Category Archives: Business & Economy

A platform for budding entrepreneurs

Tapping talent: Students showcase their skills at the Vadakara Regional Vocational Expo at Meenchanda VHSS in Kozhikode on Tuesday . | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP;S_RAMESHKURUP –

Exhibits in most innovative category focus on management of energy

Schoolchildren seem to be well aware that food is profitable business in Kozhikode. Most of the stalls in the most-profitable category at the Vadakara Regional Vocational Expo, which began at Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Meenchanda, on Monday, featured food and were hosted by girls.

The vocational expo, organised as part of the Kozhikode Revenue District Science, Social Science, Mathematics and IT Fest, was where youngsters from the vocational higher secondary schools of Kozhikode and Wayanad districts showcased their entrepreneurial skills. The competition was in categories such as most innovative, most marketable, most profitable and curriculum-related. Most of the exhibits in the most innovative category focused on efficient management of energy and natural resources.

Irrigation system

The host, GVHSS, Meenchanda, developed an automatic irrigation system based on the water content in the soil. The technology can also be adapted to be used in households to automate the water pumping system completely.

The GVHSS Kinasseri team came up with a wireless doorbell while the Government Sarvajana VHSS in Sulthan Bathery came up with the model of a semi-aquaponic integrated farm that suits small spaces such as apartments. It was a concept in which pisciculture, a bird farm and vegetable garden go hand in hand. The Technical Higher Secondary School team from Sulthan Bathery developed a simple home automation system that enables a person to switch on or off all electronic and electrical devices in a house through a mobile application with the help of a website.

The Sarvajana team won the first prize in the category while Rahmania VHSS, Kozhikode, bagged the first prize in the curriculum-related category as well as the most marketable category. K.K.M. VHSS, Orkatteri, bagged the first prize in the most profitable category. The expo concluded on Tuesday.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Staff Reporter / Kozhikode – November 08th, 2017

Entrepreneurs who found meaning in failures

Andrine Mendez, founder trustee of The Kitchen, a not-for-profit organisation, at TiEcon Kerala in the city on Friday.

‘Failure Lab’ at TiEcon Kerala features businesspeople who changed tacks to relish success

Nowhere does the maxim ‘success has many fathers, failure is an orphan’ holds more relevance than in the world of entrepreneurship where failures are at best glossed over.

So, while start-up labs and FabLabs have mushroomed across the State, no one had heard about a Failure Lab before one appeared at TiEcon Kerala, a convention of entrepreneurs, which got under way here on Friday.

Failures take place often

“Failures need to be discussed as much as successes, so that people aspiring to venture into entrepreneurship do not repeat the same mistakes,” said Andrine Mendez, founder trustee of The Kitchen, a not-for-profit organisation connecting big and small businesses and professionals alike, which organised the first-of-its kind initiative in Kerala.

Fifteen persons, either entrepreneurs or professionals who had to face failures at some point in their careers and consequently recovered or changed tacks, featured in the lab. Mr. Mendez himself was one of the participants, as he candidly confessed he had to close down two companies, a web TV and loyalty-based discount card venture, in one-and-a-half years before succeeding in his third venture, a digital advertisement company that was eventually acquired by a French company.

Similarly, Rafeek Kavanur’s experiments with the marketing of banana chips failed owing to a combination of flawed pricing and trade union issues. Mukesh Dev had an even more spectacular failure when he entered the entrepreneurial world with the hope of striking gold by making every Indian purchase India-made handicrafts.

He amassed a team, collected handcrafts from across the country and put them up for sale on the online market. Only, no one bought into his idea or the handicrafts. Fortunately, he eventually had success with his third venture based on education.

“It was not easy to persuade people to talk about their failures for obvious reasons. Even TiE Kerala was initially sceptic about the concept of Failure Lab before eventually supporting it wholeheartedly,” said Mr. Mendez who now plans to make it a regular feature of the monthly event being organised jointly by The Kitchen in association with TiE Kerala.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Cities> Kochi / by M P Praveen / Kochi – November 11th, 2017

Now, a heritage walk through royal town


With its ancient kovilakams, small leafy shrines overlooking moss-ridden ponds and a musical heritage to match with, Tripunithura always had an immense potential for heritage tourism.

