Empowering Education with Entrepreneurship Goal – An inspiring speech by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was at EDI, Ahmedabad on 20th June 2015 as a Chief Guest to inaugurate ‘AASHRAY ‘- a social incubator supported by EDI. On this occasion, he addressed the audience gathered & inspired them to innovate & to pursue the path of entrepreneurship.

Here’s an inspiring speech from ‘Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’ that he delivered at EDI, Ahmedabad.

“Friends, I am delighted to be with the students and faculty of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) here in Ahmedabad. I am glad to know that the EDI will strive to promote social enterprises and technologies targeted at problems of the needy. My greetings to Director, members of the faculty, researchers and  students.

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Friends, I had many discussions with students and youth from across the nation, about the development pillars of India for an economically developed nation by 2020 and highlighted how we need creative leaders to realize such a vision. I have had many fascinating discussions, ideas and action plans. Today, I am going to discuss with you on an important aspect of 21st century economic growth, which is the empowerment, and inclusion of the needy population in a sustainable manner. What could be these ideas of sustainable development for almost half of humanity? What new models of business, management and leadership would be needed? Today, we will try to address these important issues. Friends, the topic I have selected for discussion today is “Empowering Education with Entrepreneurship Goal”.

Global Challenges

Today, the challenges of the world are poverty, illiteracy, safe drinking water, clean and green energy, equitable distribution of resources, quality education with values for all, overcoming societal imbalances, curing diseases, quality healthcare for all and good living conditions.

Individual nations are working to find a solution to these challenges. However we are clearly witnessing that challenges faced by nations are not only of their making or the solutions amenable only by the individual nations. There are many international dimensions for the cause and solutions. Hence working for solutions is a collective responsibility of the global community. Also, when nations start working on the common enemies of illiteracy, poor health care etc, their tendency to focus on national, regional and global peace with better mutual trust is enabled. The global challenges take various manifestations based on the local dynamics, which are interconnected on various factors.

Let us look at the dynamics of these manifestations.

Dynamics of Global Manifestations

The world today is integrally connected through four rapid connectivities. They are environment, people, economy and ideas. We all know that global warming and climate change are no longer problems of individual nations, they are planetary problems. In the present time, a single product may be made out of components sourced from multiple continents and provide services to markets far off from their place of origin. We also saw, how the economic turbulence originating in one part of the globe shook the whole world. The world today is concerned about the growing inflationary pressures, recessions, and potential fall in growth rates, affecting valuable efforts on development.

At the same time, advances in transportation have progressively made movement of people across nations and regions more feasible. This has led to the globalization of expertise and talents which can flow seamlessly from one nation to another. This also has led to the globalization of human diseases, the most recent instance being of different kinds of flu, which rapidly spread across the globe and threatened the entire human kind.

Similarly, ideas and innovations are no longer geographically or politically confined. An invention made today somewhere takes no time to find its market thousand of miles away. The expansion of information and communication technology and the convergence of technological tools are structuring new world knowledge, where problems of one part of the world can be solved by multiple experts based at different points of the globe. Seamless flow of information and people also means that local or regional issues will invariably gain global prominence and unaddressed problems including poverty can mutate rapidly into global terrorism which we are already witnessing. This flow of ideas has also led to increasing importance of global human rights and propagation of the idea of democracy.

It is the responsibility of our generation of leaders and youth, to choose the path, which brings us together, and not the one, which pulls us apart.

Let me recall an experience.

Globalization: When I was travelling in an aircraft in USA, I was told that much of its controls where software driven and most probably developed in India. When I presented my credit card, I was told that it was being processed in the backend server located in Mauritius. When I walked into a multinational software company in Bangalore, I was fascinated to find that it truly presented a multicultural environment. A software developer from China, working under a project leader from Korea, working with a software engineer from India and a hardware architect from the US and the communication expert from Germany, were all working together to solve the banking problem in Australia.

When I see all of them working together like one family forgetting about the culture from which they came or the language they speak, I feel that the only hope for such borderless interaction to continue is to inculcate the spirit of “borderlessness” in every human activity on our planet Earth.

Based on detailed discussions in many educational institutions across the world and with many citizens in India and abroad from multiple organizations, and disciplines, I am happy to present to you the distinctive profile for the Nations of the World in 2030, as follows:

Distinctive Profile for the Nations of the World in 2030

Let me present to you these visualizations.

  1. A world of nations where the divide between rural and urban, rich and the poor, developed and developing has narrowed down.
  2. A world of nations where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
  3. A world where core competencies of each nation are identified. Missions synergizing the core competencies of different nations lead to economic advantage and faster development for all the societies.
  4. A world of nations where all the students of all societies are imparted education with value system.
  5. A world of nations where affordable quality health care is available to all.
  6. A world of nations where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
  7. A world of nations where crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
  8. A world in which every nation is able to give a clean green environment to all its citizens.
  9. A world that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
  10. A world of nations with creative leadership who ensure effective mechanisms to resolve conflicts between nations and societies in a timely manner keeping overall peace and prosperity of the world as a goal.

