Ishgun Singh Arora

About


I am a Grade 12 student, currently pursuing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. I strongly believe in developing and committing to a lifestyle that challenges me to improve myself, moment by moment. My convictions can be summarized in a quote by Saint Augustine - "Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe." I try my best to put this in practice through my passion and affinity for entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship has always been personal to me. Belonging to an entrepreneurial family, I have always been interested in linking societal and environmental issues to possible business potentials for a solution. When I was 14, I tried my hands in marketing and event management by engaging in the launch of Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! - a water conservation campaign, where we organized walkathons and ran tree plantation drives. Subsequently, I was selected to be a part of an international business group at Knowledge@Wharton Summer Program in 2017, where my team and I pitched Renewable Studios, a venture that repurposes e-waste in China into fashion products; we placed 2nd.

Inspired, I became determined to explore the business world even more. Subsequently, I began spending my evenings at my father's office - observing, brainstorming, and learning. I sought inspiration by immersing myself in the business world for over 3 years. After trying my hand and failing in ventures as diverse as a portable paper recycling machine to an augmented reality e-commerce platform, I have finally streamlined my interests by focusing on the two markets I know best - Agricultural Business and Budding Entrepreneurship. Here I am today, having successfully founded two socially motivated companies, namely the Crop Residue Fortune and the Youth Entrepreneurs' Network. While the former is about incentivizing farmers to refrain from burning stubble, the latter focuses on equipping young minds with the requisite entrepreneurial tools and resources, facilitate the sharing of ideas and knowledge. At the end of the day, I am motivated to create a tangible impact with the ventures that I launch, which drives me to grasp every potential opportunity that comes my way. I am a man with a purpose, and entrepreneurship is my calling.

Name :Ishgun Singh Arora
Nationality : Indian
Email : ishgun17@gmail.com
Date of birth : 11-17-2000
Phone : +91 8427410943
Education : Indian Certificate of Secondary Education at Strawberry Fields High School
                                           Score : 94%

                                           International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
                                           Grade 12 Mid Term Score : 40/42

Swimming

Debating

Student Government

Business and Entrepreneurship

Listening to Podcasts

Guitar

Community Service

Software Programming

Studying

Working Out

Partying

My secret is 'The Secret', by Rhonda Byrne – a book I carry with myself wherever I go. My mother became a fan of the book when I was 10. She followed the letters to a tee: rule out all negative thoughts and words and make space for only the positive. As a result, my father and I could never utter a sigh of pessimism around her. In Grade 5, I asked her if I could borrow it. Hoping to learn the Secret, I diligently read five pages every day. After I had reached the end, I turned to the first page and began again.

At first, I hated it. 'The Secret' promotes the concept of a fundamental 'Law of Attraction': good thoughts attract positive outcomes and vice versa. Thoughts, according to Byrne, possess the same quantum energy as objects, with the power to attract and repel, in keeping with the physical laws that govern our universe. I thought this was nonsense, pseudoscience, charlatanism. I am a Physics student and a skeptic: scientific justifications can't be given to create an illusion of knowledge.

But then I re-read. And I re-read. And I began understanding that The Secret isn't about New Age mysticism, mind-over-body thinking, or an outright rejection of Western empiricism. Rather, The Secret contains a powerful seed of psychological truth: the mind is a powerful entity. We have the opportunity to cognitively restructure ourselves, and experience our world differently. I find this idea very optimistic. Things can change. We can choose our paths, choose what we value, choose what we perceive. What I choose to take from the book is not that happiness can be permanent, which I know is impossible. I choose to think that it is always possible–and sometimes essential–to imagine otherwise from what we know.

Passions

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Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is my daily ritual, my bread and butter, my engine; much more than simply theory or practice. I take delight in brainstorming ideas and hustling over their execution. I am in my element while developing an MVP and testing it in the market. I can't sleep without listening to business podcasts and keeping up with the market trends and contemporary innovations all over the world. I have spent countless nights trying to bring my nascent ideas to form by relentlessly pitching to investors, discussing with mentors across the globe, and finding the perfect team to work with. Till date, I have tried my hands on multiple ventures: manufacturing portable paper recycling machines and heat to electricity conversion devices – both of which run on self-sustainable business models – as well as augmented reality e-commerce platforms, e-waste recycling plans, and a voice-enabled podcast search application. I have put in my best efforts in these endeavors without necessary being successful in all. Rather, it is my failure that has taught me: failing to account for market trends or raise enough capital and rising to improvise the next time is what keeps me going. I love the way entrepreneurship is endlessly variable and compelling, always dynamic. I believe it is the most cogent solution to the pressing issues pertaining to the environment, society, and human capital. Being an entrepreneur is my natural state, and it is the path that I have chosen towards contributing for social good.

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Swimming

I have been swimming since I could barely walk. The pool is my haven for relaxation.

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Playing Guitar

I've been brushing my fingers through this instrument since grade 5. This is my way of creating an impression at parties - play the guitar, sing along, and have some fun!

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Debating

Having participated in over 20 conferences, I am proud to belong to a community of debators and parliamentarians. There is nothing more rewarding than tussling over war-prone zones, nuclear treaties, and interpreting UN resolutions. I began networking with students from all over the globe through the multi-national MUNs I attended while in school. Not only did I develop a competitive streak, but I also managed to rise above it and truly mature into a critical thinker over my journey as a debator. I owe my ability of self-confidence and the skill of public speaking to debating.

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Gymming

Daily workout at 7 pm at the gym - its a must!

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Business Competitions

In grade 9, I fell in love with preparing and presenting business plans. This is what led me to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice.

  • Most Customer Engagement Award, Regional Demo Day, MIT LaunchX, Shenzhen 2018
  • Social Innovation Relay, Junior Achievement Europe 2016-17
    1. Winner (2017)
    2. Second Runner -Up (2016)
  • Finalist, tGELF Youth Leader Competition 2015
  • Second Runner Up, tGELF Business Competition 2018
  • Finalist, IE Venture Day, Mumbai 2018
  • First Runner-Up, Knowledge@Wharton Summer Program 2017
  • Finalist, Innovator Science Competition, Strawberry Fields School

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Friends and Family

I know what always comes first - the people who care about you. My friends and family have always been my backbone in any and all accomplishments and downfalls in life. I love going on annual family trips for camping in India or a cultural study abroad. School Friends? They're my buddies for life! I can't imagine spending a day without talking to them.

Projects

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Crop Residue Fortune

As I am based in Punjab, I have been a first-hand witness to the ridiculous amount of crop residue that is burned every agricultural season - worsening the air quality, wasting itself as a resource, increasing government fines upon farmers, and consequently contributing to the rates of suicide rate of farmers in India. I intended to put a stop to this absolutely unnecessary and dangerous practice by creating an avenue to put the crop residue to use. Thus, Crop Residue Fortune was born.

This is a socially motivated company which aims to deter farmers from burning stubble by providing alternative incentives to them. We act as the middlemen to gather crop residue from the landowners and sell it as a cheaper, more environmentally-friendly source of material to various industries in the market at a substantially cost beneficial price. We pay the farmers per tonne of the residue to allow us to procure it from their land. We invest our labor, machinery, and transportation system to cut and bail the crop residue, which we ultimately sell to industries of biomass, paper, and energy production as a raw material.

We successfully procured 400 tonnes of stubble in March 2018 and sold it to various industries in Punjab. The farmers got paid to have their stubble removed, the industries didn't use fossil fuels, the air became significantly cleaner, the government was aided, employment generated and the company made a profit: USD$ 3500 in 2017. This was followed by an association with Punjab Energy Development Association and Department of Co-operation, Punjab.

Youth Entrepreneurs' Network

As a budding entrepreneur myself, I can safely say that the biggest hurdle in the path of progress is the lack of proper mentorship and resources for millions of young aspiring entrepreneurs – especially women and youth in underdeveloped nations. My own journey has led to my realization of the immense potential of the Indian youth, that can be productively channelized to encourage entrepreneurial initiatives. On the other hand, there are millions of advisors, investors, and incubators in search of brilliant ideas that can create an impact when executed, waiting for the right minds. With this intent, Youth Entrepreneurs' Network(YENet) has been founded - a social networking site to equip young minds with entrepreneurial tools and resources in order to encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge. YENet is aimed at providing young aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe a common platform to discuss the feasibility of their prospective start-ups and develop their entrepreneurial ideas, eventually leading to the launch of a business in real time.

We provide the following facilities to all View startup ideas that match your interest - Ideate to collaborate Be up to date with upcoming business conferences and events in your area Watch free video content of CEOs and experienced professors answering startup-related questions for aspiring entrepreneurs Update yourself with trending business news in the world

Our users get these extra benefits Safeguard your idea by uploading on YENet: Free certificate issued! Find HR, lawyers, marketing consultants, and more for your startup Seek evaluation and funding from VCs, startup accelerators, professors, and CEOs Store your idea on the cloud to later share it with non-users on a one-time view basis with automatic Prezi style pitch deck conversion Today, we have received support from LaunchX, Knowledge@Wharton, and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India. We have raised USD 6,700, have 100+ users in our beta launch, and 30+ business mentors.

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Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao!

The Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! Campaign started small: we provided residents of Colony 4, Chandigarh with water tankers thrice a week, funded with our pocket money. Next, my co-founder and I initiated a leaflet propagation plan aimed at raising awareness about the extent to which we take water for granted. Subsequently, we planted hundreds of trees in various parks of Chandigarh to increase the rate of precipitation, delivered comprehensive water-conservation presentations in schools, and ultimately organized a walkathon in Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh on 4 September, 2015, with Justice M. Jeyapaul as the Chief Guest. The event was a grand success: over 500 locals participated; what's more, we received national media coverage!

Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! has taught me that the smallest efforts can have an impact over time. What matters is persistence and perseverance; kind of like water itself. Today, our 150+ volunteers are no longer limited to my school: members of Colony 4, local water activists, and victims of acute water shortage in Punjab have joined hands with the Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! Campaign. We're now a registered NGO, and run women empowerment and water saving campaigns. Water, when dripped enough, can wear a hole through stone; but it can also build a stalactite, in little drips and drops, which reaches to the sky. What matters is how you choose to channelize it.

SkillPowerApp

One of the most pressing issues in India is the skill gap. Currently, only 2.3% of India's workforce is skilled. It is believed that the labour force in the industrialised world is to decline by 4% in the next 20 years, whereas it is to increase by 32% in India. Despite efforts by both government and private institutions, the majority of the skilled workforce is still unable to find jobs after receiving training. India's massive youth population is an asset only if it is educated, skilled, and capable of finding productive employment. Otherwise, India is facing a human resource nightmare.

My solution for this endemic challenge lies in technology - specifically, a mobile application to link the skilled workforce with potential employers (which I have, in fact, begun developing). The app would automatically upload a skilled student's resume, bio-data and training certification upon entering his/her unique ID. The user will be showcased a list of companies looking for employees skilled in a particular course - IT and electrical engineering. A sorting algorithm would be available for location and salary. The user will simply have to 'Apply for a job' to the company of his/her choice. The app would automatically send across the details of the applicant to the company's account on the app.

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Leadership Roles

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Regional director, Asia and Australia for LaunchX: High School Entrepreneurship Programs

brainstorm, strategize, hustle, learn, travel, and have some fun with the team at LaunchX ! My responsibilities include supervising the work of budding entrepreneurs, liaising between LaunchX Club Presidents of various schools and the LaunchX management, recruiting mentors, and organising the LaunchX Regional Demo Day pitch event! I am proud to be selected as one of the 19 Regional Directors across the globe.

Student Ambassador and Student Ambassadors' Leader for BraingainMagazine

I represent the summer programs of Knowledge@Wharton , Arizona State University , St.Johns University , and Cambridge University. Having attended the Knowledge@Wharton Summer Program in 2017 , I am well versed with the experience and knowledge one gains from a Summer Program at a prestigious institution. I have spoken about my experience at Study Abroad Information Sessions such as the 'One Globe Forum' in New Delhi , India.

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Organizer, Strawberry Fields High School Parliamentary Debate Championship 2016-17

Acted as a convener; delegated tasks among a team of 60 members, managed budgeting, costing and event coordination (2016) Deputy convener; served as second in command in organizing the event with similar responsibilities to the convener (2017)

Film Making

Assistant Director, 'The Delusion' - Assisted in the production of a short film that focuses on the issues of drugs in Punjab and India into light. Movie available Here

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President, Strawberry Fields High School Business Club 2017-18

Taught basics on how to start a business to 100+ students. Mentored club members with their startup ideas and organised pitch events to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among the club members

Student government

I was elected by the school management and my peers as the Co-Curricular prefect of my school in 2015/16 and Co-Curricular Captain in 2016/2017. My responsibilities included organizing extracurricular activities in school and training my juniors for various interschool competitions.

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In the Media

Crop Residue Fortune

Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! tree plantation drive

Social Innovation Relay National Winners! 2016 - Prototyped and pitched a portable paper recycling machine intended to be used in commercial offices and schools.

2017 - Prototyped an environmental friendly electricity conversion device which traps waste heat from smoke in factories and converts it into electricity. Also prepared a self sustainable business model for the same.

Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! Walkathon at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh. Hon'ble Mr. Justice M. Jeyapaul, Judge High Court of Punjab and Haryana graced us with his presence as the Chief Guest. Over 500 locals participated.

Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! Water Conservation Drive. We had locals at a public place run on a treadmill in scorching heat to get free water. The aim of this activity was to give them a glimpse of how people in rural areas need to walk for hours in the sun for a few sips of water.

Paani Bachao! Paani Pilao! An article in the 'Himalayan Geographer' covering our work.

Testimonials

My heartiest congratulations to Ishgun on establishing an online platform called YENet - youth Entrepreneurs' Network. This kind of platform can encourage the aspiring entrepreneurs and students. This initiative will enable young minds to connect, collaborate, and receive mentorship. I hope Ishgun will continue venturing new paths in life to serve humanity. My best wishes to him for his bright future ahead.

Mr. Anantkumar Hegde

Hon'ble Minister of State, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India

Ishgun is an inquisitive and brilliant student, an extremely proactive and ethically motivated leader, and a born entrepreneur - I am sure he will only go on to impress LaunchX further with his ventures.

Mariah Ramos

Partnerships and Business Development Manager, LaunchX

Contact

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