Hemant Nitturkar, CARMa : Creating Access to Resources and Markets


CARMa stands for Creating Access to Resources and Markets.The biggest pain point for all entrepreneurs, whether in the start-up phase or in the growth phase, is access to resources and markets. CARMa addresses these pain points by mentoring entrepreneurs to build enterprises that become investment-ready; help raise capital through its innovative risk capital aggregation mechanism; and then efficiently deploy it to become attractive to the next level of investors.

CARMa believes in a collaborative model and seeks to build a wide network of business partners who bring their own unique core competencies and territorial reach, on a win-win revenue-sharing basis.

CARMa offers entrepreneurs Competence, Autonomy and Purpose. Competence is giving them the opportunity to learn; Autonomy is mentoring them find their inner potential; and Purpose is helping them to transform not just their lives but others' lives as well.

Not just once but time and time again; not just for a handful but for a nationful.

Hemant, Founder CARMa talks to YourStory about his venture. Hemant is a vocal proponent of Conscious Capitalism. He brings with him a unique blend of experiences in different industries and countries. He strives to bring in the "next" practices into entrepreneurship. He is keen to build an eco system that supports innovation and enterprise in both social and green entrepreneurship space. He sincerely believes that only through wide-spread entrepreneurship can a nation achieve its true potential while ensuring equitable and hence sustainable growth. His dream is to ensure that a viable business idea anywhere in the world, backed by an ethical, competent and committed team will not be denied its moment in the sun simply due to lack of capital or support. So, he has started a movement to make India and Africa entrepreneurial hubs. A CARMa movement to change the Karma of Indian entrepreneurs.

Till recently he was the head of New Ventures India, an initiative of Confederation of Indian Industry, India and World Resources Institute, Washington D.C., which is a program to assist Green Entrepreneurship.

Unreasonable Institute is an international accelerator and investor in high impact entrepreneurs. It is based in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Entrepreneurs from over 60 countries vied for the 25 slots available to attend the 2011 Unreasonable Institute. After conducting over 100 interviews, the Unreasonable team has narrowed it down to 45 exceptional finalists. Now, in a true test of their entrepreneurial mettle, each of these finalists face one final challenge before becoming Unreasonable Fellows: galvanizing the globe to raise the $8,000 it costs to attend the Unreasonable Institute.

14 out of the 45 shortlisted entrepreneurs are from India and as part of the partnership between YourStory and Unreasonable Institute we bring you the profiles of these social entrepreneurs. Below is an excerpt of our conversation with Hemant on CARMa and being shortlisted for the Unreasonable Institute.

Impact of CARMa:

Working-age population of over 340 million in Africa and 213 million in India is expected to be added between 2010 and 2030. Corporates and governments cannot create commensurate economic opportunities for this confident and aspirational populace. We stare at social unrest due to lack of growth and opportunities or environmental disaster due to haphazard growth. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are vital components of any domestic economy and are major contributors to employment generation. As per RBI, MSMEs employ approximately 60 million people in India.

Opportunity-based entrepreneurship can ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, but the enabling ecosystem is lacking. Demographic dividend can quickly turn into Damocles’ Sword, if this issue is not properly addressed.

CARMa seeks to create an impact through the following interventions:

1)Mentoring entrepreneurs will encourage growth of ethical, ecologically responsible businesses with good corporate governance structures. Our Tier II and III focus will mean reduced need for migration to cities.

2)Capital - CARMa has developed an innovative capital raising platform to assist early stage companies to raise risk capital of between INR 25 lacs and INR 5 crores. Currently this is a vastly underserved market which is stifling innovation and growth.

Thousands of crores of currently unproductive cash can be channeled to building new enterprises for common good.

Who is CARMa targeting:

CARMa has a very wide spectrum of interventions which targets various segments of the society which ultimately ties in to create an innovative and enterprising eco system.

1. CARMa Sutra: Mentoring start-ups, mature enterprises and family business through an intense diagnostic engagement, which aims to build capacity of the entrepreneur and his team to implement their vision.

2. CARMa Gurukul: Conducting workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs in various aspects of entrepreneurship and enterprise-building.

3. CARMa Shala: Empowering young minds by exposing them to business leaders and entrepreneurial career options through Ideafests and setting up incubators in engineering and business schools across the country.

4. CARMa Shrishti: Curiosity, Creativity, Confidence, Co-operation and Collaboration are virtues that need active nurturing from an early age. CARMa conducts leadership and innovative teaching workshops for school principals and teachers, awareness programs for parents, and various initiatives for kids in 5-18 year age group to build a potent talent pool of magical thinkers.

5. CARMa Shakti: Women Entrepreneurship brings unique strengths, culture, empathy and multiplier effects to any community. CARMa has a dedicated program to mentor women to set up and grow their own businesses.

6. CARMa Mukti: Bringing best practices to cluster-based micro enterprises to expand their impact and promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

What will it mean for your venture to get shortlisted as the finalist to the unreasonable institute?

A stamp from Unreasonable Institute will tell the world that there is a method in our madness.

CARMa is a start-up that is trying to create a movement for innovation and collaboration. We hope to get from this Unreasonable Institute initiative, high end mentoring, exposure to global practices, greater visibility and access which will help us immensely to in turn help the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India and Africa.

What excites you about your journey as an entrepreneur ?

I am trained agricultural professional, so preserving nature and sustainability comes naturally to me.

My avatar as an IT professional gave me insights into systems, processes and efficiencies.

My stint as a Finance professional exposed me to the tools to leverage, create value and meaning.

As an Entrepreneur now, I am excited about CARMa as a vehicle that weaves all my above experiences to help millions of people create value for themselves, their investors and the society at large.

And the most exciting aspect of it is within a short time the CARMa vision has been able to enroll huge number of people and the movement has truly started.

Challenges you faced as an entrepreneur

CARMa has been facing exactly the same challenges that we are out to address for thousands of entrepreneurs. We needed to develop a web platform to facilitate our interventions. It has been a big challenge so far. After 8 months and three vendors, we are still struggling.

Access to Corporate & Legal Services professional: Smaller firms do not have the expertise and the bigger firms do have time for us or we do not have the money for them. Through extensive search, we were fortunate to zero in on some vendors who aligned with our vision and mission.

Access to capital, as with any start up was a problem with CARMa. Here we successfully solved the problem through the very platform that we are offering to entrepreneurs to raise early stage capital.

Unreasonable Institute Market Place:


Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRdHY3RFADQ

Website: www.carmaconnect.in


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