Territory of Entrepreneurship

Jul 22, 2016 | Posted by admin in Campus Corner, Events & Happenings   No Comments »


The Panel Discussion

Manufacturing and Operations are  management processes  that  are quite entwined. Classroom sessions of the same can be heavy but in hands of someone as adept as  Prof.(Dr.)Murli Mohan, Sr.Associate Dean, it turns into a breeze. The professor was chairing the panel discussion  of the day.Peppering the discussion with magnanimous dose of  humour the professor not only made it interesting but also drove home the message to the students  who seemed to be quick studies.

The panel had  senior professionals from the industry, with decades of experience who had now turned into successful entrepreneurs. With glimpses of their career they painted a  granular picture of the corporate world of 1960′s.  It was engaging as the experts  recounted their personal and work life journey which had its share of challenges and  how their never-say-die spirit helped them tide over.

Batch 2016-18

Pearls of wisdom from  industry experts like Mr B Velan, Managing Director, of Scorpio Engineering  Ltd filled  the air. Velan advised  the aspiring entrepreneurs to spend around ten years in the relevant space  before they take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. Speaking of failures, he said that, an entrepreneur should not be averse to  risks and should have the mettle to ride over the fluctuations entrepreneurship offers. Failures and fluctuations come with the territory. And there comes the real test of the steel in you.

Dr. Subramanyam, outlined the role of electronics in manufacturing of high-end-defence equipment . Subramanyam has to his credit  SLN Technologies which is into Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing company working in Aerospace, Defence, and Nuclear Industry segment. In a startling revelation he shared that very soon electronics import will outsize oil import. And we would face the challenges of going overboard in the same in future. As of entrepreneurship it comes with its share of challenges but the rewards are worth the pain.

Prof(Dr) Murli Mohan - Welingkar, Mr. Philip Samuel, Managing Director- Indfrag Ltd, Mr. B. Velan, MD- Scorpio Engineering,Prof (Dr) Githa Heggde-Welingkar, Mr. Subramanyam- founder, SLN Technologies, Mr VK Dikshit, Director of NetAspire Solutions Ltd and Major Vinitha Thakur - Faculty, Welingkar


Another panellist Mr Viswanath Krishna Dikshit, Director of NetAspire Solutions Pvt Ltd, while speaking on the subject of ‘Failure’ said he never thought of failure ; as life to him was a everlasting  learning process. He advised the students to pen down their dreams along with related thoughts on paper and and revisit them daily.

Mr. Philip Samuel, Managing Director, of Indfrag Ltd  mentioned that failures are frequent visitors to entrepreneurs. They should believe their instincts. But warned them against holding others responsible for their failures. Answering Prof Mohan on would they prefer a ‘Cushy corporate Life’ over the roller coaster of entrepreneurship , the the panel unanimously said they would still go for entrepreneurship. The panellists expressed that they enjoyed the role of an entrepreneur because of the  inherent challenges and they did  not like comfort zone and complacency of a paid job. They welcome challenges and troubles. It brought in its wake the  opportunities to grow, innovate, create wealth and make a difference.

When quizzed about challenges they encountered Mr Dikshit, mentioned that getting the needed finance was  a perpetual problem. Revisiting his early days he said  the banks’ response and support was dismal.However, it seems today times have changed for better with banks respecting entrepreneurs and willing to fund start ups and easy to avail loans for CAPEX.

Velan(l) and Dikshit (r) shake hands as Dr Heggde looks on

The final phase had the audience  sharing their curiosity and questions  on how do the experts on dais keep themselves going even in the face of countless challenges. Dikshit, told the audience he believes in collective management philosophy and everyone in the company is aware of decisions.  Subramanyam felt a leader should have sacrificial attitude and if there is crisis he should step forward to solve the problem.Samuel mentioned his was a flat organisation. He loved working with young, responsible people .Citing an example of a young MBA from a leading b school  of the city he shared the person in role of purchase manager has the latitude to carry out transactions worth  Rs.100 crore  and it was his  faith and guts that made him assign the role to her. He also mentioned that he loved interacting with employees at all levels in the organisation’s pyramid  as such interactions give you a peek into their lives and as the head of the organisation it was very much required. He further told the audience how his company supports  employees seeking home-loans.

