The Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad has a large campus and is teeming with students on most days. It was made even busier by the large E-cell of enthusiastic girls and boys during the E-week. The elaborate festivities, events and competitions that the E-cell had designed during the week required deft planning and and effective promotional campaign. This need led to the birth of a new campus company.
The E-cell team manages big PR impact through media relations and outdoor publicity. This time they decided to float a large air balloon in the campus which would carry the message of entrepreneurship. After the planning was done, the ideas was almost punctured by the high rent of such a balloon that the existing commercial entities charged. A balloon with the dimensions of 5 ft x 9 ft x 5 ft would have cost the college Rs 20,000 for a week.
But, not to be deterred by financial obstacles, a group of E-cell members – Yusra Fatima, Sameed Ahmed Usman and M A Karim – got down to researching for the balloon-making process. They tried different kinds of material and settled for black plastic due to cost factors. Trial and errors led them to go for electro-chemical sealing of the edges. They arrived at the final product with the dimensions of a commercial balloon by making just one smaller prototype and the whole process cost just Rs 1,500. For the E-week, they put air in the balloon, but later they propose to fill it with helium, which will raise the total cost to Rs 3,000.
The success of this exercise convinced the team that they can repeat the same model for other colleges, as most of them look for new means to carry out outdoor publicity during college events. So, they set up a new company SKY, taking the initials of its three founding members. The new company has already worked out a business model. They will target the 5,000-odd educational institutions in and around Hyderabad and rent them these publicity balloons for as low as Rs 8,000 a week. This may mean instant business and force competitors to lower the cost.
The sky seems to be in the reach for this team of young entrepreneurs.