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SDMIMD organized an entrepreneurship event called STARTUP CHARCHA at SDMIMD on February 3, 2016. This event was not only a culmination of various entrepreneurship activities undertaken by Swayam - E cell of SDMIMD students, but also an event that was in consonance with the overall favourable policy environment of the government in the context of startups.
SDMIMD had initiated entrepreneurship activities to give conceptual insights to PGDM students on Entrepreneurship. Swayam – E cell of SDMIMD students has been formed and has undertaken many activities in the last three years. An elective on Entrepreneurship has also been introduced this year as part of the PGDM program at SDMIMD.
STARTUP Charcha event on Feb 3 had Mr Arjun M Ranga, Managing Partner, N R Group delivering the Key Note address. While welcoming Mr Arjun Ranga, Keynote speaker, Dr N R Parasuraman, Director, SDMIMD highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship in the emerging scenario and called for further insights in this area in the Indian context. Dr M R Suresh, Professor, SDMIMD, provided a brief summary of the Swayam-E cell activities at SDMIMD and the rationale behind holding the event. A major objective was to mainstream entrepreneurship in management education curriculum, he added.
As part of his talk Mr Arjun Ranga, highlighted the challenges faced by the Founder of NR Group, Mr N Ranga Rao, in setting up a business from scratch and that too hailing from a poor background. He highlighted the importance of professional approach to understanding consumer demand. Mr Arjun Ranga further emphasized the relevance of embracing technology by startups. Conceptual dimensions and theory studied in management institutes were very relevant and entrepreneurs should not ignore the same was another point he considered important. Having passion, maintaining values and ethics in business, more so for family businesses and being socially responsible were also paramount for budding entrepreneurs according to him.
In addition, there was a debate between SDMIMD student groups on the topic - “Need of the hour for strengthening start-ups: favourable policy environment or nurturing good ideas?”
This was followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Dr M R Suresh, Professor-SDMIMD. The distinguished panellists were Dr H S Ragavendra, SDMIMD alumnus and CEO-Opel Consulting, Professor Rajendra Todalbagi, Faculty Member- SDMIMD and Mr Sudhir Sosale, former India Head- Engg Computing-Intel. The discussion focused on issues confronted by startups, risks faced by budding entrepreneurs, role of management institutes in strengthening entrepreneurship and what could be done to enhance entrepreneurship culture in the country and insights for PGDM students who wanted to initiate startups. Mr Sudhir Sosale emphasized the importance of last mile issues in getting funds, while Prof Rajendra Todalbagi highlighted that business environment was dynamic and ideas of entrepreneurs should be contemporary. Responding to a query from Dr M R Suresh, who moderated the panel, Dr Ragavendra underscored the importance of the right choice of enterprise after careful scrutiny. He further pointed that entrepreneurs ought to be socially responsible as there were indirect and direct spinoffs to the local community through implementation of the idea. He illustrated this point with his company’s experience in rural areas of Karnataka using digital technology. The panellists, while appreciating SDMIMD’s initiatives in the emerging area of entrepreneurship also expressed the thought that management institutes such as SDMIMD have a major role in providing a conceptual foundation to ideas of entrepreneurs and validating the direction of startups.