On December 8, around 11 AM (GMT +5:45 ), the Team of NxtGen interacted with Nisha Thapa, Head of Bloggers at Yeklo. The team showed their high enthusiasm to share their experiences. In an hour-long interview, NxtGen members narrated about the opportunities they got and what they created, their ups and downs, and further planning. Team members of NxtGen are doing their engineering at IOE, Pulchowk.
Let me provide you information about them.
Name of the Team members
Jay Kishan Panjiyar
Campus Director/ President
Deputy-Campus Director/Public Relation Manager
Technical Manager/Partnership and Judge Manager
Mr. Jay Kishan Panjiyar briefs us on history.
“People doubted what this 4th-year guy was trying to do? Why is he wasting his time? Is he really going to conduct Hackathon, HULT PRIZE and Tedx in Nepal ? CRAZY GUY!!! “.Jay had to listen to these kinds of criticisms by his classmates in his early days. With the mission to create an organization that can run various youth-focused career and personal development programs, which were unlike the campus events and competitions based on festivals, Jay, a fan of Elon Musk, led the Foundation of NxtGen in29 January 2020.
“I am lucky to have my friends like Biplab and others who always supported me. They were the ones to make time for me to see my presentation and understand the mission and vision. You won’t believe the First Entrepreneurship series co-organized by NxtGen and HULT PRIZE was fixed in two days. I and Biplav took the initiative to call the guests for the program. Our newly formed organization with no registration and no social media page had no sponsors. So, all the members contributed some amount of money and completed the series without having snacks that day. The success of this event gained buzz on our campus. This was the moment when our team became the team with an internalized sense of belonging in NxtGen.” Jay says, remembering the initial stages.
Story of First Digital Quantum Hack in Nepal.
However, Jay lost his motivation to conduct the talk series because of the pandemic. He could feel his dreams falling apart. His teams and advisors shared the idea to use the digital platform for the Hackathon. Having significantly less idea of conducting events on digital platforms brought confusions and doubts. Jay did his research on the virtual medium of conducting events. But the end of summer marked Hackathon, not to the part of Quantum Hack. Something is better than Nothing quote inspired J.K (his nickname) to drop a mail to Devfolio, which happens to be one of the best Hackathon organizers. The Devfolio team reverted with the interview seeking to know about JK‘s planning. Since JK had less planning, he couldn’t excel in the interview; however, the Devfolio team thought to take an aptitude test for him to check if Quantum Hack can actually be registered as a Hackathon. Jay, in months, felt happy when the Devfolio team accepted Quantum Hack. And this marks Quantum Hack to be the second biggest Hackathon in Nepal and the first digital Hackathon in the nation. The success of Quantum Hack solely goes for NxtGen’s persistent effort. Further, these events gained NxtGen larger publicity and recognition.
The next event, HULT PRIZE 2020/21.
“Being the president of NxtGen and going through various interviews helped me excel in another interview with Mr. Fedi Regaig, who is Regional Analyst in HULT PRIZE for Asia. I got selected as a campus director HULT PRIZE at IOE within a day. Susan Dangol, who is a Community Builder at HULT PRIZE , further guided me in taking responsibility. I had to make the committee member traditionally but I declined because it will take a longer time. Thus I opt for my members to help me in HULT PRIZE. Some of them declined, some stayed by my side. And I assure you that those who stood with me are the best ones.”
After forming the team, a promotional video was launched. Remarking the world food day, the “Promote Local, Go global” campaign was done. These all aid the HULT PRIZE team in gaining several quality advisors, investors, mentors from our College, United Nations, and many other organizations. And at present, the HULT PRIZE has successfully completed eight Entrepreneurship Talk Series and the HULT PRIZE 2020 competition. This team really has strong work interests and ethics.
Why NxtGen, Why not NextGen; What’s in the name?
Jay shares his interests in neuro-plasticity and psychology. His love for research is immense. He found that every world-leading brand, like Google, Yahoo, has something unique during his research. Common names are perceived as common. Like NEXT is a common name but removing e from it and making NXTGEN made it unique. Also, Jay believes that NXTGEN has symmetry and looks perfect. It looks like People like me would not know about it at first and become curious to know about it and search about it. SMART USE OF PSYCHOLOGY HERE. (Taking notes)
Bibek Mallik talks about Public Relations.
“We started having a lack of volunteers especially juniors due to their study schedules. I started taking charge of the situation. I did the event management myself in the earlier days. All pre-event preparation was done by me. Ms. Devaka Bhattarai would execute the event. I also got my hand in Graphic designing, especially for the posts and flyers. Getting social media pages updated also came on my shoulders when we were short of social media managers. I also worked for workshop management in SMS platforms. For me it’s not just a task, it was a way to improve my own learning and skills. ,” says Bibek Mallik, describing his duties at NxtGen.
Mr.Mallik recalls the grand Finale moments HULT PRIZE and states this event to be the most memorable and happy moment for him. Not moving from our chairs and being alert with the screen and audio issues were meant for that day. Mallik recalls seeing Ram Pothenini, an Indian Actor, on the zoom screen, and listening to him made him forget the work pressure for a while. His presence heightened our audience, and it was unbelievable. Witnessing the audience enjoying the musical sessions also delighted us.
Bibek Mallik is also the Deputy Campus Director in HULT PRIZE, where he monitors all the members to check the proper execution of their responsibilities.
What has Sagar Shrestha contributed to the team?
Sagar, chief correspondent of NxtGen, says, “Entrpreneurship’s concept has brought diversity in our team. It was actually difficult in the initial phases. Our first meeting was held in the Cricket stadium. We have started from scratch. We had quite a small audience and limited brand awareness. Our teammates always worked hard and would motivate each other. And we would transfer this motivation to our volunteers as well.”
