Once upon a time, long, long ago – before terms like “bootstraps” and “Angel investors” and “Incubation Centres” had gained currency (forget about becoming flavours of the day) and certainly way before the very term “start-up” was coined, the Bhawanipur Education Society College (BESC) was established – to provide students (read entrepreneurs) a chance to complete their formal studies even as they continued to be gainfully employed (read pursue their entrepreneurial instincts). “What the BESC had started in 1966 (innovative disruption, anyone?), is now witness to a lot of labelling – the so-called experts having learnt the value from the west, what we have been doing here all along – helping students give vent to their inherent entrepreneurship. Helping innovative ideas flourish. Helping passions to fruition. Helping convert academic knowledge into practical enterprise” said Prof Dilip Shah, the Dean of Student Affairs of BESC, the “man behind the entrepreneurs”, with his characteristic élan. “Yes, we are talking about education being translated into something tangible. Take the formal launching of the Prime Secure website as a case in point, though there are innumerable examples of this actualisation of theory – there is Yash Dugar for example, who was chosen for plum jobs, but chose to strike out on his own. There is Neha who started her travel agency from these very classrooms and took the College students on a trip to Manali; Nistha who started a successful event management company; there is Raghav; there is Siddharth Dhariwal; there is Raja Das with his platform for cryptocurrency trading; Md Nazm who went into sportswear manufacturing and secured the first order from the College itself …” Sourav Chowdhury – the last in this long list of successful “BE-preneurs” had started his journey in August 2018. Today, not only has be created a niche for screen replacement as a viable business but has successfully built up a very thriving business eco-system around the core business. He has made his presence felt among his peers in all the Kolkata campuses (sponsoring events as highly billed as the IIT Springfest and BESC Umang among others); have steadily scaled up his business; reworked his pricing and has attracted a number of brands to share the limelight that he is attracting for mutual benefit and brand associations. What started as three-way partnership, is today not only a full-fledged business entity that people look up to but is also a proud employer and a revenue generator with plans that are aiming for the skies, that too, by dominating the web. It is for nothing that Sourav’s venture has been nominated as the trending start-up in Kolkata and has won the much-coveted best start-up crown. “Sourav Chowdhury is no stand-alone phenomenon” continued Prof Shah, “he is one of you. More importantly, all of you too, can be like him. The BEST Programme (read Dean’s office) has been and will continue to be your incubation centre. All of us in BESC are here to hold hands, to share our contacts, to help you open doors, to assist you in overcoming the hurdles that come up, to take your plans to their logical ends”. The one hundred and fifty odd students who had trooped in celebrate the success of “Prime Secure” could not have agreed more, as they too felt empowered by the achievement – for they too have been to the corner room in the Dean’s Office where everything – from the germination of the idea to the relaunch of the “new, improved” business model of Prime Secure had taken place, right in front of their eyes. Sourav Chowdhury, did not say much, making the usual references and acknowledging the unstinted support of the BEST team, as if personified by Prof Dilip Shah, urging all present to make the best of facilities that students in other colleges cannot even dream of. He also used the occasion to invite on stage the interns who had slogged it out with him and his partners, thanking them and renewing the bonds. There was a quiz about the start-up – being a cult entity already, it is but fair that it will have people asking questions about it. The sweet and savouries that followed however, raised no questions as everybody dug in, celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship, the spirit called BESC. And the success of BEST – perhaps, the name itself says it all! (This report has been filed by Komal Chowdhury and Akshat Bothra with camera persons Dharmesh Chowdhary and Shreyanshu Mishra).