Santosh Kumar Dash, Youngsters- Worldwide

Success always comes to those who work for it. Such is the story of Santosh Kumar Dash, an entrepreneur who went against all odds to follow his passion. He was always intrigued by the idea of creating an entity of his own since his childhood and this is what led him to create his own digital marketing agency. Through hard work and persistence, today, he is a self-made entrepreneur – all at the age of 21. Coming from humble beginnings and with no background in the world of business, Santosh used his life experiences to gain all his insights. Even though he had a successful corporate career he took a risk and gave all that up to start his own business venture. He co-founded a small bootstrapped digital marketing agency called ‘Youngsters – Digital’ in Bhubaneswar, where he was the sole force in helping clients in advertising, designing and marketing services. His interest in the creative world was fuelled by his out of the box ideas inspired by his surroundings, the books that he read and the talk shows he watched growing up. His company is now known as ‘Youngsters – Worldwide’ and is a name known to all at a global level. After facing many initial hurdles in finding quality people to add to his team, Santosh was eventually able to recruit talent from top universities like IIT and IIM in his workforce. This helped accelerate the success of his organisation enabling it to be a self-sustaining global ad agency. This journey from helping local businesses with marketing to meeting the advertising needs of fortune 500 companies is nothing short of phenomenal. Santosh often uses the words of Colin Powell to summarize his journey, "a dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Santosh’s story can be an example for all budding entrepreneurs who are willing to bet on themselves, not just in Odisha but across India.

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Jayendra Kumar Sahu, Odisha Career

OdishaCareer, an educational analytics company providing career counselling to students was created on the philosophy that each and every person is unique, and everyone has their own strengths. The aim of this organisation, founded in 2017 by Jayendra Kumar Sahu, is to empower the youth of Odisha to be at par with the rest of the world. OdishaCareer uses an analytics tool to map the career of a student. They assist and prepare students for competitive exams as well, mainly focussing on bridging the gap between students who might lack the necessary information and the opportunities available to them. The company is also in the process of developing an Educational Social Network. From its humble beginnings in Bhubaneswar, OdishaCareer is now ready to set up its first branch in Berhampur, Odisha. So far, the company has guided over 1000 students with their career counselling services, free of cost. Their plan for the future includes opening 10 centres across Odisha in order to reach every student present in the state. By counselling students on multiple career avenues based on their aptitude and interest, OdishaCareer is committed to providing them with the necessary exposure to help choose a future path, and excel at it, too. This is done through talks with industry experts, field trips, seminars and workshops.

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Deepak Kumar Sahoo, Arrelic

Internet of Things (IoT), as many believe today, is driving this century’s Industrial Revolution. It does this by connecting actual physical products with a cloud network, increasing accessibility while enhancing its interactions between machine-to-machine and man-to-machine. One firm that has taken up the task to further industrial growth using this technology is Arrelic. Based in Bhubaneswar, the company is using IoT systems and devices to build an ecosystem to make effective decisions to boost quality and to optimize time and money for various businesses. Founded by Deepak Sahoo, Arrelic today is leading in building smart products and is rapidly disrupting the existing business models through its extensive expertise in Reliability Engineering, Predictive Maintenance, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Sensors, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Based on specific industry needs and demands, the firm offers a vast pool of services like IoT devices and IoT-based analytics through Predictive Maintenance as a Service (PdMAAS). This platform also supports Vibration Analysis, IR- Thermography, MC Analysis, WD Analysis, Rotor Balancing, and various NDT Techniques. Apart from these, the firm also specializes in providing consulting services and training and development programmes. These programmes have been developed to help industry professionals, as well as beginners, perform competitively. The company believes that smart connected products offer a whole new set of possibilities that can assist organizations in gaining a substantial competitive advantage and Arrelic is doing the same to raise the bar of doing business, not only in Odisha but also globally.

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Sruti Kanta Mishra, Maiestas Technologies

Maiestas Technologies Private Limited was established in November 2012. Founded by Sruti Kanta Mishra, the company’s vision is to make core manufacturing a priority in India. The founder realised this need during the second year of his engineering studies at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT). It was also during this time that he initiated the company’s first project, an order for repair and maintenance of imported scientific equipment installed at KIIT’s School of Biotechnology. The company provides technology driven solutions for lighting, environmental safety, electrical & electronics industries, and food and chemical process industries, among others. Offering efficient technologies at an affordable pricing, the company has seen a rise in pushing the development in Odisha. Drawing inspiration from its name, which means royalty in Latin, the company follows a consumer-centric approach. This very principle has been adopted not only for domestic partners but global ones as well. The recent collaborations include partners from Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia & Kenya for whom Maiestas has created and exported tailor-made electronic devices. The company’s expertise is quite expansive, ranging from designing and deployment of mini and macro scale reactors to automation systems. A testament of their expertise is their latest ambitious project under which it will be establishing state's first Art Electronics manufacturing facility. It will not only cater to India’s electronic manufacturing needs but also to Gulf and Sub Saharan countries’ export needs. The founder attributes the team’s dedication for such growth to their innate passion towards innovating great electronic products. Under Sruti Kanta Mishra’s leadership, the company plans to create an ecosystem for electronics manufacturing in Odisha which will not only help bring in investment opportunities to the state, but also create jobs for the youth. Some of the various official government bodies from which Maiestas Technologies Private Limited has received recognitions for their undertakings include, * National Science & Technology Development Board, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. Of India * Technology Development Board, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. Of India * TIDE, Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Govt. Of India * Department of MSME, Govt. of India * Start Up India, Govt. Of India, * Startup Odisha, Govt. Of Odisha.

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Nazia Ali, Lovely Obsessionz

Nazia Ali is a perfect embodiment of the spirit of entrepreneurship. In 2015, she combined her passions for art and business, and launched Lovely Obsessionz – a gifting solution company based out of Bhubaneshwar. Her wholesale and retail outlet deals in artificial flowers, decorations and customized gifts. She is committed to providing affordable gifting options, of the highest quality. At a time when a majority of the products in the market were being sourced from global markets such as China, Nazia took a risk that payed off – not just for her, but for those around her, as well. Inspired by the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Nazia decided to source almost all products locally which in turn helped boost the local economy and also helped her gain considerable recognition among women entrepreneurship groups. The company works very closely with local artisans and craftsmen, creating opportunities for income generation for them. She is now focussed on diversifying Lovely ObsessionZ, and establishing properties in other cities. This expansion plan also includes setting up a new manufacturing unit that will aid in producing gift items that are in high demand.

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Gyana Ranjan Swain, Abodhi InfoWorld

Abodhi InfoWorld Pvt. Ltd. is a startup recognized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Founded by Gyana Ranjan Swain, a seasoned journalist with over 15 years of experience in the field, the company started its first business news website www.teleanalysis.com in 2014. The online news portal caters to the IT and telecom industry with its primary readership profile being the CEOs, CMOs, CIOs and CTOs from the two industries. Consistently serving up to over 1.5 lakh readers a month with page views exceeding half a million, the website is now one of the leading and most trusted news sites in the domain. In 2016, the company launched its pioneering second news website www.m2mcafe.com. This website was created to cater to the readership demand of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. When this website was launched, it was India's first website dedicated to the IoT industry. The site covers technologies, products, services and developments around IoT, M2M (machine to machine), drones, and sensors. Seeing potential in Odisha's media industry, the company is now all set to launch its next website specifically for the state. It will be an Odisha centric business website with a dedicated team in the state and bureaus in different cities across the country.

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Dr. Sumona Karjee Mishra, Prantae Solutions

Sparked by a personal experience and now striving to bring respectful maternity care to every woman of India, this is the story of Dr. Sumona Karjee Mishra. Pregnancy for a woman is the most valuable experience and it was no different for Sumona, until one day when her blood pressure shot up and she was immediately hospitalized. She was suffering from a pregnancy complication called Preeclampsia which is clinically identified with high blood pressure and high proteinuria, listed among the top three causes of maternal mortality. In Odisha, the SCB report suggests preeclampsia accounts for the 30% of maternal mortality. With a PhD in biotechnology, Sumona decided to work on the condition symptoms, detections and prevention to ensure a safe motherhood for millions of women like her. She founded Prantae Solutions in Bhubaneswar in 2015, a startup focusing on developing diagnostic health care for pregnancy using state-of-the-art technology. 75% of her workforce consists of women that are making efforts to develop affordable and early-diagnostics for pregnancy-complications. Sumona got an opportunity to familiarise herself with the extent of this problem through the Social Innovation Immersion Fellowship, a program by the Department of Biotechnology. She travelled to remote villages of Odisha, maternity wards of tertiary care hospitals, interviewed preeclampsia sufferers and interacted with ASHA and Anganwadi workers. In the course of these visits, she met a lot of mothers who faced the same disorder that she did and this made her even more determined than before. With this mission, she started the journey of ‘Entrepreneurship towards Respectful Maternity.’ In this endeavour, she was supported through financial assistance and mentorship by Startup Odisha, Startup India, KIIT-TBI, DBT-BIRAC, DST, MSME, DFID Villgro, BPCL, and TataTrust-HarvardSAI. The cause has been recognised and her startup got the opportunity to have a virtual showcase in GES-2017 Summit. This initiative also led her to the 40 under 40 entrepreneurs list, curated by The New Indian Express and Edex in 2018.

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Ashok Mohanty, Lens Interactive

Ashok Mohanty is the Founder and Director of Lens Interactive - a Bengaluru-based creative digital strategy agency specializing in UI/UX, branding, digital marketing, and website development. A graduate of Commerce from Berhampur University in Odisha, Ashok has always been interested in arts and design. After completing his education in Odisha, he worked with multinational companies like Macmillan and Tata Elxsi. The spark of entrepreneurship was triggered at a young age and he started Lens Interactive in the year 2008. He discovered that running a start-up urges one to explore their hidden potential, especially a start-up that has to function without any kind of funding. Ashok thus built his expertise in drafting digital strategies, creative concepts, business development and networking. Through his experience of having worked with 300+ start-ups, he has been able to create and maintain a close working relationship with more than 450 companies and has built a strong and veritable network within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of India. Lens Interactive has worked with many giants like Flipkart, Ogilvy & Mather, Tata Elxsi, Adani Portz and Bharti AXA. Ashok’s focus on punctuality and discipline has helped the company deliver projects on time.

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Rajesh Kumar Mohakud, SR Bricks and Tiles Industry

Rajesh is a civil engineer by training and graduated in 2010. Instead of going for a job like everyone else, he chose to tread the path less travelled. He pursued his childhood dream of becoming self-employed in his native place of Soro in Balasore. He started from scratch with a small shop for mobile repairing and then started an agency of Bharat Gas. In 2012, he started a fly ash bricks manufacturing unit named SR Bricks and Tiles Industry. Since this business idea was new for him, he faced various problems regarding marketing. He motivated the people around him and established business after one year of struggle as he was a first generation entrepreneur from a humble background. Rajesh's goal was to bring about economic development in his native village by creating jobs for the local people. In 2014, he set up another business venture SR SAI DRINKS PVT LTD for manufacturing and marketing of mineral water, soda, white phenyl and distilled water thanks to a loan from United Bank of India. With sheer ambition and relentless hard work, Rajesh has created direct and indirect employment for 70+ rural people. He has also employed over 25 ladies, most of whom are widows and had no other means to support themselves. He plans to set up a plastics recycling unit in Soro in the coming years.

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Piyush Agarwal, S&P Healthcare

The dilemma to stay in Odisha and look after father's business or move outside the state for better job opportunities plagued Piyush Agarwal for a long time. When he looks back after 8 years, he feels he chose the right option by coming back to the Odisha, not to run his father's business but to set up his own. He founded Salubrity and Pabulum Healthcare (S&P Healthcare) in 2011 as a pharmaceutical and healthcare company to manufacture products like Glucose D, ORS and tonics. From taking baby steps, the company has grown to a turnover of Rs. 6 Crore and is aiming to reach Rs 10 crores by 2020. Its products are being sold across Eastern India and it is competing against the biggest brands in the country for market share. All its products offer customers better taste and packaging at affordable prices. He believes Odisha is a very vibrant market for pharma and healthcare companies and will grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.

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Biraja Prasad Nath, Nirmalya Labs

Nirmalya Labs is a product development company founded in Bhubaneswar by techno-entrepreneurs from National Institute of Technology (NIT) in April 2017. The team has a proven track record of over 100 man-years of experience in building world-class enterprise software products, solutions and executing complex software projects. The startup envisions to become partners in the success of entrepreneurs by helping them translate their ideas into world-class software products. The objective of starting a technology company in Bhubaneswar was to create opportunities for local youth who want to explore careers in technology. Although there are so many IT companies in Bhubaneswar, when it comes to a technology product company, there aren't many. Nirmalya Labs is a small entity yet technologically ahead of many companies in the market. Its key technological focus includes Blockchain, Analytics, IoT, and Mobility/Web. As a niche software product company, it is targeting startups which have excellent ideas but do not have an engineering expertise to translate that idea into a viable product. Nirmalya Labs works with the motto and message to customers - You Focus on Your Core Business, let us do the Engineering. Its key services include Product Engineering, Enterprise Application, Agile Testing and Finance & Accounting Services. Considering the volatile dynamics of the global economic system, every company and organization is in need of cost-effective, robust, secure and hassle-free services. And all of Nirmalya's products are SaaS-based that customers are using on subscription basis instead of spending lots of money for development, deployment, and maintenance. The company is trying to provide affordable technological solutions in the areas of utility, power (including renewable) and agriculture. However, it is not limited to these domains. Its R&D team is diving deeper into how Blockchain is a match made in heaven for the Sharing Economy as Blockchain enables philosophical alignment between the sharing economy users.

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Amit Prakash Nayak, Crushaders Tech Solution

The path to success is not always linear and it takes a lot of courage to step away from normal and do something of one's own. Amit Prakash Nayak, CEO & Co-founder, Crushaders Tech Solutions is one of the few who has set an example for all budding entrepreneurs. As an ambitious person, Amit always dreamt big and wanted to accomplish all that he set out for. He used to work with Alicon Group Companies and Microqual Techno Limited as a business adviser. Amit quit his job and onsite career opportunities at the age of 25 and started his own IT firm in the year 2013 in Bhubaneswar. He started Crushaders with the hope of fighting unemployment and contributing more to the digital world. Crushaders's presence on the World Wide Web has let it conquer the local as well as the global market. As an advanced digital marketing organization, it offers creative, out-of-the-box Search Engine Optimization services, SMO Bundles, Online Reputation Management and PPC Services. Additional services include Web Planning, Web Designing, Web Development, Mobile App development, Cyber Security and API developments. Based in Bhubaneswar, Crushaders has an impressive clientele across the globe. He has employed 32 people currently and is an active member of NASSCOM. He recently represented his company in Softweb 2K18 at Seoul, South Korea.

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Sukirti Patnaik, Indulge

Beauty and Wellness, the evergreen industry is finally coming out of its former shadow. The transformation into a skill-based industry over the past few years has created a new breed of entrepreneurs across both the products and services spaces. Walking this path is Sukirti Patnaik, the founder of Indulge, a beauty and wellness chain based in Odisha. Sukirti started Indulge out of the need to provide a world class beauty service in a professional environment at the right price point. Sukirti is an Electronics Engineer by qualification and has worked as an IT professional at Infosys. While living in Europe, she decided to pursue her passion for beauty and wellness by training at some of best institutes in Europe. After completing her courses, she opened her first outlet in 2010 at Bhubaneswar. Her first outlet started in the midst of a market dominated by beauty parlours and barber shops in the unorganized segment. Amidst the numerous challenges faced, Sukirti through Indulge transformed the beauty landscape in Odisha by raising the bar and setting benchmarks for Interiors, Products, Service Quality, Hygiene, Employee Training and Professional environment. Indulge is built on strong ethics and value systems. The core to this is "Building Long-term Trust" with its customers, employees, vendors & all stakeholders. The numerous state, national and international awards received by Sukirti and Indulge are a testimony to the respect developed over the years. Indulge runs a "Partner Program" and "ASK (Attitude-Skill-Knowledge) Program" through which it aims to transform the lives of thousands of aspiring individuals by skill development, entrepreneurship and business development. The result of these programmes are the 10 salons spread across Odisha and over hundred jobs generated by them. Indulge is on an aggressive expansion path to achieve over 100 salons across India in the next couple of years. All its outlets are either owned or run by women, thereby contributing to empowerment and financial independence of women.

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Saswat Kumar Panda, Learnitude Technologies

Saswat is the co-founder & CEO of Learnitude Technologies, an IT company founded in 2011 that offers solutions in ERP, CRM, mobile apps, enterprise apps, website development and product development. He was always passionate about entrepreneurship while he started his career as business analyst with an IT consulting start up. He was the first founder of the company & led the journey building a strong co-founding team in 2013. He leads the company for business development, strategy, accounts, human resource & operations. STPI & Govt. of Odisha has awarded him as the youngest entrepreneur of his state for his contributions to the software exports. He is working on the idea of building a strong product vertical based enterprise with innovative service offerings in the ICT space. Learnitude employs over 20 people directly in Bhubaneswar. The company is expanding its operations beyond Odisha and has already set up a subsidiary company in Kuala Lumpur.

