A hundred miles

Swarambh Yatra seeks to give budding rural entrepreneurs a chance to realise their dreams

Written by Rushil Dutta | Published: June 17, 2013 12:40 am

Around 450 budding entrepreneurs with stars in their eyes,on a 15-day journey,taking them across 14 destinations in Maharashtra. Since attitude can neither be taught nor learned,Swapnapurti Education and Research Foundation (SERF),a Pune-based non-profit organisation,seeks to find an answer to the nation’s economic crisis in its Swarambh Yatra programme,giving Maharashtra’s rural,semi-urban and urban youth an opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial dreams.

Companies today,says Ankit Kabra,CEO of the Swarambh Yatraprogramme,recruit managers on the basis of the “right attitude” required to occupy managerial positions,but there is a shortage in their supply. SERF,through Swarambh Yatra,seeks to make up for the shortage. “The organisation seeks to cater to the nation’s need for new entrepreneurs,who can help pull the nation out of stagnancy by creating more employment.” he adds.

SERF is accepting applications for the yatra. 450 students will qualify for the programme in the ratio of 60:40,women to men,within the age group 20 to 25. Since there is no minimum qualification required for application,candidates shall be selected on the basis of their application forms and their statements of purpose.

After the selection-committee has picked the candidates —40 per cent of whom shall be from rural areas,35 per cent from semi-urban areas and 25 per cent from urban areas—they shall board the train and commence on their educational journey. “Solar energy has taken giant strides in Vidharba,one of the 14 locations we will be visiting. The participants will be taken to such places,which are topographically conducive to certain industries.” says Kabra,adding that corporate partners have also been roped in to finance the trips of candidates who require scholarships.

The students are slated to engage in group activities and exercises on-board,along with debates and discussions with mentors and established entrepreneurs. They shall also be taken for industrial visits at every halt. During the trip,each candidate is expected to brainchild a project proposal.

After the yatra,a follow-up team will provide the candidates with an appraisal. Based on their performance,the candidates will be divided into three classes—A,B and C. Class A candidates,will be facilitated with investors. Class B candidates,who have a good project idea but an average project proposal will be assisted by SERF in project strengthening and class C candidates will be helped to build a proposal from scratch.

Class A candidates also be put through a leadership program,which will stress on fortifying their presentation and time-management skills,grooming and other managerial tools that might come handy to a budding manager.

The programme will commence from November 14,this year.

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