24 Nov, Gangtok (IPR) : The two-day Kanchanpanda Startup Fest 2017 was formally inaugurated today at Manan Kendra Gangtok, in the august presence of Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling as the Chief Guest. The inaugural session was attended by Speaker, SLA Shri K.N. Rai, MP Lok Sabha Shri P.D. Rai, Cabinet Ministers, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India, Shri Sanjeev Sanyal, Heads of Departments and officers of the State Government led by the Chief Secretary, dignitaries from Government of India, leading entrepreneurs from across the country and abroad, and local entrepreneurs.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling exhorted the youth to embrace entrepreneurship as the new profession. He called for the need to change our mindsets and look beyond the traditional professions. He urged the youth to develop sense of respect and dignity for work, inculcate sense of ownership, responsibility, accountability, belongingness and the zeal and enthusiasm to work. He stated that Sikkim offers for its youth unlimited opportunities in any field, but there have hardly been any takers. He urged the budding entrepreneurs to develop a positive mindset and work towards meeting the huge demand.
The Chief Minister elaborated on three major areas where the youth of Sikkim can focus namely Organic Agriculture and allied sectors, Tourism related businesses and the field of Technology. He however laid great stress on the unlimited prospects of Organic Agriculture and termed it as a profession which is never out-dated. Highlighting the merits of Organic Agriculture, the Chief Minister stated that it is the world’s oldest profession; it is lifesaving, earth saving, sustainable, lucrative and is the only solution in the mitigation of global warming. He also highlighted some of the allied areas of organic farming, apart from production, where the youth could focus, namely marketing, packaging, value addition, agrobased industry, and engaging local artisans for packaging of the organic produce. He further stated that the demand for Sikkim’s organic produce outside the State is as high as 99.99%, but we have failed to realize our potential to meet this burgeoning demand. He again exhorted the youth to bring back the sense of respect and dignity for work and labour and to meet the global demand.
The Chief Minister also encouraged the young and budding entrepreneurs to realize the huge demand in tourism and allied sectors and in the field of technology.
He called in the State Government officers to create an enabling environment for the entrepreneurs in the State and to encourage them at every step. He concluded by stating that the youth of the State should should shift their mindset from being mere consumers to being producers and job providers. He assured full assistance from the Government through programmes like these.
Earlier, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India, Shri Sanjeev Sanyal in his address termed the Kanchanpanda fest a highly significant initiative as it synchronized with the vision of New India envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He maintained that entrepreneurship and risk-taking has been a part of the Indian Civilization, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. He thus encouraged the youth of Sikkim to embrace entrepreneurship.
Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling was also felicitated during the programme by the organizers and the Sikkim Entrepreneurs Association.
MP Lok Sabha (Sikkim) Shri P.D. Rai presented a brief concept note of the two-day Start up Festival. He expressed his gratitude to the support and the encouragement provided by the Chief Minister towards motivating the youth to start their own ventures.
Earlier, Pricipal Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department, Shri Arvind Kumar presented a brief introduction about the Kanchanpanda Start up Scheme.
The programme was also addressed by entrepreneur and founder of i-Shippo Shri Karma Bhutia.
The leading entrepreneurs participating as Guest Speakers and Resource Persons are 1) Atit Danak, Engagement Lead at Zinnov, 2) B. Paul Muktieh, CMD-NEDFI; 3) Cohan Sujay Carlos, Founder & CEO, Aiaioo Labs; 4) E.S. Paul Edward, Engineer, Teamindia; 5) Hari Nair, Founder, Holiday IQ; 6) Karma Bhutia, Founder, i-Shippo; 7) Karma Lendup Bhutia, Design Lead- Honeywell Technologies 8) Karma Palzor, Journalist; 9) Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Research Director, Your Story Media; 10) Lalitah Iyer, Independent Consultant; 11) Meeta Sengupta, Founder, EduIN; 12) Omkar Rai, DG-STPI; 13) Pankaj Thakar, Founder, Pad-up Ventures; 14) Parag Prasad, Managing Director, Sohamsa; 15) Prabir K. Das, Jurisdictional Director (NER & WB) STPI; 16) Prashanth Prakash, Partner- Accel India; 17) P.D. Rai, MP Lok Sabha Sikkim; 18) Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission; 19) R. Ambarish, Financial Services Expert; 20) Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India; 21) Shobha Tsering Bhalla, Founder & MD at Indiaase Media ; 22) Subhrangshu Sanyal, CEO-IIM Calcutta; 23) Sonam Wangchuk, Engineer, SECMOL, Ladakh; and 24) Sucharita Eashwar, Catalyst for Women Entrepreneurs.
In the end of the inaugural session, the leading entrepreneurs and invitees from different parts of the country were felicitated by the Chief Minister.
The inaugural programme was followed by the technical sessions of the KanchanPanda Start-up Fest 2017 which commenced in the afternoon at Chintan Bhawan Gangtok, which had focused panel discussions and interactive sessions. All the experts and resource persons along with the local entrepreneurs participated in the discussions.