Nurture Talent and Confluence IIM Ahmedabad present Entrepreneurship & Business Plan Workshops

NTA and IIM

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This quote by Gandhi beautifully captures the essence of what drives entrepreneurs to be changemakers.

Budding entrepreneurs have ideas but often face difficulty in executing them. Nurture Talent Academy in association with Confluence – International Business Summit of IIM Ahmedabad, is conducting a series of Entrepreneurship & Business Plan workshops across the country to help them iron out these issues.

A day –long training session will be held in more than 50 colleges during September and October 2014. A lot of ground will be covered during the day, from learning how to generate ideas, formulating the plan, starting it, getting the finances in place and eventually launching the product.

Participants at these workshops can also take part in Masterplan, and get a chance to win cash prizes worth Rs.5 lakhs and present to investors and judges at finale in IIM Ahmedabad from 28th November, if selected.

Amit Grover, Founder of Nurture Talent Academy, who is himself an IIT – IIM alumnus said, “During the interactive hands on practical workshops conducted by IIT-IIM alumni, students not only learn to start a venture but also become entrepreneurial to take up jobs in leading startups. The team activities and the chance of interacting with successful entrepreneurs will lend shape to their ideas.”

With a grand vision to nurture the entrepreneurship eco-system in India, Confluence aims at attracting young minds with a zest to make a difference.

Confluence – International Business Summit of IIM Ahmedabad

Now in its 16th year, Confluence aims at becoming the largest management symposium in the Asia-Pacific region enhancing value to chief stakeholders of a country’s economy.

Masterplan – IIMA

Being the chief event of IIM Ahmedabad, Masterplan 2014: International Business Plan Contest, provides myriad opportunities to students. Not only does it entail direct interaction with leading venture capitalists, angel investors and industry experts but the ultimate prize of Rs 5 lakhs is awarded to the best plan. It endeavors to scout innovative ideas from diverse fields which can eventually become a reality.

Nurture Talent Academy

Founded in 2010 by Amit Grover, an IIT-IIM alumnus, Nurture Talent Academy is country’s 1st for training entrepreneurs. By imparting training to 30,000 students across 450+ colleges in over 125 Indian cities so far, it is inching towards the vision of creating 1000 startups and 20,000 jobs in next 3-5 years.

Visiting Dunagiri in Kumaon Range of Himalayas

A couple of weeks I visited Dunagiri (Dūnāgiri), which lies deep and high in the Kumaon range of Himalayas. It was a road trip from Delhi and we (My friend Sukhchain accompanied me) had to drive around 400 Km at a stretch. The drive was smooth till Haladwani but it became hilly after that we spend double the time driving for half the distance. But it was all worth it given the weather, vistas and adventure we did!

Dunagiri

 

The idea of visiting this place came through a Facebook friend, who happens to be a Sanskrit scholar. She recommended that I should come there. I immediately decided to go. The place where we were to stay is a private one named as “Dunagiri Retreat”. It’s beautifully nestled in the hills, with around 11 rooms available for guests to stay. For all other related details to this place, you can check this link: www.dunagiri.com

Dunagiri

 

We started at 2:00am from Delhi to avoid any kind of traffic till we have the planes and we were able to do it. As we moved into the hilly area, the weather changed and we had to drive in rain, which was both dangerous and exciting.

Dunagiri

 

We spent two days at the facility and just loved everything about it. We went up the hill to the temple, which is supposed to be the place where Sukadeva did penance. Earlier Saraswati had did penance there, and when she appeared before Sukadeva to give boon for his penance, he said I don’t want anything (the saint was born desireless). So, the goddess blessed him that I will be known on this spot as Sukadevi (Sukhadevi) because you did penance here.

Dunagiri

 

While we were going up the hill, we were told that big cats (tigers and leopards), bears and boars roam around, so be cautious. I would say that was the most exciting part. In fact, we did spotted a skunk kind of an animal who fled as soon as he saw us. One couple among the other people who were staying there also heard the growls of a leopard when they were going to the same place.

Dunagiri

 

There are so many other legends associated with Dunagiri including Mahavatar Baba Ji, Shakuntala and Bharat, Pandavas, etc. You need around a week to visit all the places and I am dead sure it would be all worth it.

