CM inaugurates Sikkim’s first Entrepreneurs' Hub Centre

Gangtok, 28 Mar:

In a major development for the State, Sikkim’s first Entrepreneurs’ Hub Centre was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling here at Samman Bhawan today.

The Entrepreneurs’ Consultation Centre is the first of its kind in the entire North East Region. Sikkim is also perhaps the only State where such a Centre will be located in the office of the Chief Minister, which goes to show the impetus laid by the Government on facilitating an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to evolve.

The initiative is also in line with the Chief Minister’s Startup Scheme launched by the state government last year.

Addressing young and budding entrepreneurs, the Chief Minister congratulated the founding members and the entire team of entrepreneurs for setting up the Hub Centre and for embracing the field of entrepreneurship. He called upon the entrepreneurs to take up the mantle of educating the youth in the State who are disillusioned and are still living with the traditional mindset.

This is the age of science, technology, creation, new ideas and innovation and hence our youth should be able to accept the reality and adapt to the changing times, he said. Science has erased all the boundaries and made the world flat and transparent where anybody can compete, he added.

“Today, we are being challenged by infrastructures created by Science such as Artificial Intelligence, which is slowly taking up our jobs,” he stated.

He urged the youth to take inspiration from the lives of individuals like Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller who fought all odds and became an inspiration to millions of people across the globe. It was their sheer will power and intelligence which enabled them to achieve the unfathomable, he added.

The Chief Minister further called upon the entrepreneurs to develop strong faith in themselves and remove all forms of disillusionment from their minds.

“Your biggest wealth is your age, but you should also ensure that along with your body, your mind and intellect should be young,” he added. He urged the entrepreneurs to make the most of the unlimited opportunities available in various sectors in Sikkim.

“People from outside the State are benefitting from the opportunities available in the State. Young people from Sikkim should come forward and reverse this trend,” he stated.

He added that entrepreneurship may be challenging to start with, one may incur financial losses, but with time and experience, it is highly rewarding. He urged the entrepreneurs not to get disheartened by petty challenges and losses, and asked them not to give up at any point of time.

Referring to the scenario in Sikkim where most of the young people are obsessed with seeking government jobs, Mr Chamling reminded the gathering that the true potential and desire of a person is never realized by being employed in the government or the corporate sector.

“They merely become intellectual labors or physical labors,” he added.

Speaking on the opportunities emanating from Organic Agriculture, the Chief Minister urged the youth to explore various areas such as marketing, branding and exporting of organic produce from Sikkim such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, meat, eggs and milk. The Chief Minister also exhorted the entrepreneurs to realize the potential of the State in eco-friendly tourism. He said that the government has created unique tourism infrastructures throughout the State so that young entrepreneurs can benefit from them.

He also shared the government’s vision and commitment to create 1000 tourist destinations in the State. He talked about the government’s plan to build a 12 km underground tunnel from Sirwani to Legship to begin with and subsequently connect all the four districts through underground tunnels. He also mentioned the various plans under Smart City Project which can generate numerous opportunities for the youth of Sikkim.

“Our Government has created infrastructures that can last for another 1000 years but the youth have to take ownership and accountability towards maintaining them,” he added.

In his concluding note, the Chief Minister said that the CM’s Start Up Scheme is an answer to the perceived unemployment in the State. He informed that a sum of Rs 79 crore has been earmarked for the Scheme in the current Budget. He called on the entrepreneurs present in the meeting to take the lead and become torch bearers of entrepreneurship in the State.

Earlier, the Chief Minister handed over token subsidy amounts to eight entrepreneurs from the first batch of the Chief Minister’s Startup Scheme.

The programme also saw felicitation of the Chief Minister by the Members of the Entrepreneurs’ Hub Centre.

During the programme, the CM was also presented with photograph frames depicting dance forms of 20 ethnic communities of Sikkim by the officers of the Information and Public Relations Department. The photographs have been taken from the paintings of artist Bhawani Pradhan.

The programme was also addressed by Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department, Arvind Kumar, and Founders of the Entrepreneurs’ Hub Centre, Rewaj Chettri and Yougan Tamang.

Yougan Tamang informed that the startup hub will now act as a one-stop destination for upcoming entrepreneurs to structure further plans about their respective start ups.

Thanking the Chief Minister for his will and intention to start this centre at his office he said that varied aspects of the State's startup scheme will be available in the newly launched office.

Rewaj Chettri, who recently made the state proud by featuring in the Forbes Under 30 Asia list for his startup efforts, while thanking everyone for their congratulatory messages expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for his push towards the establishment of the center.

The program was also attended by Ministers, Ugen Gyatso Bhutia and NK Subba, Legal Advisor to CM, KT Gyaltsen, Gangtok Municipal Corporation Mayor, Shakti Singh Choudhary, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs and stakeholders from agriculture, tourism and banking sectors.