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Catching young turks

Starting young Namita Thapar, students from a field activity  

A boy aged 12 is whipping up codes to create a website that’ll help his mother’s homemaker friends find livelihood. A girl from a similar age-group is dishing out recipes from her cookbook aimed for a teenaged audience at a Crossword store. Another teenager is busy convincing investors of his idea of an automated trolley that doesn’t need a customer to push it while shopping. These are youngsters who clearly know the feasibility, reach and the target audience of their business idea. If they seem so savvy, its largely thanks to exposure to a series of field activities and sessions, conceived by Namita Thapar of The Young Entreprenuers Academy.

Thapar’s out-of-the-box initiative grooms teenagers between 11 and 18 years to be future CEOs, through the Young Entreprenuers Academy. A qualified chartered accountant and a chief financial officer by profession, she took up the India franchise of the US-based Academy, having witnessed its success in the US. Her programme in Hyderabad follows stints in Mumbai and Pune.

Over 20-odd Saturdays beginning this March, youngsters in Hyderabad will be exposed to an experiential and unconventional method of business education, an opportunity to earn funding besides being guided by guest experts ranging from Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Raj Kumar Hirani and Ronnie Screwwala. “ I request everyone who comes and speaks here to talk about dealing with failure, which makes children realise it’s okay to make mistakes. The idea here is to set them free from the glitz and glamour of the arena and open them up to challenges,” elaborates Namita.

Are children at 11 mentally equipped to strike a business deal? “What separates them from older children is their innocence. From my experience they’re the ones willing to learn more than any other age group,” she says. As per the model, apart from making B-plans, children are taught to be concise with their business pitches, they get only three minutes to convince a panel of their idea. Every third participant has gone on to win something at the end of the programme, either mentoring or funding for their future venture. The intention here is to go beyond the programme and encourage real-time entrepreneurship, she maintains.

Catching young turks

An unconventional form, with questions like ‘Are you a failure in life?’ and ‘What do you think about singing?’ followed by a personal interview decides an entry of a student. “I’ve had parents who’ve told me that their dining table conversations have become more meaningful now. Hyderabad has an aware crowd and is buzzing like never before, so I’m happy to have initiated it here.”

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Young greats

* Zuckerberg during his high school years under the Intelligent Media Group had built a music player called the Synapse Media Player.

* Bill Gates co-founded a venture Traf-O-Data at 17, with his friend Allen to make traffic counters based on an Intel 8008 processor.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 8:51:41 PM |

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