top of page

My Startup and A Hypocrite NIT, A perfect example of Why India's big schemes are failing?

How hypocrite an institute of national importance in India can be? The answer is a lot. Let me share my brief story with you. I am a proud Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur. From my college days, I and my fellow mates have been working on a Food Delivery startup, FoodBee, in Hamirpur as the food delivery sector there was unorganised and no big player was ready to invest in small cities. We did well and got ourselves registered under Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Startup Scheme and got incubated in NIT Hamirpur (On papers only). It was going great, and we were able to able to breakeven in just 1.5 months of start until one day, out of the sudden, institute administration rescinds our permission to deliver food inside the campus on the note that MHRD had issued an advisory to curb fast food from educational institutions. At that time and even now, this institute serves fried potato patties and samosas as an evening snack in hostels. There are canteen and shops all around the campus serving mass-produce burgers, sandwiches and the other unhealthy stuff whose authentication we can’t test as they all come in thin transparent plastics with no information about its manufacturer. Aren’t they unhealthy for students? Why in the first place institute is making it available for students? On the other hand, they are not allowing an application which ensures the credibility of food supply and supply source. From the past two years, I am struggling to get permission for food delivery inside the campus of NIT Hamirpur. It forced me to lobby every department of this institute, even for this I met with the Institute director multiple times but there is no sign of support from administration. Why NIT Hamirpur? Because of Incubation in NIT Hamirpur, we are tethered to operate in Hamirpur City only. Hamirpur, unlike other Himachal Pradesh cities, does not have much tourist inflow to run its economy. So More or less, the economy of Hamirpur city depends on the money outflux from NIT Hamirpur. NIT campus is also important for us as local people of Hamirpur City are not that accustomed to online applications while NIT, with a base of approx 8000 technology accustomed people and money influx from all over India, provides great revenue to us. But the irony here is that FoodBee, a startup founded by the students of NIT Hamirpur, for the people of NIT Hamirpur and incubated in NIT Hamirpur, has no permission to deliver food inside NIT Hamirpur. What kind of Incubation is this? Even the Himachal Government was about to revoke NIT’s state incubation status, but somehow they coped with it. NIT's Hypocrisy Their hypocrisy is exposed when they claim to promote entrepreneurial culture but on the ground they even not ready to support a single startup. They claim to have an entrepreneurial cell, but in that, they only teach how to make CVs and prepare you for the company’s interviews. Now, they are bolstering about designing a web portal which facilitates the delivery of essential goods in lockdown. I support this initiative of NIT Hamirpur. This is a magnificent way a technology institute can help district administration, but they could have reached us. We already had a running “location-based” delivery service in Hamirpur city. In the US, the country we idolize, space organization NASA, is trusting a private company to send their astronauts to outer space so they can support an American organisation and limit their reliance on Russians and this Institute is not even supporting their own incubated startup and in coming future, they will brag about a self-reliance India. This is not Hypocrisy than what is it? Failing Indian Schemes I am not complaining or berating here, FoodBee did well even without support from NIT and I knew from the start that uncertainty of a startup test you for every aspect, may it be on your marketing aspect, your financial aspect, your deal closing aspect or you name it. The uncertainty of COVID-19 even testing our existential ability. The point I want to highlight here is the flaw in the Indian administration system. It’s not a surprise to me that the big schemes announced by our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji are prostrating hard on the ground. He is a wise man and thinks for India, but people working in the lower hierarchy are not that much devoted to India. At one time he made the world and Indians believe that India is the next superpower of the Globe. Everyone got excited by the big schemes he announced like Make in India, Startup India and many more. Investors started pouring money in India and people like me got inspired to start their own ventures thinking the government is serious about the growth story of India. India recorded 8% of GDP growth. Everything seemed good and there was no portend of the gloomy economy. Eventually, everyone realized that the Indian growth story is another castle in the air. Though the world also grew slower, and some degrowth can be attributed to it, but most of the downward trend is because of our own internal issues. We lack the administrative ability to properly implement these big schemes. Investors, Businessmen, me and even Modi Ji (I guess) lost credence of the Indian Administration. These schemes were announced and implementing haphazardly, with excessive optimism and with no ground checks. I am not the only one saying this, this must have been felt by you as well. Even the world’s investors are pulling money out from India. From the past three years, MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) India Index is down 19 percent while MSCI emerging market index is down by 7 percent signalling that India is performing worst among the emerging markets. Right now India needs reforms to change this structural flaw in Indian administration to realize its full potential. The government has to work on the ground level to make the public sector more efficient and accountable. There is also a need for social change. We have to change our mindsets toward government jobs. We should not treat them as a safe haven for a secure future and just do it for the sake of the job. If you are a government servant or either in the process of being a one, I request you to make it your fiduciary duty to work for India and people of India. You are in power and with great power comes great responsibility. P.S. I will be sharing more about my startup soon. What went right and What went wrong? All the minute details. Its a quite wild journey and I hope it will help someone somewhere.


bottom of page