With a national presence that includes 32 chapters, about 1,600 members and 8,300 students, the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Young Indians group, popularly known as Yi, has been slowly and steadily gaining momentum in the Tricity, taking up projects and campaigns that not only engage the youth, but also act as their voice globally.
After ‘Show the Ink’ campaign structured to encourage voters, the latest from Yi is their E-Waste collection centres set up in various corporates and schools from May 15 to June 9. One can drop defunct computers to dead batteries, useless cables to out-of-use mobiles at these spots for recycling. Plans are also in the pipeline to kickstart a ‘Horn Not Ok Please’ campaign.
A non-government, non-profit, industry-led and managed organisation playing a proactive role in India’s development process, Yi, says its Chair, Chandigarh Chapter, Jaiprakash Singh Hasrajani (also the co-founder and CEO, ValeurHR/Taaleem India), was started to “build a culture of innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, develop skills and inspire ideas among the youth to shape a better future”.
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The USP is that it comes with a “retirement age and is not an old boys’ club where entry requires you to be someone’s relative’’, adds Kumara Guru, the National Chair for Yi, and currently Director, Indian School of Business, Mohali. The Yi membership includes young progressive Indians between the age group of 25 and 40 and comprises entrepreneurs, professionals and achievers from different walks of life.
The Tricity chapter is the initiator of Yi ViVidha where under-privileged children discover a whole new world through books, interactive learning, workshops and sessions at Kaimbwala village. The Yi Nets programme involves school and college students via skill development, learning sessions, environmental and society impact projects. Its recent ‘Show the ink, See prices sink!’ campaign to encourage voters was a huge hit.
Not only this, learning sessions with renowned personalities like Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal, Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher and Orissa MP Baijayant “Jay” Panda are conducted to inspire the youth. The Yi Chandigarh Tricity chapter also recently signed an MoU with PEC University of Technology to mentor their Entrepreneurship Development Centre, and plans to run a young entrepreneurship development programme for six to nine months this year.
“It’s a diverse space that promotes youth activities, works towards a vibrant ecosystem within the city, provides mentorship, and drives young Indians to become an integral part of the Indian growth story,” says Munish Jauhar, chair for the EIS (Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Skill Development) group, and head, GreyCell Technologies.
Apart from holding Global Entrepreneurship Week and National Volunteering Week, Yi is also one of the founders of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, a collective of entrepreneurially minded organisations representing the G20 countries who seek to promote youth entrepreneurship as a powerful driver of economic renewal, job creation and innovation. It’s one of the founders of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) too.
“What we are doing is working with the foundation of this country, enriching them, offering them an experience, raising issues that cover a vast spectrum,” says Guru for whom it is imperative one raises the question of innovation and ideation.
“Are we as a nation innovative? Do we have to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset? Are we motivating youngsters to think out of the box? Are we creating leaders of the future? It may sound philosophical, but this is the core of Yi, to create an ecosystem that lays the foundation of forward marching, involved citizens,” adds Guru.