HHL Researcher from India Provides New Impetus for Social Shopping in Germany

Varun Kashyap (26) from India, a German Chancellor Fellowship holder and guest researcher at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management won the first prize at the “Startup Weekend Future Shopping Edition” in Berlin. The 26-year old impressed with his business idea in the field of social entrepreneurship during the internationally renowned start-up competition. Varun Kashyap and his team presented their company LOKalMotion, a concept which simplifies sales of local products not only for tourists but also for local residents. „It’s great, that we were able to convince the high-profile jury consisting of the management of Deutsche Bahn Station&Service, Metro as well as Investor WestTech Ventures with LOKalMotion. I am delighted about winning the first prize which includes free usage of a co-working office of Deutsche Bahn at the Jannowitzbrücke in Berlin for six months, and Microsoft software and services with a total value of EUR 60,000,“ says Varun Kashyap.

After the Startup Weekend, the guest researcher at the Schumpeter Junior Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of HHL received an invitation to present his business concept at the start-up competition of Deutsche Bahn Station&Service on April 16, 2015 in Berlin. Varun Kashyap says, „We are hopeful and have strong belief in the potential of our idea, which is not only a future vision but also includes many sales channels (multi-channel) for local products and businesses.“

About Varun Kashyap

Awarded a German Chancellor Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Varun Kashyap, 26, from the city of Chandigarh in Northern India, has worked at Germany’s first business school since late 2014. Through the Schumpeter Junior Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, the scientist examines the role of logistics and technology in retail business models and, drawing from the first aspect, ways to achieve sustainability. Varun Kashyap regards himself as a social entrepreneur, i.e. his involvement in entrepreneurship is not primarily about profit but about an added value for society. He explains his vision, „I want to make the stores in 600,000 villages of India more sustainable and as a consequence initiate changes in society.“ Varun Kashyap’s preferred tool is the increase in efficiency in the fragmented Indian retail market by using technology and optimizing processes. The scientist obtains a lot of impetus for his research from his examination of the various online and offline business models of German chain stores such as Aldi, Lidl or Edeka. Due to the mostly rural structure of India, Varun Kashyap is also thrilled to look into the more than 200 village stores across Germany, which ensure supply in the rural areas in the form of citizens‘ initiatives.
Together with Monika Shukla, Varun Kashyap is the co-founder and so-called Chief Evangelist of LetsEndorse (), a crowd support platform on the Internet, where NGOs, businesses, citizens and governments can exchange views to trigger changes in social matters in a committed manner. From 2012 to 2013, Varun Kashyap completed a multidisciplinary development program for executives organized by the Indian Ashoka University in cooperation with, among others, the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. as a „Young Indian Fellow“. Prior to that, the social entrepreneur founded Suvidha Bazaar in 2010. Both farmers and consumers benefited from the initiative for fresh farm products focusing on the supply chain. In 2014, Varun Kashyap was nominated as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

About the Schumpeter Junior Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vivek K. Velamuri is the Schumpeter Junior Professor for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL. This Junior Professorship is kindly being sponsored by the Leipziger Stiftung für Innovation und Technologietransfer. Jun.-Prof. Dr. Velamuri’s research focus is on hybrid value creation, i.e. the process of generating value added by combining products and services to well-adjusted offers. This is the topic on which he completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Chair of Professor Kathrin M. Möslein) with summa cum laude in May 2011. Working on research projects, which focus on innovation and value creation, at Professor Möslein’s Chair with partners from the industry brought Jun.-Prof. Dr. Verlamuri significant experience in research carried out in cooperation with industry. Additionally, the Junior Professor, who also holds an MBA from HHL, has a solid background in teaching. His constant interaction with entrepreneurs motivated Jun.-Prof. Dr. Velamuri to design a course for students to write case studies on entrepreneurial firms.

About the Business School HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

With over 150 start-ups by HHL alumni over the past seventeen years, Germany’s top address for young managers has also developed into an incubator for company foundations. The founders‘ entrepreneurial commitment has created more than 2,500 jobs already, over 1,100 of which are located in the Leipzig region alone. . In 2013 and 2014, HHL reached one of three first places for the best entrepreneurial universities in Germany in the Start-Up Radar ranking published by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Founders‘ Association of German Science) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BWMi). According to the Financial Times, HHL ranks first in Germany and fifth globally for its entrepreneurship focus within the M.Sc. and EMBA programs.

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