Two Possible Solutions

There are two possible solutions for achieving this vision. The first solution seems to be the conventional approach, which has been followed so far across the world. It starts with working for national prosperity and peace within the local boundaries and perspectives, hoping that over a long run it would percolate into regional prosperity and peace, ultimately may lead to prosperity and peace at the global level. The collective experience across the world highlights that this solution has not yielded the desired results in the past, and with a globalizing world, its efficacy in bringing global prosperity and peace in the future is uncertain.

The second solution would be, looking from the global prosperity and peace as the overall objective of the world, thereby percolating to achieve regional prosperity and peace which will ultimately ensure the national prosperity and peace of the participating nations. It is all about making a study with reference to global context and finding, how every nation can align towards the global missions. It has also to be remembered that national missions inspire the citizens; this spirit has to be directed towards globally important missions.

How can such global collaborative models be realized? More so, how can a successful enterprise and business be drawn from such cooperative, rather than competitive platforms? Let me give you can example of such a venture between India and Russia.

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Core Competencies Through Convergence

Now let me explain how India has used “hard cooperation” with other nations based on its core competence to evolve a world-class product and systems using innovation, creativity, knowledge generation, knowledge sharing, and knowledge dissemination among the scientists of two countries.

One of the significant technological breakthroughs in India in this decade is the design, development and productionization of Supersonic Cruise Missile – BRAHMOS by an Indo-Russian joint venture. On behalf of the two Governments, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM), a Federal State Unitary Enterprise from the Russian Federation became the two shareholders of the JV with a unique ratio of 50.5% and 49.5% in 1998.

The message I would like to convey out of this programme is: It is possible for India, with core competencies in multiple fields, to work with many countries in joint venture mode bringing together multiple core competencies of partnering nations leading to successful enterprises. BrahMos is an example of technological cooperation leading to economic benefits for the partnering nation and adds value to number of institutions in both the countries. I think such a project is especially significant study for an institution such as EDI, which can delve deep in the genesis of BrahMos and discover how a multi-national enterprise of global scale and global quality can be realized in a short span of time with the convergence of core competencies of different nations.

Adding Value to Education Through Entrepreneurship

There has been a growth in our educational system and we are generating over 3 million graduates every year and over seven million plus two level candidates who are aspiring for employment. However our employment generation system is not in a position to absorb all these youth leading to increase in educated unemployed, year after year. This situation will lead to instability in the social structure. We need education that will lead to specific employment opportunities. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to make education more attractive and simultaneously create employment potential – how do we do that?

Firstly, the educational system should inculcate by adding syllabus of entrepreneurship and prepare the students right from the school and college education to get oriented towards setting up of the enterprises which will provide them creativity, freedom and ability to generate wealth. Apart from entrepreneurship, the youth should have the spirit that “we can do it”. Secondly, the banking system should provide venture capital right from every village level to the prospective entrepreneurs for undertaking new enterprises. Banks have to be proactive to support the innovative products for enabling wealth generation by young entrepreneurs. Thirdly, there is a need to identify marketable products and enhancement of purchasing power among the people. This can come through the implementation of mega programmes such as PURA, Interlinking of Rivers, Infrastructural missions, Power missions and Tourism. The universities and schools should become a facilitator for creating this entrepreneurship scheme through the support of the banking system and the marketing system. This will enhance value to the education and create the motivation for the students.

Employment Generators

Let me share with you how to generate employment. The most important sectors for sustainable national development are Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Water and Energy. The common thread that will run across these would be the three connectivities of PURA namely physical connectivity, electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity. These three connectivities will lead to economic connectivity. One of the ways by which the rural agriculturists could increase their earnings is by value adding to the agricultural produce by processing and manufacturing. The farmers, either individually or through their co-operatives would market processed and value added items instead of marketing the raw materials. This increase in the value-addition taking place in the rural area itself is an indicator of the society moving towards prosperity and knowledge era.

One such sustainable development system is the mission of Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) through creation of three connectivities namely physical, electronic, knowledge leading to economic connectivity.

The number of PURA for the whole of India is estimated to be 7000 covering 600,000 villages where 800 million people live. Similarly, about 30,000 PURA Complexes would be required to convert the 3 billion rural population of the world into a vibrant economic zone and bringing Sustainable Development to rural areas. There are operational PURAs in India initiated by many educational, healthcare institutions, industry and other institutions. Government of India is already moving ahead with the implementation of PURA on the national scale across several districts of India. Now all these examples of rural development through PURA along with international experience have taken the form of a book, titled Target 3 Billion.

Employment generation through entrepreneurship

Friends, since I am in the midst of students and professors who are studying and teaching entrepreneurship, let me share some thoughts about education and entrepreneurship. A three pronged strategy is needed to make education more attractive, make it skill imparting and simultaneously create employment potential – how do we do that?

Firstly, the educational system should highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and prepare the students to get oriented towards setting up of enterprises which will provide them creativity, freedom and ability to generate wealth. Diversity of skills and perseverance in work makes an entrepreneur. It should be taught to all the students. In addition, college syllabi even for arts, science, and commerce courses should include topics and practical where such entrepreneurship is possible. Secondly, the banking system should provide venture capital right from every village level to the prospective entrepreneurs for undertaking new enterprises. When I studied the performance of major bank’s venture fund, I found a few entrepreneurs have increased their profitability many times in less than seven years generating thousands of direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs. We need a large number of such venture capital institutions who can take risk and promote entrepreneurs. EDI can bring out the success stories in the form documents highlighting venture capital funding and employment generation opportunities. Thirdly, entrepreneurs have to produce competitive products to become successful in their missions. The experts here may like to study the role of education in improving the competitiveness index rating of the country to within top ten ranks from the present below 50 situation.

