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Trailblazers #3: An Interview with Mr.Vishal Kumar

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KGEC E Cell recently played host to Mr. Vishal Kumar, CEO and founder of learningwhiletravelling.com on the occasion of Egnition ’19,the freshers’ orientation program of Kalyani Governement Engineering College’s Entrepreneurship Cell. He did his bachelors from IIT Kharagpur and post-graduation from UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He had worked in oil and gas industries in Canada, Singapore and Indonesia. Not sure about pursuing an MBA and after visiting many B-schools in a 100-day world tour itinerary, he dropped his MBA plan and invested his savings in his startup. He has been to 25 countries to date. Mr.Vishal’s brainchild the International Startup Enrichment Tour” aims to help all startups get a global platform to extend their cross border trade, investment and network. He is also working on establishing E-Cells in schools and colleges where LWT is supporting the students from ‘idea’ to ‘incubation’ (zero to one). The startups from these colleges gain a lot of exposure while traveling and participating in various national and international e-summits at different parts of the globe.

Here are some of the excerpts :

KGEC E Cell: What is the inspiration behind this startup ?

Vishal Kumar: Having travelled a lot (25 countries, till date), I see myself as an upgraded person after each travel. Travel can be used as a means for a person to upgrade themselves. A person who has travelled a lot can learn about different cultures and can change his way of thinking. Scholarship in the form of flight tickets is a very good motivation for youth to experience foreign culture and this will change their mindset and eventually upgrade India.

KEC: Why have you chosen Singapore as the city ?

VK: I used to live in Singapore and it is a well developed city with many amenities. So, instead of connecting Mumbai and Bangalore (cities which were more developed) to Singapore I decided to connect Kolkata and its surrounding areas because of higher growth. Also, it is not very far from Kolkata and the travel is inexpensive. Singapore is also a very good role model for India and there is a lot of encouragements for startups as well. This will boost tourism and entrepreneurship in both countries as well.

KEC: What according to you does it take to be  a successful entrepreneur?

VK: A successful entrepreneur has to be self motivated because there is no one to motivate them through the tough times. You might be feeling low everyday for a variety of reasons – starting from inadequate supply of money or the people who are working under you are unable to follow you. So, there needs to be a consistent drive, zeal and passion from within to tide over the tough times.

KEC: How do you deal with hardships and failures?

VK: That’s an interesting question : If the world laughs at me, I’ll laugh back at them later.  Entrepreneurship is a great leveler. Even someone with an IIT tag has the same chances as that of a non IITian and there is no edge whatsoever. You must be willing to accept whatever comes your way as it is the same playing field.

KEC: That is the most demotivating thing for us, because we are not from an IIT

People do  an MBA to wipe the sin of engineering

VK: People do  an MBA to wipe the sin of engineering. So, if you can create a startup you can upgrade your overall life. So, definitely trying is the main factor here.

KEC: Please share if you have any successful incidents.

VK: Initially, for our pilot project we had a Bangkok trip which consisted of around 20 – 30 people, for a duration of 3 days. It was a very hard task gathering that many people who would turn up because everyone thought that our free trip was a scam, with hidden terms and conditions. Later, we were able to gather around 70 people for a semi sponsored one week trip to Singapore. We had visa issues but then everything started to fall into place. 69828944_1207707932748048_6329431198888099840_o

KEC: What are the things that you would like to achieve in the future?

VK: We would like one representative from every school and college in India for our foreign trip. We would give them the option of all 200 countries. Getting young people into entrepreneurship early is the key to maintaining a viable startup ecosystem. Due to parental and societal pressure kids do not get an opportunity to be an entrepreneur. Our main motive here is to groom young people early on topics such as sales marketing and finances such that they are not a job seeker, but a job giver.

KEC: What were the initial hurdles you had to overcome ?

VK: Capital was not an issue for us because it was a bootstrapped venture. The main hurdle was that many people did not believe in us because they thought that it was a scam. It was very difficult to get people on board with us. Later, when we became successful we were called for TV interviews. So, now the coin has flipped.

KEC: What was the Singapore trip all about ?