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Shisir Kumar Jena, Art Godaam

Shishir Kumar Jena had a strong inclination towards art and crafts since childhood. While he was interacting with some artists, he came to know that there are so many difficulties faced by them to get a market their creations. Their artistic creations are good but they don’t get the right value for their art. So he thought of creating a marketplace in order to promote and develop art and crafts. He had accumulated a huge collection of art and crafts at his residence. It looked like a godown. So he thought of naming the company as ART GODAAM (Godaam in Hindi means a storehouse). Founded on 1st January, 2013, ART GODAAM works with various artistes, designers and artisan communities across the country to aid in the marketing and sale of art and crafts, home decor products and promotes handicrafts through workshops, exhibitions, media and social networking sites. At ART GODAAM, one will find one of the finest pieces of art and crafts from different parts of the country which are normally unexposed and deprived of their real value. It includes a whole range of wall paintings, wall art, pattachitra (traditional art of Odisha), paper, palm, stone, wood, metal, leaf and terracotta works. Its vision is to develop an ecosystem to promote and sell different forms of art with the interests of artistes at the core. Its misison is to promote use of art in our daily lives by creating products starting from home decor to lifestyle accessories so that people can develop the habit of using hand made products. On a personal note, Shishir received training in Pattachitra (traditional paintings of Orissa) from Guru Kalamani Rabindranath Sahoo, a well known Pattachitra artist of Odisha and mastered the skills of that particular form of art. For this excellence in pattachitra, he received CSAC STATE AWARD from Lalit Kala Academy, Bhubaneswar in the year 2000.

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Prashanta Kumar Sahu, Suryanandan.net

Prashant Kumar Sahu is the Founder & CEO of Suryanandan.net, the largest website hosting service provider in Eastern India with 90 percent of websites in Odisha under its management. It was set up in 2001 and over its 17 years of operations, it has grown significantly to be ranked among the top 15 website hosting providers in India. It also has the distinction of being the only company from Odisha which is a .IN domain registrar awarded by NIXI, Govt Of India. Its clientele has over 300 Kendriya Vidyalayas all over India. Its local client base includes The Samaja, Sambad group, KIIT group, Jindal, OREDA in addition to a long list of business houses. In doing so, Prashant has created direct and indirect employment for over 200 people in Odisha. He has also conducted many awareness programmes on social media , cyber security and has appeared in over 100 live TV shows on ETV Odia, News18 Odia, News7 etc. The company has also organized two major web hosting summits in Bhubaneswar. It brought Verisign, Godaddy, ZOHO and other such large web companies to Odisha. With Suryanandan's technical expertise, most of the business houses in Odisha are running their operations smoothly without any downtime for last 17 years. As part of its future plans, the company is working for domain names in Odia language in association with NIXI and ICANN. Odia domains and Odia email ids will be a reality within one to two years. As Suryanandan is the only IDN Registrar working with NIXI, it will implement this feature in Odisha first in Odia font. It is also planning to give free cyber security consultancy to Govt. agencies to detect cyber crime easily. The company also aspires to set up a datacenter in Odisha for private companies to use this for data storage.

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Sibasish Mishra, Bookingjini Labs

Sibasish Mishra is the founder and CEO of Bookingjini and Joint Secretary of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). He is a first generation entrepreneur and has been actively involved in promoting and supporting the young startups as he has a strong desire to change the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Odisha. After completing his MBA from Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, he started his corporate stint with ICICI bank in 2001. He also worked for ICICI Prudential for 10 years before founding 5 Elements in 2010 at Bhubaneswar. With an American angel investor’s support and funds, he grew his business to California and Bangalore at a time when “startup” was not the buzzword in India. In January 2017, struck by the idea while working with a state tourism department, Sibasish founded Bookingjini Labs in Bhubaneswar to help hotels worldwide with direct booking wherein the major pain point was the huge distribution charges of current intermediaries across online and offline modes. Recently, he raised the first round of funds from angels based out of Singapore and USA. The startup’s vision is to be the Amazon of Travel. Today, it helps more than 1,500 customers in India and abroad optimize their revenues. It has already expanded to Europe and Singapore. Its innovation has got accolades from institutions like Department of MSME, Government of India, NASSCOM, FICCI, TiE, PhocusWrite and FHRAI. He was recently awarded by The Indian Express as the best emerging entrepreneur under 40 years. He loves traveling, dreaming technology use cases, and is a voracious reader.

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Plaban Mohapatra, Swargadwara

Losing someone that you love is never easy. It makes it harder when this grief is clubbed with added emotional stress and responsibilities of carrying out the last rites. Plaban Mohapatra first witnessed this when his younger brother lost his father-in-law. His brother was struggling to get the funeral and other rituals arranged. Plaban then got the idea to offer a single point coordinated service for such unfortunate circumstances, so that the concerned people do not have to run around for the arrangements in their time of grief. His concept was well received by his family and friends, and that was when he created “Swargadwara.com”. Swargadwara.com offers services to people living near or far, and is a source of confidence and respite ensuring that every tangible requirement will be catered to by the company. This makes the whole process seamless and hassle-free. It is a government recognized startup and the company has served over 450 plus clients in the state so far. Their services are offered round the clock, and at the doorstep of the bereaved family at affordable rates. The company is also employing young people who might not have educational qualifications but have other operational and delivery skills, which in turn help them earn an income. Swargadwara.com currently has one office in Bhubaneswar that provides services in Khurda, Cuttack and Puri district. Also, very recently a new branch office has been opened in Berhampur to provide services in Ganjam district. Plans to open offices in Balasore, Rourkela, Jajpur and Paradip are in the works. The company aims to eventually create a footprint all over the country.

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Dr. Manisha Acharya, Indigram Labs Foundation

Dr. Manisha Acharya is the CEO of Indigram Labs Foundation (ILF), a technology business incubator and accelerator that provides all kinds of support to startups including mentoring, handholding, market linkages etc. in the domain of agriculture & food processing, rural healthcare and clean energy etc. With a rural prosperity orientation, the focus of the incubator is aligned to the national priorities of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. ILF strongly believes technology as an enabler and game changer and hence must be leveraged to supplement the farmers' efforts for increased qualitative farm outputs and developing appropriate forward and backward linkages. Dr. Acharya has worked with startups across sectors with focus on agritech, biotech, cleantech and rural healthcare sectors. She has conceptualized and implemented several initiatives to connect innovators, researchers and academia to the farmers through ‘Farmer Producer Organizations’ [FPOs]. She feels that ILF’s efforts should touch the geographies that need more economic development. Hence, ILF has been focusing more, inter alia, on Eastern & North-eastern India where the Government of India feels the second Green Revolution could evolve. She has recently conceptualized and implemented a dedicated agriculture-focused accelerator programme Agri Pulse 2018 targeting Eastern and North-eastern India. Dr. Acharya was always interested in engaging herself in doing something different as well as something useful for the society. She believed that for all-round growth of the society, it is important to promote wealth creators. The modern day world being a knowledge economy, it is imperative that the ideas, innovations and prototypes need to be nurtured so as to exploit their commercial potential. This way, one could convert ideas into business and businesses would create jobs, wealth and prosperity for society. With these ideals, she chose to work with and nurture student innovators, help and guide them through the process to commercialize their ideas. Being a mentor, a friend and facilitator and seeing through their efforts taking shape has not only been emotionally gratifying but also has the far-reaching impact of improving the lives of several other people, as well as adding value to the economy of our country. The nation has its objectives clearly defined in terms of doubling the farmers’ income in the next 5 years. ILF is working towards contributing to this national objective by aligning technology innovations in the field of agriculture to commercial entities in order to support farmers with necessary linkages. As regards the startups, the impact of a business incubator and accelerator, particularly in the agriculture sector, can be is huge. It provides an inspiring environment for the entrepreneurs and acts as an economic development catalyst primarily designed to help create and grow the startups. Currently, Dr. Acharya is engaged in aiding, guiding and facilitating the conversion of innovative ideas to business entities. ILF envisages to develop 100 entrepreneurs in the next 5 years who can improve the quality of life for the socially and economically disadvantaged sections of the society, especially in the rural areas. Through its interventions, the incubator envisions enhancement of livelihood opportunities for millions of rural households in India, through sustainable intensification of agriculture, skill development and market Integration.