Conclusion: Economic Development and Creative Leadership

In conclusion, I would like to discuss with you the linkage between national economic development and creative leadership: –

  • A nation’s Economic development is powered by competitiveness.
  • Competitiveness is powered by knowledge power.
  • Knowledge power is powered by Technology and innovation.
  • Technology and innovation is powered by resource investment.
  • Resource investment is powered by revenue and return on Investment.
  • Revenue is powered by Volume and repeat sales through customer loyalty.
  • Customer loyalty is powered by Quality and value of products.
  • Quality and value of products is powered by Employee Productivity and innovation.
  • Employee Productivity is powered by Employee Loyalty, employee satisfaction and working environment.
  • Working Environment is powered by management stewardship and sound management.
  • Management stewardship is powered by Creative leadership.

For success in all your missions you have to become creative leaders. Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director to delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self-respect. For a prosperous and developed India, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders from our educational institutions. Apart from this, what is needed is the spirit among the youth that “I can do it, we can do it and the nation can do it.” Our educational institutions have to concentrate on developing the leadership traits and the confidence to perform among every youth of the nation. This quality of leadership will certainly empower the 3 billion people of the world with sustainable development as its focus.

My greetings and best wishes to all of you.

May God Bless you”.

 

Enterprising Teams of Father-Son/ Father-Daughter

This Sunday will be celebrated throughout India as ‘Father’s Day’, honouring fathers & fatherhood. The saying, ‘Dad is a Son’s First Hero and a Daughter’s First Love’ would undeniably stand true for all of us. A father indeed plays a key role in overall development of children right from the birth.

Today, we would see few of the epic entrepreneurial journeys, where fathers were the light of hope for their sons/daughters. We would shed some light on Indian startups, where the father-son/ father-daughter duos have created magic in startup ecosystem.

 1) Taking Drones To Masses: India produces around 1.5 million of engineers every year but very few are able to create technologies at the level Venkatesh has created. Venkatesh would enjoy long sessions of Aeromodelling with his father even before he stepped into engineering college. In 2007, when Venkatesh was 13 years old & still in school, the father-son team decided to turn their hobby into a full-fledged venture named ‘Sree Sai Aerotech Innovations Pvt Ltd’ (SSAI). Since then, there is no looking back.

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Eazypilot, a customisation platform for drones, is one among a handful of drone controllers available globally that converts any drone into a user-friendly gadget around which applications could be developed.

SSAI consists of a team of seven and is based in Chennai. The entire family works for the company, including his sister & mother. Venkatesh now has plans to commercialize the project and taking it to global level.

2) Dustless Painting: This Father–Daughter duo based out of Thane, Maharashtra has come up with a venture, wherein repainting will not be a dustless affair anymore. Niyati, who was working with CNBC earlier has joined his father Atul Ingle in making repainting a complete dustless process. Atul Ingale, is an electrical engineering graduate & was extremely passionate about engineering and wanted to create something that could benefit people.

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The Father-Daughter duo approached couple of leading architects & interior designers with their demos & have received their many first clients. They are now into the process of working with leading companies from Pharma & FMCG sector.

3) KuberBox: This is another inspiring story of Sourav Lodha & his father. Sourav Lodha is basically trying to build India’s best diamond jewellery shopping website at KuberBox.com. But before this venture he has successfully sold off his first startup ‘PrintBooth’ while still at college.

Sourav fondly remembers how his father had put in seeed capital during college years in ‘PrintBooth’ & supported his entrepreneurial journey at the time when he had little idea of running business. Sourav made 3x return from ‘PrintBooth’, which made his father happy.

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After completing his college, Sourav went on to work with a startup over a job in Semiconductor Company based out of Chennai to gain hands on experience on how to run a company.

Sourav left his job & started ‘KuberBox’ with a partner, outside the knowledge of his father. His father still supported him in his new venture as well, without asking him further questions. Sourav’s father helped him during his thick & thin and stood by him in his every endeavour. His father was the single-most motivation that led him to venture into the startup world. It was extremely tough for Sourav’s father to arrange for money at various instances, as he himself runs a business & has a daughter to be married at that point of time. But he remained committed in supporting Sourav. (Source: YourStory.com)

‘Happy Father’s Day’ to all the great & inspirational fathers.

Do let us know your view on the blog & share your story with us too.

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The EDI Alumni Association Saga

Henry Ford once said that ‘’Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress & working together is success’’. The EDI Alumni Association is based on the very same genesis. The Association aims to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship among its members and community at large. The Alumni Association is a large group representing EDI students across India who are making strides in various sectors like manufacturing, services & not-for-profit enterprises.