VK: It was all about getting all the strangers under one roof. Everyone gathered at Kolkata and we started giving them different activities. The B-plan contest started on the plane itself. It was followed by lectures at various colleges at Singapore and conference at Marina Bay Sands, a 7 star hotel. There was also an optional Kaplan certification course and pitching plans at the Singapore Chamber of Commerce. Participants also met the Transport Minister of Singapore. So, overall it was a mesmerising experience for everyone and especially for those who were out of India for the very first time.

KEC: Please describe your business model.

VK: We follow two kinds of business models: The Jio sim model which is a freemium based model where we give away free tickets to the participants; the other, IITJEE kind of model where a lot of people pay an application fee and very few people get selected. So, we will give away the tickets as a prize of a very high competition and we will get the revenue from the application fees itself. So, ultimately we will be going for a merit cum means scholarship. We are also trying to introduce entrepreneurship into the school and college curricula such that the cost can be covered by an educational loan.

KEC: Last but not the least, are you hiring ?

VK: Although, we are not hiring full time people we do have positions for summer interns. These are creative positions that will require negotiating skills to get sponsorship from corporate companies as well as the Government. They need additional skills such as sales, marketing and they need to be able to execute the trip. We will eventually hire a team for all 200+ country’s program which totals to around 500-1000 people.

For more details please watch,

Reported by –

Sanghamitra Biswas

 

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#BeYourOwnBoss, Collegepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Ideas, womenentrepreneurship

Trailblazers #4 : An Interview With ‘Catch Them Young’ Participants.

It  all started on 23rdDecember, 2018,when Kaushikee Banerjee along with our Joint Secretary Mr. Ankan Chattopadhyay and fellow member Ms. Shubhangi Dey witnessed some entrepreneurs discussing about their start-ups and success stories at a networking meet organized by CTY in American Centre, Kolkata.

After a day long session, they were notified about the campus ambassador programme which was open to college students.

After filling up the form of Campus Ambassador programme, Kaushikee Banerjee received a mail from CTY with a few questions like why would she want to be a part of this, if she had any business idea or not etc. Based upon the answers the final selection was to be made. She cleared this round and got a call by one CTY representative that she had been shortlisted as the campus ambassador. Her work was to spread the word and inspire students to take part in it.

Few months down the lane,

it was a proud moment for all KGECians as 5 out of 5 participants of ‘Catch them young‘ competition had qualified for the next round and grabbed the chance of attending a business summit.

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The selected students were:

  1. Hosneara Khatoon (CSE, 4th Year)
  2. Sanghamitra Biswas(IT, 3rd Year)
  3. Devsmita Mukherjee (CSE, 3rd Year)
  4. Shubhangi Dey (EE, 2nd Year)
  5. Tirtharaj Chakraborty (IT, 1st Year)

KGEC E-CELL ,delighted with  this achievement decided to have an interactive session with them and hear from them about their experience and ideas and many things more…

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It started with just a general enquiry about how they came to know about CTY contest .

Sanghamitra Biswas explained that CTY had come to the college during April 2019 and had a session with the E Cell. During that session, Suman Mukhopadhyay came and encouraged the students to present their ideas, whatsoever it maybe and the selected few would then get a chance to participate in the bootcamp.

All the participants were very excited and few of them didn’t really expect that their idea would be shortlisted among the top 50 ideas. So before attending the camp, some of them were nervous at the same time confident enough to present their realistic B-Plan in front of the judge’s desk.

When asked about their B-plans, Sanghamitra Biswas said,

 “My idea is that by connecting ordinary tailoring institutions to customers, there will be a better fit at an affordable price.”

Husna Khatoon’s idea is based on Internet technology. She wants to create a website like shiksha.com or collegedunia.com, but it would be different from them and helpful to the students and their parents.

Devsmita Mukherjee had a plan which revolves around fashion and boutique. To open a boutique for a local brand which will be only for women, her motto is to enhance women empowerment.

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Shubhangi Dey explained her B-Plan which deals with a serious and real issue,

“My business plan was rural sector. I aimed at water scarcity in Purulia district of West Bengal which is the 2nd most water scarce area after Rajasthan. So, I made a B-Plan which highlighted that we can make water booths out of Moringa oleifera which is drumsticks or “duta” as we know it in Bengali. Drumsticks seed are very helpful to get purified water and thus eliminate the impurities in water and the general health will be be better.”

 

Tirtharaj demonstrated that his B-Plan is to provide digital marketing services and to make it easily available for every entrepreneur and businessman and salesperson. And to provide proper value proposition and to maintain customer relationships.

