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  • 14 May, 2021

    Hitachi India’s Innovation challenge with start-ups to boost small medium businesses in association with Kerala Start-up Mission

    Hitachi India Research and Development Centre conducted a national innovation challenge ‘APPATHON’ with start-ups in association with Kerala Start-Up Mission (KSUM). This challenge focused on addressing some of the critical problems faced by the small and medium businesses.

    At Hitachi, we believe that sustainability of businesses is one of the key driving forces to provide continuous economic growth. With the Covid-19 pandemic, many small businesses have struggled to keep their livelihood intact. As a result, we need a more resilient digital ecosystem that can withstand global shocks such as these and ensure business continuity. The pace at which digitalization has transformed businesses and added value is tremendous. However, the digitalization efforts are not equally distributed, and some sectors benefit more than others. Small businesses, especially, need a more rapid transformation so that they can get into mainstream economic contribution, sustain their livelihood, and scale their businesses quickly.

    This innovation challenge was conducted with the main aim of addressing these social issues. The participants were challenged under three broad themes of working capital management, digitization support for small merchants, and digital solutions to improve end-user experience.

    As a result, around 125 start-ups from across the country participated in this challenge. 27 start-ups made to the final round and top 3 winners were announced. Doorward Technologies, which provided a solution to connect distributors with village shops for additional revenue generation, bagged the first prize. Agrima Infotech, got the first runner-up for its solution that simplifies inventory management, while digital queuing platform solution provided by Yobny Tech won the Second Runner Up.

    The prizes were announced at a virtual ceremony attended by the officials from Hitachi R&D Centre, India and KSUM. Mr. Mohammed Safirulla IAS, Secretary of IT & Electronics, Govt. of Kerala gave a special address at the event. The award includes Cash prize and Digital certificates.