19th February, 2023
SIGMA-oikos, the social initiative committee of XLRI, conducted the 6th edition of Social Entrepreneurship Conclave in offline mode this year on 18th February. The theme for the 6th Edition of SEC was "Exploring waste management through an entrepreneurial lens" with an aim of celebrating, highlighting, and learning from those making a change in this field through their ventures and creating a platform for knowledge-sharing and collaborations. This idea explored the importance of improving the accessibility, availability, and affordability of proper waste management methods in India through innovative solutions. SEC provided a platform for Social Entrepreneurs working in the waste management sector to share their insights drawn from their rich experiences in overcoming various obstacles through innovation and grit.
The conference had two subthemes, where social entrepreneurs and development sector professionals shared their experiences, challenges, and other issues, and was structured around the following broad tracks/ sessions-
The Dean Academics of XLRI Jamshedpur Dr. Sanjay Patro graced the occasion which witnessed close to 100 participants. The conclave started off by lighting of the auspicious lamp by our keynote speaker Wilma Rodrigues, Dean Academics Dr. Patro and the rest of the speakers.
Soon after, the founder of Saahas Zero Waste, Wilma Rodrigues, presented the keynote address on the theme “Exploring waste management through an entrepreneurial lens”. Ms. Rodrigues discussed the importance of prioritising people and planet before profits and incorporating the same in the business models. She emphasised the role of circular economy and how 96% of waste can be recovered and go back to the economy. This can help not only in efficient waste management but also in rejuvenating the economy and providing livelihood to people. She then went on to highlight how her organisation Saahas Zero Waste is a social enterprise that provides decentralised end-to-end waste management services. The organization works to bring about environmental & social impact based on the principles of circular economy and global commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
After an enriching keynote session, Dr Jayanarayan Kulathingal (Co-Founder and Director Bintix), Mr Saurabh Suman (Co-founder Citygen Technology) and Mr N Chandrashekhar (Director Jivoule Biofuels) engaged in a panel discussion on the sub-theme “Leveraging Technology in the Entrepreneurship Sphere”. The session was moderated Mr. Sanjeev Anand Sahu, an academician at ISM Dhanbad. The discussion revolved around the inefficiencies of conventional waste collection system and how organisations like Bintix, Citygen and Jivoule Biofuels have platforms built into place for tracking waste, industrial cameras with peripheral vision to oversee the entire process and AI and ML integrated to identify and segregate packaging and waste. Leveraging technology in the field of waste management can enhance earning potential, generate employment and efficiently help manage waste. Yet again, there was an emphasis on circular economy as these organizations (Bintix) can harness that waste into biofuel energy. The capital lost can be utilised in infrastructure and other necessities. This builds a cycle of continuous process of improvement and responsibility. The panellists agreed that the integration of profit, people and planet is social entrepreneurship.
The post-lunch session saw the 2nd panel discussion on “Building a Sustainable and Profiatble Ecosystem for Waste Management”. Mr. Jabir Karat (Co-founder Green Worms) and Mr. Jeevesh Kumar (CEO Greenscape Eco Management) were involved in what was an interactive discussion moderated by Professor Kalyan Bhaskar (Faculty member who specialised in areas of sustainability and public policy). The panel discussion revolved around the intricacies of starting social business ventures, their profitability and challenges in this sector. The panellists talked about how making an environmental and social impact was their top priority and despite the many setbacks and challenges, they saw an opportunity and directed their motivation and passion in that direction. They were inspired to work in this direction as this not only benefited our generation but the future generation as well. The panellists advised the students interested in establishing their own venture to focus on their perseverance, dedication, and passion. This single day event witnessed enthusiastic participation from budding social entrepreneurs, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and school students. Questions by participants were mainly focussed on the different panellists regarding the challenges in establishing their business, the behind the scenes of social business ventures.
The Social Entrepreneurship Conclave highlighted the journeys of the speakers and the challenges that they overcame in their pursuit of bringing change to society. The idea behind the conclave largely rests on providing direction and hope to budding entrepreneurs from various walks of life and instilling in them the belief that no matter how distant and insurmountable their goal might seem, there have been individuals that found a way to realize their ambitions which have brought significant changes in the lives of others. SIGMA-oikos, XLRI aims to provide an open platform for social entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, problems and solutions among the speakers and the attendees by means of various interactive sessions in the Conclave. People who wish to know more about the details of the speakers can refer to the website at www.sigmaxlri.com
About SIGMA-oikos: SIGMA-oikos (Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance) is student run social collaborative group at XLRI which run under the able guidance of Professor Tata Raghuram and Professor Madhukar Shukla. SIGMA-oikos focuses on transformation and change in the social sector by contributing to the community and impoverished sections of the society. This is done through a number of events across the year which are executed by a 24-member team dedicated to making positive contributions to the community. Its events include Daan Utsav, Blood donation camp, menstrual awareness drive, conducting Basic computer, Math and English learning courses for underprivileged children and many more.
About XLRI: XLRI-Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur is a premier, private management institute in India founded in 1949 by Fr Quinn Enright, S.J. in the ‘steel city’ of Jamshedpur (www.xlri.ac.in). Over the last six decades, the institute has grown into a top- ranking business management school of international repute with a wide portfolio of management programs and research publications. Its alumni are spread around the globe and have demonstrated responsible business leadership in their organizations. XLRI continually strives to contribute its mite to the professional growth and management of numerous organizations and institutions across industry sectors. XLRI has been awarded two prestigious International Accreditations, viz., AACSB - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and AMBA - Association of MBAs. XLRI has also earned the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation.