As the year 2021 unfolded, Poornatha has experienced its fair share of peaks and valleys in its journey towards marking its international footprint. In the recent turn of events, we are excited to announce that we have successfully launched our very first International Empower project in Senegal.
While the second wave of the pandemic unleashed chaos globally, our team turned to exploring opportunities to expand globally. We went back to our drawing board to ask ourselves – “As we take this leap, which market should Poornatha be tapping into?”
Being the founding partner of MADE and the first EDO of the network, it was a natural extension to seek out other EDOs in the MADE community. Thanks to Dr. Paul Clyde and Dr. Mike Pape’s support, we narrowed down on one of the fastest growing economies – Senegal.
While the plan on the paper emphasized a feasibility research on knowledge transfer, we aspired to aim higher and launch the actual cohort. The country was as new to the team as the language, French. But the team remained loyal to its DNA – Process-driven that is, on the face of the unforeseen circumstances.
A closely-knit team of 3 from Poornatha in union with interns from Michigan Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs (MADE)- Isabel and Prince and support from Institut Africain de Management (IAM) set out to turn the vision into reality.
The team undertook a meticulous approach to work on multiple enhancements to leverage the abstract data at hand. Starting right from diving into the cultural aspects and understanding common practices (such as their perception of borrowing) to gain a better outlook on the sentimental values, draw context to remodel content to most importantly setting an effective timeline for all the tasks and active members of the project.
Understanding the need of the hour, we solidified our commitment to map the entire course of action, intermediary milestones and required resources. Starting from April 2021, over the next 5 months, the team worked on an unending exhaustive list of action points to source and train French facilitators, contextualize the curriculum and source entrepreneurs in Senegal who will partake in the pilot as co-creators of the process. The team’s background study and readiness to embrace the abstractness helped manage the deviations and persistently update the plan of action
It wasn’t an easy sail for Poornatha. Sourcing high-quality facilitators, overcoming the language barrier, and smoothly accommodating the transitioning of interns anchoring the pilot were the major roadblocks along the way. Despite that, we strived hard to remain true to our purpose of creating value. We restructured and streamlined our processes to serve as handrails for execution. With the forlorn possibility to travel, we banked on meticulous documentation (through dedicated checklists) and visualization (via extrapolation) to enable our progress.
Fast forward to August 2021, we were all set to roll out our initiative and finally on 23rd October 2021 we hit the home run when months of hard work ultimately paid off. Witnessing the session online was a joy that remains unmatched for the entire team who successfully managed to pull – off their first-ever international, offline project never having set their foot into the actual territory.
As for 6th November 2021, we have completed all the sessions and as we look back at the experience – we feel proud to have stayed true to our promise to provide Simple, Immersive and Practical world-class knowledge irrespective of the boundaries.
The Path Ahead
Our team has been on its toes to build its status as a trusted global brand that enables entrepreneurs to dream, create, innovate, and realize their full potential. As we emerge from the pandemic we are eager to expand our national and international footprints beyond the digital forum, with first-hand emphasis on setting foot in Kenya, Ukraine and neighbouring South-Asian nations.
Talking about the future, we are certain that the journey ahead is going to take a different turn but as they say – There’s a silver lining to everything and we are looking forward to it! Our commitment to keep delivering the best despite the crises remains unflinched.