Tag Archives: eDC

Bold and Boisterous at IITD

We present a rendez-vous with Himanshu Choudhary, the man behind Zuppit. A great load to take in, absorb and implement!

  • Name of Startup

Zuppit Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

  • What is the startup about? What does it deal with?

We are developing different types of technologies around content to deliver enhanced and quality experience to consumers on mobile platforms. With gigabytes of content being generated every second, it is imperative that some mechanism must be devised to bring coherence to that data.

  • What according to you is the USP of your startup? Why do you think people should avail the services provided by your startup?

It is the technology we have built. Our technology is language flexible and can generate quality content from scores of sources. Also, we strive to provide our customers with top notch user experience.

  • What was the inspiration behind launching this startup?

“Technology is best when it generates and adds value to the society.”

Consumption of content with technology will definitely enhance reading experience of people by providing them with exactly what is required – nothing less, nothing more. We intend to launch products in verticals like – News, Health, Education, Law, Finance & daily use, thus, empowering people to do more.

  • What do you want to say to budding entrepreneurs who are still shying away from following this unconventional path?

If you want to learn and explore don’t be shy, just try. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not only about earning money and building a company, it’s also about the adventurous experience and the learnings you take away from failures and successes alike.

  • How do you plan to /did you pitch your idea and convince the VCs when you are still attending college?

There are two important things VCs look at before giving you money – Team, Market.

It is very important to get both the things right. If you have this right, hard work and dedication will be more than enough to pull you through.

Coming to pitching – with the IIT Delhi brand name, it is easy to score meetings, how you perform is up to you.

  • What are the challenges that you’re facing?

The biggest challenge I have faced is to start. Taking that big leap of faith is the most difficult thing that you do while starting up. But, once you start, once you do take that leap of faith, everything falls in place. Even if you are stuck somewhere, there’s always someone (a friend, a senior, an alumni, etc.) who would love to help you out.

  • What motivates you to give up the ‘safe’ path of taking up a job and instead start off from scratch?

I just want share great lines of Tony gaskins with you guys “if you don’t build your dreams someone will hire you to build theirs”.

  • Where do you see your venture ten years from now?

I would like to see my company successfully generating value for the society and still yearning to do more and more.

  • What role has the college and city played in assisting and providing you an environment for setting up your venture?

IIT Delhi is the place which makes me whatever I am today. The support from friends, professors and alumni has helped me make this leap of faith and succeed in life. Apart from this, I was connected to eDC, IIT Delhi and attended various events organized by them which helped me align my thinking process and meet like-minded people and investors.

  • What other activities in college do you think would encourage more people to start with a venture of their own?

Strive to do best in whatever you are doing. Attitude is what matters most. If you have that never dyeing spirit, you will definitely succeed.

  • How do you network with other people outside the campus?

Events organized by eDC inside the campus and other entrepreneurial networks outside the campus helped me build a good network. Apart from this, a big support comes from IIT Delhi Alumnus. It’s always a delight to help out fellow IITians, my seniors supported me, I would love to support anyone who comes to me.

  • What is that one thing in your idea/venture that you think is different and is going to stick with people?

The products we have built, create immense value to the consumers by enabling them to do more.

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Glance at the Success Mantras

So, I sat down to writing this article, and drew a blank! What is it that people have never read before and yet will instantly relate to? And, I realize this is exactly the problem, which many budding entrepreneurs face. Many students want to launch their own start-ups, but are clueless about that new, innovative idea which will make their start-up tick. We scratch our heads, and try to take cue from the pre- existing models, but forget (or maybe are too scared!) to think OUT OF THE BOX.

So what are the 5 most important things which successful entrepreneurs have done to ensure that their idea is the BIG earner?

