24th CII Enterprise Odisha 2024 has discussions on Agriculture, Skilling, Women Empowerment, Startups

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Jharsuguda: The 24th CII Enterprise Odisha 2024 entered its second day at the Exhibition Ground, Jharsuguda, on January 20, 2024, with an insightful discourse on propelling the prosperity of Odisha. The discussions centred around leveraging the state’s vast potential across different sectors to foster economic growth. Distinguished speakers included Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Government of Odisha, Mr Hemant Sharma, IAS, IPICOL and IDCO MD, Mr Bhupendra Singh Punia, and various District Collectors.
During the session “Opportunities in Agriculture and Food Processing,” speakers deliberated on the potential available to both farmers and Agri-entrepreneurs. Remarkably, among all the state departments, the water resources department has demonstrated the highest level of investment, directly benefiting farmers. The speakers urged farmers to seize this opportune moment, emphasizing the cultivation of diverse and profitable crops. Encouraging a strategic approach, they advocated for the establishment of small-scale industries to elevate income levels. In addition, the implementation of nano urea was underscored as a pivotal aspect of modern agricultural practices. Simultaneously, the focus extended to agri-entrepreneurs, guiding them on effective strategies for transporting harvested agricultural products to the market. Emphasis was placed on value addition through processing, fostering a sustainable and lucrative agri-business ecosystem. Among the speakers were Mr Bhupendra Singh Punia, IAS, Managing Director of IPICOL and IDCO; Dr. Parth R. Das Gupta, Advisor Emeritus at the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture; Ms Varsha Jha, Vice President at Abis Export; Ms P. Anwesha Reddy, District Collector of Kalahandi; and Dr. Pradeep Mohanty, Vice President of the CII Odisha State Council.
Shifting the focus to skill development, the session deliberations centred around enhancement of human resource development by fostering collaboration between industry and academia. Discussions brought out the fact that organizations such as Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Ashok Leyland, Tata Steel, and Hindalco are actively engaged in collaborative efforts to cultivate skilled manpower for various industries across the state. The curriculum not only imparts technical skills but also emphasizes life skills crucial for holistic professional development. A pivotal aspect highlighted during the discussion was the emphasis on cultivating higher-skilled human resources through initiatives like the World Skills Centre in Bhubaneswar. The speakers articulated that this approach would not only meet the staffing needs of industries establishing themselves in the state but also position them competitively in the market.
Speakers in this session included Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Government of Odisha, Mr Hemant Kumar Sharma, Mr Indranil Roy, Director of thyssenkrupp Industries, Mr Nirmal Singh, Founder & CEO of Wheebox, Mr Mohamed Badran from GIZ India & Ameya Vanjari, Chief Operating Officer of Tata Strive.
In the special session dedicated to Mission Shakti and Women Empowerment, speakers emphasized the imperative for the social, economic, and political upliftment of women for the betterment of both the country and the state. To further empower women self-help groups (SHGs), discussions revolved around the establishment of industrial parks in all districts, mirroring the successful model of food parks. The emphasis was on creating a conducive environment and opportunities for women across all spheres to achieve success and empowerment.

The speakers encouraged Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to capitalize on the abundant opportunities within the food processing industry. Keynote speakers, including Ms Nilanjana Mukherjee, CEO at Kalinga Hospitals Ltd; Ms Monalisa Panda, Chairperson, CII Indian Women Network, Odisha; Prof. Sasmita Samanta, the Founder of SOUL; Ms L. Sangeeta Kujur, Assistant General Manager at Union Bank of India & Ms Rowan Ainsworth, Consul General at the Australian Consulate General shared invaluable insights. The session was further enriched by the firsthand experiences of individuals such as Prema Das from Divyajyoti SHG, Sumita Barika representing Mayurbhanj and Kolabari Chand from Jharsuguda Maa Sambalpuri SHG, providing practical perspectives.
In the Yi Innovex session on startups, speakers underscored the significance of two critical factors for entrepreneurial success. They emphasized the need for profound respect for entrepreneurs and traders, while also highlighting the essential role of grooming in the business environment. The discussion pointed out that requisite changes at both the government and societal levels are imperative to foster a conducive environment for startups. Notably, individuals from non-entrepreneurial backgrounds are increasingly venturing into enterprise development, signalling a positive shift. The speakers stressed the importance of involving entrepreneurial families in the business sector.
Acknowledging these dynamics, the government demonstrated its commitment to facilitating change. Authorities pledged to periodically amend rules and regulations to propel Odisha to the forefront of the startup landscape. Key figures present in this insightful session included Principal Secretary Industries Hemant Sharma, Startup Odisha Executive Chairman, Dr. Omkar Rai, IIM Sambalpur Director, Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal, Mr Vishal Kumar Agarwalla, National Chair of Yi India, former Chairman of Yi Bhubaneswar Mr Abanis Nayak, PwC Partner Emerging Tech, Mr Ashutosh Chand, Chair at CII Young Indians, Bhubaneswar, Ms Sonal N More and Jharsuguda Superintendent of Police, Mr Parmer Smit Parshottam Das, IPS. The inaugural of Yi Innovex was followed by roundtable discussions with venture capitalists on fundraising and with founders on Odishas startup journey.

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