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Posted On: 04 May 19

Udhyam Learning Foundation has always believed in the power of experience-based learning. All our programs are curated to create a comprehensive exposure to real life work experience. The ‘Udhyam Business Mela' is one such brainchild of ours that gives the students of Shiksha Program to showcase their talents and market their merchandise. The most recent one concluded on the 27th of April, and here we try to bring you all that went down at the Mela from core team member Mr. Navneet Prakash:

Q) What is the Udhyam Business Mela?
A) It is a platform for students to plan and execute a 'real business' as part of the Udhyam Shiksha Program. As part of the Mela, the students form groups of 3-5. They plan and execute the businesses in their school premises.

Q) What is the idea behind its inception?
A) Udhyam Shiksha Program aims at developing entrepreneurial mindsets and we give our learners an opportunity to discover the characteristics of a real business by planning and executing one. The students discover and develop traits like confidence, grit, self-awareness and open-mindedness. They also learn key business skills like ideation, marketing and understanding customer needs.

Q) How has it progressed over the past years?
A) In the earlier programs at other schools, the students used to go out and do businesses in the community. The Business Mela model was tried last year in a different school and the response was mixed. We compiled the feedback from various sources and applied learnt about the necessary changes. This year’s Mela is hence a refined version of last year and we hope to similarly improve in the coming years.

Q) Who all participated in it and where was it organized. What was marketed at the Mela? 
A) Students who are part of the Udhyam Shiksha program from 3 government schools of Garudacharpalya, Hoodi and Kannamangala areas of Bangalore set up the businesses. The program facilitators guided the students wherever required. We had a team of Udhyam Interns and Volunteers from Dell who assisted in the events. The customers were local people from the areas around the school. The business stalls were organized inside the school campuses. However, in case of 4 businesses, the students stepped out into the communities. The most common businesses included serving fresh fruit juices, shakes, butter milk, salad, chaats, fried snacks, buns and selling hand-made jewellery.

Q) How was the enthusiasm of the students? How did they keep up to your standards?
A) The students, though a little unsure initially, were pretty excited and enthusiastic about the event. They tried to ensure quality in terms of taste, presentation and hygiene. The jewelry section concentrated on durability, beauty and cost-benefit analysis.

Q) What was the response from parents, teachers and other observers like?
A) The response was very positive. The Customers who visited appreciated the efforts of the students and also offered feedback on certain aspects like presentation, marketing, etc.

Q) Were there any glitches or negatives that you would like to change in the coming Melas?
A) We would like to increase the publicity of the Mela in the coming years and give more emphasis to proper management of certain logistics like raw materials, electrical supply, etc., We will also consider diversifying the products up for sale at the Mela.

Q) What were the key factors that contributed to the success of this year's Mela ?
A) The energy and enthusiasm of students, guidance from our facilitators and strong support of the parents were the key factors according to me.

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