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Creating an entrepreneurial mindset through experiential learning; offered by DCSE


 Marie Curies once said, “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas” and this is totally true with this student studying Master of Social Entrepreneurship [MSE] at Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Meet Vijayalakshmi, a BBA graduate from Dharwad district and a student of second semester MSE, an aspiring entrepreneur.

  (Vijaylaxmi with her team members Jithin and Prasanna)

An IDEA.. that changed her life!

Most of us would walk in and around any campus or our own locality and see lots of e-waste (among others) lying around and just ignore it. But it was not the same case with Vijaylaxmi who saw this as an opportunity to do her bit and contribute for the societal well being.  Vijayalakshmi found unused PCs, CDs, adapters just thrown out near one of the buildings and was curious to know what happens next. She approached the concerned person and made inquiries. She was surprised that those people did not really have a plan for that. That’s what made her think. She decided to know more about e-waste management and the present scenario of that in and around her city.

“Initially I was not at all serious about this. All I wanted was a topic for my Business Communication presentation session. Along with my team mate Prasanna, I collected the data and completed my assignment. The success of that session what made me to make it a real project”, she says.


 Vijaylaxmi in conversation with Mr. Ramanathan N, CEO  & Managing Director, 4R Recycling, Bengaluru

WHAT IS E-WASTE?


Wikipedia describes E-waste as “discarded electrical or electronic devices”. It is also known as e-scrap, electronic-disposal, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).  It includes discarded computers, CDs, headphone, mobile phone charges, adapters, TV sets, refrigerators, cassette players, DVD/VCD players etc. It is also evident that these scrap items are hazardous and at the same time have valuable and scarce elements in them.

The Journey from Assignment to Business Idea:

“My own family members thought I was crazy enough to think about such a thing. And friends were no better!  But with little persuasion and awareness, I was able to get all the support needed and since then there is no turning back", says Vijaylaxmi  



She recalls, “One of the basic things that I learnt as part of my course, is Social Enterprising is all about three things - People, Planet and Profit”.  With the support from her team mates Prasanna and the techno geek Jithin, she set on a mission to do her bit in proper disposal of the e-scrap.  That’s when she decided to float her own social venture and calls it E-VISION, an e-waste management set up.

According to Vijayalakshmi, Deshpande Foundation , the parent organization of DCSE, has played a tremendous role in shaping her overall personality. When asked to introspect and summarize the changes she has had since the association with the foundation, she thinks and tells that now she is better at everything she does. When probed further, she tells how her teachers - Ms. Annie, Mr. Sunil, Mr. Naveen Jha and Dr N Maheshwari- have influenced her thought process. She says she has become an outgoing person and gained a lot of confidence. She also adds that decision-making is a lot easier and faster than what it used to be.

What Next?

 “I learnt time management – juggling between business idea and curriculum studies, it becomes important for me to prioritize my tasks. She also narrated an experience where she met with two of the CEOs (Mr. Phanindra Sharma, redBus and Mr. Ramanathan, 4R Recycle). She says, “through this project, I spoke with CEOs, teachers and at the same time with local shopkeepers and laymen in my locality. It definitely has helped me polish my communication skills”.


 (Vijaylaxmi with Mr. Phanindra Sama, CEO of redBus.in

 Vijayalakshmi who just completed her second semester exams has lots of outlook for herself and her business.  As far as her business is concerned, she says, “One day I want to own a recycling unit and tackle the problem with all the resources”.  She aims to live her life with full satisfaction by fulfilling all her responsibilities towards her family and society. She is all set to take up her internship study with Saahas, a waste management NGO at Bangalore. 

Let's wish her all the best for her internship and business!

The author works at Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship as an Asst Professor. He is also a part of Resources and Research team. Know more about the institute here

The Naujawan Express series showcases business ideas and start up ventures of our students.

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