Monday, 23 April 2018

Differentiate between Fake and Real World

"Be smart enough to differentiate between fake and real things in the world" was Amruth Charan's succinct advise to future entrepreneurs. In the ever growing space of Digital Marketing and App Development, Amruth has learnt the hard way how to survive. There are many players in the field- fake as well as real. Amruth's comment reminded me of the old idiom 'Separate the wheat from the chaff'. He goes on to add "You should have a clear idea on What To Do, When To Do and How To Do?"



Amrit Charan was a bit quiet and reserved in the class. In the team assignments, he would always be in the forefront. But when it came to taking group pictures he would seldom be seen in the front row. So much so that I could not locate a single picture of Amruth in the archives of the Class of 2016 at VVISM Hyderabad where he was my student. Even when he came to the Institute for the Alumni Meet in December last year he was his usual quiet self. In the group photograph which was taken after the event, Charan was once again standing quietly in the fifth row. See the pictures appearing later.

From that reserved personality to becoming an entrepreneur is a great transformation. Amruth Charan is the Founder and CEO of  Aresol India Pvt Ltd. Key business areas of his startup are Web Development, App Development and Digital Marketing. 
Here comes Charan's story in his own words.

Can you share your journey after MBA?
After completion of my MBA, I attended many interviews and finally I joined an MNC. After some time I found that my job was not matching my ambitions. I then decided to start my own company which was my lifetime goal. So, I started working for that goal.

Has your entrepreneurial journey been as exciting as you had expected it to ​be?
It's been a crucial journey which made me to acquire lot many interpersonal skills to move on towards my successful career. Finally I can say yes it was more exciting journey than what I had expected. It gave me courage and confidence to face the challenges in today's competitive world.

What are the key challenges in your venture and how do you 
plan to overcome it​?
There are many challenges that I am facing like managing the employees, financial planning and decision making, managing client relationship etc. It's been a new kind of experience in my life to face these challenges. Some of these things I had anticipated before starting a new venture. However, I am learning to tackle these progressively. With a bit of patience I believe I can face them and move on successfully.

What is your message for present students who want to take the entrepreneurial dive​?​
You should have a clear idea on What To Do, When To Do and How To Do? Act accordingly. Try to be smart enough to differentiate between fake and real things in the world.
Amruth's story concludes the series titled 'Proof of the Pudding'"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" goes the old proverb. For a teacher like Ghumakkad, what is the pudding? 'Pudding' for a teacher is his/her graduating students. Then how  is this 'pudding' in the form of former students, to be 'eaten'? 'Eating' can be symbolically equated with the placements or performance of former students in real life.

This series of stories is about Ghumakkad's former students who have become entrepreneurs. Most of the 2500 or so MBA, PGDM and BBA graduates taught by me have taken up a job. By embarking on the challenging path of entrepreneurship, few of these former students have proven the proverbial pudding beyond doubt! Who are these ten entrepreneurs? Are their business ventures diverse?


Their enterprises may not be huge, but they have followed their heart. They have pursued their passion. It was such a pleasure to reconnect with these former students and to learn their success stories. Thanks are due to each one of them for sharing their journey after graduation.

Name
MBA Graduation
Business Area
Venture Name & Location
MBA(HR) IBS(2010)
Career Coaching
HRscope Consultants, Patna
MBA(HR) IBS (2010)
Entertainment/ Theatre and Performing Arts
XpressionZ, Bangalore
MBA(Mktg) IBS (2012)
Image Consultant, Corporate Trainer
Tualmagis, Mumbai
MBA(Fin) IBS (2012)
Designer Soaps- manufacture and supply
Soapatite, Indore
MBA(Mktg) IBS(2013)
Designer Apparels and Accessories
Preksha Jain – The Fashionate, Kolkata
BBA IBS(2013)
Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby
ILove9Months, Kochi
BBA IBS(2013)
A Gourmet Dessert Studio
17 Sugar Street, Hyderabad
MBA(HR) VVISM(2016)
Employability Skills Training, Digital Marketing
Digi Freaks,Hyderabad
PGDM(Fin) VVISM (2016)
Digital Marketing, Web/App Development
Aresol India, Visakhapatnam

The stories in 'proof of the pudding' series have been very well received by the readers. Numerous comments as well as 8000 page views convey the relevance of these stories. Although it has taken longer than initially anticipated to put all the stories together, it has been a satisfying effort. We once again we thank all the readers as well as my former-students-now-entrepreneurs who took time to share their experiences.

