“We’ve all grown up being told that it’s stupid to dream, but I believe dreaming is just the beginning,” says Sonia Manchanda, co-founder and creative chief at Dream:IN, an initiative which has been recognised as one of the top 10 game changers of 2013 by Metropolis Magazine.
In this interview with Lakshmi Rebecca, Sonia talks about Dream:IN and how it started. She shares about the methodology they use to capture dreams, which involves youth from the 100 plus institutions that Dream:IN is now associated with. She also shares how she and her team are exploring the nation, identifying dreams that need nurturing and then proceed to mentor dreamers, helping them realise their dreams.
Initiatives such as Dream:IN, which nurture the entrepreneurial spirit are necessary in a country where roughly 1 million people have been entering the labour market every month since 2010 - a trend that will continue until 2040. This injection of employable youth is a result of India’s fast approaching youth bulge, a phenomenon that is common amongst developing countries. Here the population of youth eligible to work is higher than the number of available work opportunities. In order to keep up with the inflow of youth, India will have to create about 10 million new jobs annually. By nurturing entrepreneurship, and supporting budding dreams and entrepreneurs with the right resources and mentoring, India can see a silver lining in its employment scenario through start-ups and self-employment initiatives.
In answering Lakshmi’s question on how Dream:IN works, Sonia talks about how dreamers with the potential to create scalable and sustainable businesses are brought together for workshops where they are objectively assessed and supported by successful entrepreneurs and design thinkers. With the help of mentors and super - mentors, Dream:IN provides real-world insights and gives market inputs, therefore helping dreams become sustainable businesses.
While discussing, over chai, the perspective-shift that is happening amongst Indian youth, and needs to happen more, Sonia says, “The youth today can afford to explore new ideas and fail. The ‘India’ they are growing up in is very different to the India I grew up in.”
Dream:IN is now a model that has been replicated at universities across the globe in just three years since its inception: inspiring people to dream and urging them to consider how dreaming is relevant to the overall development.
This is a webisode that talks about how dreams can address a problem that is quickly growing to be larger than life in India – the unavailability of employment.Watch the video and tweet your thoughts on dreaming and starting up to @ChaiwithLakshmi
About the show:
Chai with Lakshmi is India’s first award winning online talk show that showcases people and ideas that are positively shaping India for the future.