Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam: A Salute to the Patriotic Son of Mother India

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‘People’s President’, a great visionary, an epitome of inspiration, simplicity, focus, discipline and perseverance, Dr. Kalam, was indeed a rare gem of India!

His achievements are awe inspiring and his life is one of the best examples of grit. His journey is remarkable. Despite all odds, Dr. Kalam found his way from an extremely  poor family to a scientist. His immense contribution to the nation’s civilian space program and military missile development made him popular as  the Missile Man. Eventually, he became the President of India and the Indian Youth Icon.

He had a Scientist’s mind but was humane at heart and had a childlike smile. His enthusiasm was infectious and the glint in his eyes inspiring.  He had qualities worth imbibing: overcoming failures, karma yoga, staying humble despite great achievements, detachment from materialistic life and putting ‘India’ above everything. Even at 83, his gait reflected enthusiasm and confidence. He ignited the youth of India to unleash their potential.

Dr. Kalam’s positive aura enthralled every individual he met from all walks of life: sports, politics, science & technology, entertainment, education, art, medicine and so on. This is evident from kind of tribute paid to him by varied leading personalities irrespective of their areas of work.

I recollect his inspirational address during his visit to EDI for inauguration of Aashray, a techno-social business incubator last month. When asked about the success mantra for his achievements Dr. Kalam responded: “I worked when others were sleeping.” He also urged the youth in the audience to ‘Dream Big’, ‘Work Hard’ and ‘Persist despite failures until you attain your Goal’.

He left a valuable message for every Indian. Live your life with a meaningful purpose.

His death is an irreparable loss, a huge void for India.

Let us pray that each one of us is able to do our bit and thereby, contribute towards realizing his Vision for India.

May His Soul rest in Divine care with eternal peace.

Entrepreneurial Gurus

The word GURU is derived from two words GU & RU; In Sanskrit RU means darkness or ignorance and GU refers to the remover of that darkness. Even in contemporary world it is seen that people from varied set of domains have Guru/Mentor, under whose guidance they undertake their course of journey. Be it professional, social, political or spiritual everyone has their mentors, whom they refer as Guru and always look up for their blessings & guidance and entrepreneurship per se is no different to it. Several youngsters & businessmen who have made great strides in business world have mentors, who guided them for the future pathway.

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Today, we will touch upon few of such Entrepreneurs, to whom the world relates to as ‘Entrepreneurship Gurus’ and the viewpoint shared by them on entrepreneurship, business and about life.

  • Warren Buffet (Chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathway): He is an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist.

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  • Richard Branson (Founder Virgin Group): He is a UK based businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder ofVirgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies.

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  • Steve Blank (Author and Entrepreneur): He is a Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur & has 35+ years of experience in making startups fail less.

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  • Ratan Tata (Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons & Chairman, Tata Trusts): He is an Indian businessman, investor & philanthropist.

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  • Narayn Murthy (Chairman Emeritus Infosys): He is an Indian IT industrialist and the co-founder of

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Let’s know your view about the article & share with us about your business guru & his take on entrepreneurship.

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Young Entrepreneurs- How these 20-somethings are making it BIG

Think big. Start young. Hire yourself.

How difficult is it to start early in life? With all the resources and support just a call away, starting young is the best thing you can do for your future.

We bring to you a little inspiration that can help you take the big step. Presenting superstars of the future.

1. Twice

bl1Twice founded by Calvin Young and Noah Ready Campbell.

Campbell says, ‘I remember I really liked Brooks Brothers shirts. I got one that had a $250 price tag on it for $10.’

Noah, a Chinese immigrant is from a small town and remembers that the only way he could afford to comply with his school dress codes was to shop at a seconds shop.

These early experiences, and their challenges with selling their used goods online, were the inspirations for Twice. “Noah and I were used to buying and selling things on eBay,” says Young. Their biggest pains were taking photos of items, answering a bunch of questions from the buyer, and shipping the goods. So, Young adds, Twice seeks to “abstract away all of that pain.”

The company allows sellers to ship a box full of laundered used clothes to Twice, which gives the seller a single, all-or-nothing offer for the items that were sent. If the offer is accepted (as it is in 97 percent of cases), Twice uses a proprietary software program called Vulcan, designed by Young, to take photos of the items, color correct the images, determine suitable prices, and upload the photos and descriptions to the Twice website. When Ready-Campbell and Young first got their idea, they wanted to determine if sellers would trust them enough to send their clothes with just the promise of possible payment. So they launched a rudimentary website, and when boxes of clothes started arriving, they knew they were onto something. They used investor funds to buy 1,000 pieces of clothing at Goodwill to prime the site, and the inventory sold down faster than they predicted. Today, the company buys items directly from sellers and the products are stored in the company’s warehouse and then shipped to buyers for just $4.95 per order, or free for orders over $49.

