Jagriti Yatra: The journey of 10 years that yatra went through

Jagriti Yatra’s mission ‘Building India Through Enterprise’ is at the core of all its efforts. It is a 15 days and 8000 km national train journey which gives selected 500 entrepreneurial youth,  out of 15000+ who apply. It is an opportunity to meet the role models and entrepreneurs who are developing unique solutions, to India’s development challenges. Aravind Eye Care (Madurai), Anshu Gupta (Goonj, Delhi), Bunker Roy (Barefoot College, Tiloniya), Joe Madiath (Gram Vikas, Odisha), Narayan Murthy (Infosys, Bangalore), and Harish Hande (SELCO, Hubli) are a few to name. Nation-builders such as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sam Pitroda, Meera Sanyal, and R.Mashelkar have participated in the program previously and have highly praised the efforts being put in by the team at Jagriti Yatra.

Jagriti Yatra: Awakening the entrepreneurial spirit

During the last 10 years, Jagriti Yatra has created a network of more than 4000 alumni, spread all across the globe. The power of its alumni network can be understood from the fact that Jagriti Yatra has created over 1000+ enterprises in last 9 years across myriad sectors of healthcare, knowledge, agriculture, housing, water, tourism and others. The overall impact of the enterprises has benefited over a million people.

Recently Jagriti Yatra, with support from Coca-Cola India, organised another program called Sustainable Enterprise Award India 2017, to help district entrepreneurs, working in the areas of Water, Agriculture and Recycling across India, out of which over 300+ enterprises from remote areas of India, participated. The top 3 teams were awarded seed money worth 3.5 lacs, to support their enterprises.

With the extensive network of alumni and supporters on its side, Jagriti ventured into creating a district-level enterprise incubation program, Jagriti Enterprise Centre – Purvanchal (JEC-P), in one of the most underdeveloped regions of the country, eastern Uttar Pradesh in 2015 through which 500 local jobs have been generated and 2 million rural women have been impacted through a digital literacy program across 9000 villages of eastern Uttar Pradesh. But Jagriti’s ambitions don’t stop here: If the last 10 years were about building this huge network of entrepreneurs, the next 10 years focus building the enterprise ecosystem in Tier 2 & Tier 3 districts of India to support these entrepreneurs.

Jagriti’s story is tied to the growth of our country. This year is the 20th anniversary of Azad Bharat Yatra, the 10th anniversary of Jagriti Yatra and the 70th year of Indian Independence.

Azad Bharat Rail Yatra

Bringing the tool of Enterprise Led Development to all the Tier 2 and Tier 3 districts of India over the next 10 years, is the focus point of the team working at Jagriti Yatra. After 10 years of traversing the nation spawning young entrepreneurs, Jagriti Yatra has established a well-penetrated network into the far reaches of our country and around 4200+ Yatris spread across the world that carries the same insights and learnings from this unique experience. For most, Yatra is just the beginning of the journey. This unique experience is a starting point of a lifelong pursuit of the singular aim of bringing hope and wellbeing to the deepest corners of our nation. Our approach to creating a unique mass experience for formative minds in a panoramic concerted transnational setting leaves not only a deep impact but creates a critical mass of enduring partnerships. Jagriti Yatra is the beginning of the journey that sets you off on a lifetime of pursuing your dream of transforming lives through enterprise.

Every organization develops certain core values that guide its members through the long and dark nights of its evolution. Jagriti’s own traits as an organization will manifest in several ways which one gets to observe during the Yatra.

The most endearing one, we believe, is the way we work as a team. We are a big family. “Once a Yatri – Always a Yatri” – This inclusion binds us together. We respect every opinion, yet don’t hesitate to challenge and debate them thoroughly. Once agreed though, we ferociously collaborate. We depend on each other blindly and trust our team members completely. You will see this play out in how our Engine Room Club team goes about doing their job. They are disciplined, thoroughly committed and highly trained in their skill of delivering to you a fantastic experience. They truly live our principles of running a professional enterprise. Every successful enterprise needs to have a strategy of creating an ‘ERC’ that becomes the lifeblood of their operations. As the Yatra has evolved we have made a major part of the journey into an exercise of enterprise building. Complementing the experiential learning of Role Model visits and Yatri Interaction is a business planning exercise called Biz Gyan Tree.

Executed within the hyper constrained, time-limited, resource squeezed, sleep deprived rocky and rambunctious environment of Yatra makes it quite close to the reality of a business environment. Again, what pays off is discipline, focus, ability to collaborate, create and sometimes simply executing well something that is already quite well proven. Biz Gyan Tree is a taster for Yatris to decide if the enterprise is indeed their cup of tea and if so how they would make it their passion of a lifetime. One of our outreach programs has successfully grown into a national platform.

The Jagriti Ambassador for District Entrepreneurs (JADE) was founded to seek out deserving candidate from third-tier districts to go on the Yatra. The JADE team has successfully introduced over 500 Yatris in 2016 which for us represents a significant contribution in identifying deserving talent that would have otherwise not had this opportunity. The JADE program promises to become a connector for every Yatri to take the message out not only to encourage future yatris but potentially identify talent and network for their own programs in the future. Every Yatri should become a JADE member and benefit from this unique opportunity to both contribute as well as learn. Finally, the Jagriti Enterprise Network and the Jagriti Enterprise Centre are recent projects that promise to transform the targeted districts of Purvanchal. Jagriti starts with the Yatra and promises to last a lifetime – for many a lifetime, it will take to transform our nation. How I look forward to partnering with you on this wonderful journey of a lifetime! Yaaron Chalo!

Inside the train was a different story altogether. A mini India (or a mini world, as we had international participants from various countries) was a dynamic hub of exchange of ideas, cultures, knowledge, habits and skills. It is a molten pot of gold of vibrant activities going on 24*7 between people from rural and urban backgrounds.

Jagriti Yatra 2016 and the journey continues…