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Manipal Entrepreneurship Summit ’23 Pre-MES Events


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Sanskriti Srivastava | Staff Writer

Manipal Entrepreneurship Summit is an annual event organised by the Entrepreneurship Cell of Manipal Institute of Technology as its flagship event. It encourages students, entrepreneurs, speakers, and others to come together and foster innovation. The theme of MES’23 was “Let your innovations be heard”. A set of individual events had been organised to help people introduce their creations to everyone. With the help of MIT’s drama club: Ada, the theme reveal was a great success.

An open mic also took place where students came to present their talents in the form of stand-up, instrumental music and singing. The flagship event featured almost 150 innovations by our students and a series of speakers to enlighten us regarding various topics. The major events include a Panel Discussion, a Keynote Session, Pitch Tank, Online and Offline Workshops and Bootcamps.

Design Thinking: Vikas Gupta
KSV | Staff Writer   

Have you ever wondered what goes into design and converting a thought into a successful idea? Do you want to learn more about design thinking but need help figuring out where to begin? MES’s Design Thinking workshop answered all these questions. In the words of an E-Cell executive, “The main aim behind conducting the workshop is about how to come up with an innovative idea, which is critical for startups in the future”.

Vikas Gupta, the main speaker, is a Manipal alumnus who graduated from the Manipal School of Architecture and Planning with a Bachelor of Architecture and then went to IIT Delhi to study Industrial and Product Design. Following his thorough explanation of design thinking, we moved on to an exciting experiment. He gave us a product and asked us to create something entirely new that performed the same goal inventively. We had 15 minutes to ponder over a toothbrush, a pen, and paper. Several suggestions were made by the participants, such as making it more multifunctional, sustainable, or more straightforward.

Furthermore, he introduced us to a technique for finding innovative ideas: SCAMPER, an acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put, Eliminate, and Reverse. The speaker’s experience as a successful founder of two startups brought so much value to the workshop, and everyone agreed the session was engaging.

Vikas Gupta conducting the design thinking workshop.

Entrepreneurial Modelling: Sudhinder Parvatikar, ‘Founder of Kloud Aim IT’ and ‘IoT Consulting’
Shatakshi | Staff Writer   

The Entrepreneurial Modelling workshop was conducted by Mr Sudhinder Parvatikar, the founder of “Kloud Aim IT and IoT Consulting”. The workshop aimed to enable entrepreneurs, startup managers and leaders to strengthen their understanding of their customers, business models, and corporate strategies. The target audience was college students who were passionate about innovation. The turnout was exemplary.

The event commenced with the speaker explaining how important entrepreneurial modelling is in a startup. He conducted an in-depth conversation about the topic through a prepared presentation. A Q&A session followed, where he answered the audience’s questions. E-Cell MIT handled all the work related to this workshop, including graphics, publicity, and event logistics. The audience reacted favourably to this enlightening workshop.

Entrepreneurship Journey: Arvind Shashikumar, Co-Founder and CTO of Quinn
Ajitha Shree | Staff Writer   

The exclusive workshop on entrepreneurship journey, organised jointly by E-Cell and ISTE highlighted topics such as the challenges faced by budding entrepreneurs with ideas and the journey from being a full-time employee to becoming a self-employed person among others.

Mr. Arvind Sasikumar, co-founder and CTO of Quinn, started by talking about the importance of making good decisions in the initial period of one’s entrepreneurship journey, such as collaborating with an equally enthusiastic business partner, targeting the perfect audience and adopting a trial-and-error method to improve your business. “Solving a problem is way more important than building a solution to the problem”, said Mr Sasikumar emphasising the need to prioritise fixing the problem over finding an ideal solution. Time is far more important than money for every startup; a slow investment rate can hamper the company’s growth.

There are several leadership qualities an entrepreneur requires. Some of them are analysing data without bias, marketing strategy, ability to filter out genuine feedback, tackling sudden changes, handling rejection from investors and improving your idea daily. Adopting good networking skills in your college days is critical. This talk by one of our successful alums gave us great insight into the entrepreneurship journey of an engineering student and an abundance of motivation to try and realise our inner potential.

Amplifying Innovation for Growth: Lokesh Venkataswamy, CEO and MD of Innomantra and Dr. Tojin T. Eapen, Advisor of Innomantra
Deepali | Staff Writer   

Lokesh Venkataswamy, CEO and MD, and Dr. Tojin T. Eapen, advisor, Innomantra, heralded the Amplifying Innovation for Growth workshop as part of MES 2023. Their goal was to promote systematic innovation through effective project management, quality control, sustainability initiatives, bio-inspired system design and resilience strategies. A leading innovation consultancy, Innomantra develops various strategies to help companies achieve their innovation goals. One of the critical strategies they employ is project management. They work closely with clients to identify project goals and objectives, set timelines, and allocate resources to ensure project success.

They help clients minimise risk in innovation and maximise return on investment by providing effective project management. Another critical strategy is quality control. Innovation projects often involve developing new products and services that must meet the highest standards of excellence.

