PUNE, India, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- deAsra Foundation on 8th January celebrated the successful culmination of its 8-week long online program, Back On Track, that was designed to help entrepreneurs affected by the pandemic led lockdown to get 'back on track' by hosting a virtual graduation ceremony.

deAsra Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Anand Despande, Founder, Chairman and MD of Persistent Systems Limited, with the aim to help entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial journey. Dr. Deshpande believes that the answer to unemployment in the country lies in the creation of jobs by aspiring entrepreneurs, and with that objective in mind deAsra is committed to enabling people to start, manage and grow their business successfully, having already benefited 100,000 plus dePreneurs (deAsra-benefited entrepreneurs).

When the country went into a lockdown in March, owing to the pandemic, several businesses were adversely affected. deAsra recognised the problems faced by the businesses and rose to the occasion by offering a one of its kind, free of cost, 8-week long, expert-led program, 'Back On Track' (BOT), to help entrepreneurs increase their customer footfall and manage cash flows better.

With an intention to mentor 20 deserving candidates, deAsra went on to include 29 participants from across the country from varying business backgrounds, from 500+ entries received. These participants belonged to diverse fields ranging from food business owners to sustainable fashion entrepreneurs to nutritionists to MSME consultants to children's mental and creative learning experts, and facing problems such as 30 to 50% drop in business, cash flow management issues, difficulty in embracing digital marketing methods, etc.

The BOT program addressed these issues by dividing the program into 2 specific tracks- the cash flow management track and digital marketing track where industry experts and mentors provided workshops, one-on-one guidance and hand-holding to identify the problems and solve them effectively over the span of 8 weeks. The participants practically put to use the learnings, especially for digital marketing, under the guidance of these experts.

The subsequent positive results witnessed by the participants were heartening with a definite rise in lead generation and cash flow seen by 90% of the active participants.

To celebrate their achievement of getting back on track, deAsra announced cash prizes and rewards to the top three entrepreneurs who demonstrated measurable improvement in their businesses. The entrepreneur to win the first position was Vaidehi Rathi of Sharda Foods, a traditional Indian snack business with a 25-year legacy. She implemented the BOT learning to create a strong online presence, and increase the reach of her products across the city. The second position winner, Pooja Apte Badamikar manufactures designer and customised footwear from upcycled tyre scraps, giving sustainability a whole new meaning. The BOT program gave her international recognition and a new vertical for her products along with a growing digital foothold. Pranav Deshpande of Cakipaste, an eggless cake business offering unique flavours, was the third winner. He too utilised the BOT experience effectively, increasing his daily footfall significantly along with a flourishing online customer repertoire. Overall, all the 29 participants benefited significantly from the digital marketing program along with the cash flow management track and could see measurable results in their businesses.

This successful program was concluded with a virtual graduation ceremony felicitating all the participants with certificates handed out by the founders themselves - Dr Anand Deshpande and Sonali Deshpande.

The impressive success of the BOT program has propelled deAsra Foundation to create a model for many similar programs to be offered across various business topics, such as the Social Champ service. These programs and services are created to benefit entrepreneurs and assist them in getting their business back on track, in-line with deAsra's motto of helping businesses grow, expand and sustain at every stage. 

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