ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONCLAVE

ED Conclave 2019

The Entrepreneurship Club “Antha Prerna” of Vivekananda School of Business Studies (VSBS) organized an Entrepreneurship Conclave on 4th September, 2019 for the current batch of students across courses & semesters. The theme of the conclave is “Give flight to your dreams”, inspired from a quote by Walt Disney’s i.e All Dreams Come True If You Have the Courage to Pursue Them.

The objective of the conclave is to familiarize young management students about the endless possibilities of entrepreneurship through stories of successful ventures who made it despite impossible odds stacked against them. The six of the most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs were invited to share their experiences, stories and insights with the students. The hosts of the event Ms. Ashu Aggarwal invited the dignitaries to occupy the dais. Dr. Indira Bhardwaj (Dean, VSBS) and Prof. Meenakshi Gandhi welcomed all the dignitaries by felicitating them with bouquets and souvenirs.

The event further proceeded by inviting the first speaker for the day, Mr. Advait Kumar, Co-founder, Swajal. He developed India’s first “Water ATM”where you put in a coin and the machine dispenses water. He holds the trademark for its design. The idea behind the creation is decentralization of availability of clean drinking water and rein in on the rising commercialization of the most precious commodity through packaged water industry. In many ways his venture serves the “Botton of the pyramid”and has vast social impact. But he can’t be labeled as a “Social entrepreneur” as he also started “Water Cube” which caters to big corporates such as PWC, KPMG etc.

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He graduated from PENN Grad school and worked as an Investment banker in JP Morgan. But the entrepreneurship bug caught up with him. The journey of Entrepreneurship has not been easy for him as he started three start-ups namely Mindkart, Nirbhaya Urja and PayClap but everytime he failed. Despite massive setbacks, he did’nt give in and kept trying. He got through an MBA programme at prestigious Chicago Booth School of Business but dropped out in just 1 day as the cost of education in US is extremely high.

He defined an “Entrepreneur” as someone who takes a financial risk in the hope of earning profit. He believes you don’t become your own boss as an Entrepreneur, instead, everyone is your boss. He further gave a very interesting analogy to tell audience who an entrepreneur really is – according to him, he is someone who is flying in a plane, pushed out and now he has to create a parachute before hitting the ground. He said entrepreneurs are crazies, rebels and misfits who pushed the industry towards change and force nations to take a great leap forward. He emphasized that India’s MSME’s are the real backbone of the economy. Lastly, he said, his only regret in life is he did’nt quit sooner.

The next speaker who came onto the podium to share his experiences was Mr. Pushpinder Singh, Founder, Travel Khana. He identified the problem of poor quality food in Indian trains and decided to address it through his venture. He cited statistics to offer perspective to the audience about the size of the target market, according to him, there are 8.5 Billion train rides in an year, which means the entire Australia’s population is travelling from one place to another per week.

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After problem identification, he did pilot studies to decide which specific cities or routes to target in the initial phase of the business. He shortlisted 12 cities and picked Jaipur as the first station to supply good quality food to passengers. It was very difficult to convince restaurants to agree to supply to Indian railways, but with great efforts, he managed to convince a few of them. He talked about how he took out pamphlets and distributed in AC class and few in sleeper class as well. A small call centre of 3 guys was set up to attend calls, but the response was so overwhelming that he was able to scale up the operations and assisted Govt. of India in regulating the sector.

The next speaker was Mr. Saurabh Jain who is one of a kind personality as he is a chartered accountant and an expert in computer programming. Currently, he is the Vice President of Paytm. He shared his childhood dream of creating a game not just playing it. He was fascinated by programming languages but had to settle for opting commerce due to life’s circumstances. But he continued to pursue his passion as he applied real-time concepts of Geometry, Trigonometry etc. and ended up writing the first book on mobile applications programming. He created an accounting software ‘Tally’ in Beta form in 2002.

He stressed on glaring gaps that exists between the kind of education imparted in schools and colleges and what the industry expects, according to him, the line between Engineering and Management gets blurred when it comes to practicing entrepreneurship. He shared his story of earning $15 through Google affiliate marketing program in 1998, explained how difficult it was to make people use Google, but today it’s a tech giant.

He further elucidated 8 types of intelligence that must be present in an entrepreneur – Logical (sharp analytical mind), Linguistic (good language skills), intra-personal (knowing why you are pursuing the given path), inter-personal (networking), naturalistic (instinctive), spatial, kinesthetic and creative. According to him, the Paytm founder Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma possess all 8 types of intelligence and is a great role model for the youth. He said the Paytm has been able to reduce barriers and provide world-class user experience to customers. According to him, technology not legislation is the answer to curb corruption in India and Paytm has contributed immensely in addressing this problem. Finally, he urged everyone to pick one problem of India and come out with creative solutions as the country needs us.

The next speaker was Mr. Sivesh Kumar who is the founder of Start-up Monk. He pursued his graduation from Delhi University in the field of statistics, but he knew that this is not something he wants to do in his life. He worked in a garments export house for 3 months as an intern and then worked for free only to learn the tricks of the trade. He then moved on and tried his hand in Entrepreneurship, he started two ventures and both failed in a short period of time.

