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My Expedition at Injaz

Gauri Vinod Monday, July 26, 2021
My Expedition at Injaz

I was going through a hectic period suffering in my online class and telling a hundred times in a day that I miss my friends and school. That is when it arrived as a boon- The “INJAZ COMPANY PROGRAM.” INJAZ Al-Arab is a non-profit organization for education and training in workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship across the Arab World. It operates in about 13 countries as a federation of national operations. So basically, Injaz focusses on bringing up young mind-sets into the field of entrepreneurship, giving students an opportunity to come up with new ideas and concepts.

The first time I participated in Injaz was when I was in grade 8. And then in grade 9. Back then it was a program held in school for a day. But the fun we had is beyond imagination! The program was divided into batches were certain number of classes would attend on a day. The next best part is that you don’t have class on that day..!! In 8th we participated but didn’t win any position but in 9th me and my friends (we were a team) came first among the other teams in our batch. Each team also had a mentor from Injaz and ours was Ms. Dana. I would like to thank her for helping us with our work back then.

But when you come to 11th, 12th and university level, INJAZ IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT EXPERINCE. More precisely: The game gets a bit more “VITAL and INTERESTING.”

So as I was saying, life was going dully. That is when our school announced that there will be Injaz held this year. Honestly, I did not have the least expectation that something like this would happen. Since it was covid and everything was online, I thought that they might cancel it this year. But when I got the news that they are going to conduct it online, I was extremely happy. I don’t think ‘happy’ is even the appropriate word for it ‘cause I was jumping with joy, excitement…god knows what. When I talked about this to my friends they said that I was mad and wasn’t interested much in the program as it was conducted online. As a matter of fact, that was true.

But INJAZ is after all INJAZ and this thought held my hopes high.

The first two-three meetings went by without me uttering a single word. Our team had in the beginning of around 30-37 members. We held meetings discussing on the idea and the product we would come up with. And I must say, most of my team mates had such amazing and creative ideas. We discussed and discussed and discussed. That is when our mentor Mr. Abdullah Alhmely gave us a problem that we wear facing nowadays and made a suggestion of how to overcome it.

PROBLEM: UNWANTED TIME CONSUMED IN A RESTAURANT BEFORE/AFTER ORDERING YOUR MEAL.

SOLUTION: MAKING A SYSTEM BY WHICH MEALS CAN BE ORDERED BEFOREHAND DINING-INN.

Some members of our team liked the idea. While some had opposing statements against it. But that is one of the worthy sides of being in a team; you get to hear both the merits and demerits of the idea and can take a decision accordingly. This is where I felt like taking an actual part. There are reasons for it:

1. Since I had faced this situation of waiting in a restaurant.

2. I wanted to have a product that was related to food and this sounded near to it.

So we divided ourselves into some groups and researched one on dine-in, one on e-commerce, one on interiors from waste, then others science related etc…etc. We presented the ideas in the form of presentation and by vote The Dine-In idea was selected.

So our product got decided and the next was to decide the post. In a company, the first three executive posts is the CEO, COO and the CFO. Then comes the Directors and under them the Managers.

Some of the members already gave their names for certain post. So 0during the meeting sir asked to vote for the executive post so that they can decide the rest of the team. Since I was the one who presented the dine-in idea and our plan of how to solve it, I also gave my name for vote. And VOILA…!! I was selected as the CEO, Noel Shaju the COO and Shabeer Ahmed the CFO.

Now was the time to start THE ACTAUAL WORK. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. Remember when I said that we had around 30-37 members. Well that was not the case later. It began to go down drastically until it reached 21. So 21 members were finalised. And we proceeded with our work i.e. coming up with a name for the company, the logo, making the website etc…etc.

Eventually we came up with the name ‘PORTKEY’ from Harry Potter and I would like to show my gratitude to Ms. J.K. Rowling for that.

By time, Portkey was ready. It is a website through which customers can select their restaurants, order their meal and can also give an approximate time within which they’ll reach the restaurant. So by the time you reach for dining-in, no more time will be taken in ordering and waiting for the meal as it will be ready by then.

We in actual made a website but it was just a prototype as we had not collaborated with any restaurants. We also prepared the presentation for the first level competition of the company program i.e. Internal Level. 7 classes from 12th competed with each other. The program was held online. Portkey was the first one to present followed by the other teams.

The program ended and Portkey nailed it by receiving the first prize.

We were very happy, proud and thrilled at the same time.

The next level was: Interschool and Universities. And to my utter surprise it was going to be held offline. Not the competition, but the last level of it which was an interview was hosted at Kipco tower. So we started making the company report and also got prepared. It was really hard for me to maintain my studies side by side with this but I managed. Moreover, Abdullah sir really helped us in our work and kept motivating us.

All the CEO’s also had a video shooting at the Injaz office where you talk about your company for 30 seconds.

And then the day of the competition arrived. All the 21 members couldn’t go due to the current situation so 7 members were taken. We attended the interview, answered the question to our level best and went back home. The next day was the award ceremony which was being held online.

The High school awards were distributed under 4 titles and then the main award: The best company of the year award.

Portkey was nominated for 2 awards and then also got nominated among the other two teams for the best company of the year award. We didn’t win the award and we were depressed but still coming in the nominee list for the main award is not a small thing. It definitely is not! And we were extremely proud of ourselves.

I would like to thank my school for giving us an opportunity to participate in the company program. Also the injaz crew members were really friendly and hospitable. We were lucky enough to get an inspiring mentor Mr. Abdullah who helped us in identifying our flaws and kept moving us to go ahead. And last but never the least, my wonderful team. You guys did an amazing job and I really enjoyed our discussions, debates, the fun and everything.

I actually lived a life time I wanted to during this program. Being an entrepreneur has always been a desire and something that I look forward to do in the future.

So that’s the end of my Injaz journey...

Hoping for the students to get a chance to participate in Injaz..!!

Gauri Vinod Nair
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