Amid pandemic & drone attacks, IIMA graduate leaves offer from a multinational to work with J&K govt

Bharatendu was supposed to join McKinsey & Company as a consultant in May. However, his interest for governance and passion for change motivated him to come to J&K amid pandemic to work with the LG

Amid pandemic & drone attacks, IIMA graduate leaves offer from a multinational to work with J&K govt

NH Web Desk

Bharatendu Verma, a 2021 graduate from IIM Ahmedabad has been interning under the Jammu and Kashmir LG since mid-April and working on multiple key projects of the government. As per sources, IIM Ahmedabad will be teaching an academic case on the conceptualising and launch of a flagship scheme- HAUSLA in less than 10 weeks by Bharatendu and team under J&K Government.

Last year IAS Officer Abhishek Singh and students of IIM Ahmedabad started SIGMA (Students for Involved Governance and Mutual Action) an independent youth thinktank consisting of IAS Officers and students from IITs & IIMs.

SIGMA has been engaging with government bodies and advocating youth and student participation in governance. The group has worked on issue-based projects such as COVID relief efforts (United By Blood) and re-employment of migrant workers during the pandemic (Ekatra Helpline), driving meaningful impact. Now, leading by example, head of SIGMA, Bharatendu Verma, a 2021 graduate of IIM Ahmedabad, is working with the UT Government in Jammu & Kashmir amid the pandemic and drone attacks.

Bharatendu was supposed to join McKinsey & Company as a consultant in May 2021. However, his interest for governance and passion for change got him to request a deferment in his joining date and led him to come to J&K amidst the pandemic to work with the Lieutenant Governor.

Among other projects for J&K government, Bharatendu has been one of key members in strategizing and rolling out of ‘Hausla’ - a flagship capacity building training programme for women entrepreneurs of J&K. Apart from management training and personalised mentorship for the participants, the programme is also pitched to provide market linkages, financial support and marketing help to women-led businesses of J&K.

The programme, which is being called the ‘largest women entrepreneurship programme of J&K’ was launched on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 by the LG where he lauded Bharatendu during his address.

“Today I would also like to congratulate a young man behind this scheme – Bharatendu, a graduate of IIM Ahmedabad and his team who have started this programme for existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs of J&K”. “The team has been working in a systemic manner for the last few months to ensure proper national & international market linkages, financial support, training, mentorship and marketing support can be provided to the women of J&K”, he said.

As per sources, a Professor from IIM Ahmedabad has already reached out to J&K Government for publishing an academic case on the conceptualisation and build-up to launch of the comprehensive Hausla programme in less than 10 weeks. The case will be taught at IIMA in a course on governance and administration, as an example of how Government intervention and support can lead to implementation of right policies and positive impact.

When asked why Jammu & Kashmir he said, “I strongly feel for the people of J&K and the UT has a special place in my heart. Another critical reason was that I have been personally really inspired from Manoj Sinha sir - his tremendous track record of brilliant administration and public service for more than 3 decades, his humble beginnings from his student politics days at IIT-BHU and his clear vision about development; make me look up to him. So, when I thought of doing something impactful, I immediately wrote to sir for seeking an opportunity to contribute.”

Interestingly, he has also been active in student leadership roles as the Students’ Union President at Shri Ram College of Commerce in 2017 & Batch representative at IIM Ahmedabad 2019-21. On his experience so far in J&K, Bharatendu says, “I have enjoyed the perfect balance between receiving guidance and freedom to innovate. It is very heart-warming to come across so many bureaucrats and officials going out of their way to get J&K on the development track. I feel really happy to have had the opportunity to work for the people of J&K and contributed in my little capacity. Overall, It has been a truly fulfilling experience for me. Given the fact that the government is encouraging specialist and young talent to come in, I hope I can inspire more professionals to contribute in governance”

“This stint by Bharatendu and our experiences with SIGMA show that the common perception of ‘resistance to initiative’ in governance is not true. There are enough passionate people in government(s) and administration who are receptive and welcoming of professionals and students in governance.”, said IAS & actor Abhishek Singh.

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