In the  Q&A session a student asked about the  roles of women  in the manufacturing sector .The panel said, opportunities are growing in the sector with so much emphasis given to gender equality. However, a decade ago, women in manufacturing sector were far and few. However, with the integration of IT , the opportunities for women  have grown manifold.  Samuel said, his company follows  women friendly and gender -equality norms.  It had the policy to ensure them proper transportation and safety. Dikshit also shared that at his company women played  an important role. The design team at his firm had a lot of women.

Mr Kamal Bali, MD Volvo and and Board Member, Volvo Group of Companies speaking to the studnets

The charisma associated with the speaker for the next  session made it a much awaited . And it was worth the wait. At the podium was Mr Kamal Bali, Managing Director and Board Member, Volvo Group of Companies India. the upbeat mood of the audience found a good pairing in the mojo of the speaker.

Talking of the digital disruption together with the dynamic ‘VUCA’ world we are living in, Bali brought up the significance of the emerging geo- political shifts. Living in times of a shrinking world, a change in one corner is bound to create ripple all around the globe. Simple fluctuations in the prices of commodity like oil have a global bearing. In earlier days, a marketer would study the historical data but with changing times and global integration, it is important to understand futuristic trends.

Listing the five mega trends/concerns that would  transform the world he mentioned Digital Disruption as being the first one. Businesses today are extensively using the  medium in their marketing campaigns. Most of their stakeholders and target audience have a digital presence and this demands due diligence in the handling of the same. Any misjudgement can cost dear.

Bali (c) with Prof Chandra (l) and Dr Heggde (r)

He further spoke of the emerging world of e-commerce and how government of India is leveraging on Adhar Card to fight corruption in the system. He divined huge  social tensions in the society because of the widening economic disparity.Also he  spotlighted the shifting power centres of the  globe and the evolving power equations among the East and the West.  It may open a world of increased economic opportunities for the Asian countries.The fourth concern he spotlighted was the over-consumptive pattern of the humans  and their  changing relationship with the Planet Earth. We are over consuming our resources at an alarming rate. A study by WWF says we use 1.4 times resource of our planet. Hence, it is important to use renewable source of energy to sustain climate change.

Rapid urbanisation posed another challenge, said Bali. There was a growing trend to migrate  to urban centres in pursuits of growth and better economic prospects. The phenomenon should be carefully monitored to keep the unwanted repercussions at bay. He told the audience, China is the one of the largest world economy where the growth rate is 5% and size of economy is 10 trillion. Whereas India is growing at the rate of 7% and size of economy is 2 trillion. Our country population is 1.25 billion and for India needs to  grow at the rate of 9% each year to pull its people out of poverty. He mentioned that the ‘demographic dividend’ is  growing. By the year 2022 – 1 out 5 people would be a young person from India. A reality check on what is the talent and skill quotient of those entering the workforce need to be maintained.

Bali (l) and Dr Heggde (r) with the stars in making- the students.

While speaking on ‘ Brands’ he said the country is seeing spate of launches in Smartphone category. So, what is driving the customer to purchase a particular brand?  Quality is an important trait and gives the much sought distinction to the product. There is a marked change in mindset of customers with the growing inclination towards quality than price. Brands today  have shorter spans. It has drastically reduced from 80 to 18.

It was important for Indian companies in automotive sector to move up in value chain and become result oriented.While sharing his views on environment and growth, he said we could still strike a balance between growth and environment. He told the audience of Euro six engines that will not harm the environment and said future lay in electric and solar cars.    He shared how ‘Safety’ was one of the core values at his company backing it with the fact that the 3.5 seat belt was the invention of Volvo though not patented.

Bali in his salad days was national level Badminton player. While playing a tournament he lost the final match because of his ‘casual attitude’ towards his opponent simply because he was running with the idea that the young opponent was 4 levels below him – hence took him lightly. The loss left him feeling low for days but wiser. Never undermine other people and keep improving yourself.Guard against a cynical and frivolous mind set.

Speaking on why some  businesses succeed while others fail, he said there should be an effective sync between strategy and execution. And finally once you have arrived -never stop the virtuous circle,  encourage success and mentor freshers.

Dr Anil Rao-Dean & Director, Welingkar,Bangalore (l) with Mr Bali (c) and Dr Heggde (r)








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