IIM Kashipur (2017)
I have done my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Mumbai followed by a PGDM, from IIM Kashipur. I have 3.5 years of experience working in Hollywood based production houses (I worked with “Rhythm & Hues studios” as a “Character Animator” for 18 months, during this period I got opportunity to work on various Hollywood productions including Oscar winning production “Life of Pi”. I also worked with “Frameboxx animation and visual effects” for 2 years as “Head of Department” undertaking various responsibilities like planning, marketing, production).
In 2017, I joined the Buddha Fellowship Program. I’m working on launching indigenous rice varieties as a product, positioned for the conscious urban consumer. First phase of this initiative is expected to benefit farmers from two clusters of Nasik district – namely Akole and Junnar. BAIF has worked with the farmers for over 7 years to revive these varieties, which were on the verge of extinction. These traditional varieties hold the key to food security and they are an answer to climate change in these regions.
My long term vision is to create an enterprise that can facilitate producer- consumer exchange without any intermediary. This will help the farmer to earn a fair value for his/her produce and at the same time ensuring fresh and health food reached the end consumer.
IIT Delhi, FMS Delhi (2015)
I am an engineer from IIT Delhi, and MBA from FMS, Delhi. Post my MBA, I worked at Emami for 2 years. As Area Manager, I was responsible for the East Bihar territory of Emami’s consumer care division. Though the work for exciting, an urge to create a larger impact on the society led me to leave Emami and enter the development sector.
After spending a few months working with a Member of Parliament, implementing development projects in his territory, I joined Buddha Fellowship, aspiring to be a social entrepreneur someday.
At Buddha Fellowship, I am fortunate to work with a committed organization like Jan Swasthya Sahyog, working on tribal healthcare for more than 2 decades. We work on the issue of child malnutrition. I am working to scale up the Phulwari model- A community run, JSS managed, crèche system for children under 3, providing 75% of the child’s daily nutrition needs. The model has shown positive results and has been tried by different sections in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments, but without success. So, we are tasked to create a more replicable and scalable model, whether commercial or government-run, to finally get rid of this heart-wrenching issue of child malnutrition from the face of the country.
IIT Bombay (2017)
I earned my B.Tech from IIIT Jabalpur in Electronics and Communication. Though I was fascinated with electronics, the thought of working in a formal corporate company and spending hours in front of my laptop never appealed to me. I always yearned to do something more impactful and on-the-field, so instead of joining the formal job market, I took time off to consider what I could do which will be meaningful to me and society.
During those time I did I partnered with a friend to start a business. While on this project I realised that starting my own business is what I will enjoy. During this exploratory period I often reflected on the phrase "Bharat ek krishi pradhan desh hai", and that it employs 50% of our population and yet it contributes to only about 14-15% towards the national.
So I started acquiring knowledge about agriculture related activities and in the meanwhile time I also came to know about the course offered by IIT Bombay under department CTARA as T&D (technology and Development) degree and applied for the M.Tech. Program there. While doing the course I acquired practical on field exposure with farmers and rural areas. Include in the program was a mandatory 9 weeks exposure to living and working in a rural areas amongst rural families. While living with a rural family, the thought of starting a rural enterprise in the village occurred to me and my thesis was based on the value chain of Mahua flower.
During this period I came to know that Buddha Fellowship Program provides the opportunity to develop our enterprise in rural areas. So I applied for it and got it which has given me the confidence to take my idea to next level.
As a Buddha Fellow I am not only going to get to develop my own business but also get to know and connect with the people working at ground level. In most of the enterprises or businesses, end customer is considered as a person to sell to but I see the end customer as one of the key investor in the enterprise I will launch, because they are the one who help any rural enterprise to grow by buying their products. So via this fellowship I want to develop such an acumen among the people using my expertise
IIT Kharagpur (2013)
I graduated from B.H.U Varanasi (2011) and went on to earn my Masters from IIT Kharagpur in 2013. Thereafter, I worked as an Access Field Engineer in Drilling and Measurements at Schlumberger Asia Service Limited from for 2 years and have experience working on different tools used for formation evaluation by different methods such as Acoustics, Resistivity, Natural Gamma ray etc. In 2015, I joined Agro Fresh as Business Developer and worked on team formations, team management, leading a team to achieve sales and marketing targets. I worked closely for fund raising, mobilization of local business groups and farmers’ groups for projects.