Dunagiri

 

Staying there is a bit hard on your pocket but otherwise it is one of the most beautiful places that you would like to be in the summers, away from all the heat and dust!

Dunagiri

Entrepreneurial nature of people of Kauai Island

A couple of months back, I visited Kaua’i Island in Hawai’i State of United States of America. For a common man, it is one of the dreams come true to visit USA, but people who are in software or IT field, they know that people travel to foreign countries almost every month. However, for me, it was my first foreign trip and that too not funded by the organization that I work for! :)

Kauai Island

Painting the nature!

But anyways, I am not here to exhibit my achievement but to talk about the entrepreneurial nature of people that I met there. I am just trying to compare how everybody there is in an entrepreneurial frame of mind, while in India, we feel so much cramped and limited due to various types of frets that include social, individual, and familial.

My intention is not to criticize the Indians but to take positives from others who are also humans and have similar kind of mind, though they might be using it differently.

Some properties that make the mare go in Kaua’i:

  • People believe in social values there. They are ready to get help and offer it whenever somebody needs it. On other times, they don’t stick their noses in any matter. However, if somebody asks for help, they do offer it readily. There is no shame in asking for help and surely there is no degradation of personal self if somebody offers it. Overall, this is a great team work that makes them keep going.
  • People believe in learning and sharing. I noticed that a lot of people from Kaua’i travel far and wide (though they are very happy to celebrate their own tradition and culture), and they bring the knowledge back to share it with others. You will notice there is always some workshop, retreat, festival, celebration going on in Kaua’i. This helps in continuous improvement of the lot.
  • People are self-starters and self-believers. Kauaians believe in themselves and of course taking things head on. I noticed that they know and can operate more machines, instruments, and gadgets than a normal engineer or tech guy. This characteristic of course comes from the necessity of using things because you don’t get cheap labor in Kaua’i to do stuff for you. This brings lots of innovation and improvisation on the island.
  • Kauaians are respectful to each other and believe in the miracle of a smile. I noticed that totally unknown people throw a smile or a casual “how are you?” phrase when they pass-by each other. This brightens the day for everybody and keeps them in a cheerful mood. They appreciate whatever little talent or skill somebody has and encourages the person to use it for common welfare of the society. This habit brings a lot of positivity and healing vibration to the island.
  • Kaua’i island is the Garden Isle of Hawai’i. It is considered to be the oldest of Hawaiian islands. However, it protects its natural environment and ruthlessly believes in preserving it. They are eco-conscious and also love to use the resources as much as is needed and not out of consumerism concept. This makes them aware about reducing wastage, optimally using whatever nature provides, and also make others wanting to come and visit the island for its sheer native and unspoiled beauty.

I feel I will love to live in Kaua’i any day given that I get a chance, not just because it looks fancy and exotic, but because of some of the values that are so logical and sustaining that you will be willing to adopt and regulate your life accordingly.

A comparison: Traveling in British Airways and American Airlines

In the month of June 2014, I did my first international travel. It was a very unique trip and the memories are surely going to last forever.

I was traveling to Kauai Island through England. So my itinerary included 2 layovers–one at the Heathrow Airport, London (LHR), and other one at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). I started from IGI Airport, Delhi and had to reach Lihue Airport (LIH). When I booked the tickets three months earlier, I preferred booking with British Airways (BA) just because the price was the cheapest.

Now, one of my friends warned me that BA’s service is not up to the mark and I should have booked with some airlines from the US. However, nothing could be done at that time.

But when I actually made the journey, I came to know that my journey from Delhi to London was in BA and from London to Los Angeles was also BA. However, for Los Angeles to Lihue, it was American Airlines (AA). This is how they sell the tickets. On my way back home too, my journey from Lihue to Los Angeles was AA. From Los Angeles to London, it was still AA. Though from London to Delhi, it was BA.

British Airways plane at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

I observed that the services of BA was far better than that of AA. This is what I wrote about them while traveling from Delhi to London.

My first International Flight!

Now that sounds a bit exciting, no! For me, it was and I tried to live every moment of my journey.

