Indian, Nigerian teams win Africa business contest

Johannesburg, May 18 (IANS) An Indian team comprising IITians and a Nigerian team promoting low-cost farm products have triumphed at an India-Africa business competition held here.

India’s Life Catalyst Technologies and Nigeria’s Jorsey Ashbel Farms won the 2nd Indiafrica Business Venture Competition held as part of the ongoing IndiAfrica Festival here, a statement from the organisers said Saturday.

Four teams from India, two from Nigeria and one each from South Africa and Kenya made their final presentations before a grand jury comprising professionals from Africa and India at the University of the Witwatersrand.

While the Jorsey Ashbel Farms team was represented by Blessing Oritseweyinmi, the team of Life Catalyst Technologies was represented by Sagar Laygude. Both will travel to Davos with the IdeaWorks team during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2014 to share their plans with CEOs and investors from all over the world, the statement added.

The team from Nigeria presented a plan of selling “affordable, culturally suitable and healthy livestock products” that can potentially improve the health conditions of underprivileged sections of the Nigerian population.

They have developed a unique alternative source of feeds by using mango seeds, which enable them to produce livestock products at a cost that is 40-60 percent cheaper than regular farms.

The Indian team comprising students of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, aims at making innovative products based on advancements in biotechnology. They focus is on blood glucose monitoring for the Indian diabetic population through a simple-to-use low-cost blood glucose sensor called Rubellite Glucose Sensor.

The organisers had assigned mentors to most of the teams. Niyi Yusuf, chief executive of Accenture, Nigeria, and Raja Manohar, chief executive of Hexolab Technologies, Chennai, had mentored the two winning teams.

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and WITS Business School, Johannesburg, were the institutional partners for the competition organised by the IdeaWorks as part of their ‘Indiafrica: A Shared Future’ programme with financial support from the public diplomacy division of the India’s external affairs ministry.

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