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Siddharth Bhatter, Karkhana

Ever since he was a child, Siddharth Bhatter could not see the loopholes in India's education system and never shied away from speaking out about it. So, it was only a matter of time before he decided to do something about it. He wanted to build a space where they can polish their skills and showcase their talents. A human brain contains a plethora of ideas, just like a factory that produces various products. Hence, he named the venture Karkhana (Hindi for factory). Karkhana is a place where one will see young tech enthusiasts and incredibly energetic kids make gadgets in a few hours. The place defines Bhatter's vision to the hilt. It provides students with a lab where they can harness their hidden interests under some amount of guidance. In return, it gets talent that believes in keeping up with the latest trends in technology and science. What started as a small gesture of helping a school student has now not only trained over 523 students but developed drones and robots for the government too. With a current workforce of over 15 people, Bhatter has also provided 500 training workshops to students and faculties in Odisha and beyond. He not only looks forward to bridging the existing educational inequalities but also wants to mentor entrepreneurial talents of inquisitive minds.

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Pruthwi Raj Das, Abbey West Services

Pruthwi Raj Das is a social entrepreneur. After completing his engineering degree from Orissa Engineering College and MBA in HR from University of Westminster, London, he served as a business studies lecturer at London College of Business & Computing. Despite good working environment & a comfortable lifestyle, he felt unsatisfied. In his heart, he always yearned to do something for his home state of Odisha. During his various trips back home, he realised that the rural youth of the state are living a life they don’t deserve due to lack of skills & exposure. He realised that this is a gap he has to fulfil & finally shifted back to Odisha after 7 long years in London. He started Abbey West Services (AWS) in 2010 at his native place Jajpur Town with an objective to provide skill training to youth of surrounding area. This was a bold career move on his part and was fraught with many challenges during the initial days. After 2 years, a stage came when he completely ran out of finance and had to live on borrowed money from friends & relatives. However, this never deterred him from working hard. After 4 years of struggle, skill training started gaining momentum across Odisha and the company started implementing skill development projects with support from various government agencies. Today AWS has 11 skill development centers across Odisha providing training under various govt. schemes such as DDU-GKY, PMKVY, OSDA, ITDA, OSFDC, Women & Child Development etc. AWS has so far trained 7,000 rural youths and out of them 5,000 rural youths have been employed in various industrial units. Acknowledging the initiative, Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) has conferred AWS with ‘BEST SKILL DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION’ AWARD for the year 2017-18. Pruthwi has been awarded by various organisations as a social entrepreneur of repute and as a change agent. AWS is also the funding partner of National Skill Development Corporation for last 3 years. It is the only training organisation in the state that has successfully completed training and placement of 27 destitute ladies in a programme called “Employability Training for Women in Shelter Homes”. This innovative programme is a first not only in Odisha but all over India. AWS has now upgraded its capacity to train and place at least 10,000 rural youth per annum and has a target to reach 50,000 youth by 2022. Persistence, humility, down to earth attitude with a large heart that always feels for the development of the underprivileged are the hallmarks of Prof. Das. He believes that ‘giving back to society’ should not just be a fancy idea but rather be the duty of every educated individual. He also believes that the gift of skills is the biggest gift we can give to anyone as a skilled person becomes capable enough to feed his entire family for the lifetime.

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Tapas Parida, SuppleSpace

Tapas Parida hails from Koraput, a small town in Southern Odisha. He moved to Hyderabad for a job. After working for a few years in marketing firms, he realised that he should start up. He moved back to Bhubaneswar in 2013 and started working towards setting up his own company. Finally in 2016, he founded SuppleSpace with the sole aim to innovate and build marketable ideas that accelerate business growth for clients. He has built a team of 8 members who share his imagination and drive. SuppleSpace works with creative consultants and designers to bring out the best in them and showcase their work to the world. It offers a variety of services like consumer research, analysis, digital marketing, digital promotions and also has an in-house team of designers and developers. It has serviced clients across e-Commerce, ITeS, NGOs, healthcare, actors, movies, travel, authors and education in addition to government projects as well as projects in US and UK. The combined work experience in the field of IT, ITES and digital marketing backed by untiring innovation and determination is what makes SuppleSpace stand out from the other digital marketing firms. He aims to grow the business in the coming years as he sees great potential in Odisha.

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Ashish Kumar Sahoo, Param.ai

Recruitment is one of the major pain points for every organisation. Recruitment as a process has a lot of data involved, numerous mundane and repetitive manual tasks and a lot of communication that takes place between the recruiter and the applicant. These manual tasks can be automated using artificial intelligence and technology. That’s where Param.ai comes into the picture bringing in artificial intelligence to the recruitment lifecycle. It is helping large organisations like Tata Technologies, Maruti Motors, Clix Capital, BankBazaar among others to automate their recruitment tasks thereby making their recruitment process 40% more efficient. Founded in 2017, Param.ai has been recognised in the industry for its innovative technology and solving the recruitment problems. It has been funded by US-based Core Financials LLC and Bollywood actor Ashish Vidyarthi. The team at Param.ai is involved in in-depth research to understand how people write and communicate and that’s where the team sees a big opportunity.

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Shashank Singhal, MedTel Healthcare

Shashank Singhal co-founded MedTel Healthcare in February 2017. It is a platform that allows online integration of doctors, diagnostics, drugs, and data and is changing the conventional way of medical practice by bridging the gap between rural and urban healthcare. Powered by Artificial Intelligence and cloud-based integrated point of care diagnostics, MedTel Healthcare offers many features with its digital health clinic called Telehealth Pod. Some of the highlights include specialist and super-specialist telemedicine consultation, medicines, a point of care diagnostics facilities, sample collection for diagnostic at labs and referral for tertiary care. Today, the company stands as a testament in the healthcare sector that has achieved tremendous results. In Odisha, it has helped more than 40,000 people and is continuing to reach far and wide. With 20 centres spread across five districts in Odisha, it has been able to provide healthcare solutions even in places where specialist doctors are scarce. Behind its success is an affordable yet effective low-cost aggregator model which is run by trained paramedics. The company is not only saving lives but is also generating employment for the locals by educating them as paramedic specialists. These trained paramedics then get an opportunity to run a clinic, a pharmacy or a lab to generate more revenue for themselves. Shashank Singhal’s story is one in which he has successfully formed a scalable and profitable business in the state and is now aiming to expand to over 600 MedTel Digital Health Clinics in 30 districts of Odisha in the next 12 months.

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Adarsh Rath, India Craft Nation

India Craft Nation (ICN) is a startup on a mission to promote art forms which are getting obsolete and empower local artists who do not get the right platform. Adarsh Rath, along with the two other co-founders – Ashutosh Samal and Rajendra Pal - realized that Odisha has enormous potential in terms of art, culture and heritage but is lagging behind in marketing it. Within two years, ICN has spread its wings and is currently working in three dimensions. The first being ICN Crafts, which commercializes local handicrafts and handlooms through online and offline marketing channels. The second being ICN Architecture, which provides innovative designs and low cost execution through local art forms and artists. And the third dimension is ICN Events, which provides creative event solution for social and corporate events. ICN has received many accolades from various personalities and at a state, national and international level. It has been appreciated at multiple forums like the Startup Odisha conclave, Odisha Chief Minister's Office for artwork and the event organized during Jajpur road inauguration in 2018 among others. So far, ICN has provided a platform for more than 500 artists from Odisha. It has been successful in promoting more than 100 art forms and more than 1000 type of products on its online platforms (www.indiacraftnation.com / www.icn.org.in). It is creating a Common Facility Centre for the weavers of Odisha to give them the right platform.

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Shantiswarup Mahapatra, Softcad World

Softcad World deals with skill development of engineers, architects & graduates who would build the future of India through their innovative design knowledge. It has successfully trained more than 10,000 students & working professionals from various domains across automobile, aerospace, civil, architecture & interior design areas. It is Odisha's oldest Computer-Aided Deign (CAD) consulting & training services organisation and has been felicitated under the Odisha Youth Innovation Fund scheme, awarded by India Today Group with "Digital Trailblazer" award and recently recognised as "Youth Icon Entrepreneur". As a startup in Odisha, it has received financial assistance through the Startup Odisha initiative, an initiative of Government of Odisha. With a vast bank of volunteers in the state who’re interested in learning, the institute seeks to produce engineers & designers who can build quality products by providing the necessary exposure to cutting-edge technologies. The institute seeks to enhance skills to meet the demands of modern industries. It aims to make Odisha the next design destination of Eastern India by imparting the latest technology skills to the students while preparing them to meet the ever growing demand of highly skilled design professionals. The institute currently acts as a catalyst to urge students and their teachers to take up practical courses such as CAD/CAE during their academics to model & simulate the engineering structures and validate their designs to produce world-class products at most affordable costs. It has also single-handedly facilitated employment for around 1000 students in the last ten years. With firm plans to set up India's most advanced R&D centre facility in Odisha to provide precise engineering solutions & ultra-high level skill training in designing, the company stands as a symbol of Odisha's bright future.

