Sunday, November 28, 2010

Newbie entrepreneurs with XLRI tag launch consultancy firm

From The Telegraph

Jamshedpur, Nov. 24: If two’s company, four’s a tourism company called Odyssey Wonder.
Fresh from XLRI’s enterpreneurship classes, the quartet of Prativa Gupta, Abhishek Kumar, Chandan Thakur and Shadab Akhter has launched a tourism consultancy firm in Jamshedpur. Their aim: if not god’s own country, then make Jharkhand a guest’s own state at least.
The four were part of the first batch of 50, including 12 girls, who recently got their degrees after completing the six-month postgraduate programme for certificate in enterpreneurship management. Of them, only Shadab is a city boy. Prativa is a Calcutta girl, while Abhishek and Chandan hail from Bokaro and Durgapur, respectively.
“We started this venture as we wanted to promote tourism, which has immense potential in Jharkhand. Besides consultancy, we will also help start-ups in tourism,” said Prativa, and added they had applied for the firm’s registration.

Prativa, the only girl in the gang, said she had worked with Singapore Airlines for two years before coming to Jamshedpur to join XLRI. “I am an adventure freak. I always loved tourism. But the XLRI course triggered our business venture,” she said.

Chandan Thakur, with an MBA under his belt, opted for the enterpreneurship course to gain confidence to do something on his own. “Full marks to XLRI for designing such a course for entrepreneurs. Our fledgling company has already bagged a tourism project at Hata on the city outskirts,” he said.

Shadab said that they would soon initiate talks with clubs and hotels in Jamshedpur to offer tourism-related services. “We will help them organise events, adventure sports and games,” he said.

Enterpreneurship Development Centre chairperson Prabal Sen expressed pleasure over initiatives taken by the quartet. “They have selected the right business vertical. It has great scope in Jharkhand. Consultancy by their firm will be effective,” he said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Summer Placements 2010-12 a huge success at XLRI

From The XLRI Blog

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

SIP 2010-12 a huge success!

The Summer Internship Placement Process for the batch of 2010-12 was a huge success this year, with all students of both batches getting placed in just 4.5 days. A total of 103 companies confirmed participation in the process (up by 27% compared to last year), with 76 companies making 307 offers for the batch of 240 students. The average stipend, also up by 26%, stood at INR 1,12,000, while the median stipend was INR 85,000.

The highest international offer was made by an Investment Bank for its trading desk in Singapore, with a stipend in excess of 5,00,000, while the highest domestic stipend was offered by another Investment Bank for its Mumbai desk. This year, numerous companies offered international roles to XLRI students, including Novartis, JP Morgan, Hay Group, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Proctor and Gamble, Cadbury, PepsiCo, Aditya Birla Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Wipro.

The Aditya Birla Group and Goldman Sachs were the largest recruiters, taking no less than 10 students each.

XLRI continued to maintain its student-friendly preference-based process, which ensures that students get placed in a company and sector of their preference.

Prof Rajiv Misra, chairperson of Placements said, “This year not only we saw the participation of new companies but also the emergence of new sectors. We are very optimistic, and these are definitely positive upwards signals for the coming few quarters as well. The improvement in the general economy is well reflected in the way the recruitment has happened over the past week.”

Venkatesh Kommineni, secretary of Placement Committee, said, "We got unanimous feedback from first time recruiters and in this recruitment process not only student quality met but surpassed their expectations."


Some links from the media:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

MBA student (Ankit Kumar - 2011XLRI) finds a win-win in Bihar's desolate farms

From DNA

There are still many months to go before Kumar Ankit can stick the management-graduate appellation to his calling card.

Come to think of it, this is just the time to worry for his classmates, for placements and pay packets season is nigh.

Not for Kumar, though. He is going the other way — he seeks to provide employment to 50,000 farmers in Bihar in the next two years.

It was with this target in mind that Kumar entered the post-graduate diploma in management (or MBA) course at the Xavier Labour Research Institute, or XLRI, as it is more popularly known, in June last year.

The computer engineer is working round the clock to realise his dream even as he squeezes out time for his management studies. Hailing from Gaya —- the land of Lord Vishnu and Gautam Buddha — Ankit was deeply affected by the plight of farmers who had no sources of income within his home state, and had to migrate to distant Mumbai in search of jobs.

This fuelled in him the desire to start something that would generate jobs that would curb migration. While scouting ideas that would could work, Ankit noticed the Pongamia (called dithodi in Hindi, Karanj in Sanskrit), a biodiesel producing plant indigenous to Bihar, which grew on wastelands. He found the locals were oblivious to its uses.

“Bihar has 10 lakh acres of wastelands. And it has several thousands of farmers who are jobless. So if farmers could be encouraged to start planting pongamia, not only will we generate another source of energy and make good use of the wastelands, but also check migration,” said Ankit.

Today he is the executive director of Green Leaf Energy Pvt Ltd, an enterprise he started in June 2009, just 15 days after joining his MBA course, with an initial investment of under Rs 10 lakhs, under the guidance of professor Prabal Sen, chairperson of XLRI’s Entrepreneurship Development Centre.

Green Leaf has now entered into contracts with about 700 farmers for cultivating pongamia and about 1.25 lakh saplings have been planted.

Ankit’s target is to reach 1 lakh acres in the next two years, in districts like Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Banka, Kaimur, and Aurangabad, whereby about 50,000 farmers would get employment.

But chalking out the project and implementing the plan was as exhaustive as it could get.

“I needed support from the Bihar government. I requested professor Sen to write to chief minister Nitish Kumar seeking support. After this I met S Vijayaraghavan, the investment advisor to the Bihar government, as well as principal secretaries and other officials,” he said.

Sen said he noticed the passion and intensity with which Ankit was pursuing this idea and thus extended all help. “This project can create a new movement in Bihar where, at the moment, there is no big system for alternative sources of energy, barring gobar gas.”

Ankit’s perseverance and encouragement from Sen eventually lead to the government giving funds to the tune of Rs 26,700 per acre.

Sen said Green Leaf will get support from the government under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to cover material and labour costs for plantation activities.

“We realised that NREGA funds can be used for cultivation in private lands of small and marginal farmers for growing particular crops, and pongamia is one of those crops,” said Sen.

The pongamia sapling takes about three years to grow, during which, farmers would get monetary support to the extent of Rs 12,400 from the government. After this gestation period, farmers would sell the oilseeds to Green Leaf, which would then crush the seeds to extract bio-diesel, and, in turn, sell that to oil companies such as Bharat Petroleum.

Ankit said post gestation, a farmer can get up to Rs 20,000-25,000 per acre annually by selling the seeds to Green Leaf.

“Our next phase is to have a nursery of 13 lakh pongamia saplings on 500 acres. We have recruited local youths to create awareness among the farming community about this. We have also taken some loan from Punjab National Bank for the administrative and marketing activities,” Ankit said.


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