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He learned important lessons from failures and incorporated the learnings in his third venture which was an event management company, which he subsequently sold for a decent sum of money. He worked in World Bank in the HR domain for three years. But his hunger to start something of his own was still there, so he created a start-up with the money he earned from selling the company to help start-ups meet potential investors. At one of the PITCH sessions at IIT Roorkee, he saw students presenting a machine that can recycle plastic using solar power, he was particularly impressed with the idea, so he acted as a bridge between students and municipal bodies who would find this technology really handy.

Further, he has developed a mobile app with his friend working in PWC Australia to make students interview ready, till now there are 12,000 downloads and 8,000 are active users. He believes the start-up ecosystem in India is still unorganized. He is working with over 30 E-cells of different colleges including IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Madras, DTU etc. and helped them take their ideas from thinking to execution stage. Finally, he said that “Flipkart, Paytm and Oyo” represents the big triumvirate of India’s start-up community which has inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs.

The next speaker was Mr. Prateek Sharma, Co-founder and CEO of Nanoclean Global Pvt. Lts which manufactures Nazofilters, a nanotech innovation to provide purified air to people. He has won numerous awards and recognitions including Start Up National Award 2017 from the President of India.

He shared a story of how his venture came into being. He first identified the problem statement i.e air quality is very bad and face mask is not the solution. He told the audience that his mother is suffering from asthma and she struggles to breathe air particularly in Bikaner, Rajasthan which is known for massive sand storms. He went to IIT-Delhi and conceptualized a filter made of nano fibres, along with a friend, he was able to secure patent for the technology in 108 countries. He believes the most important part of start-up is “START”. He emphasized on having right set of people with right set of incentives for them to believe in your vision. His ultimate dream is to have India be recognized among elite group of countries (US, China, Japan, South Korea) that can mass produce using nano-fibres.

The last speaker for the event was Mr. Rudra Srivastava who is a partner in a prestigious law firm Singhania & Partners. He shed light on the various forms of ownership that an entrepreneur can choose while he is launching his idea. He explained the benefits and shortcomings of sole proprietorship, Limited liability Partnership, Private Ltd. Co, One man company etc. He believes that if you have a concrete idea and an executable plan, it’s always better to have a formalized set up, as even bright ideas can fail if done in an unorganized manner.

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He stressed on the fact that there should be absolute clarity between founders and promoters before they take a plunge into entrepreneurship. He provided an example of three brilliant minds who had an amazing idea in the e-commerce space particularly in fashion accessories segment but they had major disagreements pertaining to dilution of equity to outside investors. The result is all three of them are working in different organizations while the venture is finished. He said that the solution to avoid such problems is having a legally binding “founders’ agreement’.

The event concluded with Dr. Indira Bhardwaj, Dean VSBS proposing a vote of thanks. She expressed the feeling of richness and liveliness that she felt throughout the session. Finally, there was a Q&A between the panelists and the audience where each of the speakers answered queries of students pertaining to idea generation, funding, government schemes, legal aspects etc.

ED Conclave 2018

An Entrepreneurship Development conclave was organized by the Vivekananda School of Business Studies on the 9th October 2018 to familiarize young business management students, who aspire to be future entrepreneurs, with the nuances of entrepreneurial ventures. The event started with welcoming of the guests Mr. Rajive Gulati from Hartron, “Govt. of Haryana”, Ms. Anu Meena from “Agrowave”, Mr. Sumit Nayak who is the Cofounder of “Staqu”, Mr. Punit Jain from “IncubateInd” by Prof. (Dr.) Rattan Sharma (Chairperson, VSBS), Prof. B.T. Kaul (Chairperson, VLS).

The conclave was attended by 138 students from 3rd year B.Com (Hons) and 90 students from 3rd year BBA.

Dr. Meenakshi Gandhi, Professor, VSBS conducted the panel discussion. The panel started with the discussion on how all the guests identified their ideas or where they got the push to start their own business.

They all come with their on perspectives on the same, Ms. Anu Meena from Agrowave quoted that ”Presenting an idea is as important as having an idea” to which all the entrepreneurs agreed. The students were also enlightened on market research for funding. They told the students how important it is to choose the right type of investors for their company and how to face problems arising in the prototypes of their business.

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Mr. Punit Jain informed the students that he had bootstrapped his organization starting from just Rs. 20000 and took that business north of Rs. 1 crore. He showed the students a video about his organization and informed them that he had to make 120 corrections in his first presentation.

Mr. Rajive Gulati from Hartron, talked about the “Student StartUp Movement” where they sensitize the students how can the make their dreams come true. They have also been organizing hackathons with tie ups with international organizations.

The students were informed that money is not the problem as there are a lot of government initiatives that help them start their own business the problem is the idea. “When your idea is disruptive enough there is nothing to stop you.”

They talked about the challenges one faces in a startup pertaining to personal life and other social issues. The best way to face challenges was to find a good mentor. The students were also informed about the different routes of funding they could take, how much equity to dilute. It was said that ”If you could run your business with debt, then never give up equity”.

While taking seed funding the students were asked to make sure not to dilute more than 25% of equity. Ms. Anu Meena also conducted an activity inviting students to the stage and asking them about a problem and then a solution for the same problem and asking how they could create a startup out of it.

Dr. Indira Bhardwaj, Dean, VSBS, gave away the final vote of thanks, by appreciating the efforts of the coordinating team, applauding and thanking the entrepreneurs who took out time for motivating our students.