The School of Comparative Indic Studies and Tribal Science, KISS-DU in association with the Centre for Indigenous Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Deemed to be university (KISS-DU), was thrilled to host a Three Day Online Workshop on “Entrepreneurship and Innovation as Career Opportunity” from 18th to 20th September 2023, at 3:00 PM (IST) onwards virtually. This enlightening workshop delved deep into the world of entrepreneurship, focusing on the promising career opportunities in agriculture and innovation.

Day-1 of the workshop began with an expert talk by Mr. Abhijit Sharma, Business Manager at IGKV-RABI (Agribusiness Incubator supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, New Delhi).

The experts emphasized the need for young entrepreneurs to adopt a grassroots approach to succeed in the future. The workshop focused on the potential opportunities for startups in India, aiming to enlighten students about startups and the broad spectrum of sustainable opportunities available. He further stated, “IGKV-RABI helps every budding entrepreneur by providing mentorship to nurture their skills and also offers contacts of potential investors, which can assist them in raising additional funds,” he added.

Day-2 featured inspiring talks by two successful entrepreneurs, Mrs. Jayanti Mahapatra and Dr. Amrendra Kumar Pandey, who have made significant contributions to the agriculture and animal husbandry sectors.

Mrs. Mahapatra, the founder and CEO of ManikastuAgro Private Limited, shared her journey and experiences.  In 2015, Mrs. Jayanti Mahapatra founded ManikstuAgro with a vision to revitalize the often-overlooked Indian goat business. Recognizing the potential to not only uplift the lives of marginalized farmers in Kalahandi district but also lay the groundwork for significant change, she pioneered a holistic approach to goat farming. Beyond just rearing and breeding, ManikstuAgro established itself as a leading center in Kalahandi district, offering training to local goat keepers in modern methods like stall feeding and disease management, and providing them with superior breeds to enhance meat and milk yields. The goal is to double the income of goat farmers through strategic interventions, thereby organizing and strengthening the sector, ultimately leading to a revolution in goat farming. She has been honored with several prestigious awards, and was even highlighted by the Prime Minister in his “Mann ki Baat”.

Dr. Pandey, the founder and CEO of F3 Biotechnology Private Limited, provided valuable insights into animal health, nutrition, and feed formulation. His company, which has been awarded a significant grant from DBT-BIRAC, is currently based in KIIT TBI.

On Day-3, the spotlight was on innovators, Mr. Satendra Singh Lilhare and Mr. Umesh Bansi, who have embarked on remarkable entrepreneurial journeys in the field of agriculture and sustainable development. Mr. Lilhare, the founder of ‘Bastar Se Bazaar Tak Private Limited’, shared his dedication to promoting NTFPs (Non-timber Forest Produce)-based livelihoods for local tribal women farmers in Uttar Bastar, Chhattisgarh. His multi-award-winning social enterprise focuses on processing and marketing forest products, and he was recently recognized by NITI Ayog as one of the top 75 Agri-entrepreneurs in the country.

Mr. Bansi, the founder of Orgalife Food and Beverages Private Limited, shared his insights and experiences in establishing a trusted name in the organic product manufacturing industry. His commitment to organic and sustainable practices serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in the field.

The workshop provided an incredible opportunity for participants to engage with these distinguished resource persons, learn from their experiences, and gain valuable insights into the entrepreneurial journey in the realm of agriculture and innovation. Participants had the chance to come together, learn, and be inspired!