N.R. Narayan Murthy, Co-founder and Chairman of Emeritus & Infosys graced the final episode of the E-Talks series.
When Mr. Murthy was asked about how he overcame the hurdles that came along his journey, he shared that challenges will remain eternal, “Most problems of any company, society, or nation are internal, and so are the solutions to those problems. Therefore, we have to look within to find the solutions before blaming the external forces.” Talking about what made Infosys the organization it is today; he shared that the company continuously operated like an enlightened democracy, listening to the people on the ground and allowing everyone to voice their opinion. They always believed that the most powerful asset for a company is its employees’ intellect, mindset, and value system.
Mr. Deep Kalra (Founder and CEO MakeMyTrip)
He has an immense work experience of more than 27 years in e-commerce, sales, marketing, corporate banking, and finance, and since the year 2000, he has been working hard on making MakeMyTrip what it is today.
He started MakeMyTrip with an idea to streamline the travel and tourism industry by eliminating travel agents. He talked about his entrepreneurial journey and the struggles he had to face in the initial stages. For the initial 18 months, right after leaving his high-paid job and starting the company, he took zero salaries from the company. He states that to make a startup successful, you’ll have to leave the stats behind for at least 4-5 years and will have to entirely focus on building the brand and winning customers’ trust. He also stated that MBA had helped him a lot in his journey by streamlining the thought processes and teaching him how to hustle.
Mr. Nikhil Kamath, Co-Founder Zerodha and Founder True Beacon
In the 7th episode of our E-Talks series, Mr. Kamath took us through his journey as an entrepreneur and person. He talked about the spirit of entrepreneurship and the importance of having a farsighted vision to succeed in the long term. He highlighted the importance of always remaining self-critical, as flatterers often surround successful people. When asked what qualities he thinks are most important for an entrepreneur, he said, “The ability to be self-critical is critical. Often in life, when you see a little bit of success, people are nicer to you than they were once. You have to be able to rationalize and remain objective. Curiosity and the need to learn are the biggest differentiating factors.”
Mr. Phalgun Kompalli, Co-Founder at upGrad
We were privileged to host Mr. Phalgun Kompalli, Co-Founder at upGrad, in our eighth episode of E-Talks: Connecting the Dots. He leads the overall growth operations and university relations at upGrad. He is an alum of IIT-Delhi and part of the Forbes 30-under-30 cohort.
Mr. Phalgun enlightened us with his inspiring journey as a founder and how he entered the startup world after a vast consultation experience across various geographies. He explicitly explained the importance of mentorship as it helps a budding entrepreneur to face new challenges on the way. We were rightly motivated by his thoughts about learning from failures. According to him, mistakes are bound to happen, so one needs to be tolerant and ready to embark upon the adventurous journey of entrepreneurship. Having primarily been involved in the education field, his kind words were very relatable to us, the young future entrepreneurs of IIM Rohtak.
Founders’ Meet 2020: Considering the ongoing pandemic and a clarion call to make India Self Reliant by our Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi, we organized a virtual Founders’ Meet to discuss the topic ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat- An opportunity in crisis.’ The discussion saw the participation of sixteen entrepreneurs from India and the U.S. Some of the takeaways from the session are as follows.
Dr. Ritesh Malik, the founder of Innov8 Coworking
He comes from a family of doctors, and he also started his career as a doctor despite being passionate about Economics and mathematics. He gave his two cents on life: since the probability of us taking birth as a human is one in 83 trillion, we should focus all our energy on things that we are incredibly passionate about irrespective of our education and background. He motivated students to follow their passion and not be afraid to fail. He gave an exciting acronym to FAIL: First Attempt In Learning.
He further added that the best companies are built by creating insanely valuable products for customers. He also added that there would be no difference between a tech and a non-tech company in the future since technology will become an integral part of each company’s value chain. Hence, he feels that learning technology is crucial in becoming successful as students in today’s day and age. He also floated the idea that Sales and Personal Finance should be compulsorily taught to everyone from the school level. Interacting with Dr. Malik made it clear why he has been featured under the Fortune 40 under 40 and Forbes under 30 lists. Today, Dr. Ritesh Malik is an entrepreneur, a startup mentor, an angel investor, and a TEDx speaker.
Mr. Dhiraj Rajaram, Founder, and CEO, Mu Sigma
He is the Founder and CEO of Mu Sigma, one of India’s first profitable unicorns. He has won various accolades like Fortune’s 40 under 40, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and Economic Times Entrepreneur of the Year.
He shared, “Don’t focus on skillset or toolset, focus more on the right mindset. Today’s world is seeing more uncertainty than ever; for a world of uncertainty, one needs to be prepared for all sorts of things that may happen. Start problem-solving as interactions rather than entities. To do that, one needs to have a questioning mindset. A combination of humility about the things you don’t know & learning new things as well as irreverence about improving best practices is required.”
Entrepreneurship Week: To cater to the need to become self-reliant and make our community more aware of starting a startup, we organized an Entrepreneurship Week comprising seven workshops on different domains. Some of the learnings from this session are as follows.
Dr. Dhruv Nath is a Director with Lead Angels and an Angel Investor. Earlier was a Senior Vice President with NIIT Ltd. He has been a consultant to the Top Management of several organizations such as Glaxo, Gillette, Nestle, Indian oil Corporation, etc. Dr. Dhruv Nath shared his insights on the topic “Creating and Funding Your Startup.” The session was brilliant, filled with intriguing analogies, drawn from his brilliant book, named “Funding Your Startup: And Other Nightmares, co-authored with Sushanto Mitra and published by Penguin Randomhouse. The book provides us a framework (PERSISTENT), a great starting point for analyzing a startup both from a founder & investor’s perspective.
EIC, sensing their responsibility towards society, also started a Virtual Network. It is created to build an ecosystem for startups, mentors, investors, and accelerators to provide startups with a one-stop solution to all their needs. They believe the Indian startup ecosystem is exceptionally well placed to absorb, adapt to the challenges we are facing, and be a part of problem-solving.
This initiative is entirely free of cost for every stakeholder in the Network. Any person having a business idea in his/her mind or an established startup could approach us for their mentorship program.