Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Entrepreneur's Week 2k15

Entrepreneurship Club, IIT Patna is organizing the second edition of the flagship event, Entrepreneur’s Week from 9th Match to 15th March, 2015. It is a week-long entrepreneurial festival with pitching session, social entrepreneurship, workshops, guest lectures and various business events.

The week kicked off with the prelims of the Online Business Quiz covering the general know-how of business terms and companies. The event progressed to its second day with a much awaited session on ‘Finance for Engineers’ by Mr. Vivek Bajaj, an IIM Indore alumnus, presently working with Kredent Academy. During the late night lecture, Mr. Bajaj enlightened the audience with the discussion on various avenues in financial market that a person from engineering background can get in.

Over the next four days, the E-Club is holding a few more late night guest lectures and competitions. However, the main attraction of the week is the Patna Chapter of ‘Uncovention|L’, imitative by Villgro Foundation. At the Unconvention|L Pitch on 14th March, 2015, budding entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their idea for a for-profit business with social impact, to a panel of experts comprising Villgro mentors, successful social entrepreneurs, social incubators and seed investors. The winning pitch would be getting 50 thousand cash prize for the idea stage and 1 Lacs cash prize for the enterprise stage. The club would be hosting Mr. Paul Basil, CEO of Villgro Foundation on the day for the guest lecture apart from other esteemed speakers. On the same day, the club is organizing Youth Money Olympiad in the campus which aims to test the practical financial literacy of the students. This Olympiad is being organized at the national level covering Tier 1 colleges over the country.

We are also holding late night guest talks by Mr. Nishant Radia, Co-Founder, Vidooly and Mr. Harishankaran Karunanidhi, Co-Founder, Hackerrank.

Entrepreneurship Club, IIT Patna dream of exploring into the unmatched and yet untapped potential present inside all of us, where a single spark could convert a mere thought into an idea. But to convert an abstract idea into something tangible like a working business model and a successful start-up, we need a lot of intervening steps. This is precisely the reason why we are organizing the Entrepreneur’s Week and the various event of its kind.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Entrepreneurship Awareness Drive at IIT Patna

Recently, Indian Institute of Technology, Patna hosted the Patna chapter of Entrepreneurship Awareness Drive, EAD 2014. We had among us two guest speakers, Mr. Rahul Narvekar, CEO and Co-founder NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. and Mr. Abhishek Chakraborty, CEO and founder Whiz Mantra. They interacted with the press sharing their views on starting a venture, hurdles existing in the Indian e-commerce space and the general societal pressure that they had faced when they moved out of their fat paying jobs to enter in the domain of uncertainties and incertitude. Here, we present you few excerpts from the press conference.

Question: What do you think of being an entrepreneur?

Mr. Narvekar: (Sighs), Well I would rather say myself as an accidental entrepreneur. He added, after completing graduation from one of the top B-schools of the country, nobody would like to fuzz with this entrepreneurial activity rather people want to have a fat salary and they are satisfied. I tried to study entrepreneurship but then to be an entrepreneur one should be shameless enough to follow his dreams. The satisfaction one gets while working for his own purpose is unparalled.

Mr. Chakraborty:  To me there was a sense of craziness, while I started by journey in the field. I left my job without planning out anything concretely. I just stepped out to try what I felt needed to be tried at that time. There was no sense of sagaciousness at that point of time. But yes, I would say to be determined enough to stand by your decision.

Ques. How to stand up and start fresh in an e-commerce space which is presently having a fierce battle among various competitors?

Mr. Narvekar: There are two factors which decides one’s fate in this market and they are speed and scale. This is what happened with Sachin and Binny Bansal (quoting fipkart example). He explained that it is neither possible and nor viable to create another Flipkart or Amazon today. What is required is “flipkart+something” and that something is defined by the market and the target.

Ques. How do you see the policy level challenges of entrepreneurship?

Mr. Chakraborty: Since, I am working in education sector, I would like to critically analyze the Mid Day Meal programme or Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan. Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan have the provision for everything except power and electricity and if that is the case, how can we achieve the model of ICT (Information and Communication Technology). And in fact no model in a power deficit country like India, can impart ICT model education to remote areas. Same case goes for mid-day meal, there is no way to measure the tangible output of the learning level out this scheme.

Mr. Narvekar: One policy level challenge which I can sense is of lack of one click payment. Every time user has to enter his information to make payment through that gateway.

