Students of NIT-Rourkela have put their skills for better use by launching an e-shopping website.

Rourkela: Keeping track with the changing tastes and lifestyles of the younger generation, a group of students of NIT-Rourkela have put their skills for better use by launching an e-shopping website.

The site www.Pennyindia.com has not only caught the attention of youths, but also has created employment opportunities with the techies suddenly becoming a source of inspiration for their peers. The group comprises Sarada Prasad Sahoo (CEO), Abhijit Sahoo (COO), Biswajit Kiro (chief graphic designer), Abhipsa Panigrahi (chief content editor), Sourav Kumar Panda (HR) and offline marketing head Shiv Shankar Sahoo.

“Though we are from different branches, we gel well and aspire to transform our small initiative into a big company and generate more job opportunities in future,” said Sarada. They aim to become self-reliant instead of running behind jobs, he added. According to reports, the trainee engineers have started the business with little assistance from their families. The website provides an assortment of clothes and food items and offers them to customers at extremely competitive prices.

In the first phase, they have bought a printing machine, colours and T-shirts investing about Rs 12 lakh. A customer can avail up to 50 per cent discount if prefers to shop through their site, the promoters of the site claimed. Launched in March 2016, the site has managed to have a customer base of over 12,000 so far of which nearly 80 per cent belong to 18-25 age group, it was learnt. Every day, they get orders of material worth something between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000, said Abhijit.

Attracted by their entrepreneurship, 10 more students of VSSUT of Burla, CET and IIT of Bhubaneswar and GIET, Gunupur have joined the company. They would soon launch another website to expand their business. Meanwhile, the college authorities have provided them spaces in TIIR building of NIT to set up a temporary office and install the T-shirt printing machine.

At present, the group members spend three to four hours a day after their class hours apart from working for two whole days – Saturday and Sunday- a week. They have decided to compete with the branded T-shirts available in the market by offering the customers better quality and designs at reasonable price.