2. Enplug

bl2Enplug: An Operating System for Digital Billboards founded by Navdeep Reddy, Zach Spitulski, Nanxi Liu, and Alex Ross

Enplug was basically started with a motive to focus on digital signage – from jumbotrons in stadiums to TV displays in restaurants–because one unifying software platform didn’t exist for the medium. Smart billboards and jumbotrons, like the ones in Times Square, require expensive custom development work because there is no universal operating system that can host apps and commands. Think about how a smartphone would work without an operating system: You’d have to program every action yourself. Enplug’s operating system and app market help businesses get a display up and running, with whatever apps they want to use, faster and cheaper than before. “The technology for displays had not changed in decades, most were just running slideshows through PowerPoint,” says Liu. “It made no sense to us, especially looking at the evolution of personal computers to smartphones. We thought it was archaic.”

3. CoachUp

bl3Coachup founded by Gabe Durazo, Arian Radmand and Jordan Fliegel.

These young entrepreneurs have already provided coaches for 100,000 athletes.

Jordan Fliegel, founder and president of Coachup, wasn’t a great basketball player as a kid. Poor footwork. An average shot. He rode the bench for his high school freshman basketball team in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only faintly grasping the game’s fundamentals and nuances. It wasn’t until he met a coach at camp that summer that he began to understand what it took to succeed on the hardwood.

Three years after its launch, CoachUp connects over 13,000 trainers with more than 100,000 clients nationwide. The site vets each coach upon their signing up, then tracks reviews and response rates to ensure they remain up to par–providing athletes with an easy and safe way to improve their skill set. CoachUp offers specialties in 25 sports, from baseball and football to swimming and yoga. The company takes a small percentage of the coach’s fee for each session. In exchange it provides an instant payment tool, a session calendar, and $100,000 in liability insurance–not to mention a self-advertising platform that didn’t exist just a few years ago. The majority of CoachUp’s athletes range from grade school up through high school–a natural pyramid, as Fliegel points out, with the best athletes most likely to continue through high school graduation.

4. NatureBox

bl4NatureBox founded by Ken Chen and Gautam Gupta.

As a teenager, NatureBox co-founder Gautam Gupta was overweight, as roughly two-thirds of Americans are today. He ate poorly, and knew very little about dietary health.

Then, in his senior year of high school, he lost 70 pounds in six months: “I was fortunate enough to learn about nutrition,” he says.  It was a discovery that Gupta wouldn’t soon forget.

Years later, in 2012, after spending much of his career working for venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, Gupta decided to quit his job and start a business with his best friend, Ken Chen. Gupta wanted to bring healthful, carefully sourced snack foods to consumers like his younger self. “Starting a company was an opportunity to combine a professional interest with that passion,” he says.

Consumers order from an online Snack Catalog, which includes nutritionist-approved items that cater to their dietary needs and preferences. Unlike some of his competitors, Gupta private-labels all products under the NatureBox brand, rather than sourcing them through third-party vendors. The ingredients come primarily from independent manufacturers and farms, although the company refused to disclose specific partners.

To date, NatureBox has raised $28.5 million over two funding rounds from investors Red Point, Canaan, and SoftBank, as well as from Gupta’s former employer, General Catalyst.  The company brought in nearly $50 million in revenue in 2014, more than double that of 2013.  NatureBox also boasts one million Facebook fans, and expects to ship as many as five million boxes in 2015. The company is projecting $100 million in revenue this year.

5. BucketFeet

bl5BucketFeet founded by Aaron Firestein and Raaja Nemani.

Unemployed and adventurous, Aaron Firestein moved to Argentina after graduating from college to study Spanish and volunteer with L.I.F.E. Argentina, a nonprofit that serves kids living in extreme poverty. That’s where he met Raaja Nemani, who had recently quit a job in finance to travel the world for a year. He and Firestein wound up at the same organization.

“We met playing soccer with street kids,” recalls Firestein, who had an artistic bent and had been drawing designs on canvas shoes since college. Nemani admired them and Firestein sold him a pair. And so the seeds for BucketFeet were planted. The partners didn’t go into business together immediately. Nemani wore the shoes on the remainder of his trip around the world, and found that his original footwear sparked conversation–and envy–wherever he went. “At the end of his trip, he approached me and said, ‘This is a cool idea, and we should turn it into a company,'” recalls Firestein, whose college nickname was “Bucket.”