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Amit Kumar, Foodeterian

Based in Bhubaneswar, Foodeterian is one of the fastest growing online food ordering portals in the country. A bootstrapped startup that has been created to bridge the gap between food lovers and food makers through its impeccable delivery services. Registered under the Startup India campaign, it aims to transform the food delivery system in tier-2 cities. With a vision to enhance the food experience through their delivery services, Foodeterian was founded by Amit Kumar. It was launched with just four restaurants earlier this year, and has now grown to a platform with over 70 restaurants listed on its app that’s available on Android and iOS operating systems. Some of the popular brands on the list include Silver Streak and Paris Bakery. With plans to further the startup’s reach across the state, it is currently in talks with premium hotels to deliver global cuisines to their customers. It plans to achieve this by providing sustainable deals at an unprecedented delivery speed. The company firmly believes that further development in the state can be achieved through such digitisation initiatives. One evident effect of this is the employment that the company has been providing to the youth. With progressive policies in place, the state is continually providing necessary support systems to promote such entrepreneurship undertakings. As the company grows with more downloads, it is looking to drive the state's growth along with it.

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Nihar Ranjan Patra, Tech Kalinga

Nihar Ranjan Patra’s strong inclination for innovation since childhood led him to start Tech Kalinga, a mobile apps and software development company in Bhubaneswar in 2011. With a knack to solve problems, it became his hobby and with it a journey to help his friends whenever required. This led him to earn credibility within his family and friend circles. His motto was to make construction easy and smart. Having more than ten years of experience as a Business Analyst & Quality Analyst, Nihar started Tech Kalinga in 2016 with two dynamic industry professionals Purnendu Kar and Lipi Pradhan. He also played a vital role in bringing in the best of digitalization for senior citizens, contractors, suppliers, masons, drivers, and labourers. He did this by hosting free workshops on driving digital awareness in Odisha. To date, more than 1200 suppliers, 20 manufacturers, 3000 trade professionals have registered in his app. Tech Kalinga's most recent initiatives include opening an office in Bhubaneswar and a channel partner office in Cuttack. With plans to expand their business to the rest of the cities in Odisha by 2019, the company firmly believes that technology as an enabler will be a gamechanger to expand its business pan India and even abroad.

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Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya, Invent Grid

Bodhisattwa Sanghapriya is a 20-year-old innovator, inventor, and entrepreneur based in Odisha. The diversity in his domains of innovation has won him the acclaim of a serial innovator. He is currently working as a volunteer at HoneyBee Network to promote grassroots innovations. Bodhisattwa was a pivotal person to organise the 39th Shodhyatra from Barpali to Nrusinghnath to scout for grassroots innovators and innovation practices in rural Odisha. He has embarked on his journey to detect breast cancer using multispectral image analysis with an affordable hardware solution and mobile application to screening the disease at an early stage. A two times Chief Minister awardee, he has also won the Youth Star award by the Russian Federation for his contribution to space science and the National Innovation Challenge award by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India for his breast cancer early screening device. He is also the founding member of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) student satellite team and the founding secretary of Innovation Cell established in VSSUT, Burla. Having bagged many prestigious national and international awards for his team from NASA, ISRO, BRICS DBT, BIRAC, etc., he has made his case clear as that of an innovator. With all the laurels, he still prefers the tag of a social worker with humility. His vision is to positively impact the lives of 10 million people over the next ten years with ten different revolutionary social innovations through his company Invent Grid.

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Subhendu Pattnaik, Cigniti

Subhendu Pattnaik focuses on helping entrepreneurs, SMEs and global enterprises launch their products and services. He has worked at top companies like Infosys & TATA Group in the past and has also created a go-to-market strategy and overseen execution, setup and led entire marketing functions at start-ups with dynamic work environments such as Mindfire Solutions (Odisha), product marketing (QuickLean) & brand re-positioning at Gallop & Cigniti. He is a business mentor and marketing strategy advisor to numerous start-ups based in Odisha and Hyderabad where he provides business and marketing advisory. Currently based in Hyderabad, he is the Head of Global Marketing at Cigniti, a $108 million company. He is also a listed mentor with KIIT-TBI and Startup Odisha. A self-driven, experienced marketing & branding leader (Products & Services) with over 15 years of hands-on experience & proven track record in leading 360-degree marketing functions, Subhendu has won multiple awards over the years. These include Top 50 Brand Leaders Asia Award 2017 from World Marketing Federation, Top 100 Digital Marketing Leaders India 2018 & 2017 from Paulwriter, Top 100 Influential Global Marketing Leaders 2015, 2016 & 2017 by World Marketing Congress to name a few. He was also a gold medalist at SP Jain School of Management. In the future, he wishes to get into mentoring promising start-ups and enterprises in Odisha full-time in order to help take them to the next level.

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Nilambar Rath, OdishaLIVE

In 2009, when Nilambar Rath was working in the news network of Eenadu Television (ETV) at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, he wanted to come back to Odisha and start a new-age media and communications company. His dream came true in December 2011 when he co-founded ‘OdishaLIVE’ and joined the emerging national trend of first generation digital media entrepreneurs. Instead of limiting his vision to digital media content creation in the form of text, Nilambar ventured into videos exploring the world of web and social media channels, especially in a place like Odisha where digital was yet to become mainstream among the masses. In his two-and-half-decade-long media career, Nilambar has worked in print and television media. With his vast newsroom experience and rich social connect and commitment, he has made OdishaLIVE a unique digital destination of India as far as preservation of information and knowledge on Odisha is concerned. OdishaLIVE happens to be the frontrunner of digital initiatives from Odisha and is a purely a homegrown brand catering to the Odia sensibility and sentiments. In fact, OdishaLIVE is widely followed by the Odia diaspora worldwide from US, UK, France, Italy, Middle East, South Africa, Germany, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan to name a few. The channel has garnered over 8 crore lifetime views till now and also has a strong social media following with more than 45 thousand Facebook likes. Nilambar is also the Co-Founder, Managing Director and CEO the company ‘Academy For Media Learning Private Limited’, which apart from independent media content creation offers new generation media and communications services like documentary & corporate films production, content development and localization, social media management and live streaming etc. as a part of its business model. The company, recognised as a Start-Up under Odisha Start-Up Policy 2016, is also empanelled under various Govt. departments like Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited, Odisha Tourism and international development agency like UNICEF, Odisha etc. for rendering high-quality media and creative services. The clientele also includes UN Women, Govt. of Odisha, IOCL, NALCO, JSPL, IMFA, Swosti Group of Hotels, Birla Global University, CV Raman Group of Institutions among other noteworthy organisations.

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Priyam Mohanty, Tzar Aerospace Research Labs

Priyam Mohanty hails from the tribal dominated district of Mayurbhanj in Odisha. He is the Founder, Board Chairman & CEO of Tzar Aerospace Research Labs, an aerospace startup based in Cuttack. His primary research interests lie in the field of Aerospace engineering, System integration, Materials & Structures, Project & Risk management and Strategy & Planning. He has majorly worked with R&D organization like National Aerospace Laboratories-India, OEMs like Safran Group and MNCs like Assystem & Mahindra Group. He has developed/studied 1000+ practical concepts confined to Aerospace Structures and currently involved in integrating these concepts to a master blue print. He believes in practicing Thinking State of Mind in aerospace & space structures and visited many countries including United Kingdom, France, Germany and South East Asian countries. He has successfully completed 70+ Certifications in Aerospace Engineering subjects & Best Management Practices. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India and a Master’s degree in Advanced Lightweight Structures and Impact from Cranfield University, UK. Tzar Aerospace Research Labs, incorporated in late 2016, is recognized as a 'Startup' under the Odisha Startup Policy - 2016. The research theme of the startup is to design and develop a conceptual unmanned Hypersonic Research Aircraft with new computational approaches and methods. Besides that, Tzar Aerospace will be a catalyst in the development, exploration, and commercialization of emerging aerospace markets by providing innovative, entrepreneurial aerospace solutions to commercial and civil customers. The technical competencies of Tzar Aerospace include product/system development, aerospace system design, rapid prototyping and business analysis. The scientific approach of the organization is Systems of System based learning (SSBL) coupled with spatial reasoning.

