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Thursday, April 18, 2024

State growing rapidly but still has room for improvement : CM

The state still falls behind other hill states when it comes to being an investment hub as suggested by the NITI Aayog India Innovation Index 2022.

SHILLONG:

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on November 14 said the state is rapidly growing, but there is still room for improvement.

The state still falls behind other hill states when it comes to being an investment hub as suggested by the NITI Aayog India Innovation Index 2022.

Speaking to The Meghalayan, Sangma acknowledged the fact and said, “Innovation is an integral part of entrepreneurship and whatever innovation, whether it’s in technology or process until and unless we don’t implement it in the practical business, it will not be sustainable in the long run. When we see entrepreneurship being pushed, we will automatically see innovation being pushed into the bigger picture, and hence PRIME is a programme based on entrepreneurship.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of Chief Minister Startup and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Week that kicked off on Monday and will conclude on Wednesday and is being organised by the Promotion and Incubation of Market-driven Enterprises (PRIME) to inculcate entrepreneurial leadership within the state.

Sangma stressed that the conclave is not a one-day event. The event is a culmination of the hard work of three years that continuously engaged, trained and supported the budding brilliant minds.

He said, “As a result of this, we see so many entrepreneurs doing such brilliant work, and gradually we will see the overall economic development of the state in a much more sustainable manner. That will also lead to employment generation”.

Sangma, who was an entrepreneur himself before taking the plunge into politics, said, “The challenges when I took up entrepreneurship back in 1999 were huge, there was no ecosystem in place for support. There was a lack of expertise, support, training and finances.”

“In fact, the challenges I faced motivated me to not allow this generation to face the same. And hence, one of the reasons as to how the PRIME programme came into being,” he said.

If at all Sangma had the chance to take up entrepreneurship again, he mentioned he would be a social entrepreneur.

He elaborated, “To be very frank, I believe I am a bad businessman, but I am an entrepreneur at heart. Entrepreneurs can be many things, it is not only about business. It’s mostly about the spirit of wanting to do things, seizing and taking advantage of the opportunity, Be it social work, business, purpose, politics, but definitely, if I had to be one, I strongly feel that I am the person who would be engaged in social entrepreneurship.”

“After having worked for so many years, I strongly feel that there is always something beyond gain, as an individual the real satisfaction comes when you can make a change in somebody else’s life,” he added.

Earlier, Day one of the event opened with PRIME incubatees sharing their success stories where graduates of Cohort 3.0 were felicitated and cash grants were given to the Top 25 best startups out of Top 50. The Rs 50,000 Student Tinkering Fund was also introduced for students with innovating startups and ideas. Another initiative is the Advanced Training Centres where a few startups are being funded in different categories for establishing training centres.

Speaking at the event, Sangma discussed about the entrepreneurial spirit in the state, stressing on the fact that the state has come a long way since 2018, adding “Meghalaya is the only state to have produced mass entrepreneurial leadership and was awarded for being the best ecosystem for startups which will eventually churn out jobs for youth.”

“We have seen so many concerns that came up in the society about unemployment issues and sometimes individuals look from a very narrow angle pertaining only to government jobs, saying that these jobs aren’t available. They are there but what we need to see is the larger picture of what is happening and today through the PRIME programme, directly or indirectly more than 2000 entrepreneurs have been engaged and that is a big number for a state like ours. The people in this room have the capacity to transform Meghalaya. PRIME has opened doors which ensure to create more job creators which will bring down issues of unemployment,” the chief minister said.

Chief Executive Officer of Indian Institute of Management (IIM Calcutta) Gaurav Kapoor said that Meghalaya is one of the top performing states in entrepreneurship and has continued to do so with these initiatives.

Others who were present at the event were MLA of Mawryngkneng, Pyniaid Sing Syiem, Laitumkhrah MDC Fantin Lakadong and others.

Sangma also launched the Prime Yearbook 2021-2022 and Dalade, one of PRIME’s incubation companies, unveiled its new beverage called Bamboo Leaf Beverage.

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