The Alumni Association comprises of 900+ members & with each passing year, more members are getting added to it. The association is the gateway to connect with alma mater & to the large enterprising community of Entrepreneurs. Some of the members have made their presence felt in the industry with their endless efforts. The community is proud to have its members like

1) Sumit Grover

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Sumit has always fancied himself as an entrepreneur & hence he joined EDI to pursue his dream. His father a renowned steel consultant was his inspiration. Sumit is a first generation manufacturer and his company ‘Vinod International Ltd’ is making global footprints under his able leadership.

2) Priti Bhatia

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She joined EDI with a promise to herself that she would devote her time completely to learning all that it takes to be a successful business person. Priti is MD of a designer diamond jewellery brand, Awesome Sparkles. She was also conferred with the ‘Best Woman Entrepreneur Award’ from Gem & Jewellery Trade Council of India.

3) Abhar Patel

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Shlok Group is a leading real-estate developer of Ahmedabad with interest in landmark commercial & residential projects. He credits his success to the theoretical & practical insights he gained through PGDM-BE course at EDI. The community is proud to have members like them.

The alumni, who are face of institute & act as ambassadors of the institute, host an annual meet every year, where they share their experiences through various programmes, such as

Entre-Plexus: The annual alumni meet, wherein the intelligent minds meet to discuss their progress as successful entrepreneurs followed by a cultural show. It is one of its kind event wherein they review their current business plans & strategies and discusses further business opportunities.

Networking Summit: The summit aims at generating a forum where the alumni can network with each other by way of sharing their current and future business/career plans & hence can nurture a healthy business relationship with each other and

EDIAA Premier League: The sports meet where it invites all its alumni to participate in different sports activities, which rejuvenates & refresh the memories of togetherness. A night cricket tournament is also organised which brings the members together in a non-formal fashion & promotes healthy, informal interaction.

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Join EDI Alumni Network: http://ediindia.ac.in/Alumni-Corner.asp

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Growing Startup Culture in India

Just few years back, it was the scene that if you tell someone that you have left a high paying job to start your own ‘Startup’, then chances were high that they may term you as fool.

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But things are not the same any more, the younger generation now wants to fail, precisely Try & Fail, only because they want to LEARN.

As per a recent UN report, despite having less population than China, India has world’s largest youth population with 356 million youths. The youths today have moved on from getting a ‘decent job’ culture, its passé. They have embraced the ‘Startup Culture’.

Being an entrepreneur was not so prevalent or was encouraged either in post-independence era. But with government taking the baton in its hands & actively endorsing entrepreneurship, the wheel has started rolling.

Entrepreneurial encouragement

There are various Central & State government sponsored schemes to help the entrepreneurs across the sectors. Be it subsidies on loans or business policies, everything is streamlined and bottlenecks are removed.

The growth in technology has boosted the startup era, as many startups that are emerging are tech startups & are doing wonders in the industry. With success of Flipkart, Paytm & likes, it is now a dream for every other youth to start his/her own venture.

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A decade back it was a common saying in Silicon Valley that you would find a clever Indian toiling away in the backroom of nearly every successful start-up company. Things have changed now, Indians are coming back to India; to contribute in the Indian Startup growth story & many of us are witness to it.

Opportunities

India is a growing market & there is tremendous potential which is yet untapped. Students at premiere B-schools are opting to work with startups than at MNCs. Many of them are opting out of campus placements itself, just to pursue their dream. The concept of ‘dream job’ is vanishing slowly & the concept of ‘Startup’ is taking its place.

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Infrastructure

India currently has

40+ Accelerators

300+ Angel Investors

6-8 Early stage funds

10-15 Later stage funds

Apart from these various forums & communities are there to support the startups. Last but not least. We should always remember that startups only fail when they fail to learn.

Let us know your take on Indian startup culture.

EDI is a pioneering institute in the field of entrepreneurship & is acknowledged as a world leader in creating first generation entrepreneurs through its PGDM-BE course. To know more about the course: http://bit.ly/1xs4lQl

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Recent Acquisitions in Indian Startup Ecosystem

With startup culture taking a momentum in India Inc., lots of technology aimed ventures are coming up with their unique offerings in the marketplace. Few of them make it to the VC round while the rest of them either cease to exist or get acquired by bigger companies in the industry making little or no money.

In the recent past many tech startups got acquired by their bigger counterparts in the industry & many of them got handsome sum of capital by investors. Here’s a quick look at some of the recent acquisitions & investments made in various Indian startups.

 1) SnapDeal acquires Hyderabad-based mobile technology startup MartMobi

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E-commerce major SnapDeal recently acquired Hyderabad based mobile technology startup ‘MartMobi’ for an undisclosed amount. The move is in line to strengthen their mobility platform for merchants.

SnapDeal co-founder & COO  Rohit Bansal said that the reason behind focusing more on mobile based platform is because of the major orders that are coming from mobile-based devices (i.e upto 75%). ‘MartMobi’ currently serves around 150 clients & have 15 member team.

Founded in 2010, SnapDeal has over 40 million registered users & is a key player in $3 billion Indian e-commerce industry.

2) Digital marketing training company ‘Digital Vidya’ acquires ‘Digital Academy’ India

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The Digital Marketing training industry is growing by leaps & bounds and it is believed that among various ad channels, digital will show the fastest growth of 37%. And the same was reflected in a recent acquisition of ‘Digital Academy’ by ‘Digital Vidya’.

