Amritsar: The Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar, successfully held the first edition of its E-Summit in VC mode on February 7, 2021 in collaboration with the Center of Entrepreneurship, IIM Amritsar.
The E-Summit 2021 brought together innovative and creative insights from diverse backgrounds and talents in the country to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem. It served as a platform to excite, encourage and motivate people to venture into entrepreneurship and to help participants realize their hidden potential. Many events such as the Start-Up Expo, training workshops and thought-provoking panel discussions were held to foster the entrepreneurial spirit.
With workshops dedicated to curation, funding, evaluation and pitching of startups, the summit provided a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the skills they need. The event enabled the startups to showcase their business ideas in front of potential investors, industry experts, and clients, and helped them network with the VCs and finance experts and engage with the leading industry experts. An insightful panel discussion also took place highlighting a day in the life of an entrepreneur.
The discussion started with an insightful presentation by Mr Bhavin Shah (MBA06 Batch) of the Placements’ Committee, highlighting the glorious journey of IIM Amritsar. Mr Shah highlighted how IIM Amritsar, with its emancipation in 2015, went from a batch of 44 students to 214 students now. He also explained the key achievements of IIM Amritsar students in various competitions at national level, as well as the top quality internships that the students completed in prestigious companies.
The panel discussion was held in the presence of Mr. Amit Hans (founder – Educorp Trainings), Mr. K Vaitheeswaran (co-founder – AGAIN Drinks), Mr. Mandeep Singh (CEO & Executive Director – JSL Lifestyle Limited), Mr. Rohit Raj (co-founder and creative director, – The Glitch and Chtrbox.com), Sharad Vivek Sagar (Founder and CEO – The Dexterity Global Group) and Sridhar Ranganathan (CEO – Helyxon Healthcare Solutions).
Mr. Amit Hans was the moderator of the insightful panel discussion. He highlighted that domain know-how is not enough in an entrepreneurial environment and that it is of the utmost importance to look at the business from different angles. Mr. Hans talked about how an entrepreneur is a salesman from the start as the world of entrepreneurship calls on the entrepreneur to sell his idea at any point in the journey. He emphasized that “intrapreneurship”, regardless of whether a person starts out as an entrepreneur or as a professional, promotes success in an entrepreneurial ecosystem. To wrap up the insightful discussion, Hans added that when hiring in a start-up environment, candidates look for intent, content and trainability.
Mr. K Vaitheeswaran emphasized the need for the aspiring entrepreneurs to be ready to face the challenges and prepare for failure in a start-up ecosystem. He added that being an entrepreneur can be a lonely job where five days a year would be great while the rest of 360 will be tough. And to cope with such a challenging environment, an entrepreneur has to do seven things every day – mind, body, heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears. In conclusion, Vaitheeswaran emphasized that pioneering work can only be done if the prospective entrepreneurs leave their comfort zones and try out different areas outside their specialist areas.
Mr. Mandeep Singh started with the idea of starting a company in an entrepreneurial ecosystem where no one knows what the future holds. Given this uncertainty, choosing a sustainable business model was seen as critical. He added that the need of the hour is to understand the needs of the company and shape the business model to best meet customer needs. Mr. Singh concluded that entrepreneurs create something out of nothing and therefore it is one of the most challenging tasks.
Mr. Rohit Raj started with the idea that domain know-how is overrated in a start-up world. The joy of working with startups and the journey from nothing to something make the entrepreneurial journey the most exciting. Mr. Raj added that one needs to be comfortable with the state of discomfort to embark on the entrepreneurial journey. An uncomfortable space where success and failure are very likely creates an entrepreneur. Mr. Raj ended with a thought-provoking statement that if you were an entrepreneur you could fall and fly. So it’s worth taking the plunge.
Mr. Sharad Vivek Sagar emphasized that entrepreneurship is all about problem solving. And that it should aim to solve the problems at the base level. Transformative stories were the product of young people who turned their training into leadership and solved the problems. Mr. Sagar emphasized that one of the essential things a young entrepreneur should aim at is value creation. Value once created can never be destroyed and that is what drives the corporate ecosystem.
Mr Sridhar Ranganathan started with the idea of the analogy that while it is lonely upstairs, when you get there the view is breathtaking – such is the life of an entrepreneur. Mr. Ranganathan added that the nation’s prosperity depends on educators and entrepreneurs. If 100 entities are created, 5% will be in the exit category, 90% will be in the existing category, and only 5% will be successful and have an impact. Mr. Ranganathan concluded with valuable insight that there are three things that an entrepreneur should always keep in mind: an entrepreneur is still smaller compared to the organization, is always an extra that can achieve extraordinary results with a normal team) and nothing without the customers.
The students of IIM Amritsar showed great enthusiasm during the panel discussion. The discussions were made highly interactive through a healthy Q&A session between panelists and students. The summit ended with a stand-up comedy session by well-known comedian Rahul Dua. The participants very much enjoyed Mr. Dua’s outstanding performance and the summit ended on a positive note.