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Pointers network for business aid

South Point alumni forum to help each other

Sudeshna Banerjee | Published 03.04.23, 07:32 AM
Stalls at the Pointers Business Forum Expo at Offbeat CCU on Sunday

Stalls at the Pointers Business Forum Expo at Offbeat CCU on Sunday

Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee

Entrepreneurs and independent professionals from diverse domains who did their schooling at South Point School have come together to form a network of alumni in business.

The Pointers Business Forum (PBF) was officially launched and the office-bearers announced at a programme at Indismart Hotel in Sector V on Saturday. On Sunday, 42 exhibitors took part in the PBF Expo at a EM Bypass venue.

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“We want to create an ecosystem to be there for each other in times good and bad. PBF will help foster growth and innovation through partnerships,” said PBF president Suborno Bose, founder and chief mentor of the Indismart Group, in his inaugural speech.

The idea germinated during the pandemic. “We were discussing how to help each other in the post-lockdown scenario. We distributed food through an NGO, undertook a vaccination drive when vaccines were hard to get and set up a supply line for oxygen,” said Arnab Basu, director-convener of PBF.

“We have also held an event where 15 start-ups pitched for funds. Three have been funded and two got mentorship. Established names also shared their own stories there to inspire upcoming entrepreneurs from our school,” Basu said.

The forum was registered in 2022 but it took a while for the panel to be formed. PBF has 550 members, spread across India and also in the UK, Japan and Singapore, said chairman Atin Dutta. “We expect a lot of B2B and B2C networking at the expo. Start-ups and small businesses get a boost.”

Mallika Dutta agreed. She passed Madhyamik in 1998 and got into her silver jewellery business full-time in 2021. “I wouldn’t complain,” she smiled, when asked about the response at the expo. “Trust plays a big role in this business, so the school link is helping. Though my brand is unknown, customers know I am reachable,” she said.

Trust was also on the lips of Nilotpal Dutta, of the 2006 Madhyamik batch. “I am planning to set up a business. I saw a stall here on HR and finance solutions. The owner is 10 years senior to me. I’d rather take a Pointer’s help than of a stranger,” he said.

Tirthankar Dey of Ocean6 Holidays was happy with the opportunities at the event. “I have set up contact with Pointers in food supply and corporate gifting,” he said.

Some, like Mahua Bhattacharya, were reaping the benefits of having a Pointer as spouse. “I have almost run out of stock,” smiled the pastry chef.

Some had taken up space to support the effort and for token publicity, like Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute. “Our medical director Arnab Gupta is from South Point,” said the woman running the stall.

The forum also launched its newsletter this weekend.

Last updated on 03.04.23, 07:32 AM
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