It was 3-day session with Subhangi Dey being the only participant to make it to the final day. During these 3 days the participants learnt quite a few things about how to make a presentation of their B-Plan. All the participants had one thing in common.  They were hugely impressed by the session by Data Sutram founder, Rajit Bhattacharya.

In the words of Subhangi,

“ We were taught value propositions, revenue model, how to do financial projections. We got to know how to make a B-Plan and how to implement it. We were asked to solve certain exercises and it helped us in knowing our idea to greater depth. So as we can understand that the sessions did not just test their B-Plan but also made them learn quite a few essential things which will be required in the entrepreneurship field.”

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Tirtharaj Chakraborty had an amazing experience just like all the other participants but it was all the more precious for a 1st Year. He is extremely thankful for the help he got from the other participants in making a presentation as well as in making his idea better. Let’s hear from him on this,

“I was helped a lot by my seniors. They helped me in shaping my idea so that it is well presented. I was encouraged to interact with the guest lecturers as well as with other participants.” He is very much excited to join KGEC E-CELL as according to him it would help him to, “get more opportunities like these as CTY and to learn a lot more from the other members and discuss my idea as well as other marketing strategies with them.”

Year after year one thing remains constant, and that is the excitement of freshers to join KGEC E-CELL.

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Most of the participants harbour future plans regarding their B-Plan and we hope they would  implement all the lessons they have learnt in the bootcamp to make their B-Plan get a little edge over the other ones. It’s good to see students actually being interested to launch their own start-ups rather than a daily job.

This gets more consolidated with Sanghamitra Biswas saying,

“Being a student at KGEC and member of E Cell from the first year, I have come to realise that there are not so many quality jobs out there. Most of the jobs that are out there is either underpaid or very tiring or on a completely different domain that you would like to work on. But being an entrepreneur, you can actually convert your own skills and create your own start-up.”

Out of the 5 participants, 4 were part of KGEC E-CELL. Sanghamitra Biswas and Devsmita Mukherjee was asked about their mantra to the 1st Years and both of them had one common thing to say, that was the 1st years should definitely join E-CELL if they are interested in the entrepreneurship field. According to Devsmita Mukherjee even if they are not interested in the business field they should give it a go as it would help in their personal development which will be beneficial when they would going for job interviews and all that.

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Last but not the least KGEC E-Cell is extremely proud of all 5 the participants of CTY contest and wishes them all the best for their future endeavours.

Written By: Sarthak Mazumder and Subhadeep Bose

Edited By: Sohini Ghosh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Egnition2K19: launch of the mighty rocket

“ I’m an ignition, folks with me always put on compulsion to destine success in life.”

-Lord Robin

Sept’4,Kalyani: EGNITION has come from the word ‘IGNITION’ that means,the burning of fuels of engine, which drives the whole vehicle. But one can ask why there is ‘E’ instead of ‘I’, any guesses? It represents the spirit of the Entrepreneur.

In this way, Kalyani Government Engineering College Entrepreneurship Cell (KGEC E-Cell) organises EGNITION, the first event of this academic year, that brings the fire up into the students about the entrepreneurship cell where talent matters with the hard work. Many students have been motivated and got inspired by the teachers, speakers, and also from the members of KGEC E-cell.

Like every year, Egnition2K19, the freshers’ orientation programme organized by KGEC E-CELL, is growing bigger and better. The programme was held on 4th of September and was sponsored by Learning While Travelling and Arlo’s .

Prof. Dr. Santanu Das (Chairman, KGEC E-CELL) and Prof. Md. Iqbal Qureshi(Treasurer, KGEC E-CELL) were present in the opening ceremony and enlightened the lamp to get things going good. Both of them gave valuable speeches on the importance of entrepreneurship skills and how KGEC E-CELL nurtures it.

Then, it was time for the first event of the day i.e.“ BIZ-QUIZ” to commence. A total of 56 teams having two participants each had participated in the preliminary round. The top 6 teams was chosen to take part in the final two rounds. The quizmasters Mr.Anjishnu roy and Mr.Debottam Mazumder conducted the quiz beautifully . After a neck to neck fight, the winners Mr.Mayukh sen and Mr. Ayush Singh and the runners-up Mr.Anubhav Dutta and Mr. Rishav Dutta from ECE 1st year outclassed others and secured 4 round trip tickets to the City of Lions, Singapore.