  1. Abstain from cut-copy-paste : Human tendency is such, that we love to follow others blindly. If the work is easily served on a platter, no one wishes to toil hard for it. But nothing works better than originality. That “new” factor is sure to shine! Often this factor is a minor tweak on existing blueprint, but it warrants originality creativity.
  2. Don’t shy away from advice : Your idea may have everything that you want, but before raising the stakes on it, make sure to consult your seniors. Accept the fact that people, who’ve already treaded on the same path before you, will have more experience and can guide you better!
  3. Take risks (gut factor!) : Consulting elders can never be an excuse to stop following your instinct. Remember, listen to everyone, but at the end do what you really want to do! Mark Zuckerberg remains not the most wise, or smart, but the most fearless amongst our generation. His belief, : “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”
  4. Modify and renovate : So, you have that great idea, which you think will bring you the bucks, but it is always necessary to change and reinvent according to the time and place. Obstinacy more often than not proves detrimental to one’s success. There are a lot of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and that is, to change the world.
  5. Fall, but get up! : Making mistakes is not a crime. In fact, it is just a stepping stone for you to learn and try again. So, don’t be disheartened by your failures and make sure that you make them count! After all, a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Henry Ford once remarked, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

These are just a few bullets for you to ponder; no one’s stopping you to add your own! So follow your heart and take the plunge!

-Ayushi Agarwal

How To Deliver a ‘Killer’ Pitch – A workshop conducted by T-Labs

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-Supratim Das

“Advertisers do not sell you a product, they sell you a life, which they promise that you will have, when of course you buy that product”

The 28th of February, 2014 saw T-Labs visit IIT Delhi, to conduct a workshop on ‘How To Deliver a Killer Pitch’ as part of E-Summit ’14, organized by eDC IIT Delhi. The presenter, Mr. Abhimanyu Godara, who had also agreed to be a part of the judging panel for the Grand Finale of Vishishth ’14 (Technical Sector), held later on in the day. So, many glances were exchanged among the participants when, after his presentation he inquired about which of the participants thought that their prepared pitch needed to be changed based on the rules that he had talked about – the same people who were going to present their ‘imperfect’ pitch to him during the Vishishth Grand Finale.

Mr. Godara hit the nail on the head when he started with opining that a pitch in itself is not enough to get a product across to the audience. One needs to believe in what one is doing. A pitch is just a final polishing that one could give to that idea, but it should never be an integral part of the plan of promoting that idea. It is not a substitute to the business, small-talking people about the product independently will produce miniscule results since the audience isn’t all that stupid. A YouTube demonstration of an astutely delivered pitch of a startup called ‘DoorDash’ evoked a wide range of comments of appreciation and wonder from the participants – “He jumped right to the content”, ”He didn’t have to look at the slide while presenting!”, ”He used a lot of numbers in his presentation”, “It’s almost as if he was talking to the audience, one-to-one”, “He was able to connect with the consumer”. After this, one suddenly realizes that the workshop was not going to contain some hidden golden secret, previously locked away in the Pandora’s Box of B-Plan presentation buried deep beneath the ground, it would simply highlight the obvious, the not-so-ostensible obvious, the obvious that avoided people’s view like a diaphanous curtain separating the worlds of surety and obscurity.

To enumerate some of the ‘golden’ obvious points discussed, I would like to start with the most important – The beauty of the presentation is in the telling of a story, a story centred around the idea of the product, which is able to emotionally connect with the one who is listening to it. ‘Last night, I went to the supermarket, and realized……. Did you face the same problem too?’ Make a study of the range of people who are suffering from a problem similar to what you faced. The problem should be of reasonable magnitude and prevalent. One need not include very accurately mention data at this point, but presentation of this scale is very important – ‘Ah yes! I found out that x number of people in my locality face the same problem!’.

‘An Elevator Pitch, literally, means a pitch that you can deliver to someone (important) you meet in an elevator, and being able make a lasting impression about your product by the time the elevator arrives at the designated floor’

Short, intelligent and crisp – the buzzwords that need to be kept in mind which preparing a pitch. It is the first thirty seconds that will make or break the listener’s attention towards your product. Keep It Simple.