Our speakers focused on the need for innovation management to improve efficiency in institutions as well as the need to balance out sustainability. They mentioned some efficiency strategies in the form of the 5 R’s: Resting, Reduction, Redefining, Regularization and Resource management.

By leveraging the principles of circular economy and sustainable development, Innomantra enables customers to create value while minimising their environmental footprint. Inspired by nature, they help customers arrive to solutions optimised for their environment. For example, by studying cheetah behaviour, Innomantra helped customers develop an efficient supply chain that reduced costs and increased productivity. They also use ERP models to optimise innovation projects.

Through their project management and sustainable development expertise, Innomantra helps clients become effective, efficient, sustainable, and innovative, and stay ahead of the competition.

EdTech Entrepreneurship: Vinod Aravindakshan, Founder of Careerbolt
Ayn Shahabal | Staff Writer   

This event was a workshop on entrepreneurship and cracking interviews, organized by E-Cell in collaboration with ISTE.  The workshop featured an esteemed speaker, Mr. Vinod Aravindakshan, who is a seasoned entrepreneur and the founder of Careerbolt, a tech startup making waves in the world of campus and professional recruitments.

During the event, Mr. Aravindakshan shared his experiences of working in Silicon Valley and the importance of continuous learning. He highlighted the fact that there is no easy way to learn skills and that one must be a hardcore learner to succeed in their careers. He also talked about his team’s efforts in building Careerbolt as a startup and creating a conducive environment for everyone to work, thrive and grow.

The event aimed to help attendees gain valuable insights into cracking interviews and discovering how technology can be leveraged to create a positive change in the world of entrepreneurship. The attendees were encouraged to put the information and insights gained from the workshop to good use in the future.

Overall, the workshop was a success, and attendees gained valuable insight into entrepreneurship and the interview process. The event provided an excellent opportunity for networking and learning from experienced professionals. The organizers deserve credit for putting together a well-structured and informative workshop, and it is hoped that similar events will be organized in the future to benefit more individuals.

Mr. Aravindakshan sharing his tips on entrepreneurship and how to crack interviews.

Startups—Building a Niche: Jyoti Bharadwaj, Founder of TeaFit.
Shreeya | Staff Writer   

On February 21st, Jyoti Bharadwaj, founder of TeaFit, held a workshop on startups and the importance of building a niche. TeaFit, a consumer-oriented brand, appeared on Shark Tank in 2021 to pitch its business model. After landing a deal of 50 lakhs, the beverage startup has grown considerably. Jyoti’s drive is inspired by India’s alarming diabetes rates and lack of healthy unsweetened beverages. She also aims to appeal to consumers’ interest in health and wellness post Covid.

The entrepreneur advised that any brand needs to decide on a timeline. In a timeline based on an exit, the focus would likely shift from prioritising the customers to customer acquisition. TeaFit aims to grow sustainably at a pace suitable for the brand. They also seek to branch out the distribution of homemade unsweetened beverages nationwide. Jyoti emphasised on the importance of people skills, especially during the lows. In such cases, people skills help motivate the employees who work for the brand and persevere through tough times.

Similarly, she also elaborated on the life of an entrepreneur and how the lifestyle is often less glamorous than it is portrayed in popular media. A Q&A session with the audience followed the workshop. As a closing note, Jyoti suggested that as an entrepreneur, one must be the jack of all trades, but a brand must be the master of one- and that is its niche.

Jyoti Bhardwaj explaining the importance of building a niche.

Product Management Bootcamp: Akshay Johri, Riya Jain, Shobhit Saxena
Shivani Seshadri Iyer | Staff Writer   

Think of product management as an essential step in developing a product from scratch, manufacturing it to go with the tide but making it distinctive enough so that the final product can sell itself. It is done through trial and error. Product managers aren’t born, nor do they need an illustrative drawing capacity. They need to metamorphose, understand human psychology, have room to create ideas and understand what the customer wants.

A panel of three esteemed product managers, Ms Riya Jain, Mr Shobhit Saxena, and Mr Akshay Johri shared insight into the field of product management. They started by briefly introducing themselves and how they got into the world of product management, each encounter being a unique experience.

The panellists linked product management to being the boss of a toy store, making important decisions on the toys to sell, working with toy makers to design and create new toys, and ensuring that they are safe, fun, and sound on shelves. The panellists emphasized on the fact that one must fall in love with the product statement rather than the idea. Knowing what your competitors are up to and staying ahead of the curve is a quintessential part of product management, as well as making errors and failing. They explained the process of data interpretation, which helps product managers gather insight from data to solve a business case. In addition to this, they emphasized on the importance of customer reviews because one needs to understand that it takes months to find a customer but seconds to lose one.

This bootcamp provided an insight into what the corporate culture is like, and how to work on ground-breaking ideas while staying ahead of the curve. The three panellists came to a consensus that product management is an upcoming field that requires zeal to deal with customers, know the competition and design products.

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