Amritsar : The Indian Institute of Management Amritsar’s annual entrepreneurship summit, “E-summit,” was successfully held in video conferencing mode on February 5th in collaboration with the Centre of Entrepreneurship.
The second edition of E-summit was jam-packed with thought-provoking events planned throughout the day for IIM Amritsar students.
The inaugural event was a “Startup Expo,” where aspiring entrepreneurs could pitch their business ideas to well-known investors.
Mr. Sorabh Agarwal, Co-founder of AngelBay and an angel investor in 50+ startups, Mr. Ramakrishnan M, an active angel investor who is leading agri-tech at Tech Mahindra, and Mr. Varun Miglani, an angel investor with FAAD network and Angelbay who evaluates investment opportunities in startups and micro VCs, were among the investors on the panel.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sorabh Agarwal expressed his excitement to witness entrepreneurs with innovative technologies and offerings. As investors, he said, we search for sustainable firms that may have social impact, such as anything that alleviates someone’s misery or provides a service that is far superior to what is currently available. “We didn’t have anything like this,” Mr. Ramakrishnan M said of his undergraduate days, “there were marketing clubs and finance clubs, but no clubs for young entrepreneurs.” He also stated that from an investor’s standpoint, these are exciting times, and that he was particularly interested in dealing with young minds and ideas.
Varun Miglani, in recounting his journey from employee to angel investor, stated that one of the most important lessons he has learned is that, no matter how advanced the technology is, at the end of the day, we are people working for other people, developing solutions for people, and if one can relate to the problems of others, one has already won the game. He added his two cents, saying that there are many everyday difficulties to solve, and that if you can solve even one of them, you will be successful.
During the “startup expo” various startup pitches were made in front of the famed investors, which included Listerr.in, Nebulac Ark Technologies, Virya batteries, IOT Academy, Navork Innovation Pvt. Ltd., Two Ark, Krishak Kalyan, Geecomm India, Petrobot.
The students gained a lot of knowledge and insight from the programme, which included how to produce effective and efficient elevator pitches, how to tap into the correct resources, and what key principles a fledgling entrepreneur should have.
The second edition of the E-summit featured two workshops designed just for IIM Amritsar students, with the goal of giving the student body with an opportunity to learn from the finest in the business on various areas of company formation and scalability.
Workshop 1 – Creating a business model for B2C and B2B firms
Mr. Amar Choudhary, founder of Belly Fit F&B Pvt Ltd. and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, led the first session, titled “Creating a business model for B2C and B2B firms.”
Workshop 2- How to Startup or Sustain/Scale in an Already Existing and Dominant Industry
Mr. Sumit Jain led the second workshop, which focused on “How to Startup or Sustain/Scale in an Already Existing and Dominant Industry.” Mr. Sumit Jain, a Forbes ’30 under 30′ and CNBC Young Turks honoree, has worked with many businesses in various technologies and sectors for the past seven years.
Both workshops were extremely participatory and provided students with valuable information about the startup sector.
Panel discussion on the topic “major shift in business methods led by current startups”.
The panel discussion on the topic “major shift in business methods led by current startups” was the crown jewel of the flagship event “E-summit.” Students from IIM Amritsar, Mr. Vaishak MS, and Ms. Sumedha Malhotra, presented the theme to the panels and the audience, shedding light on major business trends, different startup methodologies, Lean and agile, and using examples such as Thrasio’s business model and Patagonia’s market strategy, they laid the proper foundation for the topic for all audiences.
The panel was ennobled with the presence of Mr. Rakesh Kalra, Founder and CEO of UrbanPro.com, Mr. Abhimanyu Singh, Co-Founder at Hexpressions, Mr. Amit Kumar Agrawal, Co-Founder at ConsultBae, Mr. Saketh Gangavaram, Founder at Code Asylums and Flyboat, Mr. Pranav Kapoor, Co-Founder at DevDarshan and Mr. Pankaj Agarwal, Founder and CEO at TagHive took the mantle of the moderator for the event, and Ms. Ritu Marya, Editor-in-Chief for “Entrepreneur India-Asia-Pacific” and “Franchise India Media” was the keynote speaker for the panel discussion.
