GUWAHATI, Oct 30 - There are lots of possibilities for �start up� ventures and entrepreneurship in the north-eastern region and the youths from this part of the country need to tap this potential.
This was stated by Rashmi Bansal, noted Mumbai-based writer, motivational speaker, management counsellor and former journalist, who is also a visiting faculty to several major institutions across the country. She was speaking at a seminar on �Creating eco-system for start ups in the North Eastern region� organised by the Guwahati Management Association (GMA) here today.
�There is a general feeling in the North East that start ups are not possible here. This is not true at all. Earlier people used to think the same about India. They used to think that entrepreneurship and start ups are possible in the US but not in India. Nobody thinks like that anymore. Similar is the case with North East. Things are changing and there is lot of potential for the youths here,� Bansal said.
She said that Assam has a lot of potential in sectors like tourism and lot of innovative things can be done in such fields. �You can make Assam an exciting and adventurous place to come to so that tourists can get a wonderful experience. We all know of Sikkim as an organic hub. I am sure similar potential exists in Assam as well. Why cannot you do something similar in Assam?� Bansal said.
Bansal, who has written a number of bestsellers, said that students and youths can no longer wait for an eco-system to be formed but rather they themselves have to take the initiative to create one.
�Government funds and venture capital will come to help when students and youths themselves take an interest in entrepreneurship and take steps. We all have free time. Rather than just watching a movie or surfing Facebook, students can spend their free time in doing something productive. Students can start their own small entrepreneurship if they dream of becoming entrepreneurs after completing their education,� she said.
Bansal added, �Instead of asking your parents for pocket money, you (students) can use your own talent and skill in your free time to earn and also gain some experience in the process. Entrepreneurship is not mere theory. It is a practice.�
She said that having a goal is very important in life. �You must have a goal in life. You must have a goal for the next year and for the next five years. But merely having an idea is not enough. You need a prototype to show proof of concept. Only then can you expect funding or other kind of help for your projects and ideas. At times projects may fail but that does not mean you are a failure,� she said.
�We spend Rs 200 for a cup of coffee in Caf� Coffee Day. That coffee lasts only for five minutes. But the effect of a book remains with us for life. A well-read person also impresses an interview board during job hunt,� she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Dasgupta, Executive Director (CA) of Oil India Ltd (OIL) said that public sector undertakings are doing their best to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s �Start Up India� concept.
He said OIL has sanctioned Rs 50 crore as seed money for development of entrepreneurship in the NE and more funds would be given for facilitating innovative ideas and their implementation.
He said oil and gas production in India has not witnessed much growth during the past two decades. �We need young minds to change the dynamics of the industry. We need start ups to be deployed in the oil and gas sector. OIL is ready to hand-hold young people with ideas. We want young minds in the north-eastern region to come out with new ideas,� he said.
Prof Gautam Barua, former director of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Guwahati, said that institutions like GMA can help in creation of a system of funding for young entrepreneurs.
DN Barua, president of GMA, said all management and technical institutions would have to work with a purpose to change the thinking among students.