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Nabajyoti Das, SPC Management Services

Nabajyoti Das graduated in commerce from Ravenshaw College in Cuttack before completing a specialisation programme in HR from IIM Calcutta. After working for a few years in leadership roles in corporate HR in Delhi, he founded SPC Management Services Pvt. Ltd. (SPC) in 2004 to offer HR outsourcing and recruitment services to Indian and multinational organisations in the government and private sectors. SPC is now a leading HR partner and consulting organisation to organisations in the development sector including United Nations, Government of India and various state governments. Started by Nabajyoti with zero capital investment, SPC has now reached a turnover of 38 crores with 4 branch offices. Its corporate office is in Delhi. The company has helped provide employment to over 400 people so far. SPC has been featured among the 10 most emerging business outsourcing services companies in India by Silicon India magazine. SPC was also adjudged as the consulting company of the year in 2017 by The CEO magazine.

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Chinmoy Mishra, Vivant

From starting out as a two-member team to being acquired by Symple Wellness Platform (a leading Singapore based venture), AllizHealth (now Vivant) is on its course to be a successful healthcare product start-up from India. The company was co-founded by Rourkela-born Chinmoy Mishra along with two others in 2013. Chinmoy completed his schooling and received his undergraduate degree from NIT Rourkela, Odisha. After acquisition by Symple Wellness, Chinmoy is the Chief Business Development officer of Vivant currently. Vivant’s geography-agnostic health and wellness offerings are now being used by groups even in UAE, Bangladesh and Malaysia, a true proof of its ability to scale globally. Vivant is a healthcare technology venture in the preventive care space. Through its innovative and unique health management platform, it is trying to address the growing challenge of non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases. The platform enables organizations to effectively target, engage and guide behaviour at the individual level to help them achieve their personal health goals. It is being endorsed by enterprises that are seeking to improve consumers’ health status and lower costs. It has been recognized by Duke Health and World Economic Forum to be among the top 7 most innovative healthcare ventures from across the world, selected by Govt. of Malaysia for its elite Global Accelerator program, part of the prestigious Microsoft Accelerator, an EMERGE 50 company and winner of Intel/DST Digital India program 2.0 over the last 5 years. In a short period of time, Vivant has partnered several leading enterprises in India including ICICI Lombard GI, Bajaj Allianz GI, PNB Metlife, MARSH India, MAX Hospitals and Medi Assist TPA, to name a few. As the next step, Vivant will continue to work with industry leaders such as ICICI Lombard and Green Delta Insurance (Bangladesh) and various government agencies to help shape the product direction and pilot test the product with their consumers.

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Dr. Neera Singh, ProCyto

Dr. Neera Singh has a Ph.D. in biochemistry in the area maternal and child health with over 14 years of research experience in India and US. She founded a biotech company called ProCyto in Bhubaneswar in January 2018 with the objective of providing high quality and affordable recombinant proteins to researchers engaged in bacterial cell division research globally. Currently, bacterial resistance against existing antibacterial drugs is the biggest problem in developing countries including India where bacterial infections including diarrhoea, tuberculosis, and sepsis are the leading causes of death. Due to emerging antibacterial resistance, the discovery of new antibacterial drugs targeting a novel mechanism of action is the need of the hour. No new drugs are being developed to address the growing antimicrobial resistance. In the last decade, bacterial cell division has emerged as an attractive target for various drug development programmes. However, the research is extremely slow due to commercial unavailability of the proteins used in cell division research. ProCyto will be the first start-up to take the lead in purifying more than 30 different recombinant proteins involved in bacterial cell division and making them commercially available for research labs exploring novel targets for antibacterial drug discovery. Further, there is no simple and reliable kit available that helps in quick identification of bacterial infections and measuring antibiotic resistance in low resource settings. Most tests require an advanced lab set-up. ProCyto Labs will help accelerate antimicrobial drug research and design novel kit for rapid identification of bacteria in clinical samples without needing sophisticated lab infrastructure. Using the given infrastructure, ProCyto aims to design unique skill development and advanced training programmes in molecular biology/biotechnology for school children, teachers and college students where graduate and post-graduate students will be trained. Additionally, the company will provide consultancy services in proteomics studies.

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Mohit Gupta, Fortune Power

Mohit Gupta, a 29-year-old entrepreneur took a risk when he decided to become the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of diesel generators of Odisha. Even though it was a difficult task, he did so because he firmly believed that a true sense of accomplishment does not come to those who do not work hard for it. He started his company Fortune Power in 2012, after completing his post-graduate studies from India and France. He entered the power generation industry as a novice, having no past experience in this field. Mohit was inspired by Swami Vivekananda, Chanakya and Dhirubhai Ambani. Entrepreneurship enthused him from a very young age and he always aspired to become a catalyst in the Human Development Index of India. He received his first order of Rs. 13 lacs from the Government of Odisha department back in 2012 and considers this as a turning point for his company. He has now worked as a distributor of Diesel Generators for 5 years. Fortune Power is set up with state of art facilities to provide the best quality of silent, eco-friendly diesel generators on a pan India basis. Facing competition from giants such as Mahindra, Kirloskar and Ashok Leyland, Fortune Power aspires to become the biggest Original Equipment Manufacturer of Diesel Generators in India in the next 5 years. Fortune power DG SETS ranging from 7.5 KVA to 250 KVA are powered by ESCORTS, TATA and VOLVO Diesel Engines in various ratings. A network of 18 sales and service dealers in 7 to 8 states in India exists at present and shall spread to the rest of the country in the next 2 years. In a short span of 1.5 years, Fortune power has successfully executed many projects gaining a very prestigious clientele including names such as Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bridge and Roof, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and various State Govt. and Central Govt. departments. True to its motto, only the best is good enough, Fortune Power has emphasized the importance of high quality, focus and long-term relationships and attention to detail. By 2020, Fortune Power aims to achieve the ability to manufacture and assemble Diesel Generators up to 1250 KVA in the state of Odisha. They also aim to develop extensive sales and service dealers in all 29 states of the country. And finally, they also want to create a benchmark for all other diesel generator manufacturers in terms of quality products and service.

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Ruchi Khandelwal, Argus Solutions

Ruchi Khandelwal is the founder of Argus Solutions, a recruitment consultancy based in Bhubaneswar. Ruchi is an electronics engineer by qualification who felt that working and serving people was more her calling than technology. Recruitment is all about observation and that is all which makes all difference in the industry. At Argus, there is a conscious effort to provide employment opportunities to women whose dreams and passion for working somewhere get sidelined after marriage. With the use of the right kind of technology, Argus aims at creating a cloud-based flexible work environment for women who have the passion to work and become financially independent. It helps them to manage their professional and personal lives better. The company aims to create a healthy work-from-home system for women where personal and professional priorities can be balanced. Argus Solutions has employed 11 women over the past year alone which includes interns and experienced professionals as well, across cities like Adoni (Kurnool), Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Patna & Cuttack. Notably, all these women work from their homes for Argus. Being a start-up, the company is proud to support its clients fill up 100 positions across levels since its inception about 18 months ago. It plans to fill up over 250 positions for its clients by the end of this fiscal thereby generating more opportunities for empowering women.

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Chandra Sekhar Biswal, 4U Software Solutions

As a 22 year old student of integrated MCA programme at Utkal University, Chandra Sekhar Biswal presented his ideas regarding the development of an online admission system to the university authorities and even got a chance to develop the online admission system for the university along with his 3 team members. That was 2012 and this was the first time a state-run university used the online admission system. It was completely new in India in where a software developed by its students was used for maintaining the admission system of a university. After Utkal University used this system for PG admissions for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic sessions, the Chancellor (Governor of Odisha) of the varsity congratulated Chandra Sekhar and his team members. He also received attention from the media and educationists alike. With the confidence the success of the online admission system gave him, Chandra Sekhar set up his own software firm, 4u Software solutions in August 2012 even before completing his MCA. Utkal University was the first client of 4u software solutions as the University had a requirement of a software firm that could maintain their admission system. Slowly, 4u started functioning with some local clients of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Initially, it was very tough to get clients for web designing or web-based application development. Being a technical person it’s hard to get into business strategy and gather marketing ideas for the service sector business. As the company’s founder was a student when he started 4u software solutions, the investment for the firm was very little – mostly personal savings and family support. It was very difficult to get even few clients per month from Odisha. With experience, Chandra Sekhar and his team enhanced their technical skills, business development skills and 4u started running smoothly. In 2015, 4u began to provide web related services to International market with some marketing strategy and started getting clients from foreign countries like USA, UK, Dubai, Australia, South Africa etc. By that time the firm had added new services like SEO, SMO, Android, iOS development, Security Audits. Currently, 4u Software Solutions has a clientele across 7 countries and provides solutions to many top brands of India. After making the software services business self-sustainable, 4u has plans to develop software products which will solve the real-life problems of people. For this, the company has identified several potential ideas and will start working on them soon. An Automated Security Audit (ASA) application which will provide the details about all kinds of cybersecurity issues in any Govt./private organisation's website or web-based application is Chandra Sekhar’s next project. 4u Software Solutions received the Emerging Enterprise award in 2017 at the Odisha Living Legend awards.