‘Digital Vidya’ was started by Pradeep Chopra (an IIT Delhi Alumni & serial entrepreneur) & Kapil Nakra in 2009 which offers customized in-house digital marketing training programs for corporations and has served over 100 organizations such as Philips, Intuit, GE, Cisco, Times Internet, Citibank, Adobe, etc.

This acquisition will help ‘Digital Vidya’ to expand their reach and further enhance the quality of their digital marketing certification programs for their customers and partners by leveraging the strengths and experience of Digital Academy India.

3) Twitter co-founder Biz Stone invests in India’s Lookup, a chat application for local commerce

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Deepak Ravindran started ‘Lookup’, a chat application meant for local commerce. It is absolutely free for both consumers & business. Listed as an ‘Essential App’ in ‘Google Play’ and as a ‘Top free app’ in the communication category on ‘Google Play’.

The current app downloads stand at over 2,00,000 & the app will be live across 9 cities by end of this year. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has invested an undisclosed amount in the startup and will serve as an advisor to the company, which is a big step forward for Lookup.

4) Livspaces’ second acquisition in two months, Dwll.in now part of the team

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With the aim of creating India’s only end-to-end home design and decor platform, ‘Livspace’ acquired Dwll.in, which is a curated online network of interior designers.

This is the second acquisition by ‘Livespace’ in two months. According to Anuj Srivastava the Co-founder of ‘Livspace’, the home decor and design space in India, and the overall market size is close to USD 30 billion dollars.

‘Livspace’ wishes to create India’s biggest catalogue of designer looks for home owners and the largest curated community marketplace of home designers.

5) HDFC invests in CarDekho.com

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‘CarDekho’ dominates the online car research market with over 17 million visits on its portal every month. Amit Jain, CEO of Jaipur based Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd. which owns ‘CarDekho’ said that their vision is to provide car loan to every car buyer in the country, even before they finalize upon the car. Out of the 80,000 crore Indian car loan market, HDFC Bank is the leader with 35% market share. The investment comes at a time when company is raising a Series B funding round worth $50 million from Hillhouse Capital, Tybourne Capital and existing investor Sequoia.

Do share your views on the mergers & acquisitions trend among tech startups in India & about their future course.

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7 Apps That Can Make Things Easier For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, by and large, live fast-paced, chaotic lives, where decisions have to be made quickly and inspiration can come in the most unlikely of places. They live and die by their smartphones and tablets, so it helps to have those equipped with apps that can make the most of every minute, in turn helping their businesses grow.

The right app won’t make or break a startup, of course, but it can make the lives of the people behind those businesses a lot easier. Here are 7 apps that might benefit entrepreneurs with productivity and even with growing their businesses:

1 Remember The Milk

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With millions of users worldwide, Remember The Milk is everywhere you are: from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter and more. It can add and complete tasks on the go, great for backing up your tasks and notes, allows you to organize the way you want to with priorities, due dates, time estimates, repeating, lists, tags etc. Moreover, you can search your tasks and notes, and save your favorite searches as Smart Lists. It also gets the user reminded about tasks via email, SMS and instant messenger and keeps the users in sync with their tasks on multiple devices.

2 Evernote

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Evernote is a cloud-based app that lets you sync notes between your phone, tablet, desktop and most other devices; edit; share files as necessary; and always be up to date with the latest version. No matter where you are or what device you’re using, if you have Web access, you can get to and work with your notes. Evernote even plays nice with different browsers, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox.  No wonder it’s been a go-to note taking app for years!

3 Producteev

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Producteev, available for iOS and Android, helps you delegate tasks and make sure they get done on time. It’s helpful for any small business owner and features due dates, milestones, and progress tracking to keep your employees motivated. There’s also filtering so you can see how busy each of your employees is before assigning new tasks.

4 MobileDay

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For those frequent occasions when you’re too busy to be sitting in the office, use MobileDay to coordinate all of your in-person and conference call meetings. It scans your calendar and imports all conferencing information. When it’s time for the call, you can join with just one click. And if you need to arrange a group discussion yourself, just tell the app who to invite and it will send the details for you—even setting up the call via its own conference service. Also, with this app, you can email participants and even get directions to your meeting place.

5 Instapaper

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Coming across interesting articles is one of the best parts of the Internet – and one of the worst things for your overall productivity levels when this happens while at work. Instead of reading through new posts whenever you encounter them, save them to your Instapaper account.  Your selected Web pages will be automatically saved for later browsing, when they will  be displayed at a convenient time in a reading-friendly format.

6 HelloSign

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HelloSign is an easy-to-use electronic signature service linked with Evernote. Sign documents yourself or request signatures from up to 20 different people in any order, or all at once. When the document is fully executed, everyone gets a copy delivered to their inbox. See your documents progress with status notifications that keep you in the loop throughout. The greatest advantage of using electronic signatures is that you don’t have to fax or mail documents back and forth and dispels the need to print these documents thereby saving time.

7 Dropbox

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You never know when you’re going to need to access a photo, document or video. Dropbox’s cloud storage is one of the most popular storage apps and it adds mobility to its many features. This app is extremely handy for sharing files with your team, which prevents back-and-forth emailing. Best of all, if you lose your phone, all of your files are still safe, assuming you’ve synced the device to your account.

