New Delhi: The Mayo Alumni Association, Delhi (MAAD), a chapter of the Old Boys Society, Ajmer which originates from its prestigious alma mater Mayo College, Ajmer, organized a first of its kind “Mayo Alumni Summit on 30th March 2019” at The Lalit, New Delhi. The themes of the first annual summit compromised of two special sessions, i.e. Startups (“Angel Investment Perspectives”), Foodpreneurs (“Business of Food”) and a talk on Healthcare (“Healthcare Today for Tomorrow”).
The Summit entailed Panel Discussions, Startup Presentations, Annual Talk, Business Exhibition and Networking opportunities. The purpose of the Summit was to provide a unique platform for all Mayoites within India and overseas to come together and analyze real world business scenarios, stimulate meaningful discussions, deliberate ideas, exhibit and showcase products/services and network amongst each other.
Mr. Harmeet Singh, President – Mayo Alumni Association Delhi (MAAD) kicked off the 1st edition of Mayo Alumni Summit 2019 and shared the importance of connecting alumni across industries, geographies and more importantly across business stages from entrepreneurs to established business houses.
Addressing the Mayo Alumni Summit 2019, Lt Gen Surendra Kulkarni, Director Mayo College, spoke about the importance of alumni to engage with current students and inspire them with their experiences and launched an internship program for students of Class 10 to 12 who would get placement across companies run by Mayoites.
Charu Sharma (Mayo Alumni) – star Commentator, Compere & Quizmaster compered the evening and kept the audience is splits sharing interesting anecdotes from the world of cricketing anecdotes. He narrated stories and incidents on the power of networking and how initiatives such as these were critical for the growth of any alumni community.
The first session, Startups (“Angel Investment Perspectives”) comprised of eminent panelists like Mr. Ambarish Raghuvanshi, Ex- CFO, Naukri.com Advisers, Ms. Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder, Indian Angel Network, Mr. Pankaj Karna, Managing Director, Maple Capital Advisors, Mr. Siddharth Bindra, Managing Director, BIBA Apparels and Mr. Uday Jhamb, Co-Founder & C.E.O., Roadhouse Hostels. The panelists covered a range of topics from how accepted starting up is today to who to go about funding and importance of picking the right sectors. Mr.Karna shared how today India has become the 3rd largest ecosystem for start-ups and how the environment is ripe for anyone looking to enter the space. With much better access to funds, infrastructure and overall a more mature ecosystem. He also talked about the mobile penetration and over 400 mn digitally connected people are creating huge game changing opportunities that startups are striving to crack. Ms. Ruparel shared how investing themes have changed from once ever popular e-commerce to newer focus areas of Agritech, Enviro Tech and Health Tech. She shared how it was interesting to see the space of medical devices take shape and that any new tech focusing on Bharat will get a lot of credence. Mr.Raghuvanshi shared how his decision to join Naukri was derided in 99 and on how it was considered amongst the three big career mistakes. He shared how they stuck through and created one of India’s most successful startups. He shared how Entrepreneurship was a risky career option and remains so but clearly also has its rewards. Speaking on raising funding Siddharth shared how they were lucky to find investors because they were reached out to than actively seeking funding and why therefore it was important to build something scalable and popular that would lead to your start up getting noticed. He also shared the importance of timing and raising the right amount of money at the right time – he shared how founders should be careful of how much they dilute and that they should only pick as much as their growth rates require. Uday shared how his experiences of raising funds and closing down his start up was a tough yet great learning experience. He advised that startups should look to actively engage with mentors and find Angel investors who can act as bounding boards and to remain in active touch with them. He shared how important it was to consider being in a startup city as being critical to being in touch with the funding circuit. The panelists closed the discussion with a piece of advice for the budding entrepreneurs that, ‘stay persistent, reimagine how you are going to really change the world.’
The second session, Foodpreneurs (“Business of Food”) saw industry stalwarts like Mr. Jiggs Kalra, Author, Gastronome & Food Consultant, Mr. Kabir Advani, Managing Partner, Berco’s, Mr. Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO, The Beer Café and Mr. Goumtesh Singh, Partner, Eminent Entertainment (Raasta), taking the center stage. The speakers deliberated on the transformation that has taken place in the food industry thanks to growth of food aggregators. Mr. Advani shared how dine-in food brands that were once garnering only 5% of their business via the delivery model today get in excess of 30% from it, with an annual growth rate of 40% for delivery orders. Panelists shared how Food aggregator brands are now offering cloud kitchen facilities for restaurant start-ups to experiment and try out the space making it easier for budding chefs to more easily create their ventures with asset light models. In this context Mr.Rahul Singh asked Mr.Jiggs Kalra to share his views on how it was easy for fast food chain like McDonald’s to scale given standardized processes but how should one scale restaurants that are gourmet or cuisine based – to this Mr.Kalra shared that there were only two secret ingredients – find a person who can get things done in a city and find the best chef there is and pay him his due. Getting these two elements cost top dollar but get the job done.
The final session of the evening was the Annual Talk on Healthcare (“Healthcare Today for Tomorrow”) which was addressed by Dr. Ameet Kishore, ENT Head, Apollo Hospitals Nutri Health, Mr. Ashish Gupta, CTO and Business Head, Policybazaar, Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh, TQIW (The Quantum Institute of Wellness) and Dr. Shikha Sharma, Founder & Managing Director, Dr. Shikha’s. The annual talk put emphasis on complete wellness or holistic wellness. Modern urban lifestyle and lack of physical activities were identified as the biggest killers in today’s time, accounting for over 80% deaths worldwide. There is also a gap in the modern medicine. There is no custom-tailored treatment as most of the diseases are treated with a uniform approach. The experts believed that integrated medication is the way forward as this best form of treatment to deal with growing health concerns. They also stressed on the fact that intake of organic food can help reducing the growing risk of fatal diseases like cancer, as the pollution in air, water and food poses to be one of the major factors behind this. However, one must be ready to deal with any health contingencies at any point of time by insuring themselves against any unforeseen health issues. Modern lifestyle diseases can drain one out both emotionally and financially; such health insurances at least provide the consumers with a cushion to deal with difficult time. But one must ensure that the declarations are done well.
Besides these panels, there were presentations by six start-ups by Mayo founders. Of these two were in the space of social entrepreneurship, two in technology and two in Food. In the social entrepreneurship we saw Pradyut Voleti, Founder, DribbleAcademy.Org share his story on establishing an initiative that helps underprivileged kids excel through basketball. Next was MastiKiPaathshala.Org by Gautam Khandelwal an initiative in the Alwar District of Rajasthan that aims to empower Children through skills & livelihood-based training & education. In the tech space we saw Buildingblox.in by Abir Chopra, an internet platform to help customers design, plan and visualize their homes using AR/VR and an AI recommendation engine. There was also Mesh a business networking on chat product for alumni networking by Anurag Singh. The food space saw presentations by Tasha & Girl – India’s first zero-synthetics condiments and breakfast foods brand by Natasha Singh-Gadgil and EatWithIndia by Sonal Saxena which is India’s largest community of home chefs and royal families providing authentic food experiences at their homes and palaces.
Mr. Kirit Javali , MAAD Committee Member, ended the evening with a thank you note to sponsors such as IIFL, Cox & Kings and others who made the evening so successful.