Fuelling the spirit of entrepreneurship in India’s smaller cities and townsSindhu MV
This article is sponsored by Lenovo
As India slowly inches towards becoming a nation of startups, entrepreneurship is the now the ‘coolest’ and ‘trendiest’ thing among youngsters. While there are numerous hurdles and challenges before many of these youngsters are able to change their description from ‘aspiring entrepreneurs’ to ’entrepreneurs’, there is a need to give them a platform – one where they can explore their strengths and work on their weaknesses; a platform where they get a teaser to understand what it really takes to be an entrepreneur. Investors and experienced entrepreneurs believe that the underlying reason for giving such a platform is to help youngsters focus on their capabilities and strengths and capitalise on it in the nation’s journey to become a global leader.
Against this backdrop, Lenovo organised the Start Off as CEO contest in December 2015 and January 2016, which saw youngsters from India’s smaller cities participating in huge numbers. The contest was designed to give an impetus to the youth and transform their aspirations into businesses. By collaborating with the Entrepreneurship Cell at IIT Mumbai, Lenovo provided the five selected aspiring entrepreneurs access to training and mentoring.
By 2030, India will be amongst the youngest nations in the world. With nearly 140 million people in the college-going age group, one in every four graduates in the world will be a product of the Indian higher education system. And, a significant population of this group will belong to rural and semi-urban areas. So it becomes all the more imperative that we begin the process of encouraging these youngsters to think big, right now.
There is also another reason it makes sense to reach out to them. While young Indian entrepreneurs have built successful businesses, in the years to come it will be the innovative spirit and resilience of youngsters from India’s small cities and bustling towns that will give rise to the next big success stories. That’s why the government and organisations are gunning to tap this potential and that’s where many of Lenovo’s initiatives fit in.
Bhaskar Choudhuri, Director Marketing, Lenovo India, says, “The Lenovo’s Start Off as CEO, contest was designed and executed with an aim of fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among youth. And, we were blown away by the immense talent and potential of youngsters from the country’s smaller cities and towns. It was a pleasure to see them come out of their shells and exhibit their energy and passion.”
This is part of a series featuring winners from the Start off as CEO contest organised by Lenovo in collaboration with the e-cell of IIT Bombay.