Manipal Entrepreneurship Summit 2016
Manipal University, in its 60 years of establishment, has produced a plethora of illustrious and highly acclaimed entrepreneurs who are now etching their mark on the face of the planet. The reason behind this high count of entrepreneurs is the conducive environment that Manipal provides its students with, the world class amenities and opportunities such as MUTBI and the Innovation Centre.
In an event that was one of its kind, 13 entrepreneurs and alumni of Manipal University gathered together to talk to the next wave of budding entrepreneurs regarding the entire notion of a start-up. Manipal Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 was aimed at getting the students of Manipal acquainted with the true essence of an entrepreneur. In a world that is recently experiencing a so called ‘Digital Boom’, where start-ups have become a very common entity, students usually get caught up in a dilemma as to how the entire idea takes shape in subsequent years. This summit catered to those inquisitive and eager students who just might turn into an entrepreneur someday.
The speakers for the day were all established entrepreneurs
- T Gautham S Pai, Director MMNL
- T Sachin Pai, Managing Director of Best Sellers Apparels
- Ketan Mehta, Director of Ecosense Labs Pvt Ltd.
- Sudhir Shetty, Founder of Kirthi Constructions Gopal Krishna
- Jeetendra Nayak, Founder of Minar Automotors
- Vijay Raghav Varda, CEO of Fracktal Works
- Sarthak Paul, CEO of Mean Metal Motors
- Venugopal Ramakrishna, Director of Poseidon Solar
- Kartik Mandeville, Director of SpringRole and angel investor
- G Ram Chaitanya Reddy, Chairman of ATFPL
The summit started on an auspicious note by offering a floral tribute to the great entrepreneur who gave students this platform to become one themselves — Dr. TMA Pai. To illustrate on the various aspects of entrepreneurship, the discussion was divided into multiple panel discussions, which emphasized on one specific topic each. The topics of discussion included ‘Employment v/s Entrepreneurship’, ‘Start-up Essentials’, ‘Funding, & Product Delivery’, ‘Marketing, customer Retention’, ‘Dilemma of sell or retain’ and a final competition, ‘Elevator Pitch’. Each discussion amplified the entrepreneur quotient within each student to a huge extent.
The 5 panel discussions were infused with wit and humour, and each person on the panel shared his part of the story behind establishing a start-up. They amalgamated their inspiring speeches with various anecdotes, stories of inspiration, sudden opportunities, relentless perseverance, repeated failures, and how all these together reaped a huge success. The main ideology that they wanted the students to grasp and imbibe was to love what they did, and be inspired by life. The joy of creating something new should be their fuel, and students should look past materialistic milestones in order to create that ‘perfect product’. The Q&A session was filled with questions from the ever curious and enthusiastic crowd, which were answered with great care by the panelists.
The event plunged into both the technical and financial aspects. Specific emphasis was given on whether to sketch out a Plan A and Plan B – higher education before start-ups, following gut instincts, quality of production, and various do’s and don’ts of the start-up industry. The panel discussion provided the immensely important idea about the monetary aspects of a start-up, and made the students aware about how to look for investors, convince them, and always take informed decisions. For a more authentic perspective on this topic, angel investor G Ram Chaitanya Reddy guided the students through the various vistas of the financial basics of today’s world.
The final highlight of the event was a pitching contests wherein several student teams of MIT itched their entrepreneurship scheme in front of the panelists, and in turn received valuable feedback from them and audience. Vibrant and unique ideas ranging from a credit providing app, to an online portal for renting stuff out. Teams Green Print, Creditler, Bhai Jugaad, Pharmart, Rentified, Cashflick, and Webloom solutions took part in this prestigious contest. Team Rentified won the first prize for pitching in the most innovative and viable idea.
The panelists were immensely happy and proud to see the prevailing entrepreneur zeal among the students, and encouraged them to realize their goals in life. They highlighted that Manipal contains a divine force within it to inspire entrepreneurs, and urged the students to utilize it optimally.
-Diptark Bose for MTTN