I was told that the services of British Airways are not that good but my experience for the first leg was nothing short of satisfactory.

Iain Williams was one of the crew members and I felt really happy that he was there.

For a change, I found that the cabin crew was male except one mid-aged female. Now, this may force some people to go for another airlines because they are excited to talk to air hostesses but I found it quite interesting. I found the male crew more lively, conversant and caring. In fact, the female looked a bit uptight whenever I asked her for some snacks etc.

I noticed that the male crew tried to gel with the passengers. They were courteous, witty and joyful throughout the journey. I seriously felt that they did not make anybody feel left-out.

BA is always full of Punjabis going to Canada through London, and I noticed that they had crew who could speak Punjabi. This facilitated a lot of old passengers in their journey.

At least during the first leg of my journey, BA fulfilled its promise and won my confidence.

Will update for the next journeys as they happened.

Of course, till then, I was only reporting about BA and not comparing about AA. But when I actually made the journey with AA, they kind of under scored in terms of performance. Some of the points:

  1. The aircraft of AA looked old.
  2. The crew was almost indifferent to the needs of the passengers while BA’s crew was more courteous and gelling.
  3. AA’s flight within USA did not serve even water or any snack for a 5 hour journey. They just assumed that nobody needs it.
  4. BA gave a toothbrush to every passenger for a flight that was more than 8-9 hours. AA on the same route did not give it.

Though these points are not extensive and can’t simulate the exact difference in ambience, I am sure that if I ever get a chance to fly international, I will prefer BA over AA.

Airport observations at Terminal 4, LAX (Los Angeles)

I recently visited Kaua’i Island in Hawai’i of the USA. While traveling from LAX to LIH, I had a layover of 22 hours. During this, I did some observation on the Terminal 4 of LAX. Here are some points for you.

  1. Saw a dwarf couple for the first time.
  2. People say thanks more than number of times you breathe.
  3. You end up paying more for a burger and a cup of coffee than for the dinner of 4 people in India.
  4. Pepsi Lays classical salted packet is almost 10 times the price we pay in India.
  5. Bottle of coke is almost 5 times the price in India.
  6. Amazing speed of free Wi-Fi internet and it’s free. Later on noticed that LHR (Heathrow Airport, London) offers free wi-fi access only for 45 minutes.
  7. Almost 80% of the staff including security and sanitation constituted women.
  8. Almost all who come to know that I am going to Hawaii and visiting US first time ever say this: first US visit to holiday in Hawaii? You are lucky, man. Enjoy!
  9. Hardly any digital camera. IPads and iphones only. Every Mom, Kid and Daddy seem to have it.
  10. Crowd and frequency of flights reminds you of Patiala bus-stand or Delhi’s Kashmiri gate if you want to refer to its recent renovation.
  11. Nike seems to be the favorite shoe brand.
  12. Some are wearing pullovers, jerseys while some are in ultra shorts.
  13. Water bottle costs almost 18 times the price in India.
  14. Charging sports are not available on all the gates.
  15. The floor is carpeted and you can sleep if you want to take rest. Not in vogue at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport, London.

Goshala is an example of crowdfunding in India

Goshala cart

Have you noticed the concept of goshala in your city? In my recent visit to my hometown, I noticed their cart coming to our street and people giving it left-over food items, sometimes coins too. I have seen this phenomenon going on over the years and people just doing it out of their beliefs, faith, etc. and also sometimes to make sure that the food items don’t go waste. The main thread of this belief is the concept of daana, charity, which is still deep rooted in Indians. A large number of people still believe that charity for a cow reaps good karma.

For me, this is one of the earliest examples of crowdfunding in India. The cart roams around the city or town and collects funding and contribution for successfully running the goshala, which is supposed to provide multiple benefits to the residents.

Yes, you are right. There are multiple benefits residents can get from a goshala. Will talk about that in detail a bit later.

Having a goshala in the village, town or the city is an ancient practice. It is a social way of rearing cows so that they could be nourished better and also their milk, which is supposed to have unmatched qualities, could be made available to the residents. Usually, there is a goshala committee or an organization that runs the operations, while the whole community participates in various roles.

