IIM Kozhikode is proud to have organized the world’s largest student competition for the social good at the campus level. The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education. The agenda for this year is reawakening human potential – the refugee problem.
The event differentiated itself from the beginning. There was a grueling interview for the recruitment of the campus director and Rahul Kumar, a PGP 19 student got selected as the campus director. He buckled up for the event by appointing his core team consisting of Nitin Gupta, Isha Walian ad Vaishnavi Adapa.
And finally when the D day arrived for the campus finalists to present their ideas of addressing one of the larges problems of the present day, the teams came up with amazing ideas stunning the judging panel. The panel was wisely chosen by the organizing team to have different perspectives. Ms Shamin Sebastian, the deputy collector of Kozhikode district of Kerala brought with her the expertise in dealing with migrants who come to Kerala from other parts of India. Prof. Priya Nair Rajeev, Assistant professor in OB HR area of IIM Kozhikode gave valuable insights in the human resource management and the problems that would arise in managing the ideas given by the participants. Last but not the least, Mr. Shilen Sagunan, Chief Executive at SS counsultants, Kochi gave the participants his ideas on the feasibility of the business plans and the potential problems in the financial success of the plan and the implementation.
On the D-day i.e., Nov 4th, the organizers got great responses from the particpants when asked about their journey to the campus finals and also the hardwork they have put in. In words of Dharmanshu, a PGP19 student, “ This is a huge problem. I have read about refugees before. But I was not empathizing as much I do now. There are millions of people looking for help and something has to be done”. Another participant Sushmitha from PGP20 told, “Presenting our solution for one of the biggest problems in the world in the biggest competitions gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
After all presentations and intense rounds of Q&A, the judges announced the team Elements and team Veritas as the campus winners to represent IIM Kozhikode at a national level. In the words of Arunangshu, one of the members of the winning team, “It is different from solving a regular case study because you have to think in more detail about how to solve problems, you haven’t fallen into with little scope for primary research. You want to solve problems for all the refugees but you cannot, as your idea should target a limited set of individuals effectively.”
The IIM K fraternity wishes them all the very best for the further rounds and put faith that IIM K’s teams would reach the finals at Boston and receive the 1 million USD to set up their venture and help the world solve one of the biggest problems today.