain them, probably launch a new marketing campaign or send an emailer that gives exciting discounts on your app

If you do not have enough data to start this off, it might be the best time to start collecting this data and take decisions based on it. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Money Can Either Be Something Or Everything:

A repeatable and scalable revenue model puts you on the fast track of growth. Your revenue model is repeatable, when it works in multiple instances to generate revenue from customers, it’s scalable if it works for a larger set of customers – meaning offering huge discounts or low prices to increase sales is not a scalable model as the no. of customers increase, you’ll run into a negative balance soon. Managing cash flows and striking the perfect balance between profits and reinvestments is a tricky thing, because you’ve to make sure your startup never dries out of money.

  • Track MoneyIN And MoneyOUT: Have a solid business plan and a budget that streamlines your cash management. Forecast how much revenue are you going to get and It’s important that you forecast demand and sales to set aside money for various operational and marketing expenses you’ll incur.
  • Penny Wise Pound Foolish: Don’t cut back on important expenses just to save money. Plan rightly whether you’re going to spend money on product development or marketing based on the phase you’re in.
  • Seed Funding: Getting funding from investors in the early stages of your startup is a great idea if you want to finetune your strategy, invest early in marketing, distribution, or logistics expenses. Angel Investors give you the flexibility to assemble the key needs through funding and network that you need as well.

Knock Opportunity’s Door – Build Your Network Early:

Don’t wait till opportunities knock your door, instead be proactive to get into the network you want. That can mean joining startup and VC groups on LinkedIn and Facebook or finding incubators. You could also participate in B-Plan competitions which provide the right networking opportunities with VCs and also give you seed funding support which would do you wonders in picking up the speed.  Understand that Venture Capitalists are also on the lookout for newer and better ventures to invest in, there is a genuine competition for disruptive and sustainable ideas, once you have that start attending

  • Trade shows
  • Seminars
  • Entrepreneur meets
  • B-Plan competitions

How Can Meraki Help You? The 8th edition of Meraki (B-Plan competition organized by FIIB, New Delhi) is a much needed platform for young entrepreneurs to pitch their venture ideas to Angel Investors. Since the entries are evaluated by a jury panel of leading Venture Capitalists and business luminaries, you get direct access to network with the VC circle for mentorship and investment. Participating in Meraki opens door to meet fellow entrepreneurs from Pan Asia which another way to build the network to be in. Prize money of 3 Lakhs is cherry on the top for your startup’s funding. (If you want to know more how Meraki helped pick up speed of an entrepreneur read this blog post) Early Registrations also get a unique opportunity to get individual mentoring from Top Investors of the industry. Register here

Meraki Advantages

Drip Drip Drop – The Story of Trickle Marketing:

Once you have clarity on how best to acquire and utilize your funds, follow a marketing strategy that sustains and keeps your customer engaged. Drip Marketing or Trickle Marketing is one such way of cost effective and engaging with your customers right from the time you acquire them. It is a scheduled set of emailer/phone calls that are automatically sent based on their behavior. For example, if you download Headspace app there will be a set of emailers you’ll receive:

  • Welcoming
  • Onboarding
  • Feature Recommendations
  • Announcing Seasonal Discounts
  • Renewal
  • Checking Up on the User After Inactivity
  • Abandoned Cart
  • Confirmations
  • Unsubscribes

Statistics say that these kind of marketing campaigns are 50% more effective than a general branding and marketing emailer.

Create Legendary Customer Experience and Service:

If there’s one thing customers prefer above all is a great experience while they purchase and better customer service after. Remember three Ts for creating Legendary Experience and Service:

  • Trial: Let your customers try your product out and experience how awesome it is. Build a user interface that is easy to use. If there are payments involved, make the process smooth. Consumer psychology also works in this way, if they’ve loved your trial, they would feel it worth to invest/buy your product.
  • Trust: Creating trust that your product/service genuinely solves their problem, that your customer service team will help them if they are stuck is the number one factor that makes your customer turn into your brand ambassadors
  • Timely Response: Resolve a problem for your customer timely, don’t let any issue or problem take over customer’s needs, never blame your customers for using your product/service wrongly. Customers understand if you let them know that you’re trying to help them.

This quick guide works almost everytime, if you want to dive deeper and learn how to grow your startup, you can connect with mentors of FIIB-Meraki. Do you think there’s anything that should be included here? Feel free to comment below.

