The Government of India had conceptualized the Niryat Bandhu Scheme, as a part of its Foreign Trade Policy, with the objective to reach out to the new and potential exporters and mentor them through orientation programs, counselling sessions and individual facilitation so that they can get into international trade. It is a significant initiative towards entrepreneurship development in the field of international trade with the objective of boosting exports.
While a token allocation of Rs. 2.00 lakh was made in the fourth quarter of FY 2013-14, the implementation of the Scheme actually took off with an allocation of Rs. 2 crore in the FY 2014-15, followed by an enhanced allocation of Rs. 2.5 crore in FY 2015-16. The outreach awareness programmes are conducted under the Scheme through the 36 Regional Authorities (field offices) of DGFT which directly come into interaction with the new and prospective exporters while issuing of IEC.
The outreach programs under the Scheme specifically focus on the exporters from MSME clusters, considering their significance in the manufacturing sector and employment generation. It is envisaged that the orientation programmes would focus on specific export product with the objective of adding new exporters from that sector to boost the export of the specific product.
In the last two years, 46000 new and prospective exporters have attended the Niryat Bandhu outreach programs conducted all over the country , through the regional offices of DGFT , which indicates the positive response of the exporters towards the initiative for boosting exports.
As part of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, the Department of Commerce decided to galvanize Niryat Bandhu Scheme and reposition it to achieve the objectives of “Skill India”. With this objective in view, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) collaborated with Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) a national centre of excellence for development of human resource in the field of international trade management to launch the NiryatBandhu @ Your Desktop – an online certificate
programme in export‐import business on 9th September 2015.
This online programme, with an intake of 60 participants for each course, is intended to enable the new and prospective exporters to learn the essentials of export import business from the comfort of their homes, through direct live telecast of the lessons on their desktops. The live sessions are followed up by online question answer sessions where they can address their concerns with the reputed experts from IIFT. The total duration of the programme is 20 sessions of 2 hours each i.e. a total of 40 hours. The timings are 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm every evening for 20 days with 90 minutes for lecture and 30 minutes for questions.
The cost per participant is Rs. 25,000, of which, Rs. 10,000 is borne by DGFT and the balance of Rs. 15,000 by the participant. The prospective participants can get information and register for admission to online courses at the dedicated webpage niryatbandhu.ac.in.
A screenshot view of the home page of niryatbandhu.ac.in
The sessions can be accessed by the participants from his desktop through an ID and password given by IIFT to each participant.
The online courses broadly covers following areas related to international trade during the online sessions:
- Introduction to Export: Import.
- 4 P’s of International Marketing
- Assessing export readiness of your firm.
- SPS, TBT, NTB
- Knowledge about international markets
- Export Documentation
- Basic steps for Exporting
- Financial schemes
- Introduction to ITC (HS) Codes
- Export: Import Regulations
- Foreign Trade Policy (2015:2020): Major highlights
- Letter of Credit and implication of UCP:600 rules
- Export: Import incentives
- Currency Management
- Sources of International market data (Online & Offline)
- Risk Management
- Market Access
- Customs and Excise interface
- Free Trade Agreements
- How to find buyers?
- Preparation & Execution of Export Business Plan
This program serves the twin objective of “Digital India”and “Skill India”. The 6 courses conducted since October, 2015 have received an overwhelming response from the exporters. 303 participants (all IEC holders), comprising 35 females, have undergone this online certificate courses during the .year 2015-16. Majority of the participants have been from Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. 8 courses are envisaged in the current FY (2016-2017) with the objective to train 450 potential exporters.
Critical reviews from some of the participants
Ms Jayapriya from South India who is into her family farming business says “it was such an enriching and enlightening experience with dignified faculty taking out time from their busy schedule just for us, guiding and answering all our immature queries patiently and sharing their practical life experiences, which cannot be found in any book. I didn’t find any difficulty and got step by step clear instructions. Earlier I was so skeptical in attending but now I feel every
moment was highly informative and valuable. It has opened my eyes so widely. It made me recheck the earlier chosen markets and products too (be more distinct to get into the next 2 digit HS Code). Showed way to get aid from bank and
shooed away my foreign currency fears.”
Mr. Shanmugam from Tamil Nadu, an export-import professional in an MNC says “it is a very good initiative by the Government of India which is helping the entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs in domestic markets to become
exporters & importers by grasping basic knowledge about all export & import activities within a short span of time. This program is very helpful to the existing exporter & importers as well and helps them to perform better and improve their business. Digital delivery of the course is a wonderful idea connecting the people all over India at a single place without having to leave their homes/offices. Before joining the course I thought I had complete knowledge about the export-import business. But after joining, I realized that my knowledge was of no value in Foreign Trade. This program helped me to understand all the export &import activities which in turn helped to perform better at work. Also this program made a stone to achieve my dream of first generation entrepreneur as exporter within a short period”
Ms Neha Bapma, a CA by professional says “While going through the DGFT site I came to know about the Niryat Bandhu Course. I went through the content and found it nicely designed for a beginner in this field. This is indeed a great initiative by DGFT and IIFT to make us aware of the export-import procedure and the international market, that too sitting at our home in front of our desktop. The timings of the classes were suitable and I had to compromise nothing to attend the classes. In the last 20 sessions my knowledge about foreign trade has enhanced. I’m thankful to DGFT and IIFT that I had this opportunity to be a part of this program and interact with the amazing teachers who not only taught us how to deal with the international market but how to become a smart importer/exporter.”
Mr. Sabarjit Singh from Delhi says “The online programme has enabled me to learn the essentials of export import business from the comfort of my home, via live telecast of the sessions. The sessions are followed by online question answer sessions where we can address our concerns with reputed experts from IIFT. The sessions we had with IIFT faculty are very much helpful and informative in explaining the important guidelines of the Foreign Trade.”
Ms. Yusra Usman, working as a Sr. Executive, Regulatory Affairs, Food Division in Clini Experts Services (P) Ltd. says “I came to know about the Niryat Bandhu Program through the FTP‐2015‐20 and I’m finding it extremely useful especially for a newcomer like me. Minute details are enlightened in such a way that the learning has been made much easier giving it a practical approach which otherwise would have been difficult. The faculty is immensely knowledgeable and supportive. We ask them so many queries during the sessions and irrespective of their time constraint they answer it happily.
Mr. Babu Prabhakaran from Haryana says “The content of this course is structured in such a way that someone who is not familiar with import and export can also understands the tricks of trade. Digital delivery of the course is good & system engineers guided by Shri S.Balasubramanian are doing their job excellently. The faculty is highly qualified and each one of them is able to explain even the basic and fundamental elements of the trade to us and they are happy to clarify our doubts even beyond 20.00 hours. Helpful for me to plan the business process ladder for the Agro products, we are planning to take care of the other details learnt during the course.”
Mr. Nirajan a budding entrepreneur says “I just began a few Import transactions and was looking for an opportunity where I could learn more, at the same time not having to stop my ongoing business. ‘Niryat Bandhu @ your Desktop’ program so brilliantly conceived and executed jointly by DGFT and IIFT came across as a boon at the right time and I grabbed it with both hands. I’m extremely glad to be one of the fortunate 60 who made it to the first ever batch of this program and I must agree that after the first few classes itself I realised the tremendous impact this program . Thanks to the digital delivery mode of this program, we are getting to learn the minutest and highly beneficial details of Import‐Export business from the best Professors in the country without even having to step out of our Home/Offices. This method is so flexible that I could participate in a couple of classes while travelling too (using my Laptop and Internet).”
Mr. Norah Joe a mechanical engineering graduate says “It provides a comfortable learning environment. The lecture and other materials are sent electronically and are downloadable which helps the absent person to update his/her classes. It provides an opportunity to attend classes while continuing in one’s profession. It helps avoid commuting, there is no need to fight traffic, leave work early to go to class, or miss important family time.
It has helped me learn valuable management strategies, and the in‐depth mechanics of how the world of export operates.”