The Jagriti Yatra program aims to inspire and support entrepreneurship among young people from small towns and villages across India, encouraging them to find to new sustainable approaches to development needs in sectors like healthcare, agriculture, water and housing. Over the 15 day journey, the train stopped at 12 locations to meet with social and business entrepreneurs who have created high social impact in their fields. Second stop on the trip was a visit to the Aravind Eye Care Hospital, with whom Essilor runs a fleet of mobile refraction vans, to see how its teams successfully provide vision treatment to all sections of the community, and especially in hard-to-reach locations.
Essilor’s 2.5 NVG (New Vision Generation) inclusive business division sponsored 10 young entrepreneurs on this transformational journey. Three staff members joined them to share insights on innovation to reach bottom of the pyramid customers and to talk about eyecare business models such as the Eye Mitra Opticians. Essilor also took this opportunity launch a competition, challenging the 3,000 Jagriti Yatra participants and alumni to suggest ideas to equip people living in rural or semi-urban India with eyeglasses in a scalable and sustainable way.
Through workshops, presentations and interactions on-board and in rural communities, the 15 day journey aimed to provide insights into transforming challenges and setbacks into solutions to give participants real practical learnings about leading change.