Thereafter it was time for the most awaited fun event named AD-PRENEUR where teams of four participants were enrolled and they had to advertise on real or imaginary products. The most attractive, short but effective, entertaining or rather appealing one will be judged as the best one. After a series of innovative performances from a total of 30 teams , Mr.Sarbodaman Banerjee, Mr.Spandan Samanta, Mr.Krishna Ladha,Mr. Aditya Deb from ME 1st year, trounced others and won 4 round trip tickets to Singapore. The event was efficiently conducted by Miss Subhanghi Dey,Miss Meenakshi Karn, and Mr. Rounak Kirtania.

In the meantime, Joint Secretaries Mr. Ankan Chottopadhyay and Mr.Bikash Prajapati and Additional Secretary Mr.Animesh Dutta narrated about the activities of the Cell and and shared their experiences on being an integral part of it.

After an action – packed first half, it was time to take a breather, and as promised earlier, delicious food packets prepared by Arlo’s were there for the audience. Mr.Sukrit Chowdhury and Mr. Raktim Banejee from Arlo’s also demonstrated their startup plan and future goals during the recession. Thereafter , the main attraction of the day, our chief guest Mr. Vishal Kumar, the Founder & CEO of learningwhiletraveling.com had a lively and invaluable interactive session with the students . He was accompanied by Mr. Anish Singh and Mr. Abhishek Bhuin, a student of our college (ECE, 3rd Year) and the Founder of From The Earth.

After their impactful question answer session, the last event of that day named Off-the-cuff guided by Apurba Banerjee, Avisekh Dutta & Parna Mondal had commenced. The participants had been called to the podium, pick a chit and started speaking on that topic within 30 seconds. Mr. Vishal Kumar, being a judge of this event, stated that,

“It takes a lot of guts and self-belief to go out there and speak on a topic without preparation in front of a huge mass. So, every participant should be appreciated.”

Mr.Dibyanshu Sekhar Dey was adjudged the winner and Miss Sayantika Mondal the runner-up,both from EE 1st year will also join the 8 others to Singapore.

At last, it was the prize distribution ceremony where Mr. Vishal Kumar distributed the trophies, certificates and round-trip tickets of Singapore among the winners.The faces of the newbies who had their first exposure to the market motivates us as an organization to do lot more,even beyond our capacity and mind.

In overall, EGNITION 2k19 was a huge success and will be added as another feather in the cap of KGEC E-CELL. The response from the freshers was overwhelming and they did turn up on that day in huge numbers. The credit though goes to the whole team who worked really hard to promote, organise and pretty much all the stuffs to make it an exceptional one. EGNITION 2k19 brings more enthusiasm to all who have the aspirations to sparkle their lives in entrepreneurship and will be paragons of future.

Written By: Miss Devsmita Mukherjee
Mr. Sarthak Mazumder

Edited By: Mr.Dibyajyoti Ghosh

Entrepreneurship, Ideas

Pre Independence Startup Scene In India

History books are rich with stories from life under the colonial rule in India. The British subjugation deprived our nation of its wealth, its pride, liberty and its citizens of opportunities and a fair right to life for over two hundred years before years of struggle and political activism and revolts finally won India its long-overdue Independence.

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However, what doesn’t get talked about often is the scenario of entrepreneurship in the country before Independence. It goes without saying that starting a business during the British rule was quite a mammoth and daunting task since entrepreneurship was confined by rigid social, religious, political, communal boundaries. All these factors combined with the fact that the socio-economic culture was detrimental to Indians made the environment for innovation and entrepreneurship all the less conducive. The education system imposed by the British government whose primary objective was the requirement of clerks for its lower ranked offices did not help the situation either and it took massive courage and commitment from bold, dauntless individuals to rise to the task to create functional startups back then.

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With the rise of non-cooperation movements and the promotion of Indian made goods, the scenario started to change for the better. The period between the two world wars saw growth in this sector with the establishment of the Managing Agency System that played the role of a significant catalyst. This was followed by several opportunities that were successfully capitalised on by entrepreneurs of that age, helping to promote the culture of risk and innovation and this continued to be the backdrop of entrepreneurship in the country until the 15th of August, 1947.