Readers may also browse two related stories posted earlier:
Can Startup Management be taught?
Social Entrepreneurship- Learnings

A friend after reading these stories remarked 'May be they have succeeded despite you'! I tend to agree. Whichever way, I feel proud of my former students and their achievements. God bless each one of them.


Thanks for browsing.

     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/23rd April 2018

 #AmruthCharan #StartupIndia #Entrepreneurs #ProofOfThePudding #VVISMHyderabad #AresolIndia #GhumakkadHarsh #GhumakkadHB #Entrepreneurship #DigitalMarketing #AppDevelopemnt



Saturday, 21 April 2018

World Earth Day 2018

'End Plastic Pollution' is the theme for this year's World Earth Day 2018. Earth Day Network- the parent organisation has set the following goals for its world wide campaign:  
  • Ending single-use plastics 
  • Promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials 
  • Promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics 
  • Corporate and government accountability and changing human behavior concerning plastics.
These are lofty aims. How can individuals contribute to the above goals? In a simple way. Like what? 
Ask yourself 'why do we use plastics?' Or 'how often do we use plastics and for what purpose?'

Invariably the answer would be that plastics are most often used as carry bags. And these discarded plastic bags not only litter the streets, choke the drains but are also eaten by cattle. Plastics take millions of years to degrade and are also carcinogenic meaning it causes cancer. Of course plastic water bottles also add to the pollution. Therefore, as individuals if we stop buying vegetables and fruits in plastic bags, we can reduce the pollution to a great extent. We can use cloth bags made of used clothes and discarded linen. These cloth bags are durable, washable, re-usable and pollution-free. See the pictures below.


There are many women's volunteer organisations which prepare and sell these bags as a community service. Those in twin cities of Hyderabad/Secunderabad, may reach me (hbindia@gmail.com) for details. So today onwards, carry your own cloth bag and show the way for World Earth Day.

Ghumakkad's story on Earth Day 2017 highlighted the need to involve the children to bring about a change.  Efforts which I observed in my grand children's school in Chennai last year, are praiseworthy. Children can be our biggest crusaders. You may click here to know how did the school do it?



Even five years ago, Ghumakkad's message on Earth Day 2013 was aimed at all of us as individuals. Avoiding the use of plastics topped the list:
  • Avoid use of plastics
  • Recycle paper and kitchen waste (gives you vermi compost at home)
  • Let rain water re-charge soil around your house/apartment.
  • Use solar energy for water heating and emergency lighting
Remember, environment is an asset which we have borrowed from our children or grand children. 

We have no right to deplete or degrade the borrowed asset.

Thanks for browsing.
Happy Earth Day.

    - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 22nd April 2018

#WorldEarthDay #Environment #EndPlasticPollution #ColthBags #Recycle #Reuse #ChildrenAsCrusaders #ShishyaOMR #GhumakkadHarsh #GhumakkadHB 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Be Yourself


Be Yourself

"Dream big, struggle hard" says every entrepreneur. But Sriram went on to add "Be yourself, don’t bother about the people around you" and that's what differentiates him. Bold and determined, Sriram took the entrepreneurial plunge merely a year after his MBA from VVISM Hyderabad where he was Ghumakkad's student.

While at college, Sriram was adjudged Mr Perfect during the Freshers' Welcome. His participation in CSR Club gave him long lasting concern for society.