The concept of crowdfunding is a very novel. The project owner would appeal to the public to fund the project because it is good and beneficial for the society in some way or other. As a payback for the funding, various types of perks and thank-you tokens are offered. These are more oriented towards motivating the funders so that they feel that their money is not going to a gutter and they are not getting anything in return.

For example, suppose a musician is looking to release his/her CD. He has the music and art but does not have funds to get the recording done, process it and release the CD and do further advertising also. A crowdfunding campaign around it would invite people who like music to contribute by pledging to buy the CD or simply donating something so as to enable the artist to produce the CD.

Goshala sounds like a similar concept. Let’s now focus on what type of benefits it offers to the residents.

  • If the goshala is functioning nicely, it offers medical help to cows which might not be the part of goshala. Freely roaming cows may get attention whenever needed.
  • It offers pure milk to the residents, which is now a problem in various parts of the country. Though it is paid but getting quality milk is what people are looking for.
  • Sometimes, freely roaming cows venture towards the roads where high-speed vehicles get involved in accidents. Goshala makes sure that these cows are provided shelter and are nourished properly. So, kind of a dual benefit.

All these benefits are offered without any price–it’s just voluntary contribution or donation that you make. They don’t force it on you.

Share what you feel about this observation.

Business of food outlets in historical monuments of Delhi

Tughlaqabad Fort

 

While visiting various forts and monuments of Delhi, I have noticed that there is not much to eat and drink within the premises. While some may say that this may spoil the area but if a managed corner is given, it can surely enhance the appeal of these places. Let me tell you why.

Various forts and monuments of Delhi have huge area and it takes quite a while to roam around and get the feel of the place. For example, consider Humanyun’s Tomb. Then consider, Tughlaqabad Fort. Consider Kotla Firozshah. All of these complexes have huge area and visitors get tired, hungry, and thirsty.

While Humanyun’s Tomb as a tuck-shop that serves tea, water and cold-drinks, Tughlaqabad and Kotla Firoz Shah have none. I understand that the latter do not have that much of footfall, but still considerable sizes of tourists visit these places.

Take for example the Qutub. There are many shops and eateries outside the complex. If they are not there, do you feel visitors will feel comfortable. My answer would be a big no.

In my opinion, if such things are provided inside the complex in a nice environment, it may increase the footfall because lots of people nowadays like to eat out.

In my opinion, there is definitely a business idea in this concept.

Great Indian Marketing Weekend 2014 to be hosted by exchange4media and Nurture Talent

exchange4media, a premier name in the media industry and Nurture Talent, India’s premier institute for entrepreneurs will be hosting the Great Indian Marketing Weekend 2014 (www.GIMW.in) which includes a series of workshops, mentor sessions, networking and case studies with solutions related to marketing. The session is scheduled for 13th -14th June 2014 in Delhi from 9 AM onwards.

The event is perfect opportunity for brand managers and clients who deal with products and services and are aiming to boost their sales. For advertising agencies, freelancers and designers who are aiming to woo more clients, GIMW 2014 is the best opportunity to attract clientele for business growth.

As a sales and marketing event, the aim of this event is to amalgamate clients and agencies together under one roof and understand the nuances of the industry as well as get solutions to the most prominent problems faced in day-to-day management and operations. The two day event will consist of an excellent & efficient panel of judges who will provide solutions to problems faced in marketing, provide mentoring and much more.

The event will also have a unique style of understanding agencies through clients, where the best judged agency will get successful in winning contracts, media coverage as well as overall recognition among peer groups too.

There will be three parts of the event:

  • GIMW Challenge: A marketing hackathon where clients/managers will give situations and agencies will provide strategic solutions
  • GIMW Mentors: Mentoring sessions from a genius panel of marketing professional from giants like Pepsi, Glaxo, Mastercard and many more
  • GIMW Workshops: Consists of learning and training on subjects like marketing to investors, growth hacking, lead generation and zero-budget marketing

This will be a great opportunity for clients and agencies to be a part of a knowledge-enriching event which will be beneficial for everyone.

SMEPOOL is proud to be an event partner to GIMW and our audience will be getting priority access to the event. Stay tuned for more details!

Visiting Kotla Firoz Shah, Delhi

 

Firoz Shah Kotla is a beautiful place to visit if you are a history buff. The place is a delight because there are quite a few things that you can enjoy.

First, of course, is the Ashoka’s pillar that was brought here in the 14th century. Second is the bats that you can locate underneath this building where once there was a beautiful mosque.

Of course, if you like ornithology and love shooting birds, you will find Indian spotted eagles to click.

Overall, I liked visiting this place in the month of April and I feel that it will be difficult to venture here during June and July.

I present some photos which will help you to get a feel of the place.

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Visiting Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi

I got the chance to visit this land of history when my wife visited her parents for 2 weeks and I was free to roam around on the weekends.

Tughlaqabad is an often-heard name because of the railways engines that were manufactured there though I never came to know where the factory is located.

But anyways, here I was, checking the fortified piece of land that once inhabited a considerable population around 700 years ago.

The whole area seems to be a deserted place now but it has certain points which are unique to it.

The step-well, for example, has a square cross section instead of usual rectangular shape and having a cylindrical shaped well at the back.

There is an underpass which has rooms located on both the sides.

The area itself is huge and you will feel tired if you decide to check every nook and corner of this fort.

I feel that somebody can try to open an eating joint outside the fort because there is hardly anything available to eat or drink outside. On weekdays, around 100 people visit the fort while on weekends and holidays, this may well go up to 700 people. So, the potential is there but till now, there is almost no shop where you can sit and relax after you have ventured into all areas of this fort.

The fort has a tomb also which is on the other side of the road. The ticket is of 5 INR and is valid to visit both the sides.

Overall, if you are a history buff and really enjoy eating dust, you should visit this place.

I am presenting some photos that will help you get the feel of the place.

Tuglaqabad Fort (3) Tuglaqabad Fort (4) Tuglaqabad Fort (7) Tuglaqabad Fort (8) Tuglaqabad Fort (9) Tuglaqabad Fort (10) Tuglaqabad Fort (13) Tuglaqabad Fort (14) Tuglaqabad Fort (15) Tuglaqabad Fort (16) Tuglaqabad Fort (17) Tuglaqabad Fort (18) Tuglaqabad Fort (19) Tuglaqabad Fort (21) Tuglaqabad Fort (22) Tuglaqabad Fort (23) Tuglaqabad Fort (25) Tuglaqabad Fort (26) Tuglaqabad Fort (27) Tuglaqabad Fort (28) Tuglaqabad Fort (29) Tuglaqabad Fort (30) Tuglaqabad Fort (31) Tuglaqabad Fort (32) Tuglaqabad Fort (33) Tuglaqabad Fort (34) Tuglaqabad Fort (35) Tuglaqabad Fort (36) Tuglaqabad Fort (37) Tuglaqabad Fort (38) Tuglaqabad Fort (39) Tuglaqabad Fort (40) Tuglaqabad Fort (42) Tuglaqabad Fort (43) Tuglaqabad Fort (44) Tuglaqabad Fort (45) Tuglaqabad Fort (46) Tuglaqabad Fort (47) Tuglaqabad Fort (48) Tuglaqabad Fort (49) Tuglaqabad Fort (50) Tuglaqabad Fort (51) Tuglaqabad Fort (52) Tuglaqabad Fort (54) Tuglaqabad Fort (55) Tuglaqabad Fort (56) Tuglaqabad Fort (57) Tuglaqabad Fort (61) Tuglaqabad Fort (62) Tuglaqabad Fort (65) Tuglaqabad Fort (66) Tuglaqabad Fort (67) Tuglaqabad Fort (68) Tuglaqabad Fort (69) Tuglaqabad Fort (70) Tuglaqabad Fort (71) Tuglaqabad Fort (72) Tuglaqabad Fort (73) Tuglaqabad Fort (75) Tuglaqabad Fort (76) Tuglaqabad Fort (77) Tuglaqabad Fort (78) Tuglaqabad Fort (80) Tuglaqabad Fort (81) Tuglaqabad Fort (82) Tuglaqabad Fort (83) Tuglaqabad Fort (84)