How many 21-year-old college students do you know who help their peers find gainful employment while also helping them develop their soft skills so that they are in a position to find work? Besides helping their peers find jobs, how many of them are also simultaneously running two successful ventures? The short answer is not many.
Meet Sai Abhinay Chepuri, a final year B.Tech student in computer science engineering from Lovely Professional University (LPU), whose 2017-incorporated venture ‘Make it Memorable’ has helped over 80 photographers and videographers, amongst others, find gainful employment.
Born in Yangal, a small village in Rajanna Sircilla district, Telangana, Sai Abhinay grew up in relative prosperity in nearby Vemulawada town.
His father, Chepuri Bala Raju, was a very successful businessman, but unfortunately fell into debt because of a few unsavoury acquaintances.
“We were one of the richest families in our town when I was very young. However, when my father tried to help a few people financially, he ran into debt. Despite the shadow of debt, my father never gave up on helping others. I have tried to inculcate my father’s spirit of helping people, no matter our circumstances. In many ways, I was inspired to start Make it Memorable (MIM) because of him,” Sai Abhinay tells The Better India.
After finishing high school in Karimnagar, he got admission into LPU.
Finding Jobs for Others, Developing Soft Skills
“My main motto is to help youngsters who are talented and have a skill, primarily photography and videography, but are not well-versed in presenting their work to big corporate entities. These entities range from Sony and Nikon to production houses in different film industries. I organised my first placement event at the LPU campus in Jalandhar with support from the university and my professors. Thanks to this event, around 40 people found jobs with salaries up to Rs 5.5 lakhs per annum,” claims Sai Abhinay.
Since then, he has conducted two more such events at the LPU campus in Jalandhar and Hyderabad in the past year, helping another 40 job seekers find employment. Being a student placement coordinator at LPU, alongside the network and knowledge he has developed over the years, has facilitated his ability to help talented people land jobs.
“I am in touch with different welfare organisations and non-profit organisations (NGOs) like the Photography Welfare Association, Pragathi, Sadhana, Helping Hands NGO and other non-profits that have helped me organise such events. A lot of the credit must go to my faculty at LPU, who have helped me a lot from conducting events, imparting soft skills to helping these talented persons bag jobs. At MIM, we also helped a lot of students find proper internships and campus-ambassador roles,” he adds.
None of those who find jobs are from LPU. These are candidates from different parts of the country invited to these events by the MIM team.
“I invited candidates for my first event, organised at LPU, which has a campus on the outskirts of Jalandhar. We went to villages in Telangana and Punjab for the other two events and tied up with corporates, non-profits to organise small talent hunting events. Getting corporate people to attend these events is difficult. Still, we advertise their products through social media, flyers and other mediums besides leveraging my connections in the college placement cell and student welfare departments,” he says and admits, “Yes, we verify candidates for corporates looking to hire, but getting them to attend is hard.”
Beyond photographers and videographers, he now wants to help talented electricians, mechanics, masons, and many others from different professions get well paid jobs.
Another key focus of his work at MIM is to develop soft skills for anyone who needs them. Ask Peddapuram Shiva Kumar, a third-year BSc student in computer science studying in Hyderabad and the son of farmers, who live in a village located 40 km away from the city.
“Thanks to Sai Abhinay’s guidance, I have become a campus ambassador (liaisons between a company and their university) for big multinational companies. Since my first year of college, I have been working with Paytm’s regional social media and marketing team on a part-time basis to get college students into paying their fees through their payment gateway. I get paid depending on the number of transactions I generate. However, I am also into event photography and photo editing. Thanks to Sai Abhinay’s assistance and network, I am honing these skills. He has also taught me how to prepare for future job interviews, and even encouraged me to pursue my Masters,” says Shiva Kumar.
Funding and other ventures
Thus far, MIM has received no significant investment, and Sai Abhinay is not looking for any either. Instead, he is planning to charge a nominal feel for job seekers who need soft skills training. This fee will be given to trainers from various corporations and universities.
Besides MIM, Abhinay also founded another venture called ENVIROPROMISE in 2020 to help farmers with new-age agriculture practices. The team comprising agriculture students of LPU travelled to 20 farms in Punjab to help farmers understand new-age practices.
So far, Sai Abhinay claims that they have already helped over 80 farmers with urban farming techniques and sell their organic produce through their sub-brand FRESHSPOUT’s website and phone application. The app, he observes, helps farmers understand organic farming techniques through AI and is available in over 50 native languages.
Furthermore, Sai Abhinay plans to expand his ventures and is looking to tap the recycling technology space. He wants to blend the concept of recycling through technology by showcasing village innovations, recycling innovations, waste regeneration etc.
To help fund these ventures, he is currently in talks with T- Hub (Telangana Startup Hub) and a few venture capitalists as well.
Suffice it to say; there is no questioning about his enterprising spirit.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)