Written by Harsh Bhargava, President of I Create Inc
This year at the 5th National Business Plan Competition conducted by I Create (NFTE India) we witnessed a historical moment when Montu Shah took the stage. Montu Shah gave a stunning presentation of his business plan to manufacture individually designed and painted t-shirts. The truly remarkable part about this presentation was that he did it all in sign language. With the aid of an interpreter and his PowerPoint slideshow, Montu explains how the shirts would be individually designed and painted by the other hearing and speech challenged students in his school. His business would provide them with a way to earn some greatly needed pocket money, and he will be able to keep his unique business going.
Montu received a thundering applause from the audience, which had over 400 local students from Vadodara City in Western India, when completing his presentation. Then when the judges announced that he came in third place, the entire hall rose to their feet and raised both arms and waived their hands sideways vigorously (which is clapping in sign language). As Montu “heard” them, he couldn’t help but become a little teary-eyed.
The person that took first place at this year’s competition was Satyendra Meena, the creator of Utopia - Greenery Rental & Maintenance Agency. Satyendra is from a village near Jaipur and will be the first in the family to graduate from college. Winning this award, and his trip to New York, has electrified his whole village and thousands of kids with similar backgrounds. Congratulations Satyendra!
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If you have a good cause, people pop up from the pavement to join you.” I Create Inc is a nonprofit that was set up in 1999 with the objective of providing a practical grassroots entrepreneurship program for the rural and urban youth in India as a solution to the widespread unemployment. Since its inception the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship has been partners with I Create.