The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 16 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biz Buzz At Aiesec Youth Forum, In Association With The Telegraph

Innovative business plans, out-of-the-box ideas and entrepreneurial skills, these and much more were the highlights of the AIESEC Youth to Business Forum 2012, held in association with The Telegraph on October 5 and 6. AIESEC is the world’s largest student-driven organisation working towards global leadership.

The two-day meet also saw a business plan competition, where five city colleges took part. Each participating college — St. Xavier’s College, Bhawanipur Education Society, JD Birla Institute of Management, IIPM and Heritage Institute of Technology — were assigned a mentor company. These companies, like Introsoft Technology Group, Anderson Printing House, ONergy and Bengal Shristi, helped the students come up with unique and sustainable business plans.

The business plan competition, held at GD Birla Sabhagar on day one, aimed at bringing out new ideas from young and aspiring entrepreneurs. Students showcased biz models ranging from the use of social media for the pharmaceutical industry to looking at the poultry farming industry from a fresh perspective.

The winners of the competition, Anirban Karmakar and Debopam Ghosh from the Heritage Institute of Technology, were given a chance to display their business plan before the corporate leaders, apart from winning trophies and certificates.

“There are various challenges that we face as aspiring entrepreneurs. Many of us simply back off because of a lack of knowledge. There is also a huge misconception with regards to entrepreneurial ventures in West Bengal and we are trying to make students understand the risk factors,” said Chirag Chhalani, president, AIESEC, Calcutta chapter.

According to assistant professor Anirban Pant from IIM Calcutta, who judged the competition, a lot of emphasis must be put on getting the ideas right first and being clear about one’s goals before setting out on any such venture.

A panel discussion on the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs followed on day two at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, where panellists answered questions put forward by young entrepreneurs.

“One must be ready to face objections from family members and to take up challenges. You may fail once or twice but if you are in the right direction, you must not hesitate in taking the plunge,” said Sanjay Dwarka of Big 4 Consultancy, one of the panellists. Other panellists included Supriyo Sinha from the ABP Group and C.P. Singh of Praxis Business School. The discussion was moderated by B. Hari of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Swati Tewari