Ms. Ritu Marya expressed her joy at the prospect of interacting with the youngsters and imparting knowledge. She stated that startups are the builders of the transitions taking place in the corporate sector. Nonetheless, she feels that major adjustments have begun to occur in legacy firms. She discussed the “change in business methods from the conventional to the modern period” in a brief talk. She stated that on a fundamental level, human needs have not changed; they still eat food, want to go out, and want good clothes, but how people want to achieve those things have changed fundamentally, and the companies who will re-imagine their business operations around those needs are the ones who will be performing the best in the next coming years. She focused on the necessity of the Pivot, which for businesses means the flexibility to move out of traditional ways and rebuild after acknowledging the need for change, using the examples of Zomato and Danish Oil and Natural Gas.
She also mentioned that “transformation is easier said than done”. According to her, the biggest obstacle for a Pivot is the rigid mindset of the people. She also used the example of Netflix to connect better with the young audience.
Answering the question of whether one should join a startup or any legacy organization, she said that it does not matter regardless of whether you are its startup or a legacy organization or a traditional business; its size and performance don’t matter, but it’s one’s ability to be able to create a new future for the organization and be more purpose-driven should be the mission.
She ended her note by saying, “One should essentially be a lifelong learner and a student at any point of their life”.
She also stated that the burnout and mental health issues need special attention, as it was also mentioned in the budget this year.
Mr. Pankaj Agarwal, being an ideal moderator, started by asking the panelists to introduce themselves and their businesses. He came up with questions esspecially curated for the panelists.
Throughout the discussion, he pointed out various shifts in the business world, including how earlier people used to look for work to make a living but now people are looking for purpose. He stated how the water cooler effect and the serendipity of such conversations have been lost to the remote working conditions.
He shared with the audience was, “As leaders, people need to build a culture that allows everyone to ask questions, questions that are actually important, but one should not get lost in the detail of asking questions only”.
Mr. Pranav Kapoor said that he personally looks for passion when hiring for his startup space. One key takeaway from his part was that Networking is the most essential aspect of the business world. He also mentioned that people in India have better hard skills than any other Asian country, but people here lack soft skills. On a lighter note, he stated that life is too short to be fearful, never fear, never give up, enjoy life try out different things. College is the best time to do so.
On the topic of business digitization, Mr. Abhimanyu Singh stated that people are more willing to connect over intelligent ways of communication. It has eased their work in certain ways as it is easier to connect with people and demonstrate via video calls or video calls by sharing demonstration videos. He stated that the key to making jobs easier is finding the right person by doing proper homework before approaching people. He’s sharing his two cents, he said that one should learn to say No when required, and even if one is not sure about what they are going to do, they should be prepared with a list of what they don’t want to do.
Mr. Saketh Gangavaram, during his address, mentioned that the best part about digitization is the ability to measure outcomes. He also stated its bane; he said even the most passionate employees have a lot of distractions to deal with in the remote working conditions.
He stated that there is a thin line between being fearless and reckless. It is vital to constantly acknowledge ourselves about our decisions and keep assessing our impact on our environment.
Mr. Amit Kumar Agrawal said they should focus on making a profile a brand so that jobs can find us and not the other way around. Answering the benefits of remote working, he said it gives better opportunities and productivity. They achieved more systematic and punctual behavior by pushing for various meetings during the day.
In his final address, he said that one should always have their learning mode on and aim to contribute even on a small scale daily; it would eventually create a more significant impact on your life.
Mr. Rakesh Kalra stated that the key difference between the work culture of the West and India is that people in the west embrace failure easily compared to Indians. He also mentioned the resistance every person faces when venturing into the business world as people push for stable jobs. He stated that the people in India are talented but take a lot of time to come out of their shells, to ask the right questions. According to him, he said that the courage to ask the right questions and voice their opinions is required. Sharing his two cents, he told the students, “Find what you love; It’s okay to be in a job that you are not passionate about, but it’s not okay to stop looking what truly excites you figure out how to fight fear.
The flagship event concluded on a very high note and left the participants with insightful knowledge imparted from the esteemed guests.