Sriram's story in his own words.

Can you share your journey after MBA?
I  I was an ordinary student in MBA(in academics). I enrolled in MBA course so that I could do corporate training programs. But as time passed, I got interested in marketing, advertising and entrepreneurship. Even though I was placed in the campus, my passion for teaching took me to the education industry.
I joined as an Aptitude and soft skills trainer in a company which provides placement training for engineering students. After a while, 
I left that job to start my own training organization with a focus on students rather than pure business. Thus started my entrepreneurial journey.


  Has your entrepreneurial journey been as exciting as you had expected it to ​be?
   Not really. I faced many ups and downs. Initially to get working experience and for networking, I worked for various vendors.  Working for as many as 18 different training organisations in 30 colleges across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu gave me rich experience. It was time to set off on my own. In August 2017 I started training students in fast changing information era i.e Digital Marketing with my own organisation named “Digi Freaks


What are the key challenges in your venture and how do you plan to overcome it​?
  Now that I had good network and experience in teaching, I thought it would be a cakewalk for me to get more business. But that was not to be. Of course, training is not that difficult but getting contracts became very challenging. In the initial days I struggled a lot even to get a chance of giving seminars on the technology.  I met many college managements but almost everywhere I got red flag. One thing I knew very well that if I get one chance, I can prove what I am and it will increase my confidence.
  I recalled the 'Law of Average' and continued to meet more people. Finally, the wait was over when I got a chance of training 100 students in a women's engineering college. From then on I have conducted more than 25 seminars and workshops in a short span of two months. The real journey has now begun. I expect to face many more challenges in the future.
 
  
  What is your message for present students who want to take the entrepreneurial dive​?​
   Dream big. Struggle hard for it. Don’t bother about the people around you. Don’t worry even if you are struggling hard to achieve your goal. If you are confident enough, you will get it for sure. And remember the work that you are doing should benefit the society besides your own benefit.

    
   Sriram is all charged up and is ready to run, fall, arise and explore.
  Sriram recorded an exclusive video for this story. Click the link below.

   Sriram concludes by saying 'Be Yourself'! We wish him luck in his future endeavours.

Sriram's story is part of the series titled 'Proof of the Pudding'"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" goes the old proverb. For a teacher like Ghumakkad, what is the pudding? 'Pudding' for a teacher is his/her graduating students. Then how  is this 'pudding' in the form of former students, to be 'eaten'? 'Eating' can be symbolically equated with the placements or performance of former students in real life.
This series of stories is about Ghumakkad's former students who have become entrepreneurs. Most of the 2500 or so MBA, PGDM and BBA graduates taught by me have taken up a job. By embarking on the challenging path of entrepreneurship, few of these former students have proven the proverbial pudding beyond doubt! Who are these ten entrepreneurs? Are their business ventures diverse?


Their enterprises may not be huge, but they have followed their heart. They have pursued their passion. It was such a pleasure to reconnect with these former students and to learn their success stories. Thanks are due to each one of them for sharing their journey after graduation.

Name
MBA Graduation
Business Area
Venture Name & Location
MBA(HR) IBS(2010)
Career Coaching
HRscope Consultants, Patna
MBA(HR) IBS (2010)
Entertainment/ Theatre and Performing Arts
XpressionZ, Bangalore
MBA(Mktg) IBS (2012)
Image Consultant, Corporate Trainer
Tualmagis, Mumbai
MBA(Fin) IBS (2012)
Designer Soaps- manufacture and supply
Soapatite, Indore
MBA(Mktg) IBS(2013)
Designer Apparels and Accessories
Preksha Jain – The Fashionate, Kolkata
BBA IBS(2013)
Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby
ILove9Months, Kochi
BBA IBS(2013)
A Gourmet Dessert Studio
17 Sugar Street, Hyderabad
MBA(HR) VVISM(2016)
Employability Skills Training, Digital Marketing
Digi Freaks,Hyderabad
PGDM(Fin) VVISM (2016)
Digital Marketing, Web/App Development
Aresol India, Visakhapatnam

Readers may also browse two related stories posted earlier:Can Startup Management be taught?
Social Entrepreneurship- Learnings

Thanks for browsing.
The last of the stories of these passionate entrepreneurs will follow. Stay connected.

