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CrystalOrgoImpex is a procurement solution company, which provides industry with raw materials and intermediates for specialty pigments, inks, and pharmaceuticals such as APIs and generic drugs. Founded in 1994 by Shalibhadra Parekh in Mumbai, Crystal Orgoimpex today provides more than 130 products to companies, predominantly in India and China.

Having recently completed his MSc in Finance (Corporate Finance) in UCC and living in Cork, Shalibhadra Parekh’s son Meet Parekh began to think about how he and his father could expand their market to Europe and beyond. Following a recommendation from a friend, Meet decided to apply to the IGNITE programme.

“IGNITE was a game-changer for me”, explains Meet. “It helped me a lot. I gained practical experience and was given the opportunity to apply everything I had learned in my MsC in Finance in the real world – from working on the CrystalOrgolmpex website with a dedicated mentor to networking with people from a variety of backgrounds – from subject experts to CEOs of established companies.”

During his time on the IGNITE programme, Meet engaged in a variety of workshops on topics such as sales, learn canvas, marketing and project management. He engaged with subject experts on a variety of topics and had the opportunity to connect with a number of pharmaceutical companies throughout the country. For Meet, however, the IGNITE seminars were one of his highlights.

“The seminars were amazing, every week we had one guest speaker who shared their story of entrepreneurial success. Hearing the guest speakers’ stories gave us a goal and motivated us. At the beginning stage of a start-up, it’s important to be able to see what you could achieve. Looking at where these guest speakers are in their careers is inspirational.”

As an international student in Cork, IGNITE gave Meet the opportunity to meet like-minded people on campus, some of whom he now credits as his friends for life. He says that coming to Cork was a very different experience, but one that he will never forget. Some of Meet’s personal achievements while studying at UCC include learning how to cook and travelling to every county in Ireland bar one. Meet will “always consider Ireland as (his) second home.”

As well as personal achievements, Meet achieved a lot of business-related goals including making a business plan through the IGNITE programme, being able to better understand the key fundamentals of business and learning how to market his business effectively. Meet thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting his business at the IGNITE Awards and Showcase, where he had the opportunity to interact with a variety of stakeholders including Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Office and various UCC departments. Having established a wide network of contacts in Ireland, this is something that Meet can bring home to Mumbai and use to expand CrystalOrgoImpex’s market base.

Looking to the future, Meet and his father’s ambition for their business is to expand outside of India and China. This is a goal that Meet now feels he can achieve having gained the experience and courage through the IGNITE programme. “We never considered the opportunity in Europe before IGNITE. The programme helped me to expand my horizons.”

Being asked would Meet recommend the IGNITE programme to other students and recent graduates, Meet described it as transformative. “IGNITE gave me knowledge, courage and the power to expand me and my father’s business. It changed a lot for me. Before coming to Ireland and enrolling in the IGNITE programme I was a cocoon, now I am a butterfly. I would highly recommend it.”

Click here to find out more about the IGNITE programme. 

UCC Innovation

Aistriú Nualaíocht

Room 2.44, Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, Ireland, T12 XF62