Having had a highly enjoyable Entrepreneurial career, I started wondering “whether we can inspire the youth to become Entrepreneurs?”. Then, I met, Team Jagriti. “Jagriti Yatra” in our view, is one of the top 5 innovations from India. In this Yatra, youth from ages 20 to 26, preferably from non metros, comprising 40% women are taken on a 16 day train journey across India. The Yatra covers “Institutions of Excellence” such as ISRO, Sabarmati Ashram, Aravind Eye Care. The Yatra brings together youth from diverse economic, academic, social, regional backgrounds. The result, 22% of “Yatris” i.e the youth who complete the Yatra, have turned “Entrepreneurs”.
What is Yatra all about ?
The Yatra is a 8000 km annual expedition across India on a dedicated train from 24th Dec to 7th Jan. Here, the youth visit institutions during the day and then travel to their next destination. While travelling, these youth interact with multiple Mentors, who are Experts from diverse fields. These Mentors hop on and hop off at different destinations. To enable “24 by 7” discussion on ideas, business plans etc, the Yatris, eat, live, sleep on the train. The train has customized cubicles for shower facilities as well as dedicated cooking team which cooks 3 meals each day. 15,000 youth apply each year to get selected for this Yatra, of which, 500 are chosen based on multiple parameters to ensure adequate diversity.
The Yatra Is Transformational For The Youth
Transformational learning happens for each of the youth from the Yatra. Foremost, the Yatra showcases “beauty of action & power of self belief” by the founders of the institutions visited. The Yatra for some, leads to discovery of “collective and individual purpose” in life. Quite a few are “forced out of their comfort zone”, which is similar to a feeling that each start up goes through in its initial years. Interestingly, majority of the 500 unconnected youth learn to build an unspoken lifelong thread of unity with fellow as well as alumni Yatris.
Leads To First Step Towards Entrepreneurship
In our view, certain key capabilities / traits determine the success of any enterprise. These are Integrity, Discipline, Teamwork, Collaborative approach, ability to explore novel ideas, taking calculated risks, asking the right questions and above all “an attitude of permanent optimism”. Interestingly, the Yatra, provides the first exposure of these traits to each of its Yatris.
After Yatra What Next? “Enterprise Centre”
Having inspired more than 1000 youth to become entrepreneurs, the next logical step for Team Jagriti, was to set up an “Enterprise Centre” to cater to the needs of both (i) Yatris trained on the Yatra and (ii) those who applied but could not get selected, yet had an Entrepreneurial drive. Jagriti set up a pilot Enterprise Centre at Deoria, near Gorakhpur at Uttar Pradesh. This Centre has started providing assistance to start ups in critical areas such as connect to markets, access to technology and capital and most critically, the “feeling of support” in every facet during its start up phase.
From Pilot Scale To Large Scale
Led by its visionary founder Shashank Mani, team Jagriti has started work on setting up “Jagriti Enterprise Centre” (JEC) which will enable it to impact 20 lakh people within 5 years of its start. JEC will attempt to hasten the process of connecting rural entreprises to urban markets. GormalOne has partnered with Jagriti to raise resources for the centre.
We believe the power of any innovation lies in the scale of impact that it can create. Jagriti Yatra is one such innovation, which is acting as a catalyst to India’s transformation to a developed Nation. Come, be a part of this revolution by becoming a member of the team setting up “Jagriti Enterprise Centre”.
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