#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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Entrepreneurship, Women, womenentrepreneurship

Girls of KGEC E-Cell

KGEC E-Cell is the brain behind the promotion of entrepreneurship at Kalyani Government Engineering College. Although it has swelled in numbers over the years, starting from three members in 2016, the number of girls are really low. Most feel that they are out of place with this club. While taking the leap from school to college many do not know what entrepreneurship stands for, because schools in general do not really teach how the real world functions and do not take the practical approach. As with all spheres in life, participation of girls can truly make a difference. What is needed is to overcome the initial hesitation that most people associate with entrepreneurship. So, the four of us girls here have shared our heartfelt experiences here at E Cell so that maybe the girls after us hesitant to take the plunge into E Cell can have a much smoother journey.

So here to iron out your issues :

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Komal Singh, IT (2015-2019)

I feel grateful to KGEC E Cell for giving me this opportunity to represent E Cell as a Joint Secretary.

Although I have been actively participating in technical hackathons, the tag of Joint Secretary  in my resume has given me an advantage over other candidates and has helped me a lot in every job interviews.

Even companies do not miss the golden opportunity to hire a software developer with leadership qualities. I still remember the day, when the girls’ hostel was first introduced to E Cell and I was the only one who was interested. Without further ado, I filled the Google form and headed for the recruitment process. When I reached the venue, I took a step back when I saw the entire room was filled with boys and I thought twice whether this place was for meant for me. There was not a single girl that had ever been a part of E Cell and this demotivated me and forced me to think that whether girls had the required capability to be a member of E Cell. But I wanted to be the change that I wanted to see in the college (increased participation of girls in technical events ^_^ ). And then soon I got the tag of “E Cell waali didi” … XD. As of today, I feel really honored when girls come up to me and say that I was the motivation behind them joining the E Cell. E Cell can be a game-changer for you, if you know the trick of grabbing opportunities. E Cell has brought about a transformation in my personality, from being more confident to being punctual. E-Cell has different domains where you can contribute ranging from Website Development, Marketing, Content Writing to Leading Teams. Even if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur, this place can help you to learn a lot. If you think you are not capable or feel less confident then keep aside your worries and take this single step and you will thank me Later.

- Komal Singh
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Sanghamitra Biswas, IT (2017-2021)

I still remember Egnition 2017 where I had a little glimpse of what E Cell was going to be like. I remember only Komal Singh didi being the only girl who was present there and that too from a senior year. As opposed to other clubs of KGEC, E Cell initially had only one female member. Although I had known a lot about the functioning of other Entrepreneurship Cells in colleges and wanted to join one, I was apprehensive whether I had turned up in the right place. I was so anxious that I had blackmailed a lot of my friends and had filled up their forms online with the result that they did not turn up for the test. During the recruitment drive 2018, only one girl (Sohini Ghosh didi) and later Eshika turned up. Later, I was given the task of writing blogs for E Cell and I felt that maybe I wasn’t that useless. Being a part of E Cell has its own perks and a chance for you to brag about being a member of it. It provides internships, a platform for interacting with notable entrepreneurs along with launching your own start-up ideas. Later, while talking about the reasons why girls steer clear of this place is the reason that “Entrepreneurship is not for girls ” ,”It’s a boys-only club, duh!” and “I don’t really understand entrepreneurship “. Well, trust me, all of these reasons are pretty unfounded.

To be an E Cell member, one really does not need to know about entrepreneurship.

It takes a lot of patience and hard work to be an entrepreneur and frankly, even I haven’t got what it takes. And secondly, there are a lot of women entrepreneurs out there who are constantly setting new records – one of them being Somwrita Guha, founder of PaperCup who visited us during E Summit 18. Lastly, I think all that it takes is a little sense of adventurism and curiosity and who can tell, when the next best female entrepreneur comes from KGEC.

- Sanghamitra Biswas
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 Sohini Ghosh, IT (2016-2020)

Back in 2018, when the recruitment drive started for E Cell , I was in two minds. First of all, I did not have a proper idea or interest about entrepreneurship. Secondly the extremely poor female to male ratio in the cell  made me apprehensive about joining it. Unable to decide, I called up one of my friends who was involved with E cell and still is a very active member. On voicing my doubt, he reverted back without any delay – “ Even if you are not interested in Entrepreneurship, you should join E-Cell. I can assure you that you will learn a great deal working in E cell and in the long run that is surely going to help you.”  Later, it did not take me much time to make up my mind. I took the plunge and turned up for the recruitment drive. And now when I look back, it was one of the wisest decisions that I ever took, as working in E Cell, for the past one year has been a huge learning experience for me. From making webpages and writing articles to managing people and organizing events, my plate has been quite full throughout the year.

That I was working in an E Cell, was enough to land my first internship.

Though it was not a notable one but it paved the way for the better ones. Getting the access to an amazing network is one of the other perks that I am grateful for. It would be a lie if I say that being the only girl from my year was not a problem at all. Yes, it was intimidating but for the rest of the times, it did not cross my mind at all as what I received in return was worth  everything else.

Lastly, I would like to conclude with an  adage that says – “To reach someplace, you need to start somewhere.” And KGEC E Cell was my starting point.  To all the girls out there in KGEC, it can be your ‘Starting Point’ too. If you have the urge for learning and working,  know that this is your place. Do not let any other say anything else. Take a chance and I promise you will never regret this decision of yours. Wishing you all the best.

- Sohini Ghosh
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Eshika Agarwal, CSE (2017-2021)

Since my school days, I was very much interested in entrepreneurship and other related activities. I got to know about our college’s E-cell properly from Egnition 2017.
The truly inspiring words of Mohammed Hasan, still echoes in my ears who was the chief speaker in Egnition 2017. I was amazed at his dedication and that of other entrepreneurs.

I was determined to join the E-Cell from the very start since I came to KGEC and I never regretted that later.

From writing articles, making databases, gathering information to managing people, I learnt a lot from E-Cell and improved my skills a lot. E-Cell keeps us occupied and makes us more responsible. Besides, there are many perks of joining the E-Cell. Even if you don’t build a startup, you still gather immense knowledge about them. Indeed, the participation of girls is very less in E-Cell and when I joined only one girl member was present. But that was enough to motivate me and that’s why it is a humble request to all the interns and students of KGEC, especially girls, to come out of their comfort zone and explore the world of entrepreneurship. We, a very strong team of E-Cell members are waiting for you. So ignite that spark and rock on.

- Eshika Agarwal

It is heartening to see, that due to greater awareness, more and more number of girls are willing to join E Cell. The number of girls during the Recruitment Drive 18-19  were at an all time high. We sincerely hope that this trend continues, for generations to come, who graduate from KGEC.

Edited by – Sanghamitra Biswas