The best part about these apps? Most of them are free!

Opting out of entrepreneur-centric apps is like turning down an offer of free work from a contractor. You wouldn’t do that, so please make sure you don’t have an empty smartphone desktop. These apps are just a few of our favourites that we think are essential for entreprenenurs.  If you have others that you couldn’t get through the work day without, share your recommendations below!

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An Inspiring Speech By Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Chief Guest For the 16th Convocation of Post Graduate Programmes

2nd May, 2015 marked the convocation of PGDM-BE 2013-15. Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Dept. of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India was the Chief Guest of Honour and addressed students on the special occasion.

Here are the inspiring words from Dr. Adhia that motivated budding entrepreneurs on their convocation day:

“It’s my pleasure to address and award the bright and young pillars of the nation, at this 16th convocation of the EDI Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes.  I congratulate the students who have earned this diploma and those who have been awarded special recognition. No accomplishment is achieved alone; it always has support of so many down the lane. And I am sure, in this journey of yours, you had support of your parents and mentors. I congratulate them all. While I have always enjoyed coming to Gujarat, I am particularly excited today because the reason is so pleasant and progressive, to say the least.

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I compliment EDI and its Governing Board for conducting these crucial programmes. I know this Institute almost since its inception and I am happy to see it having come thus far. EDI’s is a phenomenal journey from training programmes back in the early days, to successfully branching out into the areas of education, research and institution building. It is also the nodal agency for several ministries of the Government.  I am glad that the Institute has succeeded in its mandate of spearheading entrepreneurship development throughout the nation with a belief that entrepreneurs are not just born but can be bred too. And, I am happy to note that it is not just India that has benefitted from EDI’s interventions but several foreign lands such as; Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have also experienced a boost in their entrepreneurial environment through EDI established Entrepreneurship Centres. That Uzbekistan and  five African countries  are on the anvil brings us more reasons to revel.  I consider this a necessary task amidst a time when globalization and technology are transforming our economy. These critical factors and the interaction between them are exerting inordinate influence on our economy and unless we have innovative and educated entrepreneurs, we cannot turn this situation to our advantage. So, I must say, we all look up to these students to create their own distinct markets and in the process, a huge market for India.

The students of Business Entrepreneurship are aware of the changing economic circumstances arising from the emergence of new products, technologies and competition and, therefore, I advise them to use their knowledge and awareness to concentrate on carefully formulating and executing their business strategies, so that they create a niche for themselves. Traditional entrepreneurial practices and systems are fast getting blurred by new knowledge and understanding, and in that sense you are fortunate to have been educated to pursue entrepreneurship from a guided viewpoint. Let me request the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to explore several upcoming sectors and take a look at the enormous inherent potential before taking the plunge. The course has equipped you well. I understand it is the most appropriate course as its curriculum has been appreciated by several well-meaning organizations besides being recognized by the prestigious United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. My congratulations to the Faculty Group.

The Government at the Centre has taken significant steps towards enhancing the prospects for entrepreneurs. You all must be aware of these policies and schemes. I would also like to mention the setting up of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to iron the creases on the turf of entrepreneurship promotion in the country. The time today is just apt with environment that is receptive, amenable, accessible and friendly.

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Till a few years back it was believed that Indian entrepreneurs can never compete with their foreign counterparts and that technologies come to India much later. But, they have proved their mettle and you all have to carry this legacy forward. India will have to promote innovative, hi-tech enterprises and break free from the traditional models of business if it has to remain on the forefront of global economy.  Towards this I realize that India needs more incubators, considering that countries like; the USA has 1300, China has 800 and a small country like Korea also has close to 400 incubators.  While several Ministries are involved in promoting incubators and innovators. The number of incubators in India hardly touches about 200. Nevertheless incubators that the country houses are adequately equipped to provide an array of useful services and seed funding to start ups. So, you can see that the country is gearing up on not just this front but other fronts as well to promote high technology ventures. Further as a step towards advancing knowledge based economy, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has set up a Rs. 100 crore Innovation Fund. The Government of India has also set up a Rs. 1000 crore start-up fund to further this cause.  The policies and reforms that are coming your way are futuristic and high-tech entrepreneur friendly. So innovate and take advantage of the major economic restructuring that’s happening, to move ahead.’ Make in India’ as our Honorable Prime Minister has envisioned. There are many opportunities, if you are observant, you will convert even waste into wealth. So look around, think and you will succeed.  Match your high competence with hard work and high integrity, and every goal will be within your reach.  My congratulations to you all!!!

The students of Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Development Studies have to play a very critical role in the development. They have set a massive task before them – they are on the task of creating a strong society which is alienated from inequality and deprivation. Let your imagination soar, use your knowledge and also your gut feel to hail major revolutions. Social enterprises, today, are emerging as a trusted tool to address the issues faced by these disadvantaged communities. So, I urge you all to create your innovative social enterprises to address issues being faced by the people at the bottom of the pyramid. You all will also have to understand global trends, check their applicability in the Indian scenario, advocate a convergence, wherever possible, and head towards the most conspicuous benchmarks to get India a first in many developmental areas. My heartiest congratulations.

