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History TV18 and NSE find India's next young entrepreneur

A team of two girls from a Chennai school with their idea for a senior citizen's entertainment park emerge winners of Season One of ‘Young Pioneers 2013’

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | July 19, 2013

The search for India’s future entrepreneurs through the ‘Young Pioneers 2013’ initiative by History TV18 and NSE initiative culminated in an exciting final held at the National Stock Exchange building in Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Mohandas Pai, former Member of the Board of Directors of Infosys and Chairman of Manipal Global Education, along with Senthil Chengalvarayan, Group Editorial President, TV18 Business Media, were the judges for the afternoon. They took over from the semi-final judges – Alok Kejriwal, CEO of Games2win.com, Suresh Venkat, Editor, Technology & Special Features, CNBC-TV18, and Viren Rasquinha, ex-Captain of India's national hockey team and current COO, Olympic Gold Quest.

"We noticed that in India, entrepreneurship is neglected, especially at a young age. People would rather work. Most entrepreneurs are people who have worked in a company for quite some time and gathered experience. So we wanted to promote entrepreneurship at a younger level. We found a partner in National Stock Exchange which already has a platform called SME and this gelled well with that," said Adrian D'Costa, General Manager, Marketing, History TV18.

The finalist teams from each of the four zones came together to present their business idea, complete with presentations and audio and video clips. Armed with an idea, financial planning and market research, the plus 2 level students of entrepreneurship floored the judges and the audience alike.

The idea for ‘NSE Young Pioneers 2013’ came about when a lack of entrepreneurs in the school and college levels in India was noticed. CBSE introduced the subject in its plus 2 levels and teamed up with History TV18 to make it more popular and find the ‘next Steve Jobs or the next Narayana Murthy'.

Season one of the show saw 10,000 schools participating with over 285 entries. Several shortlists and elimination rounds later, four schools remained with two participants per team. The schools – Uttam School for Girls (North), SNDJA (South), Loyola (East) and RN Podar (West) met at the final round with their ideas.

Nancy Mishra and Dharani from SNDJA Vidyalaya won the contest with their idea for an entertainment park for senior citizens. Along with guidance and feedback, the girls went home with a Rs 1 lakh cheque. The other brilliant ideas on display were an organic farm for lifestyle entertainment, Quinet, a global online quizzing platform, and SS Band, a GPS enabled bracelet for women's safety.

"It is wonderful to see youngsters coming forward with such wonderful ideas. Some of them are creative, some are brilliant speakers and would make their mark in the future for sure," said Pai.

"When we were young we weren't allowed to try something different. Nowadays more and more people, especially young people, are taking the risk and becoming an entrepreneur. It is amazing to see such young minds being so clear about their ideas and the finances as well," pointed out Senthil.

According to D'Costa, the first season saw most of the applications coming from CBSE schools even though it was open to all boards. He hopes that in future seasons it would spread and gain greater popularity. With this the promotional activities would increase as well. For this season the show was promoted on the Network 18 channels and online as well as through on-ground activation.

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