But it was Fort Kochi and Mattancherry that always found a place in the Ernakulam tourist itinerary and the royal town never got its due.

The pilot royal heritage walk will be held on November 11 and 12 in two sessions – one each in the morning and evening

Now, this is set to change with two young professionals, Balagopal C K and Krishnan Varma of Cochin Royal Family, who have chalked out detailed heritage walks around the important sites of Tripunithura for the people to get acquainted with the historicity of the city.

“Despite being multicultural, the focus is only on the Colonial history of Tripunithura with regard to heritage cultural and heritage tourism. Due to this lack of attention and rampant construction and expansion in and around the area, the region is losing its sheen. The heritage walk is an attempt to create awareness about the city and its history to the locals,” said Balagopal, an IT professional and organizer of the heritage walk. He plans to revive the evanescing grandeur of the regal city of Tripunithura.

The pilot royal heritage walk will be held on November 11 and 12 in two sessions – one each in the morning and evening. Later, the walk will be held during the Vrischikolsavam at Tripunithura temple which spans over eight days from November 18 to 25.

With Balagopal is his cousin Krishnan, an architect who had documented the heritage of Tripunithura and held an exhibition of the same in 2014, in an endeavour to bring the city back to public eye.

“The walk will also be advantageous for tourists with a taste for historical structures as a couple of buildings which are kept locked throughout the year, like the Palace Girls School made exclusively for the princesses and Ammathampuran Kovilakam which has documented evidence of Sakthan Thampuran himself living there, will be opened for them during the course of the walk,” Krishnan said.

He added that lack of knowledge about such stories behind each structure is leading to the destruction of the centuries old buildings, which later gets replaced by concrete jungles.

“During the 90-minute walk, anecdotes and histories of the Cochin Royal family and the structures that are associated with them will be narrated for giving them an idea about the past of the royal family and the milieu. The script has been approved by the eldest generation of the royal family to ensure authenticity of the same,” Krishnan said.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kochi News / by Afrah Ali / TNN / November 09th, 2017

It’s a story of rice to riches for Kerala farmer

Against the grain: Praseed Kumar with his children in his progressive farm at Sulthan Bathery.

When others moved to cash crops to cut losses, he brought Gujarat and Punjab varieties to Wayanad

India’s traditional rice diversity has brought riches to a farmer in northern Kerala .

Praseed Kumar from Thayyil at Sulthan Bathery went against the tide, when his peers in the loss-hit farming community in Wayanad switched to cash crops such as plantain and arecanut a few years ago.

The 43-year-old progressive farmer got a small packet of rice seeds from a friend in Gujarat, which stood out with its violet-coloured chaff. He decided to propagate this variety. Initially, it was on just one cent of land, but later, it was expanded to one hectare.

Mr. Kumar has been conserving the ‘Krishna Kamod’, a basmati rice variety from Gujarat known for its taste, colour and aroma on one hectare for the past seven years.

Last year, he harvested nearly 2,500 kg of this paddy and sold it as seeds to farmers at ₹ 200 a kg, rather than in the open market.

“While farmers procure the rare rice variety as seed, others buy it as a gift, or keep it in their pooja rooms and offer it to temples,” Mr. Kumar said.

Fights drought, pests

He spent ₹ 85,000 as costs and earned ₹ 5 lakh. The Agriculture Department, which finds the rice attractive, chipped in with ₹18,000 as incentive.

“It seems quite suitable for Kerala and its pest and drought resistance are plus points,” said M.K. Mariyumma, Agricultural Officer, Krishi Bhavan, Nenmeni. Many farmers coming under Krishi Bhavan are eager to cultivate it.

The farmer has become famous for growing 15 varieties of rice. These include Mahamaya, a hybrid with an average yield of 4.3 tonnes an acre, Ramli, a traditional Punjab rice, Navara and Rakthashali, with medicinal properties, Black Jasmine, a violet medicinal Assamese type, two basmati variants from Jammu and Kashmir, besides Valichoori and Adukkan, both indigenous varieties.