I would say, the students of the two programmes complete each other. One makes the task easy for the other. They have to continue building a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship. In that sense, I congratulate EDI for envisaging the significance of these pillars of society and offering two programmes which complement each other. Also, let me add that EDI is giving you the additional experience of intermingling with students from so many countries who visit its campus as participants of International training programmes. I understand that a group of Chinese Students also here on the campus for learning Business Hindi. Such interactions are a great learning platform and teach life skills that become significant at all important junctures.

My advice to both the groups is –  Be confident but never harbour over confidence, be ambitious but never get into over-ambitious expansions, be aware and be with the times. Create a responsive, lean and competitive organization.

Please learn to compete. Stop blaming the environment and systems. Strive to give your best even if you are performing in a space with lapses.  You will not be able to move ahead if you look forward to being safeguarded at every juncture of your journey.

Despite the glitches that might cross your way, take pride in India’s economic achievements. Make India’s development your stepping stone to greater achievements. I am sure you all would participate actively in the growth of the Indian economy and try to utilise the new opportunities to the best of your abilities.

The challenge today lies in pursuing entrepreneurship which can stand up to global competition.  I am confident that you will seize every opportunity and go on to create great companies.  Your dreams are our command and we will support you in every possible way, so that you make the country achieve. And, lastly an important piece of advice – Put your health first in the list of priorities. It is not for nothing that Yoga has got an international standing today. Please understand its potential, make it a part of your life to achieve health and a peaceful state of mind. Such calmness will also reflect in your critical decisions and everyday work.

So move ahead with a ‘never say die’ spirit and make winning a habit.

I wish you all the best for the future.”

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Eureka Moments Leading to 3 Great Entrepreneurial Ideas

Life can be divided into two periods – before you know why you are alive and after. The two are separated by a single moment – the Aha! moment. That one brainwave turns a person into a person on a mission.

In this blog, we share the examples of  Eureka moments of 3 great personalities that led them to an unmatched success. Sure, for them, it was a process to get to that moment. But it was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group

Determined to enter business, Jack Ma set up a translation company, but he still had to peddle goods on the street to get by. He traveled to the United States in 1995 as a translator to help a Chinese firm recover a payment. The attempt failed, and the American who owed money pulled a gun on him. But a friend in Seattle showed Ma the Internet, and an idea began brewing.

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He noticed there was not a single online listing for “China” and “beer,” unlike those that popped up for American and German beer. He returned to China and set up a listing site that he later sold to the government. After working in Beijing for an Internet firm under the Ministry of Commerce, he decided to quit his job in 1999 and went back to Hangzhou with his team in order to found Alibaba in his apartment with a group of 17 friends. Alibaba is one of the largets e-commerce sites which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories.

Samuel Morse, inventor of Telegraph

It was while working on the portrait of Lafayette that Morse suffered the personal tragedy that changed his life forever. In Washington, D.C., for the commission, Morse received a letter from his father–delivered via the standard, slow-moving horse messengers of the day–that his wife was gravely ill. Morse immediately left the capital and raced to his Connecticut home. By the time he arrived, however, his wife was not only dead—she had already been buried. It is believed that the grief-stricken Morse, devastated that it had taken days for him to receive the initial notification of his wife’s illness, shifted his focus away from his art career and instead dedicated himself to improving the state of long-distance communication. With this dedication, Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.

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Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro Inc.

GoPro is a camera designed for heavy-duty action, like skydiving and surfing. It goes (and survives) where other cameras can’t.

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He knew he wanted to build a new company, so he planned a 5 month surfing trip around Australia and Indonesia for inspiration. Woodman needed a camera to document his time there, so he strapped one to his arm with rubber bands. He was hoping to capture quality action photos of his surfing, but because amateur photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at reasonable prices, he had an idea which led to the launch of a line of durable cameras that come fitted with mounting gear allowing users to capture images and video of their most active moments. His desire for a camera system that could capture the professional angles inspired the ‘GoPro’ name.

If you are searching for a brilliant business idea, start by looking at the simple problems right in front of you. After all, finding solutions to the problems at their very own finger tips is what inspired Steve Jobs to launch Apple, Donald Fisher to launch Gap, Ingvar Kampard to launch IKEA and Ben Silbermann to launch Pinterest. :)

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A Sneak Peek into Students’ Lives at EDI

College life has two sides to it – one that is visible on campus, in the classrooms, in front of the faculty and outsiders. The other, the more realistic one is what happens inside the hostel rooms, in the canteen and in the minds of the students.

In an attempt to have a closer look at the students’ lives at EDI, we had a candid conversation with 2 students from the 16th batch of PGDM-BE.

Priya Dialani is an ambitious girl from Nasik, Maharashtra. Born in a joint family that successfully runs a joint family business, Priya has always been firm about running her own business. Making a smart move, she decided to develop her entrepreneurial skills at EDI before taking a leap into the world of startups. Talking about the contribution of PGDM-BE course in her overall development, she said, “I come from a small city where I didn’t get enough exposure due to which there was a limited growth of my own mindset. PGDM-BE has helped me in all round development as an individual. After joining EDI, I got an idea of how things actually work in the biz world. It has helped me in transforming my theoretical knowledge into practical applications. When I visit Nasik during breaks and meet my friends who are also doing PGDM or MBA in the structured MBA colleges, I feel the difference between the way I talk and the way they talk.”