As our ambitious nation now prepares for its 72nd year free from the shackles of colonial imperialism, let us take a look at a few Indian companies with roots before 1947.

  1. Britannia

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With the investment of ₹265 by a group of British businessmen, Britannia was established in 1892 headquartered in the then capital of the country, Kolkata. One of India’s oldest existing countries, it is now owned by the Wadia group. It started off as a small biscuit manufacturing house in Kolkata and was headed under the name VK Enterprise when the Gupta brothers acquired the enterprise. It got its current iconic name when in 1918, CH Holmes came on board as a partner and The Britannia Biscuit Company was launched.

  1. Haldiram’s

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Haldiram’s was founded by Shri Ganga Bhisen Agarwal as a modest snacks and sweet shop in Bikaner in 1937. A chance visit to a wedding in Kolkata prompted the establishment of a manufacturing plant in the City of Joy leading to expansion. This was soon followed by Shiv Kishan establishing shops in Nagpur where Haldiram’s became a major player in the market and it was Manorharlal and Kishan’s relentless ambitions that drove the brand.

  1. Godrej

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Godrej holds a special place in the history of Indian entrepreneurship. A central part of the Swadeshi movement- India’s first Make in India revolution, it was founded by Ardeshir Godrej in 1897 who set up a lock company after failing in a few ventures before. Between 1897 and 1902, Godrej introduced its first lock with lever technology in India and its first Indian safe. Following this, in 1918 Godrej Soaps Limited was acquired and the company manufactured the world’s first vegetable oil soap called ‘Chavi’ which promoted the values of Swadeshi and Ahimsa and was a huge hit. The brand gets endorsed by champions of the national movement like Mahatma Gandhi, Annie Besant and Rabindranath Tagore and in 1923, they venture into furniture. After Independence, Godrej was assigned the manufacture of 1.7 million ballot boxes to celebrate India’s newly found democratic spirit in 1951.

 

All these stories and enterprises just went on to show how pursuing and believing in dreams, even in the face of extreme adversity is quite often rewarded with immortal success. Yet another reason how the culture of entrepreneurship connects the nation and is now inspiring it to be a global economic superpower in the near future. We have made leaps and bounds since 1947, but we still have a long way to go.

Written By- Anjishnu Roy

Design By-Kaushikee Bandyopadhyay

 

#BeYourOwnBoss, BeYourOwnBoss, Collegepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Ideas, ThinkBig

KGEC E-CELL AIM 2019-2020

From the very childhood, it has been fed into our blood lines that ‘Life is a Race’. In fact, in this modern corporate world it is pretty hard to disagree with it. But instead of running on someone else’s track, why not choose your own path?

Here in KGEC E- Cell, we are of the same mind. To all KGEC-ians this Cell is like the companion in the journey to become an entrepreneur. KGEC E-Cell endeavors to give the students of the college proper exposure, experience and skill set to succeed with their venture in this corporate world.

The two key ingredients of entrepreneurship are innovative thinking and dedication to achieve your goal. If you have these two, KGEC E-Cell will provide you with the structure, guidance and support any budding entrepreneur requires.

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Starting in late 2014, the KGEC E-Cell’s aim was to spread the Entrepreneurship culture among the students of Kalyani Government Engineering College. Our alumni and our current student entrepreneurs are witness and proof to the same. In almost 5 years of E-Cell, we have organized various workshops, training programs, internship drives along with our annual and flagship events (e.g. E-Summit, Egnition, etc.).

This upcoming academic session is going to be very special as our E-Cell will complete it’s five years as a part of our college. We are looking forward to setting new heights this year with the help of our students and respected faculty members.

PLANS FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

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Weekly Blogs: In this 21st century the world is changing so rapidly that almost nothing can be said to be impossible. Be it technology, industries or the environment surrounding us. We, at E-Cell are trying to increase the general awareness about the developments and problems going around us with the help of our weekly blogs on relevant topics. Other than this we are also planning to take new initiatives like Biz-The-Sauras, where our aim will be to familiarize the students with the business terms and whereabouts by interesting posts.

Yearlong Various Workshops: A student when he comes as a fresher he may not be a Jack of all trades but this corporate world demands you to be an Ace of at least two or three. That is why, across the year E-Cell is planning to organize different workshops on IOT, Coding, Soft skills etc. conducted by Professionals.