Ques. What is the best time for an individual to begin with his own venture or work for his own ideas?

Mr. Narvekar: According to me, the best time for anyone to look for opportunity to work on his own idea is just after his undergraduate (college) studies. The reason being that the person doesn’t have challenges and isn’t occupied to the combo pack of 9-5 job, 6 figures salary with a car and a wife in near future. Moreover, even if a person fails during this period has much more valuable experience than a fresher graduate of how the process works for a company. I even emphasize on deferred placement programmes as they give a security to the individual to do his own thing. 

Compiled by: Media and Public Relation Team, Entrepreneurship Club, IIT Patna

...And the guy who couldn’t find a bus ticket to go home is now CEO of redBus


It was a few days before Diwali weekend in 2005. A young electronics engineer working for Texas Instruments sought a ticket to go back to his home in Hyderabad from Bengaluru. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get one.

Nothing to do, the guy went to a ticket agent to inquire about how the system worked. He saw the several major concerns with the reservation system and started thinking of a solution, not his mistake, he was an engineer!

Engineering mind at work

He got back to his room-mates, mailed them about his reason for not coming to Hyderabad and his plan of creating a software to organize the way tickets were sold. He was nowhere close to a business proposition at that time. All he thought was some charity work, donating the money to some NGO that he would get by selling the software to bus operators.

Excited by impacting thousands of people, they started preparing the prototype. When the prototype was ready, he went to bus operators but to their utter dismay they weren’t even ready to take it for free!

Business idea strikes them

This is when they decided their idea to give them a business front and when to TiE with a proper plan, they found their mentors there. From a comfortable corporate life, they were thrown into a life full of challenges, uncertainties and hurdles, still they never gave up, and actually they enjoyed it! They started market survey and formally put in a capital of 500,000 INR saved by three of them, in August 2006, registered the domain name and so was it – the start of

Still first ticket was yet to be booked through their site.  After many requests, they were given five tickets by an operator who gave an ultimatum of a week to him.They sold them in just 5 five days and then began the journey. Started it with a capital of Rs.500,000, and soon found a Venture Capitalist. They found the required capital, an amount of Rs.3 crore was to be invested in a span of 3 years. First year there were no profits, however the second one was a huge success, turnover – Rs.5 crore !

Rest is history!

Today, it has 1500+ bus operators registered on the site and 80,000 routes in India.

And the guy who couldn’t find a bus ticket to go home is Phanindra Sama, CEO redBus.

Image courtesy:  Google Images

Article by: Srikanth IIT Patna

Interesting facts about Infosys

With clients in more than 30 countries, employee base of 160,000+ people and revenue of $8.25 billion in FY14, Infosys aims at building tomorrow's enterprise. However, the overnight success of Infosys in 1991 has 10 long years of dedication and vision to impact the professional IT world. Here we present you some of the interesting facts about the first Indian IT giant.

  • Infosys was launched in 1981 by Mr. Narayana Murthy with six other colleagues on a mere $250 (10000 INR) borrowed from his wife. 
  • Infosys was established in 1981. However, it took almost two years for Infosys to install their first computer. Their first computer was installed in February 1984.

  • Infosys’ idea was to add value from India. They needed computers and telephone lines to achieve this. However, it took them a year to get a phone in Bangalore. 

  • When Infosys was first launched, the company was working solely with one customer, developing and installing a software package for a client’s business in New York. And gradually got other customers too.

  • In 1990, Infosys was not making much profit. Seeing Infosys floundering, many offers poured in to buy it, some even proposing a sum of $1 million. Many colleagues considered this as a safe and necessary option. But in a five hours long discussion, Narayana Murthy stepped in against buying out and encouraged everyone to restart the marathon.

  • The year of 1991 proved to be a turning point for Infosys, when liberalization happened. It helped in speeding up the decision-making in government and relaxing stringent rules in RBI. As a result, instant traveling became less troublesome, they could now get easy approvals for new computers and take independent decisions. It was only after 1991, when Infosys came into its actual capacity of being IT pioneer.

  Story by: Abhijeet Agnihotri, IIT Patna

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

IIT Patna's Winning Edge

Indian Institute of Technology, Patna, the modern IIT, is one of the very few institutes in the country to offer a course on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The course is taught by the visiting faculties from renowned universities covering the topics on Accounting and Finance, Sales and Marketing, Business Plan Project, Consumer Behaviour and much more. This is the course of its kind among the IITs which saw unprecedented popularity among the students.

The institute has an Entrepreneurship Club and Innovation Centre with the vision of creating a gelling point for aspiring entrepreneurs at the institute. The club acts as an umbrella organization that coordinates all entrepreneurial activities at IIT Patna and prepares the students to undertake the journey from the genesis of an idea to its successful business implementation. The execution plan developed by the students includes organizing lectures and workshops on business topics, inviting successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders for talks and speeches and organizing intra-college activities to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the IITP community .Some of the famous speakers who illumined the student community of IIT Patna are Mr.Ajai Chowdhry,Co-founder HCL ; Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Co-Founder HCL; Ms. Padmaja Ruparel, Founder President, Indian Angel Network; Dr.Harish Hande,Co-founder SELCO and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Mr. Manish Kumar, Co-founder, Farms n Farmers.

Moreover, trending IIMs in learning through “late night sessions” and inspired by its rationale, the club organizes “bring your own coffee late night lectures” which witness huge participation from the student fraternity.

IIT Patna Late Night Lecture Series

The club also introduced management events this year in Anwesha, the annual techno-cultural extravaganza of IIT Patna which reached out to over 150 colleges all over India through the competitions like Stock Mart, virtual stock exchange ; Vendre (Marketing challenge) and Six thinking Hats(Case study challenge).

The students of IIT Patna also enjoy the benefits of the course – Entrepreneurship and Innovation as an elective in their academic curriculum. The course , currently being offered to students of third year (for all Engineering branches) holds much importance in the coming years. IIT Patna is one of the very few institutes in the country to incorporate the course in the academic curriculum. Students believe they are a step ahead of others as the course is cementing the confidence in their dreams to transform a potential idea into a start-up and eventually into a company.

Owing to the modern state-of-art infrastructure, labs, technological equipment, new trends coming up since the inception of the institute, the students love to call themselves studying in a modern IIT. IIT Patna has provided students with opportunities to be a part of new trends and events that 10-15 years down the time lane will be on the forefront of every person’s mind. From first year itself, the institute provides a plenty of opportunities to develop the personal skills and promotes to take up the challenges to better the institution that we live by. And these all when consolidated together with the zeal and zest to progress incessantly creates an environment which is the best part of IIT Patna.

Remark: This post was originally published here.

Monday, 10 March 2014

“Don’t make feasibility the enemy of desirability”: Dr. Anil Kumar Gupta

Prof. Anil K Gupta
The executive vice chair of National Innovation Foundation, Dr. Anil Kumar Gupta initiated the talk with the discussion on Golden Triangle of Rewarding Creativity, i.e., link innovation, investment and enterprise around the globe. Using the transaction costs framework, the founder of Honey Bee Network, explained two kinds of costs, ex-ante and ex-post. The ex-ante transaction costs include the cost of searching information, finding suppliers, negotiating a contract and drawing up contract. The ex-post transaction costs include monitoring and enforcement, in other words, compliance of the contract, side payments, costs of conflict resolution and if it does not work out, the cost of redrawing the contract. In the context of inclusive innovation model, there is need to reduce these costs.

He explained the need of negotiation between the execution and imagination for a successful enterprise and added that being a good innovator does not imply being a successful entrepreneur. He called for the hunger of ideas to march into a future with high standards of innovation. 

He quoted: “There is no Patna standard of innovation, there does not exist any India standard of innovation but there is only a Global standard of innovation.” to express the importance of innovation of each kind.

Praising the ability of economically disadvantaged people to trigger frugal, creative and recombinable innovations that can stimulate creation of new pedagogies, products, and processes, by giving out the examples of such innovations from Bihar itself, he lashed out on the way these kind of grass-root innovations remain unnoticed and ultimately gets forgotten after making some appearances either in local newspapers or regional channels.

He further added that the time has come to go beyond the boundaries of the conventional organisations, disciplines, sectors and pedagogies.  The Padma Shri awardee cited the need to look for platforms that link creative but economically disadvantaged people to learn from sustainable solutions developed at grassroots globally.

He urged the students to search for innovations, spread them, sense the unmet demands of the society and celebrate the unnoticed innovations. Highlighting the importance of dematerialization and higher component of knowledge, he asked the students to initiate and help in developing an open source lesson for the children in Indian languages to create a better India.

Article by: Ayush Kumar, IIT Patna
Source : Talk by Dr. Anil Kumar Gupta, IIT Patna

Image courtesy: Google Images