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Deepak Kumar Nath, Global Tech Promoters

Deepak Kumar Nath, Founder & CEO of Bhubaneswar-based Global Tech Promoters is one of the leading experts in cybersecurity services and training in Eastern India. He is also one of the prominent ethical hackers in Eastern India. He found and reported bugs in Microsoft, Sony, Blackberry, Mastercard, ESET and many other companies and was rewarded by them financially. He is also listed in their Hall of Fame lists. Deepak founded Global Tech Promoters in 2013 when he was in his second year of B.Tech programme. At the young age of 25, today he is managing 40 employees, 15 associate partners and serving many clients in India and abroad. Through his hardwork & persistence, he is a self-made entrepreneur today and has been awarded with Youth of Odisha award. He has the vision to empower youth through imparting technology training in the field of cybersecurity. He has been instrumental in skilling hundreds of students and helped them bag jobs. Global Tech Promoters has an impressive clientele across the globe with a host of services.

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Ananda Kumar Mishra, Grozip

After working with Google as a community manager, Ananda Kumar Mishra returned to Odisha and saw last mile delivery as a problem that he could fix. This was when he decided to start Grozip – a technology-focused, on-demand, hyper-local delivery company. Grozip's main focus is to creating value for small and medium vendors and customers to solve their delivery hassles using technology. It operates on the marketplace model and onboards small and medium businesses who use its technology platform to increase their sales by catering to more number of customers. The company is currently impacting the local delivery space in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets of India. It recently launched "milk technology" with the Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation (OMFED) on subscription model for better customer stickiness and brand loyalty. With India's vast population and internet data consumption increasing at the rate of 400%, the startup believes it is still at a nascent stage. It has also partnered with OMFED to train four lakh farmers on digital literacy and deliver their milk and dairy products at consumers' doorsteps through Grozip delivery logistics channel.

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Nihar Ranjan Choudhary, Flashdeal

Nihar Ranjan Choudhury is the compelling force behind the start-up Flashdeal e-commerce. His extensive work experience of 22 years includes global companies like Pfizer India, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Metlife India among others. He decided to leave behind a high-paying corporate career to build his own company in Bhubaneswar. The basic mantra of this concept is to bridge the gap between offline and online businesses by putting together aggregated offline deals and sharing it with a registered online user. The company is currently looking for investors to scale the business to the next level. A strong team of 18 people eventually built Flashdeal. The focus of the company was to offer customer-centric services and build a team that performs efficiently, two aspects that are absolutely vital to the success of hyperlocal ventures. Flashdeal was created with a long-term vision of creating ample jobs in a developing state like Odisha. Flashdeal is live on the Google Play Store with many hyperlocal features in the mobile app. Flashdeal has been appreciated by NASSCOM in its top innovative product startups list. It also got recognition and offer of incubation from IIT Bhubaneswar for its innovative product. Within just six months of operations, Flashdeal has acquired 300 plus sellers and 1500 plus buyers.

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Jeevan Sangram Dash, Basal Initiatives

Basal Initiatives is an agritech company providing end-to-end solutions for the farming sector i.e farm to fork. There are huge gaps in the farming sector like large yield gaps, inefficiencies in supply chain management, scientific know-how, field level do-how etc. Hence farmers suffer from lack of sufficient access to appropriate services such as extension, a supply of credit, inputs, and access to market-linked information etc. The agriculture sector suffers from four deficits namely technology, infrastructure, investment, and management deficit. So it’s essential to transform agriculture into an enterprise by making it precision-driven and more profitable. The company's model FARMHUB has been impacting farmers and farmers' institutions by providing them handholding support at last mile. In the coming years, the company aims to provide agritech solutions by covering the entire agriculture sector of Odisha. The company has received the Innovative Enterprise Award from Department of MSME, Govt of Odisha and World Trade Centre. It has also been recognised as a startup under Odisha's Startup Policy.

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Prabin Kumar Bardhan, Kare4U Healthcare Solutions

Prabin Kumar Bardhan is the CEO of Bhubaneswar-based Kare4U Healthcare Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The company’s journey began in 2012 with Prabin and two of his friends who were all working at Infosys at the time. Kare4U is an emerging healthcare technology solutions company operating in 10 cities across India with 400 plus providers i.e. hospitals, clinics, diagnostics in addition to over 4500 doctors. Some of the leading brands like Apollo Hospitals, Manipal Hospitals, Asian Heart Institute, Sunshine, Maxcure, Maxivision, Dr Agarwal Eye Hospitals, The Eye Foundation etc. are some of their leading customers. Recently, the company launched HealthPro, the first mobile app in healthcare domain in Asia that uses blockchain technology. Its future plans include creating a healthcare ecosystem to provide end-to-end quality care and to contribute towards making India as the hub for medical tourism. It also aims to ensure AI and data science play an effective role to build prediction-based treatment and multiply the capability of the good doctors.

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Swoyan Satyendu, DIGICHAMPS

DIGICHAMPS is a Bhubaneswar-based edutech startup which was conceptualised in early 2016. The idea behind DIGICHAMPS is the story of its Founder and CEO, Swoyan Satyendu, who through a brief stint at his father’s school realized the need of technological innovation and efficient practices in the K-12 space. He set out on a journey to build DIGICHAMPS with a firm vision of providing individual attention to every child for their educational development. Thereafter he built a team of hardworking and passionate individuals who would constantly strive to plug the dearth of individual mentors for each child. This was based on an understanding that every single child is different but today’s mass learning system fails to accurately acknowledge the individual weaknesses unique to a child. Thus the focus was to identify such weaknesses for each child and assign to them DIGIGURUS who as personal mentors would help them to get better at academics. DIGICHAMPS was awarded as the Best Start-up in Education 2016 by Odisha Business Awards and was also recognised at BIG-Shift by Inc42 and also by Amazon Web Services. Soon after this, DIGICHAMPS rolled out its B2B model and in a span of three months, it implemented the Individualized Learning Program in 54 schools catering to a collective strength of 30,000 students across Eastern India. This time, the company was honoured with the Innovative Digital Learning System of the year award by the Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt of India. Over the span of last eight months, the company has reached out to about 2.2 lakh students across 252 schools and now is in the process of introducing AI in the field of personal mentorship. To guide every single child by analysing their strengths and weaknesses in education is the vision that Swoyan and Team DIGICHAMPS constantly work towards. In the process, they hope to create a marked difference in the quality of delivery of education in the country.

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Anil Pradhan, International Public School for Rural Innovation

Anil Pradhan is a 22-year-old young change-maker from Odisha. Innovation is his mantra and motivation. Determined to nurture the spirit of innovation among students, especially in the rural areas, he has set up a school to encourage creativity and thinking out of the box. He founded International Public School for Rural Innovation in the rural pocket of 42 Mouza in Cuttack to boost the zest for creativity among rural students. Anil believes that innovation in education can take many forms, like incorporating new technology or teaching methods, going on field trips, rejecting social norms, or partnering with the local community. His school focuses on educating underprivileged students in rural areas, in particular. He firmly believes that knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) can bring about a revolution in the modern education system. He has designed various sustainable solutions such as a technology to maximise daylight in buildings, thereby reducing electricity consumption. This technological innovation led to him being listed among the top seven innovators in India by Larsen and Toubro (L&T). He was the lead design engineer for the VSSUT Student Satellite Team, which is India’s first multipurpose students’ rocket mission to monitor Hirakud dam. He was also the structural designer of the robot presented by the VSSUT Robotics team at the Asia Pacific ABU Robocon. Being an outstanding civil engineer, he was appointed an Affiliate Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has been honoured with many accolades in the past - National Youth Icon Award 2018(Innovation), Youth Inspiration Award (Rural Achiever) 2018, Best Speaker Award by International Youth Fellowship, South Korea and UK Changemaker Award 2018 among others.

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Akanksha Behera, Oripol Industries Ltd

Oripol Industries was established 30 years ago in Balasore. The company diversified into manufacturing of non-woven textiles, a product which is increasingly replacing plastics in retail carry bag segment for its eco-friendly properties. However, owing to low demand of the product in Odisha and surrounding vicinity, the company became sick in 2015. Akanksha joined the family business after completing her post-graduation in development studies from Azim Premji University in 2017. Instead of taking part in campus interviews, she decided to join the family business & revive the sick company. She realised the great potential of developing downstream micro enterprises for making retail bags, sanitary napkins, and protective clothing for the healthcare sector. Within 15 months of joining the company, she has been able to help double the sales of the company by adopting technology for branding, promotion and customer retention. The employee strength of the company has also doubled. Not just this, the company has mentored over 25 micro enterprises to set up their manufacturing units and helped generate employment for more than 500 persons. The company is helping save the environment and human lives by introducing an innovative antimicrobial nonwoven textile for the first time in India for use in hospitals. The company is using more than 50 percent of its capacity now. It is working to introduce certain pioneering features in its marketing plan to fully utilise the production capacity within this year & double the capacity over the next year.

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Chandrashekhar Mishra, Crux Power

With a degree in engineering and an MBA in Finance, Chandrasekhar had a brief career in investment banking before deciding to move back to Odisha in 2009. He started Crux Power in 2013 to address demand for power by harnessing solar energy. The company does electrification of rural and remote areas through mini-grid of solar and available renewable resources like biomass. It is arguably the largest rooftop solar company in Odisha today and has expanded its operations to West Bengal, Jharkhand and the North Eastern states. In Odisha, the main target segment for the company is households. Chandrashekhar got into this field to scale up green energy adoption in households and for creating employment opportunities for people in Odisha. He has employed 30 people directly and has generated employment for 55 other individuals indirectly. His plans for Crux Power's future include making on-grid net-meter based roof-top solar projects commercially viable for households as that would have a revolutionary impact on the increasing conventional energy demand.

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Saswat Panda, LiveLike

Saswat Panda is the co-founder and CTO of New York-based LiveLike which was started in early 2015 with the realization that Virtual Reality (VR) technology had the potential to change the way people watch live sports. As someone who grew up in Mumbai, with family in Odisha, he had been a big fan of cricket and had spent his days either playing or watching cricket with friends and family. Since his parents are from Odisha, his summers would be spent playing cricket with cousins in their Bhubaneswar driveway. However all of that changed once he moved to the US. He didn't know many people with whom he could enjoy cricket and watch and discuss the games. His co-founders had grown up around the world and had similar experiences as well. That was what led them to start the company - the foundational idea that the technology finally existed to bring people together to watch live content regardless of location and distance. At LiveLike, Saswat and team have been working on a VR-based solution to give sports fans an immersive experience watching games on gigantic virtual screens, with interactive statistics and data interfaces, while hanging out with their friends in virtual VIP suites. Since 2015, LiveLike has worked with numerous sports broadcasters across the world, including Fox Sports, BT Sport, BBC and others. Its work with clients as well as the technology & product experience led him to be nominated to the Forbes 30 Under 30 (USA list) last year. As icing on the cake, the company was able to cover the 2018 FIFA World Cup in VR for many of its clients making it a first for any VR company globally.

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Dinesh Das, SEOFIED IT Services

After completing his graduation from NC College in Jajpur, Dinesh Das came to Bhubaneswar in search of a job. He found that a few of his friends were placed in IT firms and were earning a good salary. The passion for internet and web technologies and the desire to make a living out of it led him to explore this field. Initially, he worked as a freelancer while bidding for projects and engaging in lead generation and was learning the technology side of things in parallel. Gradually, the frequency of projects started to grow and he decided to take the plunge and start his own company. He invested all his savings to start SEOFIED IT Services Pvt Ltd at a rented office with just one employee. The company started with search engine marketing and web designing and development services to customers worldwide. Initially, it was hard because all the funding came from his pocket and cash flow wasn't enough to sustain operations. He then met his co-founder who invested in the company to take it to the next level. He designed a few sites during the early days and today after 5 years, the team at SEOFIED has designed close to 1500 websites and offered digital marketing support to about 2000 business owners across 80 cities globally. Notably, the company has generated employment for 55 people to date. Once the business started to grow, he rented an office at a prime location in Bhubaneswar which is now the head office of the company.

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Nihar Ranjan Panda, Skyy Rider Automotive

More than a thousand graduates from all over India will come to Odisha for two months to learn at the Skyy Rider Institution For Advanced Skill And Research Private Limited. This year alone, the company has trained over 1,500 students (in-house training) and 5000 students (outside-training). Using unconventional methods of teaching that is different from the standard education system in the country, it is looking at a practical learning approach to develop the skills of candidates. The institute has opted for a modern certified curriculum to help engineers from the state and beyond to successfully launch their innovative ideas. Its founder Nihar Ranjan Panda believes that the lack of opportunity and the high cost of available courses across the globe has led to a decline of young talent pursuing their field of choice. With this in mind, he set up the institute to cater to the automobile industry and bridge this lack of trained, innovative and passionate engineers. To meet the demand of an affordable quality industrial training with placement assistance, Skyy Rider Institutions with its creative ideas has taken this initiative. Initially, it was only for automobile engineering, but now it has diversified to all areas of engineering with advanced technical skill. Some of the notable companies it has partnered with include Ashok Leyland, Yamaha, Volvo, Eicher, Hyundai, BEML, TATA, among others. It has also collaborated with MTRTC (Mini Tool Room and Training Centre, Govt of Odisha) and Gram Tarang (NSDC partners) for our courses which provide great importance in placement drive. Thorough research, quality procedures, and industrial based training are its most significant strength.

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Pramod Samal, Amicable Equipments Pvt Ltd

Amicable Equipment Pvt. Ltd., a stainless steel equipment unit has been set up by Sri Pramod Samal in Mancheswar Industrial Area. The unit manufactures commercial kitchen hardware, industrial and college equipment, medical equipment & railway Equipment and also provides interior design solutions. This ISO 9001-2015 certified unit is first-of-its-kind in Odisha. Sri Pramod Samal, the young and dynamic Managing Director, has a customer-centric approach with an emphasis on quality control. Not only that, but the company also focuses on delivering its international standard products on time, consistently. Amicable Equipment Pvt. Ltd. showcases all its products in a mega-showroom, close to the factory. The customer can visit the showroom for the first-hand experience and can also customize an order if the product needs some specific alteration. It designs and manufactures equipment as per the specification of the customer. It is a boon for the customers. Equipment plays a significant role in launching a new product, maintaining the standard of an established product and profitability of an enterprise. Sri Samal’s far-sightedness, perseverance, and customer-centric approach will take the unit a long way. It aims at selling its product online through its website and will start online marketing shortly.

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Asit Kumar Dhal, Tronixware Design and Research Labs

In 2013, Asit Kumar Dhal started Tronixware Design and Research Labs in Bhubaneswar. Before starting up, he worked in the areas of energy analytics, AI and machine learning. The company works in the areas of industrial automation, IoT, data analytics and business intelligence. The organisation has helped its clients to be able to incorporate technology into their infrastructure while bridging the path towards Industrial Revolution 4.0. The company is committed to developing the intelligence needed to convert data into business values and to help organisations to become more value-driven entities. Within a short span of 5 years, the company has grown to create highly skilled jobs for more than 10 engineers.

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Girish Prasad Sahu, Ajatus Software

Ajatus Software is the brainchild of Mr. Girish Prasad Sahu. Currently the Managing Director of the company, his entrepreneurial journey began when start-ups were not even a wave in Odisha. To successfully get Ajatus Software on its feet, he was joined by his childhood friend Janmejay Mohapatra, who holds the position of CEO at Ajatus. The full-fledged operations started in the year 2014 in a small plug-n-play office with a headcount of less than 10. Now it has a well-furnished office of 2000 sq.ft and till date has extended employment opportunities to more than 150 aspiring individuals. In a short span of time, Ajatus has proved its mettle time and again by coming up with innovative technologies and hence building a niche for itself by acquiring projects across the globe - India, US, Nairobi, and the UK. With a strategic growth model in place, Ajatus is working towards achieving a holistic goal each day - for the benefit of the company and its employees. It also aims to create employment opportunity in the coming future, with a goal of recruiting at least 500 aspiring candidates in the next five years. The company is already hosting and conducting a series of seminars and workshops on the latest technologies to make the younger generation more skillful.

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