Now, back to our ‘story’. A person cannot relate very well to raw facts and figures presented. One needs to have some kind of anchor to ‘fix’ the data to the brain, and you are to provide that anchor. Tell people how prevalent the problem is, tell them how you are going to solve it, because solving that problem is the prime motivation of your very existence, in the current scenario. Tell them about the competition that might be existing in the target area, and of ways of how you are going to ‘bluntly put’ consummately obliterate that competition, once you get your product in the market. It is important to do proper research in this area, and come up with exact facts and figures as regards the competition and consumer demand pattern. Back it up with logic – connect with the audience. Again, come up with a story which has all the details embedded.

The listener may get ‘jumpy’ at a certain moment, getting apprehensive about the fact that you may be small-talking him into extorting money out of him for your product. That is where Consumer Demand studies come in. Show the audience consumer testimonials, customer response and the number of customers who are interested in your product. Ample amount of field work is required in this area, and believe me, it’ll pay off, heavily. It serves to remove the last shades of doubt in anyone’s mind about how your product is going to impact the market.

Having convinced everyone, now it is time to present the financial requirements of your plan – How much money you will need to implement your idea, what do you do with the money, how clear you have your milestones mapped, and how sound your product roadmap is. And lastly but most importantly, Back Your Team! They are the people who are going to work out an alternative in case of a disaster, they are the ones who are going to keep the very existence of the idea alive. Keep the motivation high within your team, so that each one exudes confidence when it comes to handling of the job. They are going to make it all happen, at the end of the day – the heart and soul of the idea and product. Hierarchy is important too, not everyone is good at all aspects of running a company, so each one needs to have a skill set which complements that of the other.

Indeed a lot of practice is required in the delivery of a pitch, to make a razor-sharp job of it at the end of the day. Let people know how to get in touch with you, present your Angelist Profile too (it adds a professional touch to your presentation) and deliver that final ‘Punch Line’ to slam the audience with that one final blow of reason which shall compel them to act in a way you want them to. Wait, was all this a process of hypnotizing the audience? Is hypnosis exactly done in a way an Elevator Pitch is delivered? I shall leave this question hanging, to poke the reader’s curiosity even more.

Ideas Light Up in the EDC CIMA Business Case Study Competition

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Perhaps its biggest event in the last two days, the Case Study Competition held by the Entrepreneurship Development Cell, IIT Delhi held on the 28th of February, 2014, saw gruelling strategies, excessive planning and a cut-throat competition to find out the best. A wet, rainy day brought forth the brightest business minds, who came together and formulated grand ideas of success. This competition was held in sponsorship with CIMA. For the ignorant ones, CIMA is perhaps the biggest name when it comes to case study competitions and consulting problems, its very own competition GBC (Global Business Challenge) considered to be the Holy Grail!

For this event, the participants were given the case of Mackintosh Grant and were asked to optimise on financial solutions, supply-chain management and to find solutions to overspending. They had to formulate this strategy for the period of 2013 – 2020.

The competition kicked off with the team Phoenix, both being students of DTU. They identified the main problem to be lack of flexibility, a rigid top-down structure and an orthodox board reluctant to change it. They proposed the incorporation of ERP (Enterprise resource planning) software solutions of forecast supply chain structuring. Other aspects also included supplier rationalisation and tier shaped flexible structuring.

Team Omega from IIT-Delhi demonstrated how integrated supply chains reduce inventory cost and delivery time. They were in the favor of introducing web based systems to have better interaction with customers. To control the  budget overflow, they included options like employ surveys, relocation of staff and incentives given to high performing staffs!

Wayne Consults had given the marketing strategy to introduce E-commerce by setting up a website and setting up their own factory outlets. Customization of products and better data collection that helps in decreasing design costs were given importance. There was a special focus of this team towards Asia because of the growing markets here.

The team Shoe Conundrum from SRCC wanted specific strategies for different areas and not a universal line of action. There was a lot of focus on giving buyers the “ultimate” shoe experience, greatly emphasising on each and every design part, expert advice, basic frame choice and assistance.

Throughout the day teams gave excellent ideas like the 4P style of management, diversification of home markets and the phase approach. The competition was so tough that one of the judges had to admit that he would have come up with a different result each time he went through all the presentations. While the judges appreciating the attention to details and efficient planning, they also told participnts about the nitty critties and helped them with new techniques like cascading!

This competition was finally won by Eklavya 2.0 comprising Ramanjot Kaur Kohli and Shantanu Singh. Second prize went to the Team Frantics who had introduced the innovative concept of “smart pricing”. The team comprised of Vaibhav Yadav and Sukrit Chadha. Last but not the least, the third prize went to the team of Shresth Garg and Dominique Xavier – The Shurtugals!

Aditya Priyadarshi

‘YOU CAN INVENT!’ – A Talk by Praveen Vettiyattil (President, Sharda Solutions)

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The Entrepreneurship Development Cell (eDC) – IIT Delhi organized the flagship lecture event “You Can Invent!” as part of E-Summit ’14 on Friday, February 28th. The Speaker for the event was the famous TedX speaker Praveen Vettiyattil, the President of Sharda Solutions, Coimbatore, and an M.S degree holder from USC. He has presented thrice on TedX, the last one being in TedX Sharjah, 2012. He acts as the advisor and consultant for the wind and solar plants in UAE and India, and on how to reduce energy costs. He also is the inventor of the pedal powered – special purpose machines, which include pedal powered centrifugal pump and water lifting machine. The aforementioned products, quite drastically offer a value for money deal with a cost cut-down of more than 90%. This presents the outlook of the speaker and his approach towards the things. “One should render the present so as to get a clearer and better future, with the inculcation of ideas and solutions of the problems around”, and as this is mentioned, he began with the lecture.

“The world can change only through two things – War and Invention”

He started the lecture with the introduction of problem with the system – the way India works, and the question that why Indians living in the U.S. accounts to more than 20% of the international papers filed in the U.S.A. and on the other hand the dilapidated state of innovators in India? Analysis of the recent data also indicates the same, for instance in the finale of Intel Science Challenge 2014 for U.S. residents, there were 8 NRI finalists in the pool of 40. The question that he aptly pointed out is quite very well justified with the present outlook of the nation in terms of the number of inventions, patents filed, and the average research grant per patent. India, the country which has the 20% of the world’s population amounts to only 1020 patents (as per the 2012 reports) – which is less than even 1% of the total patents filed worldwide. Though, however, there isn’t any particular solution for this question, but the inculcation of the creative approach in the children, and change in the perspective of observing the children’s academic performance would at-least make sure that the cravings for the innovation wouldn’t die out. In his words, “We always say, ‘As creative as a child, and not, as creative as a group of Thermonuclear research scientists.’ “

The speaker then proceeded towards the other part of his lecture, wherein he presented the contrast between the time period required by the new born and the development of the humanoid robots for the purposes such as walking, bicycling, eye focusing, pattern recognition, and swimming amongst others. As per the records, it took around 800 years to conceptualize and adapt the walking mechanism for the robots, and this presents the stark contrast since it, only, takes around an year for the new born to do the same. He then put forth the argument that the world’s best innovators are the children, who on the daily basis visualize and try to conceptualize the basics behind walking and other important necessities of the humans. The comparison then put forward by the speaker indicate the individuals to think like a child, and be curious. “We are living, breathing specimens of unimaginable marvel. Don’t think too much, act!”

The speaker in the next part talked about the ideas, and their origin. He put forth a 3-step approach towards stating to think of inventing, which talks about leading a normal life, and be receptive to and observant of problems, then looking up on whether anyone has tried to solve the problem. If not, just going ahead and solving it! One need not have a creative mind to think about the different issues that one faces, or might be facing, in the present and how they would resolve them to ensure a better and prospective future. For doing that, one has to have a vision and a curious approach towards the essentialities of the life and the things around. Talking about the problems associated with the Indian system, he presented the contrast in the way the top singers, actors, or even sports’ persons, and the engineers are perceived and attended, in such a vast cultural agglomerate as India. In India, it has always been the priority to have the politicians, actors, and people of no importance – to the earth and the ecology, remain in the limelight and no one even bats an eye on the innovators and the invention that might someday solve the major issues associated with the vast population. Leave apart media even the government is biased against the innovators, with the lowest research grant available, worldwide, for the faculties and innovators, in terms of subsidy and monetary grants.

As the speaker moved towards the conclusion, he tried to emphasize the power of innovation and himself being a mechanical engineer, urged everyone to be proud of their field of study and being an engineer. For everything other than engineering could be established any day, but if engineering and crave for the innovation is lost, nothing could be established, very well, to the present state. And with the message coming “Crave and Crave more for curiosity, and never let die the urge to question, for these are the essentials for a thinker and an inventor”, the lecture was concluded.

Anshuman Sahay

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‘Next’ Conference on Design Thinking – Event Review

The morning of the 1st of February, 2014 saw the advent of imminent personalities in the field of design planning and innovation in Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi. The event began with a cheerful & pleasant host Vageesha, who worked as Project Manager in Clicklabs which was the host for the conference.

‘Clicklabs – a mobile application development company founded in 2010 with a mission to provide technological solutions that work just right. The agenda of the conference was stated – Design thinking: knowing about design thinking, applications and business avenues in the same.’

The event had its first speaker as Mark Watson, Director at Design Providence and a Co-convener Indo-Australian Design Research Alliance (IADRA). Design Providence – a multi-disciplinary practice in the field of Interior Architecture and Product Design, founded in 1990. He has been working at Service Design and Design Thinking since 2010 and has become a partner with Amsterdam based Design Thinkers Group and Academy in 2013.He covered areas on Design Driven Innovation And Design Thinking.

Mark, with over 30 years of experience in Design emphasized the importance and value that such experiences play for innovation and innovative thinking. Talking about his brainchild, IADRA, a project across the entire design area and the DT (Design Thinkers) Academy is a simulation of Design world through problem based learning which counteracts against the difference between Traditional Academics and design thinking. He stated that the idea of “design innovation” isn’t actually an oxymoron as everyone believes, against the common notion that design is done for the sole purpose of improving on the already existing ideas – design can actually lead to new projects. 

Moving on the next speaker was, Rumy Narayan, Sustainability Expert at Digiqom. Digiqom, an initiative that is focused on co-creation of the convergence of mobile Internet access with intuitive social media tools and enabling enterprises enhance their digital presence via Social content management, on mobile and on-line game based social conversions and brand community platforms.

In words of Rumy, design and development have revolutionized our life by bringing about:

-industrial revolution

-growth of markets

-globalization

-‘media’ tization of culture

Also to say, the roadblock for designing is the generation of large waste from smaller inputs which is a challenge considering that there is limited space on the earth. She maintained that the sustainability challenges viz. Ecosystem destruction, increasing inequalities and the decline in natural resources, could be ejected out with the individual involvement since everything and society, as well, coexists. In her words design opportunities follow the ideology of cradle to cradle parody that something which is good for us may not be the same for nature, like in biological nutrient cycle the grains that we eat, are essentially the plants’ waste.

The next speaker, on the rolls was Gautam Malik, Head of Design and Creative services at Jabong.com, a passionate design leader with a drive for building great teams and world class products. He has over 14 years of experience helping organizations successfully launch new ideas. In his role as Head of Design at Jabong.com, he is currently working towards making Jabong India’s top fashion destination. His agenda for the day was “Designing for New India” and his presentation looked more like a medical textbook than a gripping power point sideshow, to which he himself remarked that his aim wasn’t to gratify the viewers. He proceeded his talk in 3 sections, namely contextual analysis, complications and factors that could influence the design thinking and growth.