Mr. Kumar is looking at rented land now, to grow even more.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by E.M. Manoj / Kalpetta – October 31st, 2017

Crafts fair from December 21

The Sargaalaya Crafts Village in Iringal will host an international crafts fair from December 21.

More than 100 craftsmen are expected to take part in the event. Nearly two lakh visitors are expected.

The distribution of entry passes will begin on November 15.

Entry will be free for schoolchildren, organisers said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Staff Reporter / October 24th, 2017

Kannur airport gets location code from IATA

The location code granted to the new airport is ‘CNN’, which is the short for CaNNanore


Kannur :

Kannur international airport, which is expected to be commissioned next year, has got the three-letter location code from the IATA (International Air Transport Association).

According to a communique from IATA, the location code granted to the new airport is ‘CNN’, which is the short for CaNNanore, said P Bala Kiran , managing director of Kannur International Airport (KIAL). He said though the KIAL was keen on getting the code with ‘KN’, the codes were not available and hence CNN.

“The location code is unique to every airport in the world and it is like Aadhar for an individual,” he said.

He also said the new website of KIAL, with the ‘.aero’ domain name will be online soon, and the new URL will be ‘’.

According to the KIAL MD, the work is progressing fast and in all probability, it will be operational in mid of 2018. The terminal work will be completed by October and the runway would be over by December-January, he added.

Then, the Aerodrome Licensing Authority of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation must inspect the airport before giving the license. Also, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the airport has to be finalized by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) using the calibration flight, which would take a few months after the completion of the civil works.

As of now, twenty passenger airlines and two cargo airlines have expressed interest to start operations from here. Further, though the airport will operate with 3050 metre runway in the first phase, the land acquisition process is on to extend its length to 4000 metres, said Bala Kiran.

Once fully operational, the airport is expected to handle 4.67 million passengers and 60,758 metric tonnes of cargo in a year, with 39,638 aircraft movements, according to KIAL authorities.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kochi News / by P. Sudhakaran / TNN / July 27th, 2017

A fisher couple who defies conventions

Braving waves: The CMFRI will felicitate K.V. Karthikeyan and K.C. Rekha on Friday.

Rekha is the first woman in the country who goes fishing in the sea by boat, according to CMFRI

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) will felicitate K.V. Karthikeyan and his wife K.C. Rekha who have been venturing into the sea for fishing using gill nets and hooks since the past 13 years.

Sudarshan Bhagat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, will present a memento to the couple at a fishermen meet to be held at CMFRI here on Friday. He will hand over fish seeds to the couple for launching sea cage farming. The programme is part of the ongoing platinum jubilee celebrations of the institution.

An official release here said that the couple hails from Kundazhiyoor near Chettuva in Thrissur district. It claimed that Ms. Rekha is the first woman in the country who goes fishing in the sea by boat. Although there are women engaged in fishing in backwaters, no record about women’s presence in fishing along the Indian coasts is available so far, said A. Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI. He said that the institution wanted to felicitate the courage shown by the couple.

Financial support

“There are some superstitious beliefs in the society that women are not supposed to go to the sea for fishing. But, here a lady has courageously broken all these unreasonable customs and conventions and made a living out of fishing,” said Mr. Gopalakrishnan. The CMFRI has offered them financial and technical support to launch cage farming in the sea.

The Minister will address the representatives of fishermen and fish farmers. An interactive session will also be held on the occasion to solve the issues being faced by stakeholders.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by  Special Correspondent / Kochi – May 04th, 2017

Country’s first digitalised Panchayat ward in Kerala

Kottayam  :

A ward in the district today became India’s first digitalised panchayat ward . website

Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar inaugurated the website of the first digitalised panchayat ward number 15 of Aymanam grama panchayat at a function held at a temple premises.

The minister launched the website digitalaymanam  at the function.

This small panchayat ward in Kerala  has become the first one to go digital in the country, taking a very important step in fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of transforming India  into a digitally empowered society, the Minister said.

Gurjar hailed ward member Devaki teacher for taking the challenge of collecting details of 423 families and 1,262 members in the ward and made them available in a mouse click away.

The website also contains information about blood donors’ forum and telephone directory of the people of the ward, officials said.

CPI(M), which is ruling the Aymanam Gram Panchayat, boycotted the function.

