Start-ups are becoming the latest fad with the enterprising youth in India as the Government is slowly bridging the gap between innovation and resources.
These lead on to an extra mile when social cause become ancillary to the main idea of development and are therefore accepted with a kind eye.
One such story is of a young entrepreneur, Priyadeep Sinha who finished his schooling from DPS, Ranchi in 2007 and started one of the first ever student companies in Manipal University’s history.
His start-up ADD-on –GYAN focuses on the practical aspects of a student’s early education. His team recently finished at the top in the Economic Times Power of Ideas (DST & CIIE-IIM Ahmedabad) and won a total award of Rs 25 lakh from among 14000+ applicants.
On being asked about the company, its aims and future plans, Priyadeep explained that ADD-on-GYAN was founded in January, 2011 to address the pressing need of quality education in India and across the world and bridging the gap between theoretical lessons in school and experience required to be ready for real life.
It was and continues to be a very personal cause for him as he found his education at school and college level to be inadequate.“I mean this is something we all see,” he said. “A good student in our own school or college might struggle to be a useful worker in real life primarily because our education system is basically an examination system,”Priyadeep told jharkhandstatenews.com
Their product and service is a kinesthetic lab facility called GyanLabTM that encourages and allows school kids (K-12) to learn practical concepts in Science, Social Science, Mathematics and Pre-vocational Learning (day to day activities and utilities) in a hands-on manner using practical experiments, activities and model-making.
The facility is usually setup within a school free of cost and students attend it at an annual fee. They have championed the Constructivism Pedagogy (a new phenomenon in India) and have aligned their work to the best 5 curriculum standards of the world to give the most comprehensive real-life skills to school students at the most affordable prices.
“So, we teach students about how to make a DC motor and let them make one of their own, conduct surveys, learn how does a touch sensor work, book a railway ticket and over 700+ hours of such activities and experiments. We cover the topics of science, mathematics, electronics, pre-vocational practices and robotics in our curriculum,” he further explained. With activities mapped to all boards – CBSE/ICSE/IGCSE/State Boards in India, they have a Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation Module.
At present, Gyan Lab has been set up in 5 schools across Coastal Karnataka with a total of 400 students enrolled at various Gyan Labs during the academic year 2012-13
In October, 2011 they wereable to secure funding from DST (Govt. of India) which further solidified their work and ability, and in September, 2012 they received a grant from the Ministry of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MoMSME, Govt. of India).
Due to the positive response from schools all across south, the southern part of the country has become their current focus market.
“As I completed my schooling from DPS Ranchi in 2007, Ranchi and entire of Bihar and Jharkhand remain as a key focus area for Gyan Lab for the subsequent years,” Priyadeep added.
On further being asked how friendly he found the country and the present systems in allowing new ideas and entrepreneurs, he said, “I think India is still to grow a lot when it comes to promoting entrepreneurship.
There is a key gap between ideas and resources. On the other side it would be unfair to compare India to the US as of now. Entrepreneurship is a new phenomenon in India (less than 10 years of true growth) while it has been there in the US for over 25 years now. While I would agree that monetary resources are the biggest blockade that entrepreneurs face in India but with the advent of a good number of AIs, VCs and PEs, India looks to be all set to grow entrepreneurship at a much faster rate in coming time.
Also, government regulations were a big problem in the past but today, with all facilities available online today, the government is trying to do its bit in promoting start-ups across the nation. The government also initiated the setup of a number of Incubation Centres across the nation which receives funding from DST – NSTEDB to provide equity capital and low interest loans to meritorious start-ups. We have been constantly funded through Government funding and loans.
“I am sure, in the next 5 years we would see entrepreneurs growing very fast in numbers and they would be important in the growth of the entire nation”,said Priyadeep.