Young innovators get platform to showcase ideas to solve India's problems

Jul 26, 2016, 00:29 IST | Maleeva Rebello

Owner of Philadelphia-based company to hold entrepreneurship education programme for incubated start-ups that also offers chance for a one month free office in the US

When Dhairya Pujara was in Mumbai last year, he helped young people in the city work out businesses for a cause, helping to solve India’s problems.

Dhairya Pujara at Somaiya College, Vidyavihar in July last year when he launched Y Center in India. He says now he will take it to the next level. Pic/Sameer Markande
Dhairya Pujara at Somaiya College, Vidyavihar in July last year when he launched Y Center in India. He says now he will take it to the next level. Pic/Sameer Markande

The founder and owner of Philadelphia-based company Y Center, a higher education, social innovation enterprise working across three continents, Pujara was last week invited to the United Nations for his work in Africa and India. The UN had a high-level political forum meeting - the partnership exchange, where Pujara presented his work and challenges.

"The idea last year was to make money and also help people do good as they pursue social entrepreneurship ventures. I am coming to India to take last year’s programme to the next level," Pujara (27) said from the US.

The BKC Platina building is the address for Y Center's Mumbai venture
The BKC Platina building is the address for Y Center's Mumbai venture

The new programme, The Next 40 Program, starts from August 3. "We have partnered with Wadhwa Group to take our entrepreneurship education programme further and offer a 4 month incubation programme," he added.

The 40 students who will be enrolled get a one month free office in USA for the incubated start-ups.

Dhairya Pujara at the UN
Dhairya Pujara at the UN

People in the age group 24 to 35 have applied with 15 signing up. Aditya Brahmabatt, a Y Center India partner said, "Bangalore, Pondicherry and Pune residents are also showing interest. Figuring out a place to stay in the city is the challenge they face."

Navin Makhija, Managing Director, The Wadhwa Group said, "This association with Y Center will promote young entrepreneurs, support their initiatives, hone the business acumen and train a fresh breed of talent in this space."

Inside the workspace at BKC
Inside the workspace at BKC

Studentspeak
Students in Mumbai seem excited about the chance of a lifetime. Pari Lalpuriya (29), a computer engineer said, "I think India’s biggest problem is lack of equal resources for all. I want to discover a solution to this. I am hoping Y Centre will show me how."

Ending the need for farmers to depend on the rain god for water is India’s biggest problem according to media student Manoj Shinde (20), who wants to resolve this. "Simple rain water harvesting methods can be used for farmers to save water. Educating them and making them aware of the things they can do is needed," ended the Ghatkopar resident.

Last year's success stories from Y Center

>> Ankit Kumar Bhagat developed a smart plug that tells you to unplug when you are not using it. He got picked up by Nasscomm, a business management consultant firm in the US, this February as one of the top 3 social innovators in India.

>> Careervilla by Radhika Biyani, helped teens get right career counselling by connecting them to successful people in corporate world and not just counsellors.

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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