He pointed the pursuit of Indian economy which is predicted to be world’s largest by 2050 and began to chalk out the complications which included the political scenario, environmental costs and investment guarantee. He, in his own words, describes himself as having the mind of an architect, the heart of a filmmaker and the hands of a designer.

The fourth speaker of the day was Rajat Tuli, co-founder and CEO, or as he rightly calls himself, Fire fighter at highly successful online shopping portal, Happily Unmarried. He won the Young creative entrepreneur award for the year 2008, awarded to pioneers in the creative industry. The very first and a critical point he mentioned was that the sequential order for coming out with a good product or business idea, which is  Need → Idea→ Business  and not the vice versa.

His talk involved the idea that everything must be tuned in sync to create the greater harmony for the business environment, be it marketing, sales, or even back-end profile. He especially remarked the idea of showcasing, for which as a matter of fact is the key to have larger shares in the consumer sector, consumer connect, and believing in yourself.

Up next was the very enriching presentation by Mr. Girish Lakshaminarayana, Founder at FastCandidate.com, CTO at Dealsandyou, and CTO & Co-Founder at Klea Global. Having worked with half a dozen top companies in past, he currently runs a startup called AttendMind which helps companies manage attendance and leave better. He spoke about how to apply age-old design principles and the new design mindset to create great products.

Thereafter, the event had the privilege to hear Gautam Mahajan, president customer value foundation and a global thought leader in Total Customer Value Management, followed by Ishan Khosla, the principle & founder of Ishan Khosla Design, and Anuj Bhargava, Co-Founder & Chief product officer at Appiterate.

The talks briefly, then, outlined the basic design principals, which are:

  • Affordances
  • Form and context– consider all the constraints on the product
  • Create remarkability – make it 1% different than 5% better
  • Do one thing at a time bit do it with your full potential
  • 6- up technique– make 6 different designs of a single product, make 6 new improvised versions and finally come up with one

Design, in the opinion of the speakers should be tested of its capabilities with the questions of the sort such as, feasibility, misfits, customers’ perspective, etc. Design also to hit the customers’ choice must be simple and intuitive so plan out so as to, remove, hide, organize and displace some or other things to prepare the neat and consumer specific product.

The session then concluded with the ideas of good design, which in particular should involve and be,

  • Innovative
  • Useful
  • Aesthetic
  • Understandable
  • Unobstruvtive
  • Honest
  • Long-lasting
  • Thorough down to the last detail
  • Environment friendly
  • As little design as possible (to say,  most beautiful of all)

With a short thanking note to speakers, sponsors and organizers, the event, then, concluded delightfully with the enriched and mind-boggling thoughts and life stances of our dignified speakers.

Inaugural Lecture of eDC IITD Speaker Series – Mr. Suhas Misra, co-founder of Hector Beverages (Maker of Tzinga energy Drink)

SUPRATIM DAS

One of the most technical, yet interesting (:P), one of the most practical and yet ideally portrayed speeches I have ever listened to, Mr. Suhas Misra, co-founder of Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (The maker of Tzinga) interacted with the students of IIT Delhi: an initially unexpecting half-hearted audience turned into a group of inquisitive glittery eyed students, wanting to know more about the challenges of entrepreneurship and the strategies that had been adopted by this eminent entrepreneur to overcome them.

An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Mr. Misra’s company aims to achieve a turnover of Rs. 1000 crores in the next 2-3 years. In order to achieve this, he has taken a very calculated and thought out approach to propagating the product that the company calls ‘Tzinga’, the best indigenous competitor to the ubiquitous Red Bull energy drink. His interaction with the students started with a recollection from his campus days, where he shares how he had started his first start-up with three friends, trying to sell a protein supplement powder, but due to their naiveté in the field, it ended pretty much a drastic failure. Among students, he says, the idea of entrepreneurship is very glamorous, and all about getting an ‘idea’ into a finished product through advertising and campaigning. But that is not the real picture. If one wants to determine whether an idea is ‘great’ or not, his four-point formula is:-

  1. An idea should be economically testable – it must be capable of creating demand.
  2. It must demonstrate positive Unit Economics – that is, the product must have the potential of making money from the first unit of production itself, and an entrepreneur should not hope to give out the first few samples for a loss, and then hope to recover in the long run, it seldom works out.
  3. The idea must be scalable – The idea must not be so well-defined that there is little scope of its scalability and improvisation in it, novelty is the name of the game.
  4. Business should be viewed at the Macro level, rather than only looking to create a demand at a micro level. That is, the whole behaviour of markets of all products related to the idea should be properly studied and analysed to observe the changes in demand patterns over time. A currently flourishing area may not be a good idea to venture in, as the study might reveal it to be declining in the long run. Rather, a minor area which has great potential to emerge in the market will be a much better choice for investors.

If one keeps in mind the Macro policy, the micro demand creating pattern often follows as its consequences. He showed us the growth curves of the Beverage industry of four countries – China, Brazil, Philippines and India. Each of the first three countries had about >=40% growth rate in the last ten years, as compared to India with a growth rate of about 1%. So, he inferred, that the line cannot go anywhere, but up; and with the increasing number of people venturing into e-commerce, a greater reach of the Internet to the Indian population, the area is highly promising. He decided to make the expensive ‘Red Bull’ his ‘Bull’s Eye’, and went for it, releasing a product that delivered the same ‘kick’ at about a quarter the price. He used the ‘Doy packs’ and not cans or bottles to cut down on the packaging expenses, as cut on the manufacturing cost has a multi-fold decrement effect  on the MRP of a product.

In the question answer session with the audience, a few of the outstanding points that he made was that he advised people, that if they went in with a friend to start an entrepreneurship venture, the foremost important thing was not to have equal stakes in the venture. He continued, a hierarchy is a consequence of nature, it has to exist, and it had to creep in. It’s better to divide the shares and the responsibilities when the enterprise is worth Rs. 0/- and be clear amongst the partners, rather than bickering and squabbling over petty matters and decisions when the risk of losing millions of dollars is at hand. The second and the third parties should know who the main guy is, in a venture, and when it comes to a lock-horn, they should have the wisdom to accept the decision of the largest stakeholder. Friendship should not creep in to the making of business decisions. This point I felt was very genuine, and seldom have I heard it been spoken about in speeches, and that is what impressed me the most about the session with Mr. Misra.

He also talked, on being asked, about his Marketing strategies. Since they were limited on funds initially, he practised targeted, precise marketing; targeting people of a certain age group. For example, an IIT Delhi Tzinga Ad would have trivia about the famous ‘Wind-T’, whereas an Ad in Hindu College would have trivia on a famous ‘tree’ that they apparently worship on Valentine’s Day.  In his Television campaign, he did not book time slots on a weekly basis, instead he targeted the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Match in the EPL, or the MTV Roadies/Splitsvilla audience, which he felt covered most of his targeted age group. Some people consider drinking a cheaper drink as compared to Red Bull to be ‘uncool’, but colloquially joked that hopefully someday they might take inspiration, seeing IITians drink it and materialise innovations overnight.

Us, being IIT people, he said, did not need to sustain fear of losing everything in an entrepreneurship venture, because he opined that since we were supposed to be ‘the smartest in the country’, we have the right to be confident and take risks. And it is in risks that the true excitement of the venture lies. One just needs to come out one’s shell, and have the courage to take the right decisions at any time. One needs to focus more on the technicalities of an idea, which he conceded to be pretty boring for the onlooker, like making market studies, analysing previous data, analysing graphs and statistical prediction, but in was in them, and not just the ‘glamour’ of the Micro demand in a small community, that the success of a good, productive and scalable idea lied.