Much like the old saying goes, ‘Hard Work and Perseverance Always Pays Off’, three SRM alumni and a postgrad from Nanyang Technical University (NTU), have left their mark at the global level by winning the first prize at The New York University Reynolds, D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition, a foundation which expands access to poverty-alleviation interventions in the developing world, held in association with NTU, Singapore.
The team (EnEff) of Kaushal Kothari, Kavya Sravanthi and Neeraj Bhagwatula, Chemical Engineering graduates of the 2013-17 batch (SRM University) and Kartavya Bhola final year Ph.D. student in School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (NTU, Singapore), by winning the D-Prize, became “distribution entrepreneurs”, or social entrepreneurs who start new ventures that distribute proven life-enhancing technologies to millions of people living in extreme poverty
The team was ecstatic on winning the coveted contest, which primarily focuses on uplifting the plight of poverty stricken households, girls and farmers, by inviting participants to develop a business idea or an NGO extending help in terms of providing employment, access to better quality products, a chance to uplift the standard of living and in raising awareness.
From a pool of seven issues to choose from, the team chose a distribution idea in energy, to provide poor households with solar lamps and employment. “After 5 months of intense cross examination, brain storming and pitching of idea, we were finally declared winners of the D-Prize competition 2017 and awarded a grant of US$ 10,000 as the initial investment for our for-profit business idea- EnEff (Energy Efficiency)”, said the excited team on the wonderful outcome of the contest they worked so passionately on.
Kaushal, Kavya, and Neeraj were classmates and carried out undergraduate research at SRM University and won several prizes at international and national level technical fests and symposiums for paper and poster presentations. Kaushal is currently a research assistant at NTU, Singapore, Kavya is working as a fellow for Teach for India, Neeraj has begun his postgraduate study at the Australian National University, Canberra, and Kartavya Bhola is a senior doctoral candidate at NTU.The “Foursome” is determined to make this opportunity worthwhile and set up an enterprise, one step at a time.
SRM University wishes this winning team to scale even greater heights to help people living in poverty lead better lives.