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7 innovative businesses fostering entrepreneurship and local employment in Uttarakhand

Libza Mannan
21st Apr 2018
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The hill state of Uttarakhand is endowed with rich natural resources that can put the region on a speedy road to sustainable industrial development. We find seven innovative ideas that are solving local problems and generating additional employment opportunities.

Sectors such as organic farming, education, food supply, tourism, and others are some of the key business areas in the state of Uttarakhand. Besides these listed ventures started by individuals, the government has also been taking proactive steps to foster entrepreneurship in the region. Startup Yatra, a 27-day tour of Uttarakhand, aimed at promoting entrepreneurship across the region, was kickstarted from Dehradun on April 2, 2018. At the launch, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also unveiled Startup Policy 2018 and asked officials to prepare an action plan so that budding entrepreneurs would be motivated to work on innovative ideas based on rich natural resources the hill state is endowed with.

The van is expected to travel to nearly 22 colleges and one-day bootcamps will be conducted in all the eight destinations to spread awareness about Startup India and Uttarakhand Startup Policy.

Here is a list of seven ventures that are generating employment opportunities and inspiring locals to take up entrepreneurship in the state.

Soumya Foods

Based in: Dehradun

Based in Dehradun’s Mothrowala village, Soumya Foods was started in 2013 by Divya Rawat to help locals earn a better livelihood via mushroom cultivation. Popularly known as the Mushroom Lady of Uttarakhand, Divya (26) cultivates mushrooms on bamboo racks instead of iron and aluminum racks and grows a variety of mushrooms indoors as per the weather. Started with an initial investment of Rs 3 lakh, today, Soumya Foods has an annual turnover of around Rs 30 lakh. Divya is also keen to open a workshop to train locals in mushroom farming.

Avani Bio Energy

Based in: Pithoragarh

Launched in 2011, Avani Bio Energy is the brainchild of husband-wife duo Rajnish Jain and Rashmi Bharti, who are on a mission to builds a sustainable energy generation and delivery business based on pine needles. Avani Bio Energy is a for-profit entity that builds power stations to generate clean electricity and cooking charcoal from ecologically harmful pine needles and reduce carbon emissions. To cater to the electrification needs of the rural population, the founders have set up the first 120 KW power plant in the village. Based in Pithoragarh town, Avani Bio Energy is part of the duo’s non-profit organisation, Avani.

USP

Based in: Dehradun

Uprist Service Portal (USP) was started in 2012 by seven friends - Saurabh Bhatnagar, Rahul Bhatnagar, Saurabh Nailwal, Dhiren Chaudhary, Yogesh Prakash, Akshay Ahuja and Amit Nautiyal. Uprist is a branding and marketing company that not only helps in building brands but also provides a multitude of services from loyalty programmes to event management to manpower solutions.

Garage Master

Based in: Dehradun

Garage Master is an On-Demand Two-Wheeler service and care platform that has tied up with garages within a radius of 3 kms in almost all areas of Dehradun city. Started in 2016 by Deepak Matta, who saw the dire need for a platform like Garage Master in Dehradun city, which has an increasing number of two-wheelers used by students and young professionals. Besides offering assistance to two-wheeler owners in case of a break-down, tyre puncture or lost key, Garage Master also provides owners ease of booking a service and get their vehicle serviced as per ‪convenience, without having to leave your home or workplace.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ shortly.

Jumpin Heights

Based in: Rishikesh

India’s first extreme adventure zone Jumpin Heights was set up in Rishikesh by former army officer Rahul Nigam in 2006. Jumpin Heights offers three extreme adventure sports activities – bungee jump, zip lining, and has completed over 60,000 jumps so far. The zone claims that their bungee is currently India's highest, at a height of 83 metres (equivalent to a 22-storey building). The Flying Fox activity offered by Jumpin Heights claims to be Asia's longest (length 1 km) and can be done by three people in tandem. The Giant Swing at 83 metres, is an adventure that two people can set out on together.

FoodPack8

Based in: Dehradun

Launched in 2016, FoodPack8 is the brainchild of Anshuman Kumar and Kashish Gupta who wanted to start deliveries in the city till 4 in the morning in Dehradun. To align their vision with the business, the duo modeled FoodPack8 on a cloud kitchen concept, operating outlets with kitchens only and no dine-in facility. The all-night online food delivery service offers birthday pack8s, late night hangout pack8s, house party pack8s, corporate meal pack8s, and customised pack8s.

Bhuli

Based in: Dehradun

Bhuli (which means 'Little Sister' in native Grahwali dialect of Uttarakhand) is a social enterprise run by family friends Tanya Kotnala, a fashion designer and Tanya Singh, a nutrionist. The duo have earlier worked in the social sector and wanted to start something on their own to promote their region’s culture via unique designs. To promote Uttarakhand's cultural heritage beyond just social media, Bhuli has undertaken several initiatives, which includes Bhuli Limited Edition calendars 2017 and 2018; Space Bhuli; Nutrition Week; and Aipan (series celebrating the flora, fauna, food, art, craft, food and culture of Uttarakhand). Other than these projects, the team produces sketches which celebrate local life and culture, works with government agencies on various awareness programmes, designing buzz worthy posters.

These are only a handful of the many initiatives started by people who firmly believe in the hidden potential of the hill state. Every region needs such solutions or businesses that are focused on social development, solving a problem pertaining to the region, in this case reducing local job unemployment.

 

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