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Egnition 2k19: Egnition 2k19 is going to be the first event hosted by KGEC E-Cell in the academic year of 2019-20. It is an engaging one day annual event hosted specially for the freshers of KGEC. Filled with interactive sessions, reputed guest speakers this event is the platform which provides the basic knowledge about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship culture in our college.

E-Summit 2k20: E-Summit is KGEC E-Cell’s flagship event. E-Summit is a two day event filled with various interactive activities and orations by various speakers. Pitch-a-thon is the main event of E-Summit. Here you can pitch your start-up ideas in front of a respected panel of judges.

Internship Opportunities: Experience is vital in any field. That is why KGEC E-Cell looks to present the opportunity to get internships in Non-technical and technical field both in our own college start-ups and external start-ups.

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Exposure Tours: Like the previous years this year we are also planning to visit the different IITs and IIMs. This provides the much needed expertise and knowledge of the present start-up scene. Also develops the relation with other colleges in and around the outskirts of Kolkata like Presidency College, IISER Kolkata, IIT Kharagpur, IIM Kolkata, IIEST Shibpur etc. Also interaction with associates of such esteemed institutes would not only provide a remarkable chance of becoming a part of a network but it might also give one the chance to convert their dream start-up into reality.

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Incubation Center: It has been the dream of KGEC E-Cell for many years- An Incubation Center which will provide the proper infrastructure to the start-ups of our college and other surrounding startups in the locality. After years of hard work by the members and faculty members of KGEC E-Cell finally this year the phase one of building an Incubation Center will begin with the help of IIM Kolkata Innovation Park.

And last but not the least,

E-Cell Recruitment Test: It is a screening process to select only the best and deserving candidates to shoulder the responsibilities of E-Cell. This is the first opportunity for freshers to be a member of E-Cell.  Like every year it will not only to test the candidates’ knowledge and intelligence but their dedication towards their goal.

all in one

Entrepreneurship, Ideas, India, ThinkBig, womenentrepreneurship

Space : An industry, A reservoir of possibilities.

“Earth is the cradle of Humanity , but one cannot live in a cradle forever.” -Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

A hundred years ago in 1911, the father of modern cosmonautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky remarked in a letter written to his friend about how humanity will one day explore and conquer the solar space. More than a 100 years have passed and Konstantin has been proven right but alas ! we have only been to the moon and back, no further !
This is all set to change in this decade as the United States has emerged as incubation hub for space startups like SpaceX and Blue Origin who intend to setup permanent human settlements on other planets. The new space race is led by private space startups, under the experienced leadership of established entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Companies That Made Their Mark In The Space Industry.

The first privately funded rocket to achieve space flight was Conestoga 1, which was launched by Space Services Inc. on a suborbital flight to 309km altitude on 9th September, 1982.

By 1984 President Ronal Regan issued out the Commercial Space Launch Act, which encouraged the creation of private spaceflight companies.
By 2000, Russian private space tech company MirCorp made the first manned trip to space that was not government funded. This was just the beginning!

1) MirCorp-

It was a commercial space company created in 1999 by space entrepreneurs and involving the Russian space program that successfully undertook a number of firsts in the business of space exploration by using the aging Russian space station Mir as a commercial platform. Its actions were highly controversial as it created a roadblock to the planned International Space Station in creating a viable, low cost alternative.

The company achieved the following:
• First commercial lease agreement for orbiting manned space station (December 1999)
• First privately funded manned expedition to a space station.
• First privately funded cargo resupply mission in space (April 27, 2000)
• First privately funded spacewalk (May 12, 2000)
• First contract for Space Tourist (Dennis Tito, June 19, 2000)

2) Space Adventures-

It is an American space tourism company founded in 1998 by Eric C. Anderson. As of 2010, offerings include zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital spaceflights (with the option to participate in a spavcewalk), and other spaceflight-related experiences including cosmonaut training, spacewalk training, and launch tours. Plans announced thus far include sub-orbital and lunar spaceflights.

As of October 2009, seven clients have participated in the orbital spaceflight program with Space Adventures, including one person who took two separate trips to space.

3) SpaceX-

How can we talk about private Space Companies and not talk about SpaceX. From making rockets reusable, and Mars seem possible. Already the world’s most high-profile commercial spaceflight company, SpaceX continues to demonstrate its technical bona fides, racking up recent milestones as historic as they are diverse.

