As I contemplate our participation in Sarvodaya, a Social Business Plan Competition, I realise the value of hardwork, patience and good mentorship. Sarvodaya is an international Social Business Plan Competition organised by IIT Bombay, in collaboration with VES-Yunus Center of Social Business, Deakin Business School, Australia-India Council and the Govt. of Australia.
I had an experience filled with motivation, innovation and business skills and I feel like it is one of my greatest achievements so far. It all began when I started to observe the post-covid impact on elders. The news about millions of people losing their lives had a major impact on their mental health. The lockdown also resulted in limited physical activity or face-to-face interactions.
So, during my 3rd Semester BBA, the idea of designing an innovative business plan dawned upon me in August 2021. I came up with an idea called “Indian Spadium” with Dr. Kavita Gupta’s support. Initially, the idea was to take care of the physical, mental and emotional health of the elderly through physical activities and childhood games within the same social circle. While there was constant improvement being made in the idea through research and guidance from the professors at the School of Entrepreneurship, participating in the competition changed everything. This seemed like a good chance for me to take my idea to a larger platform and determine its impact and practicality against other innovative ideas. Later, we also included Neurotherapy, health refreshments and other services like transportation for the convenience of our elderly stakeholders.
Hereafter, I connected with 2 more people to make a team of 3, to build an innovative business plan for my idea and clear the 3 rounds of the competition. Kritika Garga (studying BVA at RU) and Ganga Ram Kushwaha (studying BBA at RU) joined me in this incredible competition. Kritika was very creative in her inputs and ideas and Ganga brought in his zest, curiosity, activeness and enthusiasm to the team which kept us motivated.
In the first round, we created a basic business plan as per the specifications and jazzed it up a little to give it an impressive touch. After a few days, we found out that we had qualified for the second round and were now meant to give a presentation. Being able to qualify the first round against 100 teams from India and Australia encouraged us and gave us more confidence. The support of Dr. Kirti, Dr. Kavita, Dr. Chitra and Ms. Khushboo in the execution of the idea, helped us prepare for every round.
I had been working on this idea for over 3 months and was somewhat confident that I’d be able to answer any question the jury would have for us after the presentation. We were elated to hear their compliments and that they thought the idea was unique and promising. This only builds more faith in the idea that it’s quite a realistic and feasible business. The results came through and we had yet again cleared another round including 8 other teams.
Everyone at the university was very happy and encouraged us to perform our best in the final round. While we were confident for our final interview round we did feel a little bit of pressure. The judges were impressed yet again but what made us sceptical was that they didn’t ask us too many questions. This left us in turmoil as to whether they were convinced by our idea or not.
When the results came through and we learned that we had won the second prize, we were on cloud nine. It was a moment of celebration for me and my teammates. Everyone was really happy and truly appreciated our victory and the idea. For us to have qualified and secure a second position at such a big platform and against so many teams was a memorable experience.
Through this competition, I developed a lot of new skills. Being a leader, splitting the tasks, time management, motivating and guiding the team at every step. Our victory was like a cherry on the top of this wonderful journey. My team members and professors were my strength and without their efforts, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this. I wish to give a shape to my idea and take it to the next level where I could create a successful model out of it. I am fortunate to have the support of my teachers, and my university in my endeavour.
Aaditya Kumar Dwivedi
BBA Sem III, Rishihood University