     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with editorial support from 
Sharmi Banerjee/19th April 2018

#StartupIndia #Entrepreneurs #ProofOfThePudding #VVISMHyderabad #DigiFreaks #GhumakkadHarsh #GhumakkadHB #SriramG #Entrepreneurship #Education 



Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Pond Heron: Focus on your work

Learning from the birds

If you have watched Pond Heron, a common bird near our ponds, jheels झील and lakes, it is a picture of total concentration. Maintaining its gaze, sitting still, motionless- it keeps it's focus on fish in the water. It does not get disturbed by other birds nearby.

Recently while in Chennai, Ghumakkad 'shot' few Pond Herons through his lens. An anonymous quote 'Ignore the noise, focus on your work' came to my mind. Result- a PQ- picturesque quote in the PQ series.

Some of our earlier PQs related to birds are reproduced below. 

Be like a duck.

Black-winged Stilts flying over a lake. What does their reflection in the water tell us?


Hope you enjoyed going through the PQs.

Thanks for browsing

    -   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/17th April 2018

#PQ #PondHeron #Birds #LearningFromBirds #NatGeoIndia #LonelyPlanetIndia #Focus #Thoraipakkam #Ghumakkad #GhumakkadHB #GhumakkadHarsh

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Nothing is more Loyal to Entrepreneurship than Failure


'Nothing is more loyal to entrepreneurship than failure' quipped Ishita and Nidhi when asked to summarise their startup journey. It emphasised that failures are an integral part of a startup. 

Ishita Raksha and Nidhi Upadhyay are co-founders of 17 Sugar StreetA Gourmet Dessert Studio, Patisserie and Artisans Bread 
Boutique in Hyderabad. Within a short span of time, they have 
made a name for their venture.

Both Nidhi and Ishita belong to the first batch of Bachelor of Business Administration (Class of 2013), whom I taught at IBS Hyderabad. Both of them took active part in college events. 

I am reminded of a guest lecture in 2011 for the BBA class. The speaker Ms Rohini Mukherjee, Chief Policy Officer of Naandi Foundation energised the class by asking them what would they like to become after doing their BBA. The responses were jotted down on the white board. Guess what was Ishita's response? She wanted to become a Chef. See the picture below where Ishita is seen thanking the Guest Speaker. In the background, the word 'Chef' is scribbled on top of the responses.

It goes to show the clarity of thought and focus in a teenager's mind. Here is another picture of Nidhi in the same event. A picture of concentration- wonder if she knew the photographer's presence in the class! Nidhi now handles the marketing part of the venture very confidently.

Batch-mates Ishita and Nidhi later teamed up together to launch their venture 17 Sugar Street. Their clients want to return again and again because of variety and quality of their cakes and other products. 

They have shared their entrepreneurial journey with us in a short video. Please jack up audio volume while playing the clip below.

Excerpts from Ishita and Nidhi's story:

Has your entrepreneurial journey been as exciting as you had expected it to ​be?
Entrepreneurship, more like a ship that sailed only to conquer the shore and with you, the captain of the craft. The experience so thrilling it sucks you in. Oh, so fancy! Thrilling yes, but far away from reality.
You get to be your own boss but what people never told you is that you will also be your only loyal employee for life. It is definitely not a cake walk, but then again anything worth having never came easy. Irrespective of how long your nights at work may be, being an entrepreneur is probably the best decision we as a team could make.

What are the key challenges in your venture and how do you plan to overcome it​? ​
Having to establish a successful entity in one of the busiest industries of all time, with constant increase in competition in the F&B industry businesses are set to rise and fall just over a meal.
With the constant fear of a dessert business going sour, we push ourselves every day to constantly innovate. Not just in terms of products & services but also how we deal with our clientele.