Along with fielding a more muscular version of the workhorse Falcon 9 rocket (with engines that are 50% more powerful than their predecessors), the company conducted a series of test flights of its Grasshopper rocket, which travelled as high as 1,066 feet in June 2013 before depositing itself back on the launchpad, as opposed to dumping in the ocean. SpaceX flies fast, cheap, and always in control, making founder and CEO Elon Musk’s plan to eventually establish a permanent, 80,000-person Martian colony, seem less like a pipe dream, and more like the inevitable.

Sierra Nevada Corp, Richard Branson’s VIRGIN GALACTIC (developing airplane-rocket), Yuri Milner’s PLANET (earth imaging satellites) have also emerged as finest spacecraft builders. Besides these, there are initiatives by Mark Zuckerberg (Breakthrough Starshot), Larry Page (Planetary Resources), Bill Gates (Kymeta), Paul Allen (Stratolaunch) which are still in development.

Valuation of this Industry-

For years, some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs have been investing in space exploration, hoping to become industry leaders in the growing commercial market and what it is set to achieve. There has been a record investment of more than 3.9 billion dollars that were made by as many as 120 venture capitalist firms into some private space companies in the last year. The space industry is set to be worth $1 trillion by 2040.

Indian Private Space Industry-

With the private space industries developing at the fastest possible rate in other countries, it’s high time that India’s commercial space enterprises grew out of the ISRO’s towering shadow whose contract doles provide vital sustenance to may start-ups. There is an increasing commercialised side of ISRO which has now taken up the form of NewSpace India Ltd.
In the last few years India has witnessed a boom and more than a dozen space focussed start-ups have emerged. Bangalore in India has emerged as India’s space start-ups hub.

Few of India’s notable Space Start-Ups:

1) Team Indus

– is a Bangalore based startup led by Rahul Narayan and is the only Indian team participating in the Google Lunar X Prize mission. The company raised Rs 9 Crore until mid 2015 from a clutch of investors . The company has built a lunar rover and expected to launch in the third quarter of 2016 to win the Google Lunar X Prize.

2) Earth2Orbit

– Founded by Sushmita Mohanty , the company claims to be India’s first private space firm. The company currently offers launch advisory and consulting services.

3) Dhruva Space

– A new entrant to this league, the firm was founded by Narayan Prasad and Sanjay Nekkanti in 2012. The team at Dhruva space is currently developing an indigenous small satellite platform.

4) ARDL

– Founded at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) , the team of ARDL comprises of Sidhant Dhall, Triyambak Tripathy, Gaurav Achha and Ayush Patawari. The company currently fabricates Mini CANSAT modules and other related space hardware.

5) Astrome

– Another Space Startup with it’s roots in IISc is Astrome, which has Prasad HL and Neha Satak as it’s founder. The startup is fairly new to this league and aims to develop products and services which aid in space exploration.

6) MANASTU Space

– founded by Tushar Jadhav (a former DRDO scientist) , Ashtesh Kumar (Technological Leader Head, Electrical Systems) and Pratham ui IIT Bombay’s student) in 2016 comes with greener and safer approach in manufacturing the satellites. Manastu’s engines uses less indigenous toxic fuel, and can provide an impulse for 275 seconds, making it 25 percent more productive as it consumes 25 percent less fuel, and promises a life span of five years for the satellites in orbit. At present, the prototype is under testing at its laboratory in Mumbai and at the Shell Oil and Gas campus at Bengaluru.

What the future holds for this Industry-

The future of commercial space flight definitely seems promising, thanks to the entry of big commercial giants and several other huge investors.
This would not just improve or bring about possibilities of making space travel easy, but also help in improving research of the universe, resource mining as well as bringing other insightful information to the forefront.
Despite the challenges posed by space tourism, it is crystal clear that in the future, commercial space flight will be a big thing and it can definitely be the ticket to us knowing more about the outer space.

Written by Subhadeep Bose, Kaushikee Bannerjee, Sarthak Mazumder

Edited by Sohini Ghosh, Dibyajyoti Ghosh

BeYourOwnBoss, Entrepreneurship

Dream11 : The Story Of India’s Biggest Fantasy Sports Platform

“One thing about our country, that is constant is CRICKET.”

-Mahendra Singh Dhoni

This one coming from one of the most successful cricketers of India, sums up the madness and love that we Indians feel for cricket. Undoubtedly ours is a cricket loving country where more than often cricket is treated as a religion  and the cricketers are worshiped like God. No wonder, why spectators and cricket lovers of India  bet their life over this exciting game. As a result, that ‘ Fantasy Cricket’-A platform enabling fans to create teams and predict result would garner huge popularity and interest in India, was only a matter of time and Dream11 perfectly captured the pulse of Indian fans to become a pioneer in this field.

Dream11 , a fantasy sports platform based in India having more than fifty three million users, allows one to play fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi, hockey, basketball and apply  knowledge of sports to create teams, score runs and win. It is an internet based game where users produce a virtual team of real-life players and earn points supported by the performances of those players in real matches. The user who scores the utmost points in his joined contest attains the primary rank on the leader-board. Dream11 offers both free and paid contests.

Story of Dream11

Dream11 was co-founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008.

In 2012, they introduced freemium fantasy sports in the Asian nation for cricket fans. In 2014, the company reported 1 million registered users, which grew to 2 million in 2016 and increased to 45 million in 2018.

But Dream11’s path to success was not ‘A BED OF ROSES’ at all. In 2017, a case was registered against the corporate in an Indian judicature accusing them for inspiring people to bet. The court, in its ruling, stated that playing the Dream11 game involves considerable skill, judgment and discretion. The judgment provided lawfulness to the corporate and allowed them to run their operations throughout the country.

How Does It Function?

The format of the game is quite simple.

  • First, each of the registered user selects a match on which he or she wants to contest.
  • Then the user creates a team consisting of players who would be participating in the given match in real world. The formation of the team would be limited by some constraints like budget and the number of players in each position. The user in the beginning is given a budget of 100 credits in order to create the team. The user is also asked to choose a captain and vice captain which multiplies their points gained.
  •  After creating team the user must join any contest in order to win cash prize or they might join any free/unpaid contest in order to show their skills to the world.
  •  The point awarding system varies from sports to sports. These points awarding system is actually based on the match stats of individual player.
  • At the end of the match, total points are calculated based on the point awarding system and then the winner is decided based on the points.

SOME OTHER FANTASY GAMES AND HOW DREAM 11 STANDS OUT AMONG THEM:

Some other fantasy sports game which might be a competitor to Dream 11 are Mobile Premier League, Daily Fantasy Cricket, Cricnwin, 11 wickets, halaplay etc.
These games use the  same methodology as dream 11 but it’s dream 11 which sets itself above them in terms of users and revenue. Whats sets Dream 11 apart is the brand image which they have created for themselves.

Brand Ambassador of Dream11

Iconic cricketer & Previous Captain of India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the brand ambassador of Dream11. He launched the “Dimaag se Dhoni” media campaign during the 2018 Indian Premier League. The company had previously signed commentator Harsha Bhogle as their brand ambassador in 2017. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the Brand Ambassador of Dream11 and his creative ads keep popping up specially in between the cricket matches.

Partnership and Deals

In 2017, the company partnered with three leagues within cricket, football and basketball. Dream11 became the Official Fantasy Partner for Hero Caribbean Premier League, Hero Indian Super League and National Basketball Association (NBA). Later in the year, they partnered with the Hero Indian Super League as their Official Fantasy Football Partner.  In 2018, Dream11 announced its partnership with ICC (International Cricket Council).

In March 2019, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), announced Dream11 as the Official Partner for the VIVO Indian Premier League. The four-year exclusive partnership started with the IPL 2019 season. Additionally, the ‘Official Fantasy Game’ of IPL is also powered by Dream 11.

Revenue of Dream11

The following figure shows the income calculation of one year of Dream11. With assumption of 2 contest of cricket match, the company makes almost 7.8 billions in a year. It mainly earns from the money we pay for the registration of the game.

Dream11, now associated with BCCI and Vivo IPL, is expected to grow manyfold in coming years matching with the growing interest and love for cricket in India because India reverberates what Dream11 says,

“Jo dete hain cricket ko dil aur jaan, Indiawalon karta hain unko Salam.”


 

Written by: Sarthak Mazumder, Rounak Kirtaniya

Edited by: Sohini Ghosh, Dibyajyoti Ghosh