The E-Cell of Jadavpur University (JU) in Kolkata recently organised an entrepreneurship summit (E-Summit) to enhance entrepreneurial awareness among students. This first-of-its-kind summit organised by JU saw the participation of a large number of students from various institutes. The summit, which took place during April 6 – 8, 2018, also saw the involvement of various start-up firms and corporates who interacted with the students and shared their experiences. Business Economics was the media partner of this event.
There has always been a lack of enthusiasm among Indian graduates regarding entrepreneurship. It is also true that entrepreneurship needs a proper environment to flourish. The needed environment has not been encouraged in India, until recently.
The E-Summit aimed to link new entrepreneurial ideas with the market. The event tried to provide a complete insight about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. In the inaugural section, Professor Amitava Gupta, Department of Power Engineering, JU, emphasised on the need to develop home-grown entrepreneurs who will be driven by innovation. He stated, “It is essential for budding entrepreneurs to interact with the real market in order to understand what it actually takes to make their idea successful in the market.”
Pradipta Mandal from the Gandhi Fellowship programme also participated in the event. She highlighted the difference between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. She opined that our society regularly pushes individuals towards becoming an intrapreneur who takes risk in an effort to solve a given problem for the company he or she works in. They lack the courage of starting something on their own. But according to her, the Indian economy needs more entrepreneurs who will be in a position to generate employment. She said, “It is the right time for Indians to start on their own rather than working for others.”
The primary focus point of this event was the participation of students. It aimed to provide a platform for the students to air their entrepreneurial ideas and interact with industry insiders. Students from various academic institutes like the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, National Institutes of Technology and National Engineering College and other prestigious institutions participated in this event. As Professor Gupta mentioned in his inaugural speech, this was an event mainly for the students and their budding ideas.
Most of the faculty members with whom BE interacted, said that such initiatives are essential for an all-round development of the students. It brought them closer to the real market and their interactions with established entrepreneurs gave them much needed market insight. The event also saw various workshops being organised by corporate houses. Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers organised two interactive workshops that were heavily participated by the students.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH) associated with the E-Summit to host the final session of Falling Walls, an event that saw around 250 participants with path-breaking ideas, among which 16 got selected for the final round in Jadavpur University. The winner, Veera Shanthi Ram M. from the National Engineering College has been given an opportunity to travel to Germany and has qualified directly for the global Lab Finale in Berlin on November 8, 2018, as one of the 100 international winners. The summit also hosted an internship match-making programme where different companies presented internship oppurtunities to suitable candidates. The last leg of the programme saw an exciting session where established industry leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs shared their experiences with the students.
BE presents snippets of the talks.
Dr. H.P. Kanoria, Chairman, Srei Foundation and Editor in Chief, Business Economics
Entrepreneurs should not be scared of failure. They must realise entrepreneurship is not a bed of roses. Entrepreneurs should be men of steel. At the same time, when you become a wealth creator you must also give back to society. Industrialists must be honest, determined, and serve the society and the Nation.
Avishek Tarafdar, CEO, Park 24x7
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to know exactly why you are doing what you are doing. My first job was to design a logo and I was paid $5. I was a school going teenager then. But I knew what I wanted to do.
An entrepreneur needs to grab every opportunity that comes by. I have certain cheat codes for success. First, you should believe in yourself. Second, you should learn to get rejected. Failure is very much important as that teaches you to succeed. Third, you should know how to reach out to the exact people you need. I used to send e-mails to random people. You need to be desperate. Don’t go for easy money. You need to innovate and have the USP for your product. Proper research is needed. You should also start early and think for a billion dollar idea. Choosing the right team is very important. You should update yourself every day. Prepare for the worst but also bring the fun elements.
Ravi Ranjan, entrepreneurship evangelist and start-up expert
You will not succeed as an entrepreneur if you do not think and act like an entrepreneur every single day. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need not be an extraordinary student. You just need to have the capability to keep learning and keep challenging yourself continuously. Technology is not a luxury anymore. There are many problems that need be solved and there are many opportunities. You need to be ready for it.
Samarth Mehta, Chief Operating Officer, India and International Markets, Vision Aqua
We live in the digital era today where technology is no longer a luxury but it is a part of our daily life. We must aim at promoting the conservation of nature through technology and individual participation.
Sangeeta Mahapatra, Executive Editor, Business Economics
Entrepreneurs must realise that they need to brand themselves along with their company and products. If they are perceived to be honest and an expert in their field, they will add value to their brand equity.
Bijoy Banerjee, CEO, Infiniteworx
Technology has infinite benefits. Emerging entrepreneurs should be using technology to establish new business models. Our organisation believes in taking technology to the masses, particularly to the Indian unorganised sector. We believe that India’s unorganised sector needs to be technologically empowered for them to unlock newer economic oppurtunities.
Kallol Banerjee, Co-Founder, Faasos Food Services
Entrepreneurs must believe in their vision. It is important for them to start a new model. We have our own business model which is very different from other food delivery apps. We do not deliver food prepared by other restaurants. We deliver our own food. That has given us a competitive advantage.
Abhirup Basak, Co-Founder and CEO, Dailybazaar
An entrepreneur will always face resistance but he must have faith in his idea. When I did not take up a job after completing my engineering from JU, many of my professors were alarmed. My friends were well-placed and there I was, distributing leaflets of my own company outside shopping malls. But I believed in myself. That kept me going and finally, the company took off.
Dr. Purnendu Roy, Founder Director, Genesis Hospital
When I came back from England, I had learnt laparoscopic surgery. At that time, it was not known to many doctors in Kolkata. Initially, I faced a lot of resistance from the established surgical community when I started with this technique. But I persisted with it. I succeeded and was performing a large number of laparoscopic surgeries. But the hospitals I worked for could not retain me for long. I was performing far too many surgeries as compared to other doctors. Other doctors were not taking it too well. That was a setback. But I continued to persist and opened my own hospital. That has been performing quite well and we have diversified into various other sectors as well. Take risks in life but don’t go blind into any venture. Think it out very well. My motto is make “mission impossible” into “mission possible”.