Mr. T V Ganesh – CEO, Indiaproperty.com
T V Ganesh began by explaining the demand & supply side of the business ie about their customers & suppliers. He explained how for a common man purchasing a house involves investing their savings & hence, becomes a critical decision. Having a house is often considered the best performing asset class. The digital technology that Indiaproperty.com provides gives a better analysis of various alternatives & also provides legal assistance. He further mentioned how without the digital interface, a buyer would require 8-10 weeks of search for a house but with the interface would need 2-3 hours only including legal assistance. He also elaborated on the implications of demonetisation on the business & how the challenges they faced helped them to further build their brand.
Dr. Kanika Chatterjee – Professor, Calcutta University
Talking about the role of Academics in innovation and development of new products and entrepreneurship, Dr Kanika Chatterjee said that synergy between academicians and entrepreneurs are of utmost importance. These entities working separately as isolated bodies will not be socially beneficial. She emphasized on the fact that research for the sake of research should take a backseat. Instead, research should focus on contributing to Human Development. Similarly, Entrepreneurship should focus on sustainability and a flourishing society. Talking about leakages in the education system of developing countries, Dr. Kanika Chatterjee said that to propel entrepreneurship a university should pursue to develop a students’ individuality instead of standardizing the education system.
Mr. Vikram Anand – CEO, Founder, FarmGuru
Mr. Vikram Anand was asked to address the panel about the role of entrepreneurship in tackling grave issues plaguing the Indian agriculture sector, especially farmer suicide. Mr. Vikram Anand started by saying that the major part of India lives in villages which thrives completely on agriculture, but sadly very little has been done to tackle the problem of farmer suicide. One of the GDP impacting projects of Indian government is NAM which will lead to the collapse of the intermediaries. On the other side, access to farm inputs is a major hurdle for a farmer where he has to face four levels. Access to capital is one of the main factors which have led to farmer suicides. Talking about his company, Mr. Anand said that Farmguru helps a small farmer get farm inputs at the same price as any larger farmer. Achieving price democracy while maintaining good quality is the main objective of Farmguru.
Mr. Mohammed Safirulla – Collector, Ernakulam District
Mr. Mohammed shared his views on entrepreneurship. He said that an entrepreneur should be very clear about his product since technology is only an enabler & not a solution. He even stated that we need to be aware of the problems caused by creative disruption since it affects the people in the traditional system. He further discussed that Kerala was the first state to adopt the start-up policy even before the government announced it. Kerala has taken many initiatives to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state. The investment models of LDF and UDF in Kerala are mostly government driven. He stated that people entrepreneurship is highly active in Kerala and that investors are able to create tremendous value addition.
Mr. Anand Ramachandran – Co-founder, Fantain Sports
Mr. Anand Ramachandran threw light on the importance of fans in any sportsperson’s life. India is a content starved country when it comes to sports. According to him, sports is an activity performed for people to enjoy and fans are the central entity for sports. In this era, fan relationship management and analytics for sports teams and leagues are very important. According to him, entrepreneurship is about being enterprising; its about thought and action. He concluded the discussion by saying that companies want to hire entrepreneurs because entrepreneurship is about decision making.
Mr. Sudeep Bandopadhyay – CEO, Founder, Inditrade
Mr. Sudeep started off by saying that be it an academic discussion or entrepreneurial ventures, there are three factors that any entrepreneur should look into, ie finding out a delta with an idea which can make a difference. With an illustration of IRCTC, he explained that it is important to be extremely careful during group-thinking and not to rush in, and that the basic assumption that all think rationally is incorrect and decision making is not driven by optimum results. He ended by quoting that “Opportunity is huge. You are at the right time at the right place.”
Mr. Srinivas Katta [CEO, Founder, IndusLaw]
Mr. Srinivas entered the discussion by stating that entrepreneurs try to impose personality to a large extent and do not think about the governance structure as important for it to work. He believes that the law creates the structure and that lawyers subvert the structure. He also mentioned about down drown leading to asking consent from many people. He added that companies collapse, shut down and also move on simply based on structure. He further quoted that “The key is to create a structure where you can trust people”. He concluded that entrepreneurship shouldn’t be measured in dollars like in the current system as it is bound to collapse.
Prof. Owen Skae – Director, Rhodes Business School
Prof. Skae spoke about how academic qualifications should help in developing a business model which should be a viable proposition as well. He also explained how academic institutions should partner with corporates which would in turn inspire young people to start their own businesses with an underlying sustainability theme. Universities must also collaborate to develop human capital & be driven by sustainable value creation. This would give an opportunity to improve lives. He concluded by saying that knowledge production must not be compromised.