August 29, 2006

On Entrepreneurship at IIFT

Entrepreneurship Management is now a full blown course module at IIFT. As part of this program we will be interacting with many Entrepreneurs during our CRCs. In the next trimester we would have a compulsary paper on entrepreneurship management, and in the third of fourth trimester we will undertake a live entrepreneurship project or case study from the large pool available at the IIFT SME Centre

As a person who was always very keen on entrepreneurship, this bit of information from our Program Director, Pinaki Dasgupta came as an icing to top an already rather excellent cake!
Our PD ran us through the vision of this program as he was introducing our first speaker in this series Mr. Jagjot Singh.

Mr. Jagjot Singh is an IIFT alumni( Batch of 93) . He worked in the textile space for several years, starting with Arvind Mills and was the Secretary of the All India Terry Towels Association ( the only non promoter/owner to be honoured thus) and also the CEO of a large Terry towel making unit beore he decided that opportunities existed that were to good to pass up and plunged into his entrepreneurial venture. Today he runs "Confidence Buying" a buying house for large retailers across the globe , and has an annual shadow turnover of about 110 Cr.
His talk was an absolute pleasure , right from the easy going start where he joked about how in his time students at IIFT were" dumbs" and todays students, i.e We, are a lot smarter bunch and hence his nervousness to address us. But he quickly launched into one of the best talks I've been privileged to hear at IIFT -basically addressing issues like:

+ What the focus of an entrepreneur should be when he starts up
+ The process of becoming an entrepreneur, and the attitude
+ The challenges generally faced, with personal examples from his life
+ The road ahead

It was a personally extremely rewarding talk, and was followd up by another brilliant CRC by Mr C.K Sharma who spoke on sales distribution and trade marketing.I will be posting on our CRC lecture series separately, to keep a record of all the speakrs whom we've interacted with here at IIFT on my blog ...

On the 22nd of August ( that's about a week back) I'd attended a TiE mentoring session organised by Anurakt Jain and Ruchi Durlabhji. The speaker was Sanjeev Bikhchandani(SB) the founder of

He ran us through his story, and how they were among the last few dot coms to get venture funding ( to the tune of 7.3 crores from ICICI ventures) before the IT bubble burst in 2001. The synergies between the talks given by Mr. Bikhchandani , and Mr. Jagjot Singh were alarming. Both of them stressed the tremendous advantage they leveraged from working in a big organization for several years before taking the entrepreneurial jump. SB also addressed the extremely delicate scenario of what you should do when you have a company growing at phenomenal rates, and you have a friend who with you has started the frim and nurtured it through the initial days, but is unable to sustain his learning curve past a particular size or scale of operatons. What do you do? - Not easy that!

These sessions are such a huge value add...truly mind expanding... On the third of september there is another TiE mentoring session..will be attending it too, and will keep you posted...