MSD P51 – EmergE 2013

EmergE 2013 – Envision, Engage, Evolve with the Entrepreneurial Summit of IIM Shillong*

EmergE 2013, the Annual Entrepreneurship Summit of IIM Shillong commenced on 14th September, 2013. The event was inaugurated by the Director – IIM Shillong, Dr. Amitabha De who congratulated the students for organizing EmergE 2013.

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He had stressed on the importance of grooming an individual to be a job creator rather than being content as a job seeker. Dr. Keya Sengupta, Professor of Economics, and Faculty coordinator, EmergE also congratulated the students on the excellent execution of an event of such magnitude. She brought to the attention of the audience that such an event was ideal to serve as an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas.

The session meandered into the intricacies of ‘Social Entrepreneurship’, marked by a conclave, which was moderated by Dr. Sanjeeb Kakoty, Assistant Professor – IIM Shillong, who has vast experience in the field of documentary making and writing.

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The esteemed speakers of the conclave were Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy, Founder-Environmentalist Foundation of India, Mr. Parag Mankeekar, Founder-Director Neeti Solutions and Mr A. Muruganantham, Founder-Jayashree Industries; all leading entrepreneurs in their respective domains.

The event commenced with the launch of the inaugural edition of INCUBATOR, the annual entrepreneurship magazine of IIM Shillong and was followed by a panel discussion.

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The panelists raised concerns about the inability of the people in understanding the challenges of economic development and sustainable environment, thereby stressing the need for entrepreneurs who can garner public interest and contribute towards sustainable economic development. Due importance during the discussion was given to proactive entrepreneurship, with special focus on choosing the right team to work with and the significance of team dynamics.

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The panel also discussed the importance of a complete business model and its role in attracting investors for any startup business ventures. The speakers impressed upon the audience to learn the art of ‘achieving’ rather than ‘surviving’. They urged the audience to stop seeking financial benefits and to implement their problem solving acumen for the larger benefit of the society.

“You’ve got to learn to dream while you’re awake, those are the dreams that will come true”, with this inspiring quote, Dr. Parag Mankeekar asked the audience to shed its inhibitions and follow dreams.

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REVEAL, the inter B-school Case Study Competition, conducted in association with POLARIS as part of EmergE 2013 saw Team Khublei from IIM Shillong emerging as the winners while Team Core Bankers from NMIMS securing the runners up position. The winners took home a prize money of Rs. 40,000 while the runners up won Rs. 20,000.

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The event was followed by the e-commerce Conclave, which took place in the evening of 14th September 2013. It witnessed the participation of three experts in e-commerce: Mr. Anaggh Desai – Advisor, Retailers’ Association of India, Ms. Rubia Braun – CIO, Metro Brava and Mr. