The Manipal Entrepreneurship Summit yet again showcased an impressive line-up of individuals, each armed with their own success stories. The third edition of the summit― organized annually by Manipal Universal Technology Business Incubator (MUTBI) and the Government of Karnataka― saw the alumni of MIT, who have ventured into the big, scary world of startups and emerged victorious. The summit also served as a platform for them to interact with aspiring students who wish to do the same.
The opening session started off with Dr Poornima Baliga―Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Health Sciences, MAHE―addressing the crowd about the beginnings of MUTBI and of the summit itself. It was followed by the
Joint Director of MIT, Dr B H V Pai, who took to the stage to talk about the importance of the start-up culture in our country, and how it has become an integral part of the college experience. Up next was, Mr Veerendra Shetty, who acts as the Director of Health and Medical Equipment at the Samsung Research Institute in Bengaluru. He elaborated on the efforts taken by his team to proliferate the incubation of entrepreneurial ideas, provided they be practical. He laid special emphasis on problem-solving and argued that it is more essential than innovating on a pre-existing solution.
Soon enough, a panel of six members was formed. The panellists were Mr Venkat Vallabhaneni, General Partner, Parampara Capital, Mechanical Engineering (1983-1987); Mr Ashish Modi, Managing Director, Gloster Cables Ltd., Industrial & Production Engineering (1986-1990); Mr Gajanana Nagarsekar, Managing Director, Kallows India Pvt. Ltd., MTech Biomedical Engineering (2003-2005); Mr Abhishek Bhaduri, Belong.co, Electronics & Communication Engineering (2011-15); Mr Deepak Shekhar, Group Manager, Health and Medical Equipment, Samsung Research Institute, Bengaluru.
A discussion ensued, prompted by the questions collected from the participants beforehand about the various aspects of a start-up; starting from the seeds of inspiration to the final touches, and everything in between. Each of the panellists had their own take on the various scenarios they were presented with, ranging from ‘following your gut instinct’, to realistic answers drenched in cold logic. Apart from this, the challenges that startups face in the Indian ecosystem were also discussed, wherein the lack of funding remained the focus. Regardless of the topic at hand, the panel had their own experience to back their arguments. They urged the audience to analyze each situation and make an informed decision. They also emphasized the fact that there is no rule-book to follow.
After the conclusion of the panel discussion, Dr Ashish Nayan―Expert, Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Ayog, Government of India―and Dr Srikanth Rao, Director of MIT, brought the day to a close by thanking the panellists, and the efforts of everyone involved with the organization of the summit.
– Melvin Jacob for MTTN
– Photographs by Mridul Kalra for MTTN