Guest Lecture on Entrepreneurship by Mr Beas Dev Ralhan – Co Founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

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The students of TAPMI attended the Guest Lecture session delivered by Mr Beas Dev Ralhan, the CEO of Next Education India Pvt. Ltd. on 30th August 2014. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Mr Beas went on to complete his MBA in General Management from London Business School. He has worked in many organizations but entrepreneurship was something that inspired him the most. He started the lecture with some experiences of his and went on to say that at the core that is required, you’re either entrepreneurial or you’re not, there’s no two ways about it. People who are wealth creators enjoy a little poverty. Evaluate yourself before getting into anything; if you need a support system go for the corporate world otherwise create something of your own.

Don’t wait for the right idea, pick up any idea. If you want to be a wealth creator or want to create a social impact you must dedicate yourself to entrepreneurship. If something becomes mainstream it’s not going to pay well, no risk no reward, try to be original. The safer you play the lower the rewards. Start participating in risk early, because you need to start as early as possible to take charge. Don’t ever wait for opportunities, you don’t need to be good at feedback you need to be blunt. Smart people don’t need to be diplomatic.

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He gave an example of Warren Buffet who invested in many stocks out of which only 6 or 7 made him rich, he risked a lot but got back more. What the world will call an opportunity will be the worst project in the most terrible sector, and you will regret it. It’s a sign of a bad decision, because you want to acquire skills to manage situations. Make the most of the two years of MBA because these are your only two years when you get to acquire skills, learn an instrument, lose weight, change from an introvert to an extrovert. He finished the lecture by quoting Scott Adams who said that “One skill doesn’t make much of a difference, so the more skills you have the more valuable you are.”

Guest Lecture on the “Future of Marketing “by Ms. Anusha Shetty, CEO, Autumn Worldwide

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Ms. Anusha Shetty, Co-Founder and CEO of Autumn Worldwide visited Tapmi on 2nd August 2014, to have an interactive session on ‘Future of Marketing’. Ms. Shetty, a Tapmi alumnus, started her career with boutique advertising. Later with the help of social media, she worked on creating value proposition in communication space.

She started the session with a brief introduction on history of social marketing. She gave a quick overview of how social marketing evolved from Roman letter writing to Pamphlets. Later coffee houses came into picture, which became the new hot spot for social media marketing. Engaging customers by asking questions and paying attention to their responses and feedback actually pulled people to these outlets. People were coming together and talking about brands, this helped in understanding the audience to a great extent.

 She further gave insight on how Arpanet’s switching over to TCP/IP gave way to invention of internet. Arpanet was an internetwork of computers that was designed to communicate under enemy attacks. Later Transmission control protocol was integrated into intranet, which made the network accessible worldwide and this is how internet was born.

She then went on to explain how India is headed to be a youth country. According to recent statistics, 50% of India is below 25 years of age and as predicted, average age of India in 2020 will be 29 years. People are becoming obsessed with social media; this has opened a great opportunity for marketers to grow their business via these endless networks.

Also, Habits of networking of new generation are changing. In 2013, mobile internet volume outgrew the traditional internet volume. In a recently conducted survey it was found that 58% people are engaged with social media in their free time and a person spends approximately 8 hours on social media a day. On the other hand, it was also found that a person spends only 1-2 hours watching TV every day. People are also multitasking, even when they are watching television they are connected to social media by one way or the other.

These statistics clearly have given way to marketers to use social media effectively and this has actually made possible for them to extend their reach beyond unthinkable horizons.

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She also talked at length about the Impact of social media on brands and also the society. Since consumers are spending more time on social media, they are researching, discovering, and sharing information about products and brands. Social media users are also reviewing products online. Because of this increasing power of social media, brands are leveraging on these customers, to spread word of mouth recommendations about their products and services.

At the end she emphasized on the importance of being active on social media. She added that social media is a perfect way not just to build awareness for your brand and company, but also to promote yourself as a brand to be seen by your potential recruiter. Overall it proved to be a very enlightening session for students and helped the budding marketers understand that how social media can be used to differentiate yourself from the crowd by providing an identity to who you are.

Lecture by Mr. Sebastian at the Induction Programme for PGDM & PGDM – HC Batch 2014 – 2016

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This Monday, 30th of June T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal was graced by the presence of Mr. Sebastian, an IT/ITES entrepreneur based in Kochi, Kerala. A postgraduate in Computer Science, he is an AOTS Alumni of TKC, Japan and now sits on the Central Governing Council of the Export Promotion Council for EOU’s & SEZ Units, Govt. of India – Ministry of Commerce, New Delhi.

Mr. Sebastian, who is also an alumnus from TAPMI Batch of 1989, was here on the occasion of induction of PGDM and PGDM – HC Batch 2014-16. He shared experiences of his 2 years tenure at TAPMI and what according to him takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

The session kicked off with Mr. Sebastian welcoming the new students and wishing them luck for their 2 years roller coaster ride which will be full of challenges, hurdles and new learning.

He further shared his experiences on how his life TAPMI helped him develop not only professionally but also personally. He stressed on the idea of not looking to make your life easy, but to always look for challenges, not to follow the convention but to adapt collaborative and creative ways to study.

While mentioning how difficult and rigorous life can be during a PGDM, Mr. Sebastian shared his 6 tenets of wisdom with the students:

  • Establish a schedule
  • Learn to work in groups
  • Develop your soft skills and reading skills
  • Network with the batch and seniors
  • Don’t worry, you’ll succeed

He further emphasized on the significance of scheduling and suggested blocking off anything from your planner that consumes time. He also stated that whether you’re changing jobs, moving in a new career direction, or just trying to move up the ladder, your network can play a big role and the contacts that are made in business school can last for the entire life.

Mr. Sebastian ended the lecture with the quote -“there are a lot of sharks in the world, if you want to live and succeed, you got to learn how to deal with them.”

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Overall it was an excellent opportunity for the fresh minds, to peek into the MBA journey of a veteran, to get an insight on how to make the most of these 2 years and to become successful future entrepreneurs.

Business Plan Making Workshop: Mr. Shantanu Bhagwat, VC, Seed Investor, Entrepreneur – An OMEGA initiative

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The Organisation for Managerial Entrepreneurial Guidance and Assistance, more commonly known as OMEGA is one of the elite committees at TAPMI, which takes care of entrepreneurial activities in the college, and also serves as the consultancy wing of the college. On 29th October, 2013, OMEGA roped in Mr. Shantanu Bhagwat, noted venture capitalist, seed investor and entrepreneur to conduct a workshop on Business Plan (BPlan) making. The workshop required active and utmost participation from the participating students, and involved numerous case studies (derived from real life situations and ventures), sample BPlans, discussions and practice sessions to give a real feel of the process and the challenges involved in making a BPlan.

Mr. Shantanu Bhagwat is a man of impeccable credentials, having real world experience from both perspectives, that of the entrepreneur and that of the venture capitalist. He has also served as an Indian diplomat in London and other places as an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, and is also a graduate from the prestigious London Business School. He brought in this wealth of knowledge to share with the students.

Mr. Bhagwat started off by defining the objectives of the workshop. Then he proceeded to give a quick gist of what is entrepreneurship, and who is an entrepreneur. The students were encouraged to analyse deeply and decide if entrepreneurship is for them, as it is a very difficult career path to follow, being laden with obstacles.

Then Mr. Bhagwat started explaining, in detail, the basics of Business Plans: what they are, what is their purpose, how are they to be structured, what are the essential points they should cover, etc. Through interactive techniques, case studies, and sample Bplans, he now taught the students the nitty-gritties of the entire concept of entrepreneurship and business plans. He addressed various questions that any aspiring entrepreneur has to think about, such as feasibility of the business idea, when to start, process of starting, operational difficulties and overcoming them in a start-up, what kind of data to be collected, recruiting decisions, legal issues that arise, revenue model planning, structure of the Business plan, how to get funds, how to pitch to a prospective VC, etc.

Finally, Mr. Bhagwat also went on to give examples of failed start-ups and the learning to be derived from them, and the top ten common mistakes committed in the process. The session ended with Mr. Bhagwat motivating the students with experiences from his life, and highlighting the key lessons that can be taken from those experiences.

The Business Plan Workshop was a very useful initiative brought to the TAPMI students by OMEGA, and many of the students ended the workshop with more drive, enthusiasm and inspiration to follow their entrepreneurial dreams.

 

DEFI 2013

Defi 2013 was organized by the Organisation for Managerial Entrepreneurial Guidance and Assistance (OMEGA), the consulting and Entrepreneurship committee of TAPMI on 31st October, 1st and 2nd November, 2013. OMEGA is TAPMI’s in house consultancy wing, which also takes care of entrepreneurial activities in the college with events such as DEFI, designed to provide a platform to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The event saw students participating in large number, bringing their entrepreneurial talent to the fore. 13 teams made it to the final round, of which the first year batch (PGP 1) formed 12 teams. The following are the list of ventures undertaken during Defi:

1

Kshatriya

Parlour Service for girls.

2

Explorers

Chicken Shawarma, Protein and Corn Chat, Chatpata Blast.

3

Promethians

Set of 12 Games.

4

Nick Nack

Poker, Mocktail, Snacks, etc.

5

Cakeaday

Different types of Cakes.

6

Innosol

Coupons for Restaurants.

7

Minyons

Dance and Helmet.

8

PlayBook

Pasta, Sit-co trivia, Games, Quiz.

9

Little Colin’s

Sky Lanterns and Mocktail.

10

Octane

Games Arena.

11

Panj Pyare

Pani Puri & Mocktail.

12

The aliens

Selling of NGO products.

13

Polka Dots

Online Leisure guide.

 

The teams had to develop a full-fledged business idea, given a seed fund of Rs. 2000 and an upper budget cap of Rs.15000 in total, and execute the plan over the course of three days. It was three days of hard work and fun for these teams and most of them found the experience highly enriching. Few excerpts of the experiences by the teams:

Team Kshatriya – “We learnt that it is very important to have a central theme when one is providing such a varied services and products. We also learnt how to handle a customer and make them happy.”

Team Cakeaday – “Defi made me realize two things, one that I liked selling cakes, that I had an entrepreneur in me. And two, that there will be many rolling stones on the path to becoming an entrepreneur. But more importantly, what we take home from this is that after graduation, while working on something much bigger than this, this experience of going through all the processes that make up a business will help immensely “

Team Explorers – “Events like Defi really gives a first year student flavor of how the real business works. It gave us a platform to implement our business idea and to see how it turns out to be. The best part was the freedom we were given to do things in the way we liked. I learnt that as a leader it is important to keep your team motivated and to facilitate the work. Only one suggestion, there should be better co-ordination between the committee and college administration, so that it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Defi 2013 gave a sound platform for many of the budding entrepreneurs in TAPMI, and was a resounding success, and the TAPMI populace is now eagerly waiting for the next edition of Defi, in 2014.

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Entrepreneurship: A Promoter-CEO’s Perspectives – Mr. Amrit Basu, MD and CEO, and Mrs. Kalyani Basu, Director, Vanilla-Beans Consulting Private Ltd

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On the fourteenth of October, 2013, TAPMI played host to Mr. Amrit Basu and Mrs. Kalyani Basu, of Vanilla-Beans Consulting Pvt Ltd. Mr. Basu addressed the students of TAPMI on Entrepreneurship, but from the perspective of a Promoter-CEO. It was an interesting lecture that served to give the students a flavour of what it is like to be an entrepreneur, and more specifically what it takes to be one.

Mr. Basu started off by first making a distinction between a CEO and a promoter CEO. In his view, a CEO merely drives and implements, whereas a promoter CEO ideates as well as executes. He made it clear that his talk was targeted at those students who seek to become entrepreneurs but are unsure about the nitty-gritties of the trade.

