We would like to share the accomplishment of team Ujjwal, Acara team which won the Silver in the Acara Challenge Fall ‘11 – a business plan competition involving 25 teams across universities in India, US and Mexico for developing sustainable solutions to the challenging global social issues.

The SIMSR Indian team comprised of Ankit Setia (PGDM), Abhinaya Nagarajan (PGDM), Jatin Gupta (PGDM), Mickey Haldia (PGDM-IB). The course was facilitated at SIMSR by Radha Iyer & Monica Touesnard Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, at Cornell University.

The final round had twelve plans and presentations. The participating US universities were, Arizona State University, Cornell University, University of Cincinnati, University of Hartford and University of Minnesota partnered with Indian universities & institutes, IIT Roorkee, XLRI, XIM-B, Somaiya Institute of Management and Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, TERI University, Kalinga Institute of Technology. From Mexico, the institute participating was Monterrery Tech, Toluca.

Acara is a program of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, which gives emerging entrepreneurs a chance to envision and launch successful social businesses.

Ujjwal provides a localized and targeted approach to spreading awareness and access for prenatal care and nutrition among low-income urban women in India. Ujjwal is designed as a healthy baby club, where pregnant women would have access to a number of resources including nutritional education, nutrition kits, health camps, and social gatherings with other women in their community. These services would be provided through a network of existing government heath agents and nutritionists. In exchange for these services, club members will be charged a modest monthly subscription fee.

Ujjwal brings a two-fold value proposition for its customers. First, on the social front, the appropriate nutrition will be provided at regular intervals during pregnancy therefore helping deliver a healthy baby. This will have an unparalleled psychological and emotional impact on the women. Second, on the economic front, this will not only help provide quality healthcare services at minimal price but also save expenses should complications be incurred at a later stage.

Ujjwal has established partnerships with K J Somaiya health posts and health agents for the pilot project in Mumbai.

Ujjwal is different from existing government organizations as they provide health, nutrition and education to the women apart from employment opportunities to the health agents and community leaders.

Team Ujjwal has won $750 cash award, and up to $750 matching award and two Acara Summer Institute (SI) tuition sponsorships in India.

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