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Student story

Charan Ashokraj

24 December 2023

Studying towards a Master of Business Administration


UCE Involvement:

MYOB IT Challenge (2017)
NZTA Kaikōura Challenge (2017)
Entré $85K Challenge Top 11 (2017)


Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (2016)
Trimble Forestry (2017)
Founder, AMP Solutions.

Prior to UC, where did you work?

Prior to studying at UC in April 2016, I worked in India for 8 years before as a quality assurance engineer for companies like Dell, Identiv, and Trimble Navigation India.

What is your current job and employer?

I have recently just landed a job as a software quality assurance engineer at Trimble Forestry in Rotorua.

How have you been involved at the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE)?

I entered the MYOB IT Challenge earlier in the year, and got to create a virtual reality-based solution for MYOB. Our solution was a business optimiser. It seeked to combine the customer experience with asset spending.

Following that, I entered the NZTA Kaikōura Challenge, where our team placed 3rd and won the People’s Choice Award.

I also entered a competition called Demo the World, which I found out about through UCE. We created an app, similar to Snapchat, where you sing to it and it rates you on how good you are. It was created for the Chinese market because karaoke is so big over there! We are currently in the Top 3 in NZ for this competition, and waiting on results.

Most recently, I have been involved in entré’s $85K Challenge, with my business AMP Solutions (AMP). AMP is an app for health and safety and building warrant of fitness. It helps businesses as it shifts all the work online, and helps to estimate the cost of each asset in a business. At the moment, it is just health and safety, but in the future, I am hoping for it to become a fuller digital management solution.

Back in India, I was a co-founder of a business called ThoughtBees. We started with 2 people, and now we have 22! We’re hoping to get projects through AMP Solutions and build them in India at low cost.

How has UCE helped you?

I’ve always had ideas, but didn’t know where to start. Through the different competitions and workshops at UCE, I have learnt how to generate an idea, enhance it and develop it. AMP Solutions has been a direct result of working with UCE.

UCE has also given me direct exposure to the startup environment in New Zealand. For a foreigner like me, it has been interesting to know how the work culture and business in NZ is different to back home. In India, you don’t get to meet lots of people directly, but here it’s the opposite. You can’t just start a business in India – it takes money and time. But here, you can start one in half an hour!

What advice would you give to others considering joining UCE?

If you want to be an entrepreneur, this is your head start. The exposure, the business connections, and the real time hands experience you get at UCE, you won’t get anywhere else!

What does the future hold for you?

I want to grow AMP Solutions and make it big! I want to hit the NZ market with it, and hire more people for the company. I also intend on finishing my MBA.

What has been your highlight at UCE?

The real-time learning and closeness to businesses, which has been important as a startup.

If you had a piece of advice to others with a startup, what would it be?

If you’re at university, get involved with UCE. You get taught how a business functions and how to be sustainable. Don’t be afraid to use their contacts ad connections. Just take that first step!

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