i5 Summit 2017, IIM And IIT Indore

i5 Summit, Central India’s largest entrepreneurship summit organised by IIM Indore and IIT Indore was held on 19th and 20th August, 2017. The summit began with a keynote address by Mr. Venktesh Shukla. Mr. Shukla, ex-chairman of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), and currently General Partner at Monta Vista Capital and President of Foundation for Excellence talked about entrepreneurship as the way forward in India. He spoke about the opportunities available to entrepreneurs in India, such as government support and availability of capital, and stressed on finding the one thing that the company is best at, which people will pay for. He cautioned against losing sight of the big picture while focusing on granular b-plans and spreadsheets. Lastly, his piece of advice to entrepreneurs was  to ‘know your customer’ by interacting with them, understanding their problems, finding out their willingness to pay for its solution and then solving their problems through the products or services on offer.

Social Entrepreneur

The next event to be held was Social Entrepreneur, the flagship event which witnessed social start-ups attempting to bring about a positive change in the society presenting their pitches to Anand Govindalluri, Founder of Govind Capital, and Professor Subin Sudhir.

The event began with Food Bank ATM (Any Time Meal), an innovative idea to bridge the gap between wastage and hunger and was followed by ‘Janta Choupal’, a ‘Smart App’ for a ‘Smart City’, essentially a political social media platform in order to create effective governance in the city of Indore. This was followed by Team Udaan, an initiative to provide low-cost sanitary napkins and further create a self-sustaining business model for rural women in the Kharsod Village of Madhya Pradesh. Impressed by their pitch, Mr. Govindalluri, decided to give them an on-the-spot offer of Rs. 5 Lakhs. The team following this was Scrap Buzz, which presented an alternative opportunity to recycle scrap automotives in order to create utility products. The final team to present was ‘Gaonmart’, a social venture based in the small district of Jhabura, aiming to create a profitable venture out of the organic produce and bamboo baskets that the residents had to offer. Mr. Govindalluri, expressed his desire to collaborate with them in order to build an app for their marketplace and offered them funding of Rs. 1.5 lakhs.

Workshop on Effectiveness in Creativity

The workshop on Effectiveness in Creativity held by S Subramanyeswar, Chief Strategy Officer and Vikas Mehta, CMO, Mullenlowe Lintas Group helped the audience answer a question: How to build brands that engage many and reap long term dividends of having a powerful central idea for the brand. Citing examples of iconic brands such as Surf Excel, Bajaj Avenger, Airbnb and Tata Tea, they showed how you can go from “Proposition to Point of View, to Purpose,” and move from an environment of “reactivism” to “preactivism,” i.e. using brands to create a positive social impact. This social impact ranges from celebrating the spirit of Ramzan, to celebrating brotherhood, and inspiring social awakening.

Speaker Series, Panel Discussion, Chai Pe Charcha

The speaker series featured Rajiv Srivatsa, Founder, Urban Ladder, Varun Raina, Marketing Head, Airbnb and Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett speaking on various topics such as “Employee to Entrepreneur: Hurdles and Mindsets Needed for the Shift” and “How not to go wrong with an Indian Consumer.” The panel discussion, which featured Gautam Raj Anand, Founder and CEO, HubHopper, Tushar Chhabra, Founder, CRON Systems, Sandesh C, COO, Chai Point and Vaibhav Agarwal, Founder and CEO Inc42 addressed the question “What does the next decade hold for Indian startups?” This was followed by an informal networking session Chai Pe Charcha, where students get to interact with industry stalwarts over tea and snacks.

Keynote Address

The second day of the i5 Summit opened to a packed audience listening keenly to Mr Sharad Sharma, co-founder and governing council member of iSPIRT, who delivered the keynote address. He started off by reflecting upon his life as a student – how an electrical engineer ended up contributing significantly to the UNIX operating system, which he termed as ‘riding a wave’, something he deemed important for everyone to do in order to outperform others. He went on to talk about the digital revolution taking place in India and the potential India Stack possesses and highlighted the progress being made towards a paperless, cashless society. His final message was about the need to scrap the archaic definitions of leisure and work and redefine them in ways that can benefit society.

Get Funded

The flagship event of the i5 Summit, Get Funded saw around 15 start ups pitching for funds. Investors from various firms participated, like Matrix Partners, Ah! Ventures, Artha Ventures etc. Some great ideas were presented which was followed by an engaging Q&A session with the investors. Ideas ranging from second hand book selling to 3D maps, across various domains impressed the audience and investors alike.

Bollywoo, which delivers official Bollywood accessories and apparel, grasped the attention of the investors for providing a unique shopping experience. Another venture, Shantha Farms is in the business of providing 100% pure and clean milk in Madhya Pradesh. Cutting Edge Medical Devices is another start up that’s working on a device that provides accurate pathology test reports has a projected valuation of ₹500 Cr. Four outstanding startups received special recognition – DronaMaps, Shantha Farms, Dream World and Cutting Edge Medical Devices.

Speaker Series

Mr. Manish Advani, Head of Marketing & PR at Mahindra SSG spoke about 3 important lessons for entrepreneurs. He emphasised that team-spirit not only leads to well-being of the group but also to personal development in the long run. He stressed on the need for sharing knowledge and solving societal problems, being out of one’s comfort zone, not becoming complacent, expressing gratitude and striving tirelessly towards a bright future. Mr. Arun Thukral, MD and CEO of Axis Securities Ltd. highlighted the importance of seizing opportunities regularly, which would lead to bigger changes in the world. He then narrated his journey of how he began to adapt to changes and derive results from chances that he got. He substantiated his motivational words with stories that called for an action from the aspiring entrepreneurs in the audience.

Anubhav Modi, the Head of Strategy of Bira91, invigorated students with his inspirational words. He was assertive on the need to take risks and exploring zones that are miles apart from one’s comfort area. He then highlighted that failure has been a part of all the successful journeys. He added that persistence and passion to drive a change in the society is the first step to actually bring about a change and addition of value to the world. Along with risk, innovation is an integral part of any idea that has materialised and is creating value for the people today.

Startup Expo

Startup Expo hosted over 30 startups from all across India, with highly innovative solutions to critical problems or value propositions to cater to changing aspirations. Some of the interesting startups were Jawab Do, DronaMaps, Saralkar, Bookshelf.space and Krishi Help, which focused on providing a plethora of services, ranging from providing solutions to legal and regulatory compliance for businesses to selling refurbished books at discounted prices to providing farmers with technological solutions and expert advice.

Panel Discussion

Sunil Goyal, MD, YourNest, Abhijeet Kumar, Co-founder, ah! Ventures, Anurag Sharma, Co-founder, Mumbai Incubator, Siddharth Lulla, Investor, and Achint Setia, Head of Strategy at Viacom 18 spoke on Expectations and Challenges for Early Stage Investors. They addressed issues such as a mismatch between expectations of entrepreneurs and early stage investors, whether or not entrepreneurs are solving real problems, regulatory issues that compound the complexity of launching new businesses and other challenges.

Keynote Speech

The Closing Keynote was delivered by Aaron Friedland, Founder and Executive Director of The Walking School Bus, an organisation working towards empowering children with access to education, nutrition, and curriculum across the world using highly innovative concepts such as solar-powered classrooms and reading applications. He spoke about empowering access to education through a holistic model that leverages innovative technologies. His anecdotes and experiences of implementing development programmes in Uganda were enlightening, entertaining and heartening. Much to the delight of students, he announced the launch of a competition- Searching for Jugaad. The winner will be awarded $1000 to help implement their innovation for The Walking School Bus.

IIM Indore

This article is published by Media and PR Committee, IIM Indore