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Another budding entrepreneur, DivyaShil Jain, won the gold medal for scholastic performance in Family Business Management, PGDM-BE 2013-15. Having completed B.E. from Thapar University (Patiala), DivyaShil joined Essar Power and worked there for 2 years. “I have always wanted to join my family business and take it to a grand level of success. Family Business Management from EDI seemed the first step towards it and so, I joined the PGDM-BE (FBM) in 2013. The programme has groomed me by helping me develop an approach to look at things from various perspectives and an insight has been developed to maintain and respect the cultures across all the verticals,” he told us.

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As a part of the second year syllabus of PGDM-BE, students prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) about the project they plan to work on as an entrepreneur. From their respective DPRs, DivyaShil and Priya had some very interesting insights to share with us. DivyaShil worked on the growth plan of his family business, which is into manufacturing and exports of ferrous and non-ferrous precision machined components for automobiles and industrial machinery parts. Priya, on the other hand, plans to go for a startup offering customized florist services where people can buy, gift or exchange cut, exotic or seasonal flowers.

While life at EDI might sound very exciting, academic rigour and healthy competition share an equal weightage in the overall two years stay at the campus. We asked them what kept them motivated throughout this period, away from their homes. Priya recalled the beautiful days at EDI, “At EDI, one is surrounded by people who think business 24*7. The faculty is the best I have met till date and has always guided me with shrewd business insights. Students of EDI get a family away from their family, we celebrate ALL the festivals together and make friends we can count on.” Divyashil, keeping it crisp and to the point, told us, “The faculty and the guest lectures contributed a lot in developing our skills and a positive attitude. Bonding with close friends kept all of us motivated and never made anyone nostalgic.”

Priya and Divyashil are all set to win the world with their entrepreneurial skills. We wish them all the best with their future endeavours.

For an amazing learning experience and beautiful journey at EDI, apply to our PGDM-BE 2015-17 NOW!

Apply here: http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure: http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website: http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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From SMEs To MNCs – 5 Family-Businesses That Inspire Every Entrepreneur

Can you imagine starting a business that will be functional even after 100 years from now?

It’s almost unthinkable in this launch-and-sell age, where myriad tech companies are born, built (barely) and sold to larger companies for a quick pay day for entrepreneurs and their antsy investors. But who are those larger companies? Those are the ones who started out small, with the vision mentioned above. You will be surprised to know that many of those Fortune 500 companies were once small, family-owned business.

We have compiled a list of 5 such companies featuring in Fortune Global 500:

1 WAL-MART

Walmart

Family- Walton

Revenue- $ 476,294 millions

The Waltons are the richest family in America. The descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, the family controls more than 50% of the Wal-Mart Corporation. Wal-mart holds the distinction of being not only the largest family business in the world, but also the largest company in the world in terms of revenues.

 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

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Family- Lee

Revenue- $ 208,938 millions

The word ‘Samsung’ is inextricably linked with smartphones and electronics. However, before Samsung Electronics, there was merely Samsung Sanghoe: a small trading company founded by Lee Byung-Chull in 1938 that dealt mostly in dried seafood, produce and its own noodles. Today, Samsung has made the work, play and entertainment experiences better for each of its customers and has become one of the giants in the global market.

3 FORD

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Family- Ford

Revenue- $ 146,917 millions

Henry Ford founded this auto company more than 110 years ago with a dream of selling cars that the workingman could afford. When a car was considered as a luxury item and not something affordable to buy, Ford introduced large scale manufacturing of cars to the world. The company went public in 1956 and now manufactures more than 5.5 million automobiles in the world and employs more than 1,80,000 employees. Today, fourth- and fifth-generation Fords help run the company, where they still control 40% of the voting power through a special class of stock.

4 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES

Reliance

Family- Ambani

Revenue- $ 73,332 millions

The richest person in India and MD of Reliance Industries, the largest Indian private sector enterprise, Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is a worthy example of business tycoon carrying forward legacy. In 1962, Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of RIL, started the Reliance Commercial Corporation to import polyester yarn and export spices with a capital of Rs.15,000. With no Oxford or Yale degree and no family capital, he achieved what the Elite “brown sahibs” of the ‘then India’ could not: he built an ultramodern, profitable, global enterprise in India itself. In 2004, Reliance emerged as the first and only private Indian organization to be listed in the Fortune Global 500 list.

5 TATA GROUP

 

Tata

Family- Tata

Revenue- $ 38,502 millions

Tata Group has evolved from being a family-owned business to becoming one of the best-run and professionally-managed groups in the world. Jamsetji Tata laid the foundations of Tata Group when he started a private trading firm in 1868. In 1874, he set up the Central India Spinning Weaving and Manufacturing Company Limited and thus marked the Group’s entry into textiles. Since then, there has been no looking back. Tata family has exemplified the true entrepreneurial spirit with over 100 companies in seven business sectors ranging from communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.

If you are going to be a part of your family business in future, we can help you take it to the next level.

Apply to our PGDM-BE programme: http://bit.ly/1zDi5aF | Download brochure: http://bit.ly/1dSP5fT | Visit our website for more info: http://bit.ly/1HJJ43P

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