12th International Entrepreneurship Conference held at Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai

Chennai: Great Lakes Institute of Management, one of India’s premier B-school, recently hosted its 12th International Entrepreneurship Conference at the campus premises. The theme of this year’s conference was UNICORNS, ZEBRAS, OR….?! EXPONENTIAL – VIRTUOUS – PROSPEROUS

The event witnessed eminent industry professionals, senior academicians and students’ participation.

The Chief Guest was Shri. Alex Paul Menon, IAS, Ex. CEO – Chhattisgarh InfoTech Promotion Society (Host Institution of 36inc) Special Secretary – Government of Chhattisgarh, The Guests of Honour were Mr. Chandu Nair, Entrepreneur – Advisor, facilitator & Investor Co-founder – Scope e-Knowledge Center & Dr. Murugesan Velayutham , Vice Chancellor – Annamalai University

The International Entrepreneurship conference, an annual conference, was hosted by the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) & AIC – Great Lakes Balachandran Incubator (AGBI). The conference acts as a platform to highlight innovations by budding entrepreneurs that helps them attain their goals effectively. The conference also encompasses the outlook of academicians and corporates to share their views on the current Entrepreneurial challenges.

The conference over-view & welcome speech was presented by Mr. Saurabh Chaubey, CEO, AIC – Great Lakes Balachandran Incubator (AGBI).

At the inaugural ceremony, Dr Bala V Balachandran, Founder, Chairman & Dean Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management welcomed the chief guests and participants. In his inaugural address, Dr Bala said, “The world is changing & business education is undergoing a huge disruption. B-schools across the globe are evolving in terms of their methodology, with many of them shunning the brick & mortar model. E-learning has gained huge prominence and have today become an important aspect of classroom learning. With the changing dynamics, ideology & technology adaption I believe that B-schools are now ready to lead the industry, while the vice-versa has been happening for a long time.”

Talking about entrepreneurship, in the country, Dr Bala further added, “We don’t have to look for inspiration anywhere else, but in our own country. India is home to so many inspirational & successful businessmen, and yet there is an apprehension when it comes to starting a venture. That is because of the risk involved in starting a business & the fear of its failure. Hence, here at Great Lakes, we have the AGBI (AIC – Great Lakes Balachandran Incubator) that is a step-by-step guide to all the ideas and innovations that want to leave a mark in the society. It gives me immense pleasure in knowing that Great Lakes is one of the first B-Schools in the country that would have start-ups graduate from its premises in the coming year. ”

Dr Suresh Ramanathan, Dean & Principal, Great Lakes Institute of Management, elaborating on the concept of the event, in his welcome address, said, “It gives me great joy to stand here today to celebrate the spirit of Entrepreneurship in the centenary year. We have seen a huge change in the mindset of people, starting from my generation to this generation today. Gone are the days when job security & stability meant everything. This new and young generation is hungry & eager to do something different whilst having control of what they are doing. It is important to understand that entrepreneurship is not just about wealth creation, but also about using it to do something transformational for the betterment of the society.”

The Chief Guest, Shri. Alex Paul Menon, IAS, Ex. CEO – Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (Host Institution of 36inc) Special Secretary – Government of Chhattisgarh in his address, spoke about his experience of setting up & creating a start-up ecosystem in Chhattisgarh. Addressing the conference, he said, “It is an honour to be here today amongst esteemed personalities like Dr Bala. With my experience, I believe that entrepreneurship should be a part of lifestyle. A successful society is a progress machine. It takes raw material of innovation and produces human advancement. ”

The guest of honour, Mr. Chandu Nair, Entrepreneur – Advisor, facilitator & Investor Co-founder – Scope e-Knowledge Center, in his address, said, “In my era, Unicorn just meant a mythical creature, but today they represent successful startups. Taking into account my experience of being with about 12 start-ups, I truly believe that change in our country, for all the challenges is possible through entrepreneurship. So what is holding back graduates students from being entrepreneurs? The risk involved. I believe that entrepreneurship gives one the power to control one’s destiny. India is the third largest start-up eco-system in the world following the US and China. Tamil Nadu is number one in terms of incubators and according to National Business Incubation Association; incubated startups have 87% chance of survival. Statistically speaking, taking the incubation route is beneficial for start-ups I am thrilled to see that AGBI at Great Lakes is offering a chance to not just be job seeks but also be job creators. ”

The guest of honour, Dr. Murugesan Velayutham, Vice Chancellor – Annamalai University, in his speech about faculty development said, “The 21st century is not about secure jobs and guaranteed employment. With the dynamically changing world, demographics and technology Today, Knowledge Creation, Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship have gained prominence. What is the reason? The answer is: our growing population. India will soon out number China in terms of population and job creation for the youths of the country would be important. This why entrepreneurship comes to the rescue, providing all with an opportunity to be self-sufficient.”

A memorandum of understanding was also signed at the conference with Anna Malai University for a yearly endowment series.

During the conference, the winners of various competitions organized throughout the year were presented with awards and cash prizes. The winners of the Business Plan Competition, Hyperion were given Narasinga Rao Memorial Award of INR 1 lac. Mr Narsinga Rao, an alumnus of Great Lakes Institute of Management, 2004-05 Pioneer batch had over 21 years of experience in the IT industry and more than 12 years of experience as the COO & Co-founder of SSI limited. The prize money is supported by Mr. Narasinga Rao’s family, Mr. Narasinga Rao’s batch mates and Dr. Bala V Balachandran.

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