Swapnanil Talukdar’s journey from Innovation to Social Entrepreneurship is an inspiration to many!
Social innovators are strategists, conceptualizers, ideologues , collaborators and organizers who intend towards meeting the social needs of different elements which can be from working conditions and education to community development and health. These social processes of innovations boost technical leverages over perceptual tangible challenges. Such has also been the journey of Swapnanil Talukdar who in his words now is a " A Social Engineer with a Disruptive Thinking".
Here at TNT we spoke to him exclusively while tracing his journey from the very starting stages.
TNT – You started Innovation from an early age. Please tell us the inspiration behind your first Innovation.
Innovation, in my life came all of a sudden when I was in a new school and the spirit to evolve into Somebody from Nobody was high. I knew I had to prove something to the people around, but had no idea what and how to do it. The situations were in my favour then. Being Lazy by default and a Leader since childhood showed the pathway wherein I designed the first Page Turner Machine for differently able. And went on to win the IGNITE-14 Award from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Ninth National Grassroots Innovations Award-17 and then was invited for the 'Innovation Scholars In-Residence Program' at Rashtrapati Bhawan, 2016.
TNT- You have been involved into projects with NASA and have represented the region. Can you tell us a bit more on it?
NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at USA, 2017 was the aim at the time and keeping that in mind I went into working toward the Gen Next Moonbuggy at International Space Education Institute, Germany 2016. During the course of intense training and voluntary activities I came across Peenemunde Island and the story behind the first rocket to Space.
TNT- You are one of the few Innovators who decided to walk an extra mile towards entrepreneurship. Tell us more on it.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship are the two sides of a coin, one cannot succeed without the other. My decision to blend equally into the field of Entrepreneurial Journey came into being with the start of GrNInnovare- a social campaign. I basically worked into turning Innovators into Entrepreneurship and Ideas into Products.
TNT- Tell us on your experiences in meeting some of the respected and great minds during the course of your stay at the Rashtrapati Bhawan?
In Residence Program at Rashtrapati Bhawan was more of a responsibility than an Opportunity. Being among the seven grassroots Innovators and sharing the platform for 14 days was something unique. Discussion sessions with Minister of Power Piyush Goyal and Minister of MSME Kalraj Mishra was a life time experience. The hospitality throughout the duration of stay was the main highlight.
Apart from that i also have been part of the Sustainable Development Goal NO.2 – Zero Hunger at World Youth Conference, Education and ICT – Y2Y Initiative Dubai, Moonbuggy/ Mars Rover – ISEI Germany, Pharmaceutical Industry – GIS Taiwan, Harvard US-INDIA Initiative.
TNT- You are undergoing Ashoka Youth Venture Fellowship at Ashoka India. How did it happen? What challenges comes in way to make it there?
Ashoka Fellowship as a Youth Venturer was the outcome of the qualities I gained from years of experience and working into cross sector platforms. Be it in Invention or Social initiatives the one main quality of being 'empathetic is a must. Ashoka preaches the qualities of Being Empathetic, Collaborative Team Management, Leadership and Critical Thinking.
Challenges ranged from being alone in the path to facing de-motivation all throughout the journey. I always faced a lack of physical resources and mentors.
TNT- You have Co-Founded FinderBridge Tourism. A start-up quite new to the region. Tell us more on it.
FinderBridge came into being when a group of Youths from different course of life came together to highlight North East India among the Nation and The Globe. An end to the discrimination faced by the people of North East became the vision. To achieve that we started working and developing models to ascertain Socio Progressive Tourism Model through Community Development and mass employment generation. With a huge group of Goodwill Members and Contributors/Resource Persons we hope to achieve our target to make NE Digital Tourist Place.
TNT- What would be your 5 most important points-of-note to young innovators and entrepreneurs?
I believe in the ABC of a person for being successful viz. Attitude + Behaviour + Communication = Personality. Parents play an important role in your long term success, so one must need to take them into account in your decision making.
Peer's play an equal important role and they are your immediate customers, however don't always try selling your stuffs to your friends as they are your long term supporters in life.
Time Management in life especially when you are a student forms an inseparable part. So, take onto account both your hard and soft skills. In life, there is no Right or Wrong Way there is the Smart way. Be fast and be smart. Fall fast not to wait to Fail Last.
TNT- 5 years down the line what future do you envision for yourself.
I hope to be a good orator and attend Global stages including TED talk, UN Youth Assembly as a speaker. I am working on a concept of 'Social Engineering'. FinderBridge is on a verge of collaborating with 100 countries, fingers crossed for that. I envision to help more students with entrepreneurial and innovative mind to scale the ladder of success.
By Payal Bhattacharjee