Then, he proceeded to talk about the base reason why so many people want to be entrepreneurs. He talked about the desire for freedom, control, and the need to excel. He pointed out that the first and most important thing any entrepreneur requires is courage – the courage to give shape to your ideas and go the full distance with it, despite many failures and setbacks. At this point, he also briefly described his journey from his early days in banking and foreign exchange trading to HR Consulting, and to the more recent Management Consulting domain. He used this as an example for the need to constantly seek out new avenues – a must for any entrepreneur.

Mr. Basu now set out to describe the various skills that a student, hopeful of becoming an entrepreneur must develop and polish. The first skill he touched upon was Business Development. Here, he highlighted the need to know the market (in particular competitors and differentiating factors) and constantly look out for opportunities to tap.

The second skill that is a must for an aspiring entrepreneur, according to Mr. Basu is the skill of negotiation: the ability to strike a balance, maintain long term relationships and price competitively, with an eye on the competition. Undercut (after evaluating the market conditions), where and if possible was a mantra he suggested here to stay competitive.

Another skill he talked about was the elevator pitch. Mr. Basu urged the TAPMIans to build an elevator pitch of both the company profile, and the self (for budding entrepreneurs). The idea here is that an aspiring entrepreneur must be able to pitch his business or himself to a potential funder within sixty seconds. The key to doing this is to put provoking questions in the minds of the funder, so that he/she will extend the time and ask you more questions and give you a chance to impress further.

Finally, he also touched upon a few other key skills to be developed: Crowd-sourcing (for ideas/money), marketing and social media, technical skills in the relevant domain, etc. He also impressed upon the TAPMI students the need to know the language and the jargons of the business and Entrepreneurship world, such as OPEX, CAPEX, Mark-up, Business Plan, and Return on Investment. He highlighted the need to meet investors early and convince them, not with presentation skills (as that does not work!), but with hard facts. A potential investor needs to tangibly see the potential returns.

Now, Mr. Basu ventured to give an idea about how to build your company. He talked about the kind of policies and systems that need to be put in place, which need to be employee-friendly. The work culture, in his opinion needs to emanate a sense of the freedom to innovate and a sense of ownership.

Mr. Basu concluded by urging the aspiring entrepreneurs amongst the TAPMIans to be courageous, have the fear of missing out (as it is a key driver), and to believe in the old adage “Winners never quit, Quitters never win”.

This was an enriching session that gave the TAPMI students practical tips and ideas about the skill-sets they need to build to be the outstanding entrepreneurs of the future.

Inauguration of the Annual HR Conclave – Disha 2013

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Mr. Raj Narayan addressing the students at TAPMI

TAPMI witnessed the opening of Disha, its Annual HR Conclave which runs from the 31st of August till the 1st of September. Disha (which means direction in Sanskrit) is an apt name for the two day mega conclave centered on the critical corporate function of Human Resource Management. The opening Ceremony saw Mr. Raj Narayan, Senior Vice President, Human Resource of Titan Industries gracing the occasion as Chief Guest.

The ceremony began with an invocation song, followed by lighting of the lamp by dignitaries to mark the commencement of Disha. The Director of TAPMI, Dr. R.C Natarajan delivered the welcome address and presented a bouquet to the honourable guest. Dr. Natarajan also welcomed the media, faculty and students. The official logo for Disha 2013 was formally introduced by Dr. (Col) PS James as he emphasized humanism and how humanism can affect productivity. Dr. James gave a wonderful explanation of the logo telling that the hands shown depict the lending of humanism to soft clay enabling to gel well with the hardened clay. He concluded by encouraging everybody to enjoy Disha and have great learning experience.

The guest Mr. Raj Narayan addressed and enlightened the gathering. He stressed upon recreation of human values and its need from an industry perspective. He suggested that in these times with technology ruling our lives we can create communities and thus improve human connectivity. He iterated that HR leaders need to have vision on how the organization should plan its employees’ career growth and envision where they want to be. He emphasized on educating, enabling and empowering environment and the need of HR functionaries to focus on clear review system and reward mechanism.

In conclusion Mr. Raj Narayan narrated a beautiful story with a message – that the answer lies in our hands and that the answers we get depend on questions we ask.

The ceremony ended with the President of the Student Executive Council, TAPMI delivering the vote of thanks for the inaugural ceremony.