Buimerc India Foundation signs MoUs with Indian Institute of Management and VIT

This unique project is a collaboration between VIT-AP Technology Business Incubation Foundation in Andhra Pradesh and Buimerc India Foundation, Kochi, to set up a world class research centre that would enable the use of advanced technology for maximum societal impact

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The MoU exchange occurred between R Balachandran, President of BIF, and B. Nagarjuna, Director of VTBIF, in the presence of Dr SV Kota Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, and other senior professionals from both organisations.
The MoU exchange occurred between R Balachandran, President of BIF, and B. Nagarjuna, Director of VTBIF, in the presence of Dr SV Kota Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, and other senior professionals from both organisations.

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 3:30 PM

Buimerc India Foundation (BIF) has signed a memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur, and VIT, Andhra Pradesh.

The MoU for the first project was signed recently at the VIT campus in Andhra Pradesh. This unique project is a collaboration between VIT-AP Technology Business Incubation Foundation in Andhra Pradesh and Buimerc India Foundation, Kochi, to set up a world class research centre that would enable the use of advanced technology for maximum societal impact.

“I am delighted to start the New Year with an impactful partnership, with two outstanding institutions for two unique societal enhancement projects, that reinforces our commitment and responsibility to all levels and aspects of society at large,” said Siddharth Balachandran, Executive Chairman of Buimerc Corporation and Trustee of Buimerc India Foundation.

The MoU exchange occurred between R Balachandran, President of BIF, and B. Nagarjuna, Director of VTBIF, in the presence of Dr SV Kota Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, and other senior professionals from both organisations.

The project, primarily aimed at lower limb amputees, aims to develop a low-cost pneumatic controlled, biomimetic, articulated, passive prosthetic spring-loaded system for early and late swing and stance control knee, along with a Regenerative effort assistive foot assembly. The project aims to reintegrate and empower underprivileged and economically challenged amputees into their regular work routines.

This POHA (Prosthetics and Orthotics for Humans and Animals), which is designated as a 'Make in India' project, will be led by Dr P S Rama Sreekanth and Dr. S.V. Kota Reddy, and will incorporate the most recent advancements in prosthetics technology, that will not only compete with similar products across the world, but will be very cost effective. This collaboration signifies a shared commitment to technological innovation for the betterment of society, aligning with the core values of both VTBIF and BIF.

The second project, is the Craft Sustainability Incubation Programme, in association with and led by IIM Udaipur.

Supporting and encouraging Arts, Crafts, Culture and Heritage has been one the objectives of Buimerc India Foundation, particularly when it benefits artisans and artisanal enterprises who have been proponents of a range of traditional arts and crafts over many generations.

This project, powered by Buimerc India Foundation, aims to fast track the growth of 30 early-stage social and creative enterprises, spread over three years, in the traditional Arts and Handicrafts sector. There will be a clear sustainability mission and will work with artisans of Rajasthan, Gujrat, and Madhya Pradesh.

The art and handicrafts sector is the second largest employment generator after agriculture, with over 55 percent of the workforce being women. India, however, accounts for only a meagre 4-5 per cent of the global market share. This situation, of the handicraft industry, is attributed to inaccessibility of funds, low penetration of technology, absence of market intelligence and holistic business skills.

The number of artisans have also been dwindling rapidly in the recent past. Indian artisans face a range of challenges in terms of design upgradation, product innovation, seamless delivery of products and access to digital markets and business finance. The biggest challenge to the survival and success of an artisan group is their ability to be market oriented and yet retain and evolve the intrinsic character of their craft vocabulary and aesthetic.

Also, there is a challenge in identifying appropriate markets, adapting to the rapidly changing market and retail environments, and creating and distributing relevant products.

The IIM Udaipur Incubation Centre, through the Crafts Sustainability Incubation Programme, aims to bridge this gap by providing the artisan groups with the information and tools that they need to grow and sustain their businesses, thus resulting in improved outcomes for themselves, their families, and the community at large.

This intensive, all-encompassing four-month program is designed specifically to provide artisan business leaders and creative entrepreneurs with the training, tools, and resources they need to grow and strengthen their businesses. The intent is to support and help businesses build a ‘Made in India’ global brand while achieving both positive environmental impact and artisan empowerment.

This comprehensive program, includes 15 days of residential classes spread across four months. The emphasis of the programme is to enable craft-based enterprises build profitable business models, reach new customers, and lay the foundation to build successful companies through structured sessions and hands-on workshops.

In addition to the three-week offline bootcamp at IIM Udaipur, the program offers 4-month long coaching and mentoring from domain experts, craft leaders and business mentors who will guide the entrepreneurs to scale the business. The programme culminates in a ‘pitch day’, where the participants are given the opportunity to present their venture to an expert panel comprised of angel investors and venture capital firms.

Upon graduation from the programme, the Incubation Centre will continue to support the selected enterprises for an additional period of twelve months without any additional cost. The programme will leverage craft to increase gender equity, women empowerment, attract fresh young minds to these traditional industries, promote economic inclusion, and ensure cultural preservation and appreciation.

“We are eagerly looking forward to assess the impact created by these exceptional projects and we will continue to work with similar reputed institutions on projects that would make a difference in the lives of others,” concluded Siddharth Balachandran.


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