Kerala, the God ‘own Country’, is in a mega flood trap. It has already paralyzed the State. More than 13.5 lakh people were evacuated and transferred to official Rehabilitation Camps; almost three times this number have been unofficially accommodated by local people. Though human and animal casualties, and destruction of property and infrastructure are yet to be estimated, the State’s commendable rehabilitation initiative, as a mass movement, has already gained international attention.
A striking picture left over by the disaster has been the shattered regional economy, wherein, the livelihoods of lakhs of people have been put on break, either directly, or indirectly. This includes, lakhs of self employed, and marginal producers, and their workers. Beyond the too small share of employment(13.62 per cent) provided by the corporate sector, Kerala’s significant non-agricultural employment opportunities lie with the largely invisible unorganized enterprises. Between life and death, they have mastered the art of survival. It is such invisible capabilities that provide hopes for a “New Kerala”. It is necessary to identify, document , and preserve such capabilities in the forthcoming reconstruction initiative of the State.
It is now time to plan for reconstruction of the State and its economy. ISED considers it to be a duty and moral responsibility to contribute its small mite to this huge State level initiative. At this Institute, we have decided to set up a humble initiative called,’Kerala Post- Flood Enterprise Development Initiative(KEPFEDI)’.
A State-level reconstruction initiative, obviously, need to be a huge collective initiative, in which , all stakeholders have their important role: the State Government, LSGIs, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and their Associations, NGOs, professionals etc. ‘Enterprise Development’ is a key component of such an initiative in which, professionalism has to play a critical role. ISED, as a socially responsible entity feels duty-bound on this.
Te project proposes the nuts and bolts of a reconstruction strategy, supportive to the laudable initiatives of the Government of Kerala, and of the LSGIs. The Government of Keala would have to evolve a strategy around the following components:
1) a scientific assessment of the damage occurred to enterprises and related infrastructure;
2)to document the entrepreneurial perception on the consequent impact on entrepreneurial confidence.;
3) to draw up a strategic plan for reconstruction and ways of bringing back the entrepreneurial confidence;
4) to showcase the vibrancy of the enterprise sector before the investor community, so that the negative perceptions relating to ‘ease of doing business’, if any, can be corrected, and the positives offered by the massive rehabilitation drive be show-cased before the international community.
While the above initiatives will happen as the outcome of the joint initiatives of Keralites around the world, ofcourse with the support of the nation as a whole, during the next couple of months, there is the immediate imperative for a more focused and professionally-tuned interventions as follows:
- Development of a strong evidence-base on Kerala ‘s enterprise scene today;
- Outlining a set of strategic tools and interventions, based on the State’s own experience, and of other States/countries;
- Bring such locally relevant new ideas into public debates; and
- Link up with relevant institutions that can take such ideas forward to the context of local economic development.
The activities envisaged under this Project are the following:
- Subsector Strategies, through field investigations and consultations, to be taken up by promotional and financial institutions
2.Sensitisation of Local Governments, and public authorities, through effective dissemination of best practices.
3.Business Development Services to potential investors and entrepreneurs.
4.To disseminate the track record of innovations at the ISED Small Enterprise Observatory to the benefit of Kerala’s reconstruction.
With the seed money that we have put in, ISED looks forward to take the Project forward with the active co operation of all stakeholders, and of the well-wishers of Kerala around the world.
ISED Invites applications from cheerful and service minded people of any age, who are ready to extend their energies and capabilities as potential Team Members.
The Institute invites applications from service-oriented Personnel/Volunteers, in the following areas:
Persons with background in any Social Science or Science and Technology background, with a strong aptitude for research and/or development practice. Age/education are not the primary criteria.Need to be strongly service oriented and adaptable.
2) Stipendiary Assistants
Proactive and service-oriented persons with a strong aptitude for research and/or development work/social service. Age/education are not the primary criteria. However, Graduates from the flood affected areas will be given preference. Basic computer skills/communication skills needed.
3) Field Investigators
Proactive and service-oriented persons with a strong interest in field data collection from households and businesses. Commerce/Economics/Management Graduates preferred. But, education is not the primary criterion. Graduates from the flood affected areas will be given preference. Basic computer skills/communication skills desirable.
Persons with good language skills(English and Malayalam) and computer skills. Skills in drafting and communication would be desirable. Persons with media background also may apply.
Period of the Opening: Short-term and/or Long- term.
Education and Skill set: General Criteria
- Preferably Graduates/Post graduates
- Analytical Skills
- IT Skills
- Communication skills in English and Malayalam
- Interview Skills for Field Investigation.
The services of applicants will be considered essentially as Volunteers. However, Stipend/ small remuneration will be considered in exceptional cases. Candidates demonstrating significant service mentality, drive, proactive behavior, and capabilities, will be included in the Institute’s Roster for other openings that are likely to come up in the in the near future.
Interested candidates may forward their applications to the Director, Institute of Small Enterprises and Development( email: email@example.com)