The company now collaborates with more than 13,000 artists globally to produce canvas shoes with original designs. BucketFeet now collaborates with more than 13,000 artists globally to produce canvas shoes with original designs.

Have an idea that can strike the deal for you as an Entrepreneur? We say go for it! Give your leadership skills, innovation and dreams a chance. Passion and hardwork will always pay off. And remember, you are never too young to dream big.

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Innovations in Rural Entrepreneurship

The total population of India is approximately 1.28 billion people of which approx. 70% of it comprises of rural population. This clearly showcases that majority of people are residing in rural parts of India than in urban. Still entrepreneurship has remained a more of urban centric topic. But today we will focus on some of the rural innovations which will totally change this perception. Though a structured model was never in place to teach or practice entrepreneurship in rural areas, innovators were bound to innovate which proves the phrase ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’ right.

1) Cotton Stripper: The innovation of 60 year old ‘Manshukhbhai Patel’ a cotton stripping machine, branded as ‘Chetak’, brought about a sea change in the lives of cotton farmers. Earlier the cotton stripping was done manually by farm labourers which was harmful & led to a lung disease called ‘Byssinosis’

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Mansukhbhai a dropout of school due to poverty, continued to work in his cotton field and did many odd jobs and picked up mechanical skills by working as an electrician & mechanic in cotton mills. Mansukhbhai borrowed money from his friends & family to make a prototype of his first cotton striping machine, which is now marketed as ‘Chetak’.

2) Mitticool: Mansukhbhai Prajapati, again a school dropout joined his family business of traditional pottery making. But due to less returns in the business he discontinued it & started doing other odd jobs which landed him in a Tiles making factory. Here he got inspired to make pots from different clays & learnt to make efficient pots as compared to what he used to make earlier.

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Gradually, he started experimenting with his pottery making and created different vessels out of it like ‘MittiCool Refrigerator’ & non-stick clay tawa (hot plate). The clay refrigerator is used to store fruits, vegetables & food without any use of electricity. Mansukhbhai was able to commercialize his idea & has received over 25 awards till date.

3) Bullet Santi: In 1990s, Amreli faced severe draught like condition due to which tilling the dry land was costly & cost of manual labour rose. Due to shortage of fodder one Mansukhbhai Jagani was forced to sell his bullocks, as a result he was left with nothing to till his farm land. Jagani, previously worked as farm mechanic for repairing his diesel pumps. So he borrowed his friends Royal Enfield and tried connecting mechanical instrument of farm tilling to it & tried tilling land.

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He partially succeeded at it so he made some improvisation to it tried fixing the other tools & tackles in the bullet. As a result what came up was called Bullet Santi. The motorcycle had a 5.5 horsepower diesel engine and with the attachments it could be used as a multipurpose machine for ploughing, sowing, interculturing, spraying, insecticides, or a small goods carrier. Other farmers also saw value in his invention and started approaching him for similar solutions.

4) Biomass Gasifier: Raj Singh Dahiya born & brought up in rural India, just like many of his counterparts.Poor financial conditions refrained him from attending school. He worked in his farms with his parents, watering plants & looking after the livestock. Dahiya was very much inclined towards technology and was an avid listener of Gyan-Vigyan program broadcasted by BBC right from his childhood. He can assemble any given thing like watch & alarm clocks, radio or farm machinery. His interest in machinery led him to open up a workshop to repair tractors & farm equipments.

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But due to rise in fuel prices he was forced to think an alternative for fuel. Dahiya thought of an engine that could work on gas from farm waste. Initially the machine didn’t work properly and would shut down after running for an hour. But subsequently through his determined efforts he was able to fit in a fan based filter in the machine which in turn can be used to run machines through farm waste. So far he has sold 80 units of ‘Biomass Gasifiers’ of different capacity & is now supplying the steel based gasifiers as well.

Do you know any more mind boggling rural inventions? Share with us :)

 

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5 Things To Take Care of If You Are Into Family Business

Family owned or controlled businesses play a key role in the global economy. They account for an estimated 80% of companies worldwide and are the largest source of long-term employment in most countries. As per PwC’s latest global ‘Family Business Survey’, of the family firms surveyed, 65% of them reported growth in last one year (2014). And 70% are expected to grow steadily over the next five years.

