Part student and part businessman, Varun Jain ’21 spends most days alternating between his two main roles. One hour, the junior computer science major is in class and the next he’s on a conference call plotting strategy for Veera, the startup company he helped create 18 months ago as a first-year student.

“As a student here at Carolina and also working on a startup like Veera, balancing the two can be a challenge,” said Jain, a Morehead-Cain scholar from Australia. “It’s all about time management.”

Along with classmates Nicholas Ashcraft and Grant Everist, Jain started Veera to help address income inequality in India. The company is establishing distribution networks to help farmers in rural parts of India find more buyers and get better prices for the food they produce. Veera also helps farmers get containers to keep their products cold longer, giving them more opportunities to sell them instead of having to watch them spoil.

Even though balancing his schoolwork and his startup is always a challenge, Jain said learning how to run a business while he’s still a student with fewer financial responsibilities and less risk makes the intense schedule worthwhile.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be both a student here at Carolina and an entrepreneur,” Jain said. “It enables me to make sure that what I learn in school really complements what I’m doing outside of the classroom.”

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By Rob Holliday, University Communications

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