The mission and vision of Buddha Fellowship to give a sustainable growth to community via a joint venture, which I believe can be the back bone of a nation such as ours, motivated me to join the Fellowship. I believe that I would be able to successfully incorporate the themes in my mission as well and be an upcoming entrepreneur, my key interest being in agriculture, education and women empowerment.
I’ve started off with a project on skill enhancement for a group of women in the villages around Kotma, Madhya Pradesh. I helped them start off a food catering business using indigenous millet (superfood) and other locally grown grains.
IIM Udaipur (2017)
I have done my graduation in B.com from H.L. College of Commerce, Ahmedabad and went for my masters to IIM Udaipur with the marketing specialization. For my summer internship, I went to HPCL, where I was responsible for formulating Standard Operating Procedure for training development process.
In 2017, I joined the Buddha Fellowship Program. Currently, I am working on "PROM-Phosphate Rich Organic Manure" enterprise development. The approach focuses on the optimal use of existing resources for sustainable energy generation for cooking, as well as on value added organic manure (PROM) production for soil fertility. By giving proper training and guidance to Farmer Producer Organizations, it is focused to develop the rural entrepreneurship among them. Through Enterprise Model, it is envisaged to raise agricultural productivity, create employment, generate income, reduce migration, provide better energy services for cooking, improve health, reduce drudgery and also strengthen people’s organizations and individual skill sets, entrepreneurship acumen, etc.
As a Buddha Fellow, my role is to streamline the operations for PROM production process and to develop a quality assurance system, develop marketing strategies as well as to strategize the distribution and channel management for its selling. The larger picture is to build PROM production technology as a turnkey product package for the potential rural entrepreneurs.
This fellowship provides me; the chance to become an entrepreneur and offers me the experience to hone my skills in HR, Operations, Marketing.
IIM Kashipur (2107)
I have completed my B. E in Computer Science from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore and have graduated from IIM Kashipur with specialization in Finance.
I had also worked in IDBI as an executive for 4 months where I handled the SHG accounts. Currently, in the Buddha fellowship program I'm working with Jan Swasthya Sahayog (JSS) in Chattisgarh and am involved in their Phulwari Program, a crèche for tribal children below the age of 3 years.
Phulwari programme has been started to address the nutritional needs of the children in the age group of 6 months to 3 years. With no proper support from the government in addressing the needs of the children in this age group there is a dire need among the children from tribal population of Central India with most of them living in poverty.
Phulwari is a crèche run by the community with technical support provided by JSS and funding sourced through private players. As the need for this model has been seen in the adjoining districts of Bilaspur where JSS is working, the government is being approached for starting Phulwari's in these districts.
As a Buddha Fellow, my role here is focused on advocacy with the government and management of Phulwari operations in the new districts.
I see the fellowship journey as offering me a chance to get a better understanding of the problem of malnutrition in India and I’m in the process of building a business plant to start a low cost model of Phulwari which can function independent of the requirement of external funds.
IIM Kashipur (2017)
I did my post-graduation from IIM Kashipur. Before joining BFP, I worked with L&T ECC for 2 years as a senior engineer. I was also associated with an NGO that provided career guidance to students in rural areas which gave me a sense of responsibility towards marginalised community.
As a buddha fellow, I got an opportunity to work with rural community in Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. In my first assignment, I worked with a group of fifteen women with the aim of enhancing their cooking skills to make a business out of it. Presently, they have been successfully linked to a government program where they are executing a food contract with the help of professionals. They are earning while learning the nuances of the business like procurement, stock management, profit and loss analysis other than cooking at a large scale. In future, they could take similar government contracts, start their own catering service, or a small scale food business which could raise their economic and social stature.
As far as I am concerned, I want to bring positive changes in the lives of people through innovative and cost effective solutions. Along the way, I see myself keep learning from the people around me and become better at what I am doing.
B.E.(Jadavpur University), IIM Lucknow
Right after my graduation I joined TCS as an ASE and also was part of online examination project, helping the team in real time management and implementation of online exams. After being there for almost one year I joined LICI as a risk analyst, heading new business department. As I come from a very humble family background I always have an inclination for working with the grass root people. And hence when I had a chance to pursue my MBA in agribusiness management I grabbed that opportunity.
The reason why I joined BFP is, it gives me ample opportunity to chase my dream of serving the poor. By setting up social entrepreneurship I will not only help them by providing livelihood opportunity, but will bring changes in their lives so that they are capable enough to take decision for their own life, in simple word an overall growth. In this journey of fulfilling my dream the entire BFP team will play a very significant role with their continuous mentoring, supports, workshops , conducting brainstorming sessions with other fellows etc.
Here, in Chhindwara district of M.P. we are working with almost 6000 farmers, total landholding being around 6000 acres. We are promoting organic cotton cultivation towards a sustainable farming practices. It will help them to bring down the cost of cultivation as most of the inputs they are using are indigenous in nature and the inputs can be prepared in their backyards; using of organic inputs will also increase the productivity of soil. Our intervention will help to mitigate the middlemen problems as well.
I am a post graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. But before going there I had some thoughts in my mind about helping the people at bottom of the pyramid.
During my engineering phase I used to make small solar lamps and sell them to the food cart vendors. This made a small impact in their lives as they only require light for three to four hours in the late evening and they can charge the battery using the solar energy. I got a positive feedback on this and after which I wanted to expand the sells of this lamps in near-by cities, but at this time I got admission in IIT.
In IIT also I took my masters degree in Technology and Development. In which we were made aware to reach the bottom 80% of people in the pyramid. After learning about agriculture, agriculture-based industries, MSMEs in rural areas has built my keen interest in this sector. I always wanted to serve the backward class people so, I decided to give tuitions to children from slums near IIT.
In IIT me and my friend Ten Singh had decided to do something that would help the workers in the IIT. So, we came up with providing them desktop at lowest price of ten thousand rupees. But none of person was interested to buy the product. The one reason behind that was their inability to expend that much money in one go. So, we came up with EMI model for the desktop and our finance was backed up by few professors and our friends.
After completing our degree in IIT, the actual journey to become an entrepreneur started. That time got news about Buddha Fellowship. I always wanted to do something different and there comes Buddha fellowship which gave me resources to go into the direction of entrepreneurship in rural areas. This will not only make me independent but also empower the rural community.
After joining the fellowship, I had the financial backup and also support from mentors. This further strengthen the path for my long-term goal of making the difference in life of at least fifty thousand families.
Kaushalendra Singh Yadav
IIT Kanpur (2002)
I have done BTech from IIT Kanpur, graduated in 2002. Then i did MBA from Sunstone Business School in 2014.
My first job was at Infosys as Software Engineer, worked there for 1 and half years. Then I joined a startup named Proteans Software Solutions, I was very early stage employee there. Worked at Proteans for 3 years. Then I joined an MNC named Applied Mateirals, worked there for 6 years. Then joined Symphony Teleca and worked there for 2 years. In 2014 I co-founded Mantra Labs , we were 10 employees , we grew to 125+ employees in 2018. July 2018 I have joined Farmveda full time as CEO and Buddha Fellowship Program. I am still a director at Mantra Labs.
Farmveda has vision to create value added products of farmer’s produce and generate higher profits and share those profits back with farmers cooperatives. We are following AMUL model where they uplifted lives of dairy farmers. We are working with FPOs. We are taking their produce, creating value added products, and selling under the brand name of Farmveda. We wish to grow this to a 30 Cr company first and then to 300 crores and then to 3000 Crores.
Since Farmveda is owned by Farmers cooperatives, all profits generated will automatically go to them. We believe this is one way to increase farmers income. We very closely work with Centre for collective development (ccd.ngo)