But below are also some astonishing facts & figures which will blow your mind. The survey by ‘Family Business Institute’ focuses on the inheritance percentage of family business by their next generation which shows that only 3% of businesses operate into the 4th generation & beyond.

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So here are some cues which you can practice or adopt to make your family business a sustainable one.

1) Don’t Prejudice between Family vs. Non-Family: If you happen to run a family business then you would have to deal with two kinds of employees-1st one being your own family members or relatives & 2nd one being the non-family members. Always remember that you have to treat both of them equally. Because you doing favouritism to any of the side would demotivate the other set of members which could severely impact your business.

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2) Communicate Honestly: If you have someone working for you in the company, i.e a friend or a relative then don’t keep it secret; communicate it clearly with all the team members from day one. Or if you have an important update to share with team then make sure it is communicated to the team members at the same time without any discrepancies or delays. This will boost the trust factor amongst co-workers & the team will put in their trust in the leader.

Multi-Ethnic Group of Diverse People Holding Letters To Form A Honesty

Multi-Ethnic Group of Diverse People Holding Letters To Form A Honesty

3) Company Benefits: Let’s be a professional run company wherein we don’t pass on benefits or commercial gains to our relatives or family members just because we know them outside our company as well. If benefits are passed on in that manner then it should be for all and not for only a few set of people.

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4) Off the Payroll: Make sure everyone has roles & responsibilities in the company, if someone is not performing, then put them off the payroll. As simple as that. Even if they happen to be your near & dear ones. Equality & uniformity should persist for all the team members, irrespective of it being a startup or a billion dollar company.

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And last but not the least

5) Family Decisions Vs. Business Decisions: You should note that family & business are two different entities, while making important decisions pertaining to them. You should remember that family decisions & business decisions are a different ballgame altogether & should be dealt independently of each other. This one takes the real test of an entrepreneur.

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Let’s know your view about the article and if you have any points to add in. Your views are important & would be appreciated.

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Digital India & Entrepreneurship

With inauguration of ‘Digital India’ week by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, a new revolution has been ignited in the tech-startup world. The Prime Minister in his discourse at the inauguration ceremony assured full support to young entrepreneurs who wished to launch Start-ups in this domain and called upon the youth to innovate and said “Design in India” is as important as “Make in India.” He unveiled the “Digital India” logo and released policy documents related to ‘Digital India’ at the event in New Delhi.

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(Source: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)

To encourage entrepreneurship at block levels in village, PM felicitated two women CSC village level entrepreneurs at the event (Common Service Centre, offers online banking services, government certificates and helps identifying villagers to various government programme). The Prime Minister emphasised on not allowing the ‘Digital Divide’ to become a barrier between people. Till now, less or no concern was shown towards promotion of IT sector, but now this gap will be bridged by the latest initiatives undertaken by government & will boost the confidence in tech-entrepreneurs to pursue new ventures in this domain.

Under ‘Digital India’ initiative, the government will connect the entire country through broadband by 2019. This project will make India a global leader of IT in services like health, education and banking & will make India Digitally empowered.

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The Nine pillars of ‘Digital India’ (Source: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)

Many industrialists have also pledged their contribution to this project in order to make it a huge success & thereby empowering the youth, entrepreneurs & citizens of the country. For instance, Mr. Anil Ambani of ‘Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’ has announced that he will invest Rs 10,000 crore in Digital India programme. Sunil Bharti Mittal of ‘Bharti Enterprise’ has declared to invest Rs 1 lakh crore in next five years in digital space. Mukesh Ambani of ‘Reliance Industries’ has also pledged to invest Rs 2.5 lakh crore across Digital India pillars. According to a news report (by Times of India), India’s top billionaires pledged around Rs 4.5 lakh crore in all to projects related to Digital India, which could generate employment for some 18 lakh people.

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(Source: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)

Several projects have been launched or will be launched that will empower the citizens of the country. The ‘Digital India’ campaign will affect the global business operations of the countrymen in the longer run and will ease the everyday lives of citizens.

With Digital Technologies like cloud commuting & mobile apps and various eCommerce platforms enhancing the user experience & proving to be of great support in fulfilling the daily needs & wants of people of India.  This latest initiative from government’s end will bring a new high in digital space and will open-up many doors for technocrats & entrepreneurs in coming years. With high numbers of youth enrolling to engineering courses & their natural inclination towards technology will surely do wonders in technology based startups.

Do let us know your views & comments on ‘Digital India’ & your plans, if any on how to capitalize this opportunity.

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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”.

 

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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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