Bengaluru: The 10th edition of IIM Bangalore’s entrepreneurship and innovation fest, Eximius, got off to an inspiring start on August 5 (Saturday) with a special address by Jitendra Gupta, Founder & CEO of Citrus Payments, and Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder & CEO of MakeMyTrip, who shared highlights of their entrepreneurial journey. This was followed by Comedy Night starring Rahul Subramanian. Students then released sky lanterns at the IIMB grounds to mark the launch of the event.
In his keynote address, Peyush Bansal, Founder and CEO of Lenskart.com, and alumnus of IIMB, spoke at length about the need for startups to focus on the value they deliver to the customer, “Make meaning, the rest will follow,” he advised.
‘The Other Incentive’, a key event aimed at promoting and supporting social entrepreneurship, saw enthusiastic participation. This Business Plan competition provided a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase business ideas that can bring about a social change. The jury included Srikanth Prabhu of Social Alpha and Prerna Wadikar from Rural Shores. The team comprising Akshay Bagree, Anshu Kumar and Varsha Bhardwaj of SCMHRD, walked away with the honours for their business plan based on a mobile-based personalized learning application for children in the age group of 2-8 years.
‘Karigari’ had the contestants coming up with marketing strategies for Indian art and crafts. The contestants pitched marketing strategies for promoting artworks ranging from puppets to papier mache art. Team Hope, consisting of Yogesh Suresh and Koushik Mallesh from MSRIT, emerged the winners.
‘NextUP’, the startup valuation competition, judges the contestants’ proficiency in understanding a startup’s business and estimating its worth in the market. The results of the event, judged by Shah Miftaur Rahman, Co-Founder and CFOO at WoW!Momo, will be declared tomorrow.
B Founders, the panel discussion on the life-cycle of a startup, focusing on when to start up and scale and, the external contingency factors affecting a startup, also drew a lot of audience. The panel comprised several IIMB alumni in the startup space, including Ashish Nayak, Founder and Director of Autoninja, Puneet Manuja, Co-founder of YourDOST, and Srinivas Rao Mahankali, Founder and CEO of Aujas Networks Pvt. Ltd.
The first day of Eximius (which means Excellence) lived up to its name and delivered upon its promise of inspiring the 2000+ students and entrepreneurs from across the country who visited the fest to think big and innovate. Day 2 (Sunday) had Mayank Kumar from Upgrad addressing the participants and students. His talk was followed by Bzzwings, a B-plan competition, where 11 startup teams competed for a chance be mentored at the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Leaning (NSRCEL) – IIMB’s start-up incubation centre over the next one and a half months. The Marketing Case competition, which had over 1000 participants signing up, was conducted in multiple. In the final, 14 teams presented their strategies to the jury. The ‘Yorozuya’ team from SCMHRD emerged winners. Radhika Aggarwal, Co-founder of Shopclues, shared her business philosophy with the young entrepreneurs, summarizing it in two simple words, ‘Show up.’
Game of Clicks, a digital marketing event, had five finalists. Team Musketeers from IIM Bangalore bagged title ‘Ultimate Marketer’. Wipro Earthian, an the on-spot quiz themed on sustainability, had 96 teams battling for top honors. The winning team was from IIM Bangalore, while teams from Christ university and Azim Premji University bagged the second and third prize, respectively.
Panel discussions are always top draw at Eximius and this year’s panels were no exception. The VC panel comprising of Rajesh Raju, MD, Kalaari Capital, Vikram Vaidyanathan, MD, Matrix Partners, TC Meenakshisundaram, MD, IDG Ventures, Rahul Chaudhary, Co-Founder, Treebo Hotels, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Co-Founder & CEO of Ninjakart, discussed the contrasting roles of adaptation and innovation in the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem. Sangeeta Banerjee, co-founder and CEO of ApartmentADDA.com, Revant Hematsingka, author of Selfienomics, Prateep Basu, Co-founder and COO at SatSure, were speakers at the Young Leaders’ Consortium on Sunday (Aug 06). The product panel discussion had Balaji Vishwanathan, VP of Invento Technologies, Satya Gupta, Co-founder of Intel Microelectronics Services, Anand Madanagopal, founder and CEO of Cardiac Design Labs, and Prof. Ganesh Prabhu, Professor of Strategy at IIMB, discuss the importance of aesthetics and ergonomics of individual products.
A third pillar of Eximius, apart from events and panel discussions, is the workshops. Brandpreneurs, the startup marketing workshop, was conducted by TED speakers Chirag and Sahil who have co-founded the service design agency, ‘The Minimalist’. The workshop ‘Mad Over Marketing’ (M.O.M.) offered participants insights into various marketing techniques used across campaigns, with a special emphasis on past marketing highs and lows. The ‘Art-o-Preneurship’ workshop, by Gagan Jain, founder of Rangrage.in, and ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’, a workshop conducted by Deepak, Executive Director of Prashaste Education & Management Consultancy, showcased little-known aspects of entrepreneurship while the LEAP workshop aimed to offer a first-hand experience on how to start and scale a venture by having entrepreneurs like Harshil Mathur, CEO and Founder of Razorpay, share their experiences. The Social Entrepreneurship workshop conducted by Srikrishna Sridhar Murthy, CEO of Sattva, a CSR consulting firm, and ‘Sambal’, a workshop for women entrepreneurs saw enthusiastic participation. Axilor Ventures Startup Bootcamp saw startups with bright ideas promote their offerings to students and professionals attending the boot camp.