Eds: Here is an example of constant innovation by Ishita and Nidhi. The Rasmalai Cake-- Fabulous Fusion-- Layers of soft & moist vanilla elaichi इलायची sponge cake and a rich rabdi रबड़ी mousse with chunks of rasmalai रसमलाई , loaded with pistachios. Isn't your moth watering already? 

What is your message for present students who want to take the entrepreneurial dive​?​
Management jargons, heavy theories and age-old philosophies don’t all go waste, but the real-time drama doesn’t have a set script. Never shying away to learn something new even from sources we might consider subordinate in nature is crucial. 

Building a team and understanding one’s own shortcoming, balancing it with someone else’s strengths only makes you stronger. 
Work life balance is key, but it is safe to say you can forget about that for the initial phases. Nothing is more loyal to entrepreneurship than failure. Your business will be your baby, agreed. And no parent would like to see their child fail. But it is important to realise that even though you and your business as entities are linked, a disappointing venture doesn’t make you a failure.

Their venture has been featured in the media many times. Here is a 
short clip.


Readers may recall the previous story in this series titled 'I wouldn't trade entrepreneurship for anything else'. It was Anjali Raj who has set up 'I Love 9 Months'. Anjali too belongs to the same batch as Ishita and Nidhi at IBS Hyderabad. Who could predict that three teenagers from the same batch would soon become entrepreneurs! 

Ishita and Nidhi's story is part of the series titled 'Proof of the Pudding'"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" goes the old proverb. For a teacher like Ghumakkad, what is the pudding? 'Pudding' for a teacher is his/her graduating students. Then how  is this 'pudding' in the form of former students, to be 'eaten'? 'Eating' can be symbolically equated with the placements or performance of former students in real life. 
This series of stories is about Ghumakkad's former students who have become entrepreneurs. Most of the 2500 or so MBA, PGDM and BBA graduates taught by me have taken up a job. By embarking on the challenging path of entrepreneurship, few of these former students have proven the proverbial pudding beyond doubt! Who are these ten entrepreneurs? Are their business ventures diverse?


Their enterprises may not be huge, but they have followed their heart. They have pursued their passion. It was such a pleasure to reconnect with these former students and to learn their success stories. Thanks are due to each one of them for sharing their journey after graduation.

Name
MBA Graduation
Business Area
Venture Name & Location
MBA(HR) IBS(2010)
Career Coaching
HRscope Consultants, Patna
MBA(HR) IBS (2010)
Entertainment/ Theatre and Performing Arts
XpressionZ, Bangalore
MBA(Mktg) IBS (2012)
Image Consultant, Corporate Trainer
Tualmagis, Mumbai
MBA(Fin) IBS (2012)
Designer Soaps- manufacture and supply
Soapatite, Indore
MBA(Mktg) IBS(2013)
Designer Apparels and Accessories
Preksha Jain – The Fashionate, Kolkata
BBA IBS(2013)
Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby
ILove9Months, Kochi
BBA IBS(2013)
A Gourmet Dessert Studio
17 Sugar Street, Hyderabad
Sriram Gundepudi
MBA(HR) VVISM(2016)
Employability Skills Training
Digi Freaks,Hyderabad
PGDM(Fin) VVISM (2016)
Digital Marketing, Web/App Development
Aresol India, Visakhapatnam

Readers may also browse two related stories posted earlier:
Can Startup Management be taught?
Social Entrepreneurship- Learnings

Thanks for browsing.
Last two stories of these passionate entrepreneurs will follow. Stay connected.

     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/14th April 2018


#StartupIndia #WomenEntrepreneurs #ProofOfThePudding #IBSHyderabad #17SugarStreet #GhumakkadHarsh #GhumakkadHB #IshitaRaksha #NidhiUpadhyay #Entrepreneurship