Meghdut Roy Chowdhury shares why innovation is so important in entrepreneurship
The entrepreneur who is trying to create a one-of-its-kind integrated cultural ecosystem in the city recently won hearts with the first edition of The CCU Festival.
The avant-garde millennial Meghdut Roy Chowdhury has always been there to give the right push at
the right time to the young crusaders of Bengal. The entrepreneur who is trying to create a one-of-its-kind integrated cultural ecosystem in the city recently won hearts with the first edition of The CCU Festival. “My focus is to bring back the lost glory to Bengal, and that there is so much happening always, which helps me keep going,” says Meghdut. And if the response is anything to go by, then Meghdut surely read the pulse of the city right.
It was a one-day festival with seven stages and 4,000 attendees, The CCU Festival saw 14 different events in a span of 16 hours. The events were a mix of educational and informational on one side and pure
entertainment on the other and there were about 100 speakers from across the country and the city, presiding over sessions on NFTs, design and artificial intelligence among other topics. There were
eminent startup founders conducting seminars and pitching activities throughout the day with about 1,041 startups applying before the event. The D-Day saw about 90 startups pitching to 80 investors and a total commitment of Rs 450 crores was made out of which about Rs 100 crores have already been disbursed. To keep the visitors entertained there was also an electronic music festival besides hip hop and rap performances and live music by Amyt Dutt, Taalpatar Shepai and other notable artistes. Encouraged by the response, Meghdut is planning the second edition, on November 25, next year with a target audience of 10,000. We got chatty with Meghdut about the same to find out more.
What made you organise such an event?
It’s only for the love of my city. All the work I do, be it founding Bengal Business Council, the Make Calcutta Relevant Again initiative, or the work I do in the entrepreneur space, it’s only for the betterment of the city. And I have been trying to do this for the past 10-12 years. If the city youth are not motivated and carry forward the baton, then Kolkata will become a ghost city pretty soon. People keep
complaining that nothing happens in the city, yet there are so many talented Bengal entrepreneurs who are setting examples in other cities. Why can’t we create such a platform in Kolkata? I want to change the current narrative.
You often talk about a new Bengal, a new Kolkata. What’s your idea of a new Bengal?
My idea of a new Bengal is when Bengal will be held in proper esteem in conversations outside the city. In other cities, when people talk, Kolkata is not very relevant. I can only say that I am privileged and want to use all my might to create more opportunities and greater platforms. And anyone who is doing a good job, I am there to support them. It is only the tagline that says Make Calcutta Relevant Again but it
focuses on Bengal in its entirety. It’s not that we focus only on urban youth. The people involved with us travel from Purulia, North Dinajpur, Durgapur and even Asansol, to name a few a towns that participated at the festival.
Is your focus still to build a startup ecosystem?
You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so we cannot shift our focus right now. The work is ongoing and there is still a lot of push that it needs, with constant positive messaging. We have to do it across sectors, which we cannot do alone. We have to tag along with others too for the betterment of the state.
Innovation or perseverance, which is more important for you?
Both are important, yet if you would ask me, I would pick innovation. You need to innovate constantly. It’s not today that Bengal is giving birth to entrepreneurs; it has done so for centuries. But with time, the mental makeup changed… keeping that in mind, to push Bengal to a global platform, if we don’t use innovation as the biggest weapon, I think that it will be very hard to re-invent Bengal because perseverance alone won’t work. We need innovation big time to break the mould and show it to the world
when people are least expecting it.