Shifting to a digital platform was hard for the newly formed team. Thus, Sagar also assisted in content writing and graphics, as they were two factors to gain an audience in social media.
How does Biplab Karki manage Technical issues and partnerships?
“To be honest, the presence of volunteers made my work easier. So, there was not much work left. All I had to do was guide them from time to time. Then I switched to partnership and Judge Manager for HULT PRIZE. Except for Graphics and Designing, I feel that I have contributed in updating content, social media management, announcements, finding sponsors, guests especially celebrities and judges, and emailing them. I am sure that the judges in our event were diverse and have quite a good reach in society. For me, the presence of Steve Wozniak in Quantum Hack and Ram Pothineni in HULT PRIZE felt like the greatest achievement in the journey.”, says Biplab in a happy tone.
Biplab remembers the time where there were fewer supporters, more critics, less sponsors, more rivals. While approaching the mature and experienced people for their advice, they would doubt the team’s ambition. It was hurtful to know that their possible advisors talked about Nepal’s socio-political and socio-economic condition to hinder organizing the event. Biplab was shocked to see this kind of reluctance and the traditional mindset of grown people not accepting “Dream High.” But the continuous and robust team made the events happen too with the presence of world-class celebrities.
Biplab strongly believes Nothing is impossible if you have your heart, mind, and soul on a particular task you want to achieve.
Anjil Bishwokarma serving the visually-appealing contents.
Graphic Designer, Anjil Bishwokarma says,” You know graphic designing is a sensitive as well as interesting job.My prior experience of working as a freelancer had given me quite a learning in Designing. Templates don’t attract me so I use my own creativity to create content. I strongly feel that our audience communicates more with our content at first. Thus, I ensure my designing to be perfect. Making such content will actually add a point to our brand as well. Thus keeping the audience engaged and attracted makes me motivated to do my job. ”
Freelancers in a company or freelancers in NGO?
Anjil feels it’s hard for freelancers to get jobs quickly here in Nepal as we don’t have international clients and payment restrictions. He actually joined NxtGen to gain experience in Graphic Designing. This would add to his resume and would be proof and portfolio for his future endeavors.
For those who are thinking about freelancing in Graphics designing, Anjil suggests gaining more experience at first. You may or may not be paid; it's okay. If you aren’t paid, it’s better to join an NGO as you will learn more, and you will be associated with a team devoted to bringing changes in society.
Anisha Adhikari shares her journey in media management
“My family has a journalism background. It always fascinated me. However, I haven’t got any formal classes in journalism. When I became a member of NxtGen and I was asked to take responsibility as a media manager. It became difficult in the starting days since I have no professional experience and network. But the learner in me started doing research in media platforms especially TV and newspaper. It boosted my confidence. I must say learning by doing has made me have quite a good knowledge of media management. Another challenge was to attract the media. I elaborated on our team’s mission, vision and told them about the events which are important for the students and society. I must say, Interacting with media professionals aided in improving my skills. The achievement NxtGen has in its developing phase is remarkable and to encourage and support us media platforms are supporting us.”, Anisha recalls her journey since day one.
Anisha says online media platforms are targeted at comparatively less impactful events. She holds the responsibility to get in contact with the offline media platform if the event is one of its kind and has a greater impact on the audience. Anisha strongly believes that media coverage plays a crucial role to inform the audience about future events and how the event was. Having a celebrity in the event is not enough, we must have strong media coverage too on online and offline platforms. Anisha is hopeful to get more support from the national level offline platforms as well as online platforms.
Mr. Jay Kishan narrates his intentions to have a blogger who could cover HULT PRIZE events and portray them in words. The team was lacking such manpower. After seeing a blog written by Yeklo (Nisha Thapa; that’s me :p) on”HULT PRIZE AT IOE AND NXTGEN's LEVEL3 OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP TALK SERIES-A SOLDOUT SESSION ”,the team was delighted. The following day Yeklo was declared as a blogging partner for HULT PRIZE. Team NxtGen expects similar interesting blogs to be written in the coming days and need the textual medium/ article for promoting their actions and summarizing the events. Indeed both partners are devoted to bringing a positive impact on youths, so there is along a journey for them.
What are the Future plans of NxtGen?
The pandemic became a boon for us. We got support from various people from different fields. Our critics have become our support. We get to connect with our audience via entrepreneurship talk series and HULT PRIZE Competition. Also, our own entrepreneurial knowledge and planning have improved. Team NxtGen plans to register itself as an NGO. The team is planning to take another entrepreneurial venture Innovativex Private Limited to better heights along with NxtGen. The team intends to bring revenue as well as social impact.
Message for youths
Youths today want to do activities, which are trending be it posting expensive lifestyles on Instagram or being an entrepreneur. But they forget trends are for a certain time, and your career has to have a longer span, or else you will have an uncomfortable life with finances. Thus focus on your career and follow your heart.
If you are not passionate about anything, leave it. Don’t dwell with it; don’t wait for a second to bury the burden. Passion makes you more invested and productive. Set a goal with a defined pathway. Along with that, you should stay with people who support and give positive vibes to your work.
The team believes in Saying No to Give up. One should Never Give up on the things they love. Money will come and go but you will feel guilty for not doing the things you wanted when the universe had given you the opportunity. Always keep your efforts persistent and find a way to work smartly.
Another message is for the Youths and the people with the mindset of staying the same is,” If you can think about it, you can do it. Nothing is impossible. Don’t doubt your background; instead, believe in your intention and give you a hundred percent. It does not matter where you come from, but it matters where you are going and what’s your destination.
A blog in collaboration with NxtGen.
Interview by: Nisha Thapa