Devki USIU Africa ESI Partnership 07062018 01

DEVKI Group Chairman Narendra Raval, EBS, speaks during the launch of the Narendra Raval-Guru Entreprenuership and Social Innovation Program on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Looking on is his wife Neeta (Second right), Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza (Center), Dr. Sunil Dhall (Second left) and University Advancement Director Mr. James Ogolla (Left). PHOTO: DAN MUCHAI

On Thursday, June 7 USIU-Africa in partnership with Devki Steel Mills Limited, launched the Narendra Raval – Guru Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation (ESI) Program, targeting recent graduates from both public and private universities in Kenya. This is a first of its kind Outcome-Driven Entrepreneurship (ODE) program to be offered in an institution of higher learning, which seeks to equip participants with a 21st century mindset, skills, frameworks, tools and processes, that will help them transition from entrepreneurial intentions and aspirations, to reality through a more predictable Evidence-Based Innovation Process and Strategy (EBIPS).

The six month program, which will be hosted and administered by the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Extension, is mainly designed to solve the problems of business failure, by enabling participants to incubate their great ideas and receive guidance on how to manage and overcome business challenges.
Participants will be taken through a human-centered interactive systematic process to create their own businesses, through which they will be offered practical, hands-on insight and battle-tested solutions to the failures by startups.

“The ESI program is based on a methodology which helps participants avoid the frustration of hit-and-miss innovation endeavors, because it makes innovation more predictable, leading to high-growth enterprises,” said Prof. Amos Njuguna, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Extension.
He noted that is the program is geared towards generating more jobs through market creation rather than market disruption which causes displacement.

“We aim to provide an environment that will lead to innovative ideas and solutions that will solve our own problems and those of the continent,” he added.
Speaking at the launch of the program, The Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza underscored the university’s desire to prepare graduates who are ready for the workplace they are headed, “This commitment is necessary to ensure that Kenya continues being the economic powerhouse in the region, as it has extensive human skills, ideas and capacity to generate relevant solutions,” he noted.

On his part, Devki Group Chairman Narendra Raval spoke of this partnership as a step in the right direction, noting that their experience was informed by the continuous disruption they had observed in the marketplace. “We knew we needed to change the direction in which the industry was headed,” he added.
He also added that Devki will donate a considerable amount towards tuition fees for the first batch of 50 students once the program commences in July at the Incubation and Innovation Center. Upon completion, Devki Group will place successful graduates from the program in their subsidiary companies: Devki Energy Company Limited; Devki Steel Mills Limited; Maisha Mabati Mills Limited; Maisha Packaging Company Limited; National Cement Company Limited; and Northwood Aviation.

“Our partnership with USIU-Africa is based on the fact that we want to socially invest our funds and expertise with an institution that is widely recognized as a center of academic excellence with state-of-the-art teaching facilities.”