Power To Empower Winners Boost Skills Development Scenario

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 04:50 hrs

New Delhi, Delhi, India:National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 on Thursday announced the winners of the 6-month long 2nd Power To Empower competition, a skills development enterprise plan competition, at an event in the city that saw stalwarts of the skills development sector in attendance. The competition, jointly organized by the two organizations with TiE-Delhi NCR and Ennovent as knowledge partners, aims to address the skills gap in India by encouraging sustainable enterprise models through a business plan competition.

Today, at the grand finale event in New Delhi, 9 finalist teams, 4 from student category and 5 from the non-student category, from across the country, presented their plans to an esteemed panel comprising Mr. M.V. Subbiah, Chairman, NSDC, Mr. Saurabh Srivastava, Chairman Emeritus, TiE Delhi-NCR , and Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman, National Committee, India@75. The ceremony was graced by Mr. Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO, NSDC, who delivered the keynote address, inspiring the audience with exciting nuggets of information about the opportunity in the skills development space, and providing encouragement to the participating teams.

Expressing his delight at the quality of ideas in the competition, Mr. M.V. Subbiah, Chairman, NSDC, said, “Having had the opportunity of going through many of the business plans that have been submitted by the participants in the Power To Empower initiative, and the chance to interact with several of these brilliant minds, our belief in the power of youth to transform India’s skills landscape has been vindicated. As Chairman of the NSDC, I can assure you that the NSDC would be very keen to work closely with these budding entrepreneurs and help them give shape to their dreams.”

A few great examples of the high-quality business model are the selection of winning teams that demonstrate a heavy focus on skill development, while also creating sustainable solutions to scaling problems. Winners of the student category, Saksham (Pritish Anand and Anu Gupta of Vellore Institute of Technology) and non-student category Elements Akademia (Nishant Saxena), were ecstatic at the announcement and were encouraged by the jury to scale up their business plans with the support they will receive. Saksham aims to create a model which facilitates training of unskilled unemployed workforce by the skilled unemployed artisans to create products meant for local markets and corporate gifting. The model is to share the profit with the trainers, while the newly-trained workers will be salaried. Saksham will first be piloted in Vellore, and then scaled up across the country. Elements Akademia, on the other hand, is modelled to bridge the academia-industry gap by fully-owning an underperforming Tier II business school, and introduce vocational training into the system, thereby making students more employable. The team has been promising minimum seventy five per cent placement, working with governments and private partners.

The winning teams in both the categories will receive access to an all-paid short program by Deakin University, Australia, complimentary 1-year TiE Associate Membership and mentoring support, and a scholarship to attend Sankalp Event 2013, including accommodation and travel. The runners-up in both categories will be awarded scholarships to Sankalp Event 2013, access to Villgro’s regional one day workshop, short courses from Sunstone Business School, and complimentary TiE Associate Memberships and mentoring support. These awards are aimed at further equipping the teams in implementing their projects, which aim to build scalable models of bridging the skills gap in India.

Fifty three per cent employers in India say that skills deficiency is one of the key reasons for entry-level vacancies . Currently, of the 15 million individuals who enter the work force, only 3 % undergo vocational training. This has been identified as a great opportunity by the participants of the competition which received over 100 applications across the Ideas and Business Plan stages. Indians, cutting across the length and breadth of the country, and from all walks of life had applied for the competition.

On the journey leading up to this day, Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman, National Committee, India@75, said, “There are a great number of issues that plague India today, but thankfully we have a greater number of young and enthusiastic minds that are willing to turn around those problems. Power To Empower is one of the initiatives that provides a platform to aspiring entrepreneurs to address one of the biggest problems, turn it into an opportunity, and create sustainable models of addressing the skill development. At India@75, we have initiatives aimed at various aspects of development in the country, and skill development is a primary one, as this gap, when bridged, will provide solutions to many other problems.”

Power To Empower launched the first stage, Ideas Stage, of the competition in September 2012, which was aimed at helping aspiring entrepreneurs and young students realise their entrepreneurial dreams in the skills sector. The winners of the first stage were chosen regionally from across students and non-student categories. Premier Skills (New Delhi), Skillovators (Kerala), and ClearWin Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Assam) were chosen in the non-student categories in the North, South and East regions respectively. In the student categories, DriveLease (NMIMS Mumbai), Education for All (IIM Indore), and Management Masteros (NITIE Mumbai) were announced winners in the West, Central, West regions respectively. The winning teams were awarded a short course from Sunstone Business School, access to Villgro’s regional one day workshop, and a complimentary 1-year associate membership to TiE Delhi.

About National Skill Development Corporation

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership in India. It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions. It provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. Its objective is to contribute contribute significantly (about 30 per cent) to the overall target of skilling/upskilling 500 million people in India by 2022.

About India@75 Foundation

India@75 Foundation is a grassroots initiative aimed at realizing the dream of an inclusive, sustainable and developed India by the year 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence. It is a universal vision for India shared by Indians from all geographies and all walks of life. The initiative is incubated and supported by the Confederation Indian Industry (CII).

1“Education To Employment: Designing a system that works” by McKinsey & Company -
Pranav Sawhney, IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Pranav.Sawhney@hkstrategies.com

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