July 5, 2012, Mumbai: SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise), an international non-profit organization announced the winner of the SIFE India National Competition 2012, yesterday. The competition included 37 student teams across the country that went through fiercely competitive regional and semi-final rounds.
The competition was judged by eminent business leaders and representatives from media across different rounds. In the final round that was held in Mumbai, eminent personalities such as Mr. Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman, TATA Motors delivered the key note address.
This year H.R. College of Commerce and Economics (HRC) from Mumbai emerged as winner at SIFE India National Competition 2012. The team was lead byMs. Anita Toshniwal, Faculty Advisor, SIFE HRC and Mr. Pratik Matai, President, SIFE HRC. They will now go on to represent India at the SIFE 2012 World Cup in Washington DC, USA in partnership with the US Secretary of State’s Global Partnerships Office from 30th September-2nd October 2012.
HRC presented two projects – ‘Project Chirag’, a youth initiative to provide solar lighting to villages with no access to electricity. The project employs differently-abled communities (physically handicapped) as an integral part of its value chain. As on June 2012, Project Chirag has reached out to 3660 families in 98 villages across 4 states in India. The second project was ‘Project Aasha’, which spoke about the initiative that empowers underprivileged slum women with an equal employment opportunity by training them into skilled beauty professionals. Through its capacity building programme, Project Aasha aims to reach 12 such women by 2013.(Winning project details in annexure1)
Working with leading corporate partners and universities, SIFE India establishes student teams at campuses across the nation. These teams apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The SIFE program is designed to foster an entrepreneurial approach that encourages creativity and resourcefulness. Various trainings and conferences organized by SIFE India help students add to their skill set and address challenges they are facing.
Farhan Pettiwala, President, SIFE India said, “SIFE India is a growing network of over 2000 students as part of 46 teams across the country. Under the guidance of their faculty and business advisors, these student teams are working towardsdeveloping projects to effectively empower people in need. SIFE has successfully undertaken some projects and we hope to keep up thepromising partnership between business and higher education that defines SIFE’s model.”
Mr. Russell Parera, Chief Executive Officer, KPMG in India and Chairman, SIFE India National Advisory Boardsaid, “I believe upliftment of the underprivileged, needs creation of economic opportunities for them and not just charity. SIFE works on the same philosophy and the work being done by the students across India has positively impacted thousands of people in a very short span of time. KPMG has been supporting SIFE through its very strong Corporate Citizenship program and we are very proud to be working with SIFE globally and in India.”
Commenting on the competition, Mr. Parera said, “There were some brilliant projects put together by students and it was difficult to pick the best. I would like to congratulate the HRC team from India and wish them success in the global competition that will take place in Washington DC.”
Some of the participating institutions* associated with SIFE are, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, Lady Shri Ram College for Women-Delhi, Delhi School Of Economics, Jesus and Mary College, Shaheed Sukhdev Singh College of Business Studies, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Christ University-Bangalore, Loyola College-Chennai, Madras Christian College-Chennai, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research-Mumbai and Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM)-Pune.
Founded in 1975, SIFE has active programs on more than 1,600 college and university campuses in 39 countries. Through projects that improve the lives of people worldwide, the university students, academic professionals and industry leaders who participate in SIFE are demonstrating that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change.
Working together as a team, and through the mentorship of a faculty advisor(s), SIFE students apply their classroom experiences to develop and implement outreach programs that work to empower people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their quality of life and standard of living.
The challenge to SIFE teams is not simply to inform, but to empower – to help their targeted audiences reach their full potential through a better understanding of the principles of free enterprise. Individually, SIFE teams are improving the quality of life and standard of living for members of their communities. Collectively, the focused effort of hundreds of SIFE teams and the thousands of faculty, students, and supporting community leaders driving these teams, have created a positive and sweeping force for change that impacts the lives of millions.