 

Jan
01

Care for Air Workshop at FIIB

Care for air

With an aim to create awareness and educate our community of students, faculty and staff about the ill-effects of air-pollution, an interactive workshop was held by the progressive NGO Care for Air at FIIB Campus on Saturday, December 8, 2018.

The day-long workshop commenced with the expectations, concerns and queries from the audience for the session followed by a Q&A interaction.

Some of the questions posed by the audience are as follows:

  • What kind of health issues are we prone to due to the high exposure to air-pollution?
  • How can we prevent ourselves and especially infants from being affected by the worsened air quality atmosphere?
  • How do we make our efforts and initiatives sustainable and act as positive contributors to bring the change?
  • What are the solutions and initiatives one can take with respect to care for environment?
  • Are there any best practices like artificial rainfall to bring down the rising pollution levels?
  • What are the reasons for the inactions on part of the government to this severe health disaster?
  • What immediate steps one can take as an individual?

The insightful workshop primarily aimed at informing and creating awareness amongst the participants through presentation of hard-hitting facts, data and statistics pertaining to air-pollution and health issues. The real objective was to encourage each individual to take urgent and immediate steps towards care for the declining state of air quality.

The workshop was conducted by three experts from the NGO Care for Air. The speakers at the workshop included prominent individuals with expertise in environmental issues. Some of the visiting experts from the NGO were Jyoti Pandey Lavakare, Director, Care for Air & Financial Journalist; Barun Aggarwal, Entrepreneur & Founding Member of Indoor Air Quality Association, USA, India Chapter; and Manjali Hoon-Khosla, Entrepreneur & Managing Director, Self Storage India., amongst others.  

Water vs Air

STRIKING FACTS

Beginning with his introductory remarks, Barun Aggarwal spoke about the collective responsibility to care for the environment and atmosphere.

Conveying about the importance of breathing clean air, he stated that the functionality of brain is dependant on the quality of air and oxygen. An individual breathes up to 13,000 litres of air per day and can survive without consumption of filtered water for days and weeks, if required, but not without the air.

This is like smoking cigarattes

The inhalation of polluted air impacts the human body in the worst possible manner as the particulate matters present in the air enters the bloodstream and ultimately damages vital organs including brain, heart, lungs, lever as well as the nervous system. The 5 things that impacts the human body in a significant way are air, water, food, light and sound.

While explaining the facts, Aggarwal suggested attendees a book by Ramachandra Guha, How much should A Person Consume: Thinking Through The Environment.

3 Broad Buckets Air Pollution

For better understanding, Aggarwal categorised the air pollution into 3 broad buckets – Particulate pollution that affects health in long term, Gaseous pollution (ozone, VOC’s, Nox, SOx) posing long and short term health risks, and Microbiological pollution (bacteria, virus, mould) affecting the immunity.

Informing about the negative effects of PM 2.5, Aggarwal stated that exposure to 125 mcg/m3 of PM 2.5 poses highest risk of 60 percent for heart and lung disorders, whereas 25 mcg/m3 and 10 mcg/m3 poses 40 to 30 percent of health risks, respectively. However, presently the air pollution in Delhi consists of PM 2.5 over 143 mcg/m3, which is not even low but marginal in terms of health risks and poses serious threat to life, especially of infants.

What is Clean Air

WHAT IS CLEAN AIR?

Differentiating between the clean air and polluted air, Aggarwal stated that polluted air consists of destructive particulate matters and harmful gases with elements such as Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulphide, Chlorine, and Lead etc., that endangers human health. The PM 2.5 denotes the number of particles in the air.

Pollution Myths

MYTHS ABOUT AIR-POLLUTION

Discussing the myths related to air-pollution he clarified that pollution is not an urban problem but a problem engulfing the entire country.

According to him, the myth that air pollution enhances tolerance and makes lungs stronger by building the immunity is untrue as the more air pollutants pass through the respiratory system into the lungs, the more one is at risk of diseases.

Discussing the serious harm caused to health by air-pollution, he said that a person is habitual of breathing unhealthy air and fails to sense the smell of the polluted air due to daily inhalation.

Drawing attention towards another myth during his presentation, he clarified that it is wrong to believe if one doesn’t fall sick, they are not affected due to non-realisation of the impact until 70 percent of lungs are damaged.

Dismissing the myths about air purification outdoors through mechanised equipments, he said that deployment of advanced machinery for cleaning the air is not an evidence-based solution, instead the problem should be dealt at source.

Source of PM2.5

SOURCES OF AIR POLLUTION

Highlighting the major factors responsible for causing air-pollution, Aggarwal said that the automobile Industry is responsible for causing considerable damage to the environment through production of diesel-engine vehicles in India. Drawing meaningful facts from his research, he conveyed that people tend to prefer and buy diesel-engine vehicles due to the economical advantage but diesel is 8 to 10 times more polluting than petrol.

Talking about the refinery in Jamnagar producing the best fuel (Euro VI) he said, the best quality fuel is exported to other countries due to the involvement of lobbies. He stated that the economics won over the care for lungs as the lobbies are giving it a push back to fetch larger profits. According to him, the lobbies are unwilling to accept the change as upgradation to good quality fuel technology would result in training of technicians and greater utilization of resources.  

Another factor that restrains lobbies from accepting the change is the increase in cost that would adversely impact the sales by lowering the demand. He pointed out that vehicle manufacturing companies do produce such vehicles with superior technology but only for exportation to the other countries.

Apart from that, he informed that burning of hawan samagri, lighting of Agarbattis and diyas also contributes towards air pollution. The production of leather too causes huge amount of pollution. The cremation performed using wooden blocks and other material damages the quality of air by emitting toxic and hazardous smoke.

Considering failure on part of the government in the implementation of the environmental laws as a deep-rooted systemic problem, Aggarwal stated that in India environmental laws are appropriately stringent but the failure in implementation and enforcement of such laws at the ground-level further worsens the situation.

According to him, burning of plastic, trash and wet waste is one of the prime factors that causes major damage to the air quality.

Considering dust from construction sites as also one of the factors leading to critical respiratory disorders, he said that the ultrafine marble dust going into the lungs causes irreparable damage.  

The stubble burning by farmers is another factor that causes air pollution. Naming Punjab and Haryana as two regions where stubble burning happens on a large-scale during the month of October, which goes unnoticed and unchecked, Aggarwal expressed that both regions are known for the cultivation of important and essential crops. The mechanical methods of crop cutting ultimately leads to burning of crops.

Besides that, the use of non-degradable plastic pollutes our environment significantly as it goes into the landfills and remains undissolved. The improper methods of destroying waste contributes to air pollution the most as well.

Counting diesel generators as one of the major sources of air pollution, he suggested that solar power grids are reliable in powering the house and cars.

To summarize, he said that the sources of pollution differs and keeps changing with seasons therefore there is an urgent need to have a focused approach for tackling the crisis.  

What is Clean Air

HOW SERIOUS IS THE PROBLEM?

Drawing attention towards the recent study conducted by WHO on 4000 cities across 108 countries, Barun Aggarwal specified that, WHO guidelines states that the PM 2.5 levels should be less than 15 mcg/m3 on average for 24-hours and less than 10 mcg/m3 on average, annually. He stated that days before the festival of Deepawali, the pollution levels in Delhi continues to cross the alarming mark of 1000, and during winters it usually crosses over 300 to 400 mark on average and is even more than 143 mcg/m3 on average for the entire year. He informed that WHO ranked Delhi 3rd amongst the most polluted cities in the world. According to the report, 14 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India, itself.

Discussing the seriousness of the problem, Aggarwal said that people need to be more cautious and careful as air pollution causes life endangering diseases such as acute Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

To explain better, he conveyed that according to Dr. Arvind Kumar, a leading Indian surgeon formerly with AIIMS for over 35 years, and is currently associated with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, capacity of human lungs is 70 percent more than what is needed to live a normal sedentary lifestyle but breathing of polluted air reduced the life expectancy, considerably. According to the surgeon, most of the people do not even realise the impact of air pollution on their lungs until it’s too late when 70 percent of lungs are damaged and the matter of life and death arises.


INITIATIVES BY INDIVIDUALS AND AUTHORITIES?

Concluding his remarks with the need for urgent actions to curtail air-pollution, he said that understanding, focussing and resolving one issue would not help in addressing the problem.

Prompting to take initiatives for curtailing air pollution, Aggarwal urged the attendees of the workshop to make themselves more aware, educate others and understand the problem to find immediate effective solutions.

Asking the participants to make possible efforts and attempts to avoid causing air pollution, he identified the situation as a national emergency. He motivated the participants to demand change and actions against any harm to the environment by any individual or entity. He also said that the onus lies on the government to frame policies and laws, which deals with the perpetrators sternly.

Notifying about the lack of sincerity on part of municipal authorities, he said that the workers transport waste from one city to another for dumping at a convenient location as they earn depending upon the distance waste is carried but not for disposal through proper methods of waste management. Using innovative and advanced methods of waste management is one of the key solutions to the problem.

Segregation of dry and wet waste and disposing of the same through proper ways helps reducing air pollution. He believes, there is an urgent need for using composite plastic that gets decomposed naturally in the soil.

Also insisting the attendees to do their bit, he urged all to avoid travel through personal vehicles and using public conveyance in order to reduce pollution.

Expecting preventive measures, he said that the government should regulate the movement of heavy vehicles including trucks and buses and impose fines and penalties for any violations such as overloading and illegal entry during non-permissible hours.

On the importance of planting of trees, he expressed that the green belt of trees brilliantly helps purifying air but the collection of heavy dirt particles on the leaves of trees blocks trees from releasing oxygen. Citing his obeservations, he said that trees in Delhi are covered with the thickest blanket of dirt and there is an urgent need to shower the trees in order to bring down the temperature by 1-2 degrees.

Most importantly, Aggarwal mentioned that it is a collective responsibility of every citizen to care for the environment.

For reference and greater knowledge about air pollution, Aggarwal recommended the book The Great Smog of India by Siddharth Singh.

Recommendations:

  • Individuals should educate themselves, take initiatives, and create more awareness to act against the factors responsible for degrading air quality.
  • Urgent need for understanding the problem to find effective solutions.
  • Individuals should share a collective responsibility to care for the environment and atmosphere.
  • People should know how to differentiate between the Clean and polluted air.
  • People should be aware of the factors responsible for causing air pollution.
  • Automobile industry should stop producing diesel-engine vehicle as diesel is 8 to 10 times more polluting than petrol.
  • The government should stop the sale and purchase of diesel-engine vehicles with immediate effect.
  • Nationwide upgradation of vehicles to Euro VI fuel technology should be introduced.
  • Government should regulate the movement of heavy vehicles including trucks and buses and impose fines and penalties for any violations such as overloading and illegal entry into the city during non-permissible hours.  
  • Fines and penalties to be levied strictly against the violators for stubble, trash or wet waste burning.
  • Prohibition against improper ways of waste management and disposal
  • The dry and wet waste to be segregated, contained and disposed separately.
  • Eco-friendly methods of cremation should be used as cremation using wooden blocks emits toxic and hazardous smoke into the atmosphere thereby polluting the air.
  • Government should frame more policies and laws to deal with the perpetrators.
  • The government should ensure actual implementation and enforcement of existing environmental laws at ground level.
  • An immense need for self-awareness about the disorders and diseases such as Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) caused due to high and long-term exposure to air-pollution.
  • Immediate banning of non-degradable plastic as it pollutes the landfills and remains undissolved.
  • Solar powered grids to be used instead of diesel generators for powering the house and cars.
  • Individuals should demand change and actions against any harm to the environment by any individual or entity.
  • Waste not only to be transported by Municipal workers from one place to another but also to be disposed off properly at a dedicated place within a confined area.
  • People should prefer travelling via public conveyance to reduce the number of private vehicles on road.
  • Need for plantations of more and more trees to increase the levels of oxygen.
  • Trees should be regularly showered for removal of dust clocked on the leaves blocking the release of oxygen.
  • Blanket ban on the sale and purchase of firecrackers for festivities.
  • Schools and institutions should impart necessary environmental knowledge amongst the students and practitioners.

Evaluation:

Was the session helpful in educating the audience about air pollution?

The session helped in identifying the factors responsible for causing air-pollution and health risks posed due to exposure to air-pollution. The Session also motivated the participants to take urgent steps with respect to the care for environment and atmosphere. The facts and information presented at the workshop highlighted the chemical imbalance caused due to the air-pollution in the atmosphere.

In what ways the workshop is useful for a B-school?

As a management institute, it is our core responsibility to contribute towards the development and the welfare of the society as well as caring for environment. Care for Air session would make the students more responsible prompting them to take initiatives as an individual towards improving the quality of air. We consider it as our fundamental duty to protect the environment and our loved ones from the harmful effects of air-pollution.

Which part of the presentation seemed most useful?

Striking facts, Sources of Air Pollution, and Initiatives by Individuals and Authorities were the most useful parts of the presentation that helped in understanding how an individual or a community can make big impact though small initiatives to bring a positive change. The emphasis should be more on the individualistic efforts, technological solutions and framing of effective environmental laws and policies by the government.

Did the session meet up to the expectations?

Yes, the session appropriately informed about the ill-effects due to air-pollution and helped in clearing of doubts and myths. The session suitably answered the concerns and queries while suggesting alternatives, which helps reducing air-pollution. The session taught us how technology can be useful in sustainable development.

Please comment on the meaningful insights shared by the experts at the workshop?  

The insights shared by the noted experts were extremely useful as it informed about the serious health disorders and diseases, which endangers life. The insights were striking enough to encourage the participants to do their bit and share a collective responsibility towards the care for environment.

What other recommendations were made for the sessions in future?  

Most of the participants had questions related to the use of advanced technology for improving the air quality. The sessions suggested a range of initiatives, solutions and alternatives that helps in reduction of toxic elements, hazardous smoke and particulate matters from being emitted into the atmosphere. The session also recommended immediate actions and framing of effective policies on part of the government.

Did the workshop cover all important aspects pertaining to causes and solutions for air-pollution?   

The attendees believe that the discussions and interactions held at the workshop covered all necessary aspects pertaining to sources and solutions for the air pollution. The session sufficiently educated about the major factors leading to the declining state of air-quality. The session successfully motivated the attendees to be more socially responsible and make all possible attempts and efforts to save our environment.

 

Jan
01

Can Technology Replace Human Jobs?

There are massive technology improvements in the form of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Science these days. While it has made our life easier and improved efficiency of businesses there is a concern about the future of our jobs. While it can be easy to see that technology has indeed made many jobs obsolete in the past, but it can be argued that due to technology many jobs have been created as well. For example, in the past there were horse drawn carriages or bullock carts to ship cargos which was replaced by motor trucks, the people who used to drive the carriages and carts lost their jobs but at the same time the industries grew at a faster pace which resulted in creation of more jobs.

Technology Makes Menial Jobs Outdated:

Technology usually affects the menial jobs more than the jobs which require skills. Jobs like cashier in the counter of a movie hall is in more danger than a job in the administration department. Technology redefines the job requirements, the introduction of computers offices resulted in a booming IT sector while it was thought as to it will eliminate the need of humans in a workplace. Fintech companies which have facilitated quicker payments has led to creation of many jobs in those companies. E-commerce companies used technology to revolutionize the way we shop, and it too created a lot of jobs.

Technology However Advanced, Can’t Replace Human Thinking:

Driverless cars are coming up and it is predicted that drivers will soon lose their jobs which is possible, but that kind of technology is still very far away. Another reason why technology will not replace jobs anytime soon is because technology is expensive and difficult to implement. It is cheaper to employ human labour than to employ technology. It is for this reason companies outsource their process to countries to China, India and Philippines.

Technology As An Upskilling Tool:

Looking at the other side technology also makes jobs redundant, and in countries which can afford new technologies it can make the current skill set of such employees useless. The use of technology is inevitable and even if not in the near future many jobs later will be automated with improvement in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Sciences. The benefits provided by technology are more than the negatives of it. Manufacturing is the sector that is going to be most affected because of automation. Many countries including China and India have presence of substantial automation in manufacturing setups. The solution to this is by providing better education, reskilling and training them for better jobs. The challenge here is that there is lack of even basic education today it would be even more difficult to make people ready for technical jobs and have that level of expertise. There are some people who might not be naturally talented in technical skills and those people will have trouble finding jobs.

So, in a broader view Technology has two faces to it; on one hand technology has led jobs to be redundant and many people have become unemployable and it will be difficult to create skillful employees who can get employed in future roles. At the same time it has improved our lives, technology in medicine has helped in finding new treatments, it has created new jobs through various e commerce industries, increased productivity in businesses. It has reduced repetitive tasks which consumed unnecessary time, it has reduced error rates and increased accuracy.

Shrabandip Mahanta

Class 2018-20

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