Dreaming Like A Star
In the cozy corners of a tenth standard class room of 'My School', there once sat a boy. He was an introvert to the dot; shy to even lift his hand for answers he knew. Lucky was a boy who naively followed the path his parents had set for him, playing by the conservative rules of our education system. But fate had decided a different path for him.
In the summer of 2017, Udhyam Learning Foundation (henceforth Udhyam) conducted the second edition of Shiksha, a program aimed at developing entrepreneurial mindset in youngsters at My School. This brought in a twist to the future aspirations of Lucky.
The initial training included small group teaching of business and management specific skill sets like innovation, motivation and planning combined with team building exercises. He learnt that patience and coordination could get one to achieve their goals, no matter how high the peak. The first two weeks were marked with experiential learning activities in a class room setting. This was followed by the second phase of the program where students get an opportunity to set out into the open and put to practice what they’ve learnt so far.
Lucky co-founded U-tech, short for 'Udhyam-technologies' with the 10000 rupee seed fund provided as part of the program. U-tech offered home delivery of mobile accessories in their neighborhood at a nominal price. Since SP road, the hub of electronic gadgets in Bengaluru was close by, they managed to walk the distance and save on travel expenses. They delivered an entire range of accessories from phone cases to memory cards and within a span of weeks reaped the first batch of profits.
Only half of the seed fund had been used and returns were close to eleven thousand rupees amounting to a whooping profit of six thousand rupees. Now that sounds like a company anyone would invest in- more than a 100% profit! Their experiment had worked and their joy knew no bounds. Once the program ended, Lucky and his team had to resume their Pre-University College education which meant a break from their business venture. Their parents and even peers might have sidelined this exercise as a hobby that helped them make some money, but this stint was way beyond that.
For the first time Lucky had learnt to stand up and speak out with no fear of judgement. He defined a problem statement and designed a business plan that would help cash in on the demand. He ran a pilot project and saw instantaneous success but when the question of education arose, he continued to embark on the wiser path than give in. While studying, he worked on his skills as an apprentice at his father's retail store and learnt to improvise on his theory based on the challenges he faced. He understood the value and potential Shiksha adds to young minds and motivated all his juniors to give the program a sincere try.
While one might see an innate pioneering spirit in him, he attributed his newfound attitude to Shiksha and Udhyam. He claims that the facilitators who mentored him at every step, recognized and commended each of his milestones are the true harbingers of change in him. Two years down, Lucky has just finished his Second Pre-University exams and looks forward to pursuing a degree in BBA, a dream he wrought in the class rooms of Shiksha, a dream that pinged in his ears every time an order was placed to U-tech and a dream he toiled for, every time he delivered a package.
It isn't shocking that any student might have stumbled and slowly drifted to find his calling in business studies. But for a student of class ten to realize that his strengths lie in business and with deep conviction pursue it, is the highlight of Lucky’s story. Shiksha and its facilitators who still continue to mentor him have found a special place in his heart through his dreams.
Shiksha's aim isn’t merely about facilitating business ideas. Through these modules it aims at developing human agency and imbibe qualities of
self-awareness, self-belief, grit and independence through self initiated action its participants. It promotes action based learning as an integral part of the curriculum, thereby keeping education real and relevant.
PS: Lucky now goes on to join the post engagement program of Udhyam where he is getting an opportunity to intern with a chartered accountancy firm right after high school. A luxury even many graduates can’t afford!