I hold masters degree in agricultural sciences and currently doing Ph.D about the impact of Business incubation in promoting rural development.
I am working for an educational institution (www.pmu.edu) in Tamil Nadu, India since 1997. The institute’s philosophy encourages education, empowerment and equal rights for women, more so for rural population. Having brought up in a similar rural environment I am driven by these philosophies that Incubation became my passion, and I understood the economic independence to women is the main basis for a nation’s development.
Before assuming the charges as the TBI manager, I was involved in the promotion of women- run micro enterprises in the region. My main role in the educational institution was teaching, environment management, farmland development and partly public relations.
This diversified role-play brought me a good opportunity to work in a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded environmental project for four years (1999-2003). During the project period, 17 Canadian faculty missions and 12 Canadian student internship programmes, number of curriculum development workshops, and seminars on educational methodologies were organised. We could even establish a centre for environment and energy management and started offering PG diploma programmes. Few measurable outcomes of the project can be listed as-ours is the first educational institution (currently the only one) in India to offer M.Tech programme in Renewable Energy;we have established 300KW biomass gasifiers to produce captive power and a very profitably run biocompost unit (from farm wastes).
A varied experience from the above project gave me the chance to write the proposal on TBI to seek support from the DST, GoI.
Periyar Technology Business Incubator is a grant in aid project of National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board of Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. Started in the year 2006 with ‘Herbal health’ as its thrust area, it caters to the region’s entrepreneurial needs.
As the incubator manager I provide mentoring, handholding and all types of support services to those who wish to start with innovative product idea in related fields like agro, bio and food technologies. Our incubator is designated as incubator for Women by the department of Science & Technology, Govt.of India and it is the only incubator in India to focus business development in herbal products.
During the early days of me in the office,I established a full-fledged testing laboratory with equipments to serve all biological and organic sample testing; a small formulation unit; common facility centre; tissue culture production unit to support medicinal plants based product development.
Periyar TBI serves the research needs of most of the Biotechnology scholars of the region through its laboratory facilities, by which innovative technical findings are scouted for incubation at later stage.
Through the entrepreneurship awareness camps and public meetings, I have addressed about 7500 candidates in five years, provided skill training to about 1200 candidates, facilitated three patents, helped setting up of 51 micro enterprises in the region, all in the last five years.
As part of the industrial network services, I facilitated development of a semi-automated cutting machine for areca nuts to reduce the human drudgery.
I received the Rural Innovation Fund from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to develop a semi automated buffing machine for the Stainless steel vessel manufacturers cluster near our Incubator and the machine is patented for its design and process.Currently it is the only and first machine in the industry which would do buffing on both sides, even with complicated shape utensils.
One of my incubatees has won LRAMP (Lemelson Recognition and Mentoring Programme) award for “best woman entrepreneur -2008” from Vilgro. One incubatee has got patent for his design (weeding and furrowing wheel for paddy intercultural operations).
One student aspirant won best innovative award and first prize in group event of the state level EDP organised jointly by state agencies TAHDCO and EDI, TN state and Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).
One of our Biotech Incubating companies won best incubating company award from the Indian STEPs and Business incubators Association (ISBA) for the year 2011.
Villgro, the social incubator promoted by Lemelson Foundation, the USA at IIT-Madras has given the title “Inspiring Social Incubator” title for the year 2011.
I established Periyar TBI as nodal and partner institutions to some of the central government agencies. It is the partner institution with National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ni-msme) of the Ministry of MSME.
It has the status of Business Incubator with the Ministry of MSME to support entrepreneurial ventures at early stage.
Periyar TBI is a nodal centre for National Innovation Foundation (NIF) established by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt.of India to scout and record grass root innovations.
Trainings attended with reference to entreprenuership:
• Attended the DST-Intel India sponsored one week training programme “Entrepreneurship in Higher education” at Bangalore in December 2007
• Attended Intel-UCB-Haas School-DST, India two week “Global Entrepreneurship Leadership” programmes at Haas School, Berkeley in November 2009.
• Attended DST-British High Commission, New Delhi sponsored three day “Accelerated Commercialization of Technology and Innovation” programme at Pune in September 2010.
• Attended the FICCI-DST-IC2, University of Texas, Austin two week training programme ”Technology Commenrcialisation for incubation Managers” at Austin in August 2011.
• Attended World bank infoDev sponsored Training ”Train the Trainer programme for incubation Managers” at Ooty in October 2011.
Membership status :
Periyar TBI is one of the members of iDISC Global Network of Business Incubators(promoted by World bank) and also a member in World Bank supported infoDev's Working Group on Women-Focused Business Incubation. Periyar TBI has a membership in Indian STEPs and Business incubators Association (ISBA) and Asia Pacific Incubator Network (APIN).
After the grant in support period expired, now the incubator is sustainably run through its income source.