Amid lockdown in view of COVID-19 pandemic, a number of small traders and entrepreneurs in Meghalaya exchanged their ideas through online webinar on Friday.

An online webinar was initiated on Friday at 3 pm for small traders and potential entrepreneurs in Meghalaya.

The first of its kind initiative had the theme “Becoming an entrepreneur in the time of COVID-19: Prospects and challenge”.

The online webinar was inaugurated by the principal secretary to Meghalaya’s labour department, D.P. Wahlang.

The event was organised by IPE Global-Managed Services Operating Partner (MSOP) for Meghalaya State Skill Development Society (MSSDS), under Supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya (SHCDM), supported by the ADB.

It was attended by some of the eminent panellists like Rahul Tejwani, co-founder of Kredis and Green Chutney Films (Ahmedabad), Ayesha Naseem, founder & CEO – LiveWire (Dubai), Shiela Kharpomtiah, project executive – iLEAD (Shillong), Thembelihle Sithole, business analyst – Thought Works (London) and Kynjai Rupa, MSOP entrepreneur (Shillong).

Also read: Meghalaya to launch webinar series for entrepreneurs, startups amid COVID-19 crisis 

Wahlang lauded MSOP for taking the initiative to discuss, identify and plan the action to mitigate the challenges and support the prospective entrepreneur and small businesses during the time of COVID-19.

Talking about the webinar, Wahlang encouraged all the participants to become proactive with the use of technology and find tools and resources through this initiative to explore entrepreneurship.

Ashwajit Singh, managing director, IPE Global, emphasized the rapid change taking place as a result of the pandemic and the need to move to virtual business, E-learning and restructure the ways of working.

The webinar was moderated by Rahul Tejwani.

The discussion revolved around the changes that would be incorporated in the business industry and how to lead the ideas of entrepreneurship during such times.

Ayesha emphasized on identifying the skills and assessing the financial requirement before venturing into entrepreneurship.

Shiela said the need of the hour is to explore into skills that cater to market demand as a lot needs to be done in terms of supporting the youth for proposal writing, finance accounting, and planning.

Tembelihle mentioned about the transition in business and emphasized on customer needs that businesses should start exploring in such changing times.

The ability to manage change and observe the customers’ behaviour, post-COVID19 would be imperative, he added.

Kynjai focused on establishing credibility, building trust through mapping the current needs and finding quick solutions.

Becoming adaptable and realigning the ways of working by becoming part of the disruptive supply chain is the key to growth during such times to add value in the business sector, stated Shalender Sharma, director of education and skills development, IPE Global.

The webinar was quite engaging and enriching for all the participants.

Over 90 entrepreneurs from 10 districts of Meghalaya and different cities and countries participated in the webinar.

Naresh Asher from Nongrim Hills reflected that Meghalaya has many opportunities.

“We need to encourage people to start small businesses,” said Asher.

Bavito Swer from Shillong stressed on need of proper mentoring for proposal writing, market support and financial linkages for new startups.

Saipyrkhat Majaw, a young entrepreneur, shared his experiences regarding perishable agriculture products.

He requested to focus on lack of proper packaging mechanism that is the huge challenge in the Northeast.

Ajay Kumar, another entrepreneur of the state, encouraged small businesses to go online and use technology.

Shashiranjan Jha, associate director of education and skills development, IPE Global, announced that such entrepreneurship webinar series under MSOP will continue to be held on regular basis on variety of themes related to venture inception, operation, scalability and sustainability.

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