Introduction: South Asian Youth Festival 2020
South Asian Youth Festival 2020 is organized to gather youths from South Asian Countries, connect with them, share and learn their perspective, and develop a strong bond. The 3- weeks-long program is organized on the occasion of International Youth Day 2020 to celebrate youth power, energy, creativity, success, and capabilities. This festival which is being organized virtually will continue till 3rd of September. The festival is organized in collaboration with various South Asian organizations like UNICEF- ROSA; UNESCO; A2I, Cabinet Division, Bangladesh, UNDP; National Youth Council Nepal; CYDA, India; CYN, Sri Lanka; Pinnacle Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, Maldives; Dynamic Youth Afghanistan; Maldives National Youth Council; Coca-Cola; Turkish Airlines & South-South Network.
All the insightful panel discussions (Opening Ceremony, Entrepreneurship and Skill Panel; Youth Social Engagement Panel) are focused on youth engagement, encouragement, getting skilled, highlighting challenges, and bringing the solutions.
The second-panel discussion of South Asian Youth Festival on “Entrepreneurship and Skill Panel” was held on Thursday, 13th August 2020. The second-panel discussion provided an opportunity to hear from young entrepreneurs, about their entrepreneurial journey, motivation skills, insightful ideas, and highlighted the challenges and success.
Mr. Md. Shefatul Islam, Coordinator, Konnect (a2i) & Lecturer, Economics, Bangladesh moderated the panel discussion with the amazing young entrepreneurs from South Asia.
The panel discussion was comprised of panelists; Mr. Jubayer Hossain, CEO, Enamelbd Limited, Bangladesh; Mr. Naikbeen Naikpay, Co-Founder, TASEES Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Afghanistan; Mr. Sudarshan Subedi, President and CEO, Idebus Global Pvt. Ltd, Nepal; Ms. Priya Kothari, COO Youth Aid Foundation, India and Mr. Lorenzo Cooray, Casterly Crown Private Limited, Sri Lanka.
Mr. Shefatul Islam started the discussion with a short description of the panelist. All the distinguished panelists introduced themselves. Along with this, they shared their gratitude message as well. He raised a question to Ms. Priya Kothari, COO Youth Aid Foundation, India, “What is the meaning of first-generation entrepreneurship? If I am not from a business family, what are the main challenges to start a business and its opportunities that we face while starting the business? Can you explain the motivation for a person to start a business and theme for the first-generation entrepreneurship?
The main motto about starting the first- generation entrepreneurship as if the youth’s family are not from the business background and they want to start something new, it comes a dilemma. Youth thinks are they the right person or not; to start a business they think about family support and salary-based system. Youths always inquire about the entrepreneur and the ideas.
Mr. Kothari raised the question, “What is an important ‘idea’ or ‘capital’ to start a business?” And she replied this is a different mindset. We always promote ideas to generate capital. Starting a business with capital requires a mindset; this is the motive to work on it. The basic thing which is important to start a business is, “Skills”. Ms. Kothari explained her entrepreneurial journey and the learning experience well. In addition, the basic things she learned from her journey experience is to develop the skills. she said- “Failure is a lesson, if you are not willing to fail, you are not ready to succeed.” Having said, skill and knowledge is the most important part of the entrepreneur journey.
Another important part is to have the quality; to start a business. Qualities are imperative for youths. She explained different qualities, that should be implemented in every individual youth. Some of the qualities of a successful entrepreneur- Commitment; Passion in terms of ideas; Patience (main quality); Time Management; Flexibility and Money Management. These qualities to be planned accordingly to start a business.
Mr. Shefatul Islam requested Mr. Jubayer Hossain, CEO, Enamelbd Limited, Bangladesh to share his motivational and entrepreneur journey.
Mr. Hossian shared his long inspiration entrepreneurial story, achievements that he faced in the path of the journey. He started his company at the age of 15. And, he came up with an idea of mobile application, mobile-based start-up to develop a digital platform. Recently, he developed a new mobile application, “Bango Scanner.” The application can extract text from any kind of image or pdf file.
During the journey of success and failure, he learned mindset is important. Mindset is all about being a successful entrepreneur. He said, when the mind is set, our conscious mind works for it. In 2020, you can achieve anything, learn anything from Google. We can learn and achieve everything. If the mindset is okay then your absent mind will work for you 24/7 hours a day, which will lead towards success. Nobody should follow anybody; everybody is different, and everyone’s success story is different.
“Just follow yourself, follow your heart, set your mind, take some breath, make understand yourself what you want in your life and never merge a goal with survival”, says Mr. Jubayer Hossain.
The moderator of the session, Mr. Shefatul Islam invited Community Leader from Afghanistan, Mr. Naikbeen Naikpay, Co-Founder, TASEES Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to share his start-up journey regarding entrepreneurship ecosystem and the situation about new entrepreneurship in Afghanistan.
Mr. Naikpay explained his entrepreneurial journey and addressed the thing he learned from the course of the journey. Success and failures are part of the journey. He agreed with the statement, “To develop skills, mindset play important role in entrepreneur journey.” Since 2016, he has been working on building the entrepreneurship and of its ecosystem. He explained various entrepreneur programs, skillful and motivational sessions were initiated for the development of an entrepreneurial mindset in Afghanistan. Thus, the entrepreneurs and start-up community are getting larger, stronger, and much more open and getting involved in it.
Another speaker, Mr. Sudarshan Subedi, President and CEO, Idebus Global Pvt. Ltd, Nepal shared his thoughts regarding the entrepreneur journey and the 21st-century skills to be required for success.
Mr. Subedi said he started his entrepreneurial journey by doing a job. He learned new ideas, experiences, and new connections to develop his entrepreneurial journey. Similarly, he mentioned job helps you to learn new ideas, market strategy, insights, skill development and build solid work experience before starting your own business. He uttered that he worked in different volunteering activities to develop his skill empowerment.
Now, he is involved in different campaigns and environmental activities. He is a co-founder at Nepal Eco Club. The social organization is established to operate public awareness about environmental conservation, and encourage people to aware of environmental global issues. Apart from that, he is working as a senior consultant at Schools Ambassador in connecting classroom programs. He added a delightful statement, “Try whatever you have, it’s never too late to start. It’s never too early to start. Start whenever you think.”
Mr. Subedi flowed his idea on the panel topic that skill is important in life. He always encourages and motivates young people to get skilled. This pandemic is a perfect time for youths for the development of their potential skills. The skills help youths to maintain their confidence and motivate. He listed some important skills the youngsters should implement in today’s life: (Critical thinking and Problem Solving; Communication and Collaboration; Digital Literacy Skills; Creativity and Imagination). These are a set of skills that are important for youths and the people living in the 21st century.
Md. Shefatul Islam invited another panelist Mr. Lorenzo Cooray, Casterly Crown Private Limited, Sri Lanka to share his entrepreneur journey and his motivational message.
Mr. Cooray started his insightful talk by pointing the value of time for youths and skills. He stated that skill plays a significant role. According to his personal experience, he pointed and focused on one specific skill i.e.,” Emotional intelligence skill”. When it comes to happiness and success in life, emotional intelligence matters a lot just as an intellectual ability. In addition, he added if you have potential or capabilities then develop emotional intelligence skills that help you to start your entrepreneur journey.
Moderator: “What you want to offer to connect with youth? What specific thing you want to offer from your organization or from your organization to all of the South Asian Youths?”
Ms. Priya Kothari: “All the youth I want to offer you that you directly contact us whatever the ideas or you have something which you want to do it. I would like to help the youth. We will try to build a mentor and give support”.
Mr. Jubayer Hossain: “As Sudarshan said skill is important. As I am an app developer, I would offer South Asian young people- if you want to develop your soft skill like app development. Go to my YouTube channel. Here I am conducting a free app development training session and I will run Internationally.”
Mr. Lorenzo Cooray: “We have started Sri Lankan entrepreneur’s network and SME network. The first- generation entrepreneur, as well as whoever running a business, can join us for the resources, and the website is called, SLESN (slesn.org). We post skillful articles that required and provide the kind of services for entrepreneurs. We are going to add more content to it. So, it’s going to be more beneficial for youngsters. I will be happier to help you”
Mr. Naikbeen Naikpay: “I will provide the opportunity to mentor and collaboration with you in entrepreneur journey.”
Moderator: “You are running Eco Club in Nepal, and along with your private venture. For the competition and the collaboration for South Asian youths, what you would offer them to learn from Nepal and collaboration with you?”
Mr. Sudarshan Subedi: “I am always open to collaboration. You come up with your ideas and I can invest in your ideas as well. I am good at public speaking, communication, and collaboration skills, maybe I can help you in mentoring.”
Mr. Ajay Pandey (IT Manager of Glocal Pvt. Ltd) ended the session by adding his words,” South Asian Youth festival is organized with the motive that youths are the solution to all problems. The tagline of the festival is #IAMTHESOLUTION”.
The panel session was a very informative, powerful discussion. As a result, it was indeed an excellent conversation with South Asian young entrepreneurs where they shared their entrepreneurial journey, their thoughts, ideas, and skills.