Meet Chintan Jani: CCPS Business Challenge finalist
By Lauren Loricchio and Carroll County Times
Apr 21, 2015 | 9:54 PM
Chintan Jani, a senior at Winters Mill High School, is one of 10 finalists who will compete in the Carroll County Public Schools Business Challenge final competition April 29. (Lauren Loricchio/Carroll County Times Video)
When Chintan Jani, a senior at Winters Mill High School, was walking through a Walmart store a couple of years ago, he realized how difficult it can be to navigate a store while shopping.
"I saw people scouring the store for one item," said Jani, a Westminster resident.
To help shoppers locate items among store aisles, Jani developed the idea for an application called the "ShopNav," a navigation system for customers at stores.
"It will allow customers to shop much more efficiently and it will allow them more time to spend with their family or spend on their hobby," Jani said.
Jani, the only Winters Mill High student to enter the second annual Carroll County Public Schools Business Challenge, will advance to the final competition on Wednesday, April 29, when he will pitch his idea along with nine other finalists from Carroll public high schools for a $5,000 scholarship award. The competition is administered by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
Jani said the "ShopNav" app, which could be used on a device such as a smartphone or a tablet, would rely on Bluetooth beacons — wireless sensors that communicate with one another. Beacons are built into Apple technology such as iPhones and iPads.
The wireless sensors would be placed throughout store aisles to communicate with devices, Jani explained. When someone is searching for an item — Nutella spread, for example — the navigation system would direct them to that item in the store with a map, he said.
Users would create shopping lists in the app for particular stores. Whenever there is a good deal on an item in the shopping list, the user would be alerted by the app, Jani said.
Shoppers would also be able to use their device to check out rather than waiting in line, Jani said. The app will be equipped with Near Field Communication technology that allows two devices to share data.
Jani said the app would be free for customers, but stores would pay a one-time charge of $1,000 for 50 beacons. Beacons would be attached to aisles, and the device would broadcast cereal, for example, allowing customers to find a specific type of cereal in that aisle, he explained.
Rallo said Jani has practiced his presentation before her and a panel of teachers in preparation for the final round of the competition.
"I hope he'll gain more business knowledge and I hope he'll pursue his idea," Rallo said.
Although Jani doesn't take business classes, the school offers three completer programs in accounting, marketing and information systems, Rallo said.
Five business completers are offered in the county, consisting of a series of courses. They are available in subjects including: accounting; administrative services; business administration; and management, marketing, and financial services. Other business elective classes include: business communications and keyboarding, managing personal finances using Microsoft Excel, business law, and an internship class.
All students in Maryland are required to take a financial literacy course to graduate.