They, however, have not cited any reasons for the boycott.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kohikode News / PTI / April 30th, 2017

Nilambur teak set to enter elite club of products with GI tag

prized wood: The superior quality of the Nilambur teak was identified by the British. — Photos: Special Arrangement

The timber has superior mechanical and physical properties, besides an incomparable aesthetic appearance

Nilambur teak, internationally known for its superior quality and elegant appearance, will soon be added to the list of Kerala produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

The effort to obtain the GI status for this unique timber variety, pioneered by the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Cell of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) with the support of the Nilambur Teak Heritage Society, the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and the Department of Forests, is set to bear fruit within a month.

It was the Britishers who identified the superior quality of teak from Nilambur plantations and forests. Later, the region became the major supplier of quality teak in the world.

Global appeal

As its fame crossed the seven seas, Nilambur was christened the Mecca of Teak. Tonnes of timber, blessed with superior mechanical and physical properties as well as incomparable aesthetic appearance, were taken to London and other parts of the world. The Nilambur-Shoranur Railway line was laid for transporting the teak logs.

However, fake products with false tags started flooding the wood/ furniture markets as the fame of Nilambur teak increased. Understanding the potential risk, the IPR Cell and the College of Forestry of Kerala Agricultural University motivated the people of Nilambur to protect their rights legally, by registering the unique product as a Geographical Indication under the GI Act.

The Nilambur Teak Heritage Society joined hands with the Kerala Agricultural University to register Nilambur teak as a GI product of India. The IPR Cell of KAU coordinated the legal procedures. Scientific studies to validate the unique qualities of Nilambur teak were done at KAU’s College of Forestry. The KFRI Centres at Peechi and Nilambur and the Kerala Forest Department also supported the venture.

The preparations for registering Nilambur teak were initiated with a workshop of stakeholders organised by KAU in 2013. The application for GI registration was submitted to the GI Registry, Chennai, in December 2015. The modalities completed, the formality of bestowing the GI tag on Nilambur teak is expected at the next sitting of the Registry, according to KAU sources. Members of Nilambur Teak Heritage Society, Coordinator of KAU’s IPR Cell and experts from the College of Forestry have been asked to attend the sitting at the GI Registry, scheduled for the end of February.

GI registration of Pokkali rice, one of the first Kerala produces to get the GI tag, meanwhile, has been renewed. Other Kerala products with GI registration include Vazhakulam Pineapple, Wayanadan rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala, Tirur Betel vine, Central Travancore Jaggery and Chengalikodan Nendran, a banana variety.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Stats> Kerala / by Mini Maringatheri / Thrissur – February 10th, 2017

Conference on Indian medicine system from Friday

Thiruvananthapuram :

‘Jignasa 2017’ an international conference on Indian systems of medicine such as ayurveda and siddha will be held from February 10 to 12 at the Saraswati Mandapam Ground, Poojappura. As part of the conference, an exhibition on science and public health has opened at the venue. The event is organised by the Vidyarthi Seva Trust.

The expo, which features around 200 stalls, showcases the diversity and significance of traditional systems of medicine and healing practices practised in India, and their role in public healthcare. Participants include central and state government departments, NGOs, traditional and tribal physicians, medicinal plant nurseries and gardens and health-related industries. The home pavilion features ayurveda, yoga, unani and siddha systems.
The expo attempts to raise awareness about these systems and their contemporary significance, the trust said. ‘Jignasa 2017’ is planned as an international conference on ‘Convergence of health traditions in Bharatavarsha.’
Union ministers Dr Harsh Vardhan, Dharmendra Pradhan, Pon Radhakrishnan and Yesso Naik are expected to participate in the conference, the trust said. More than 1000 delegtates including 600 students are attending the event. As part of a public health awareness programme, a free medical camp is on offer.
Various cultural programmes also are planned in the evenings.

They include a baul performance by Parvathy Baul, kalaripayattu by Hindustan Kalari Sangham, classical dance recital by PNNM Ayurveda College and a ‘classical thematic yoga’ presentation by the Chinmaya Mission. Over 500 students from across the country had participated in Jignasa 2015.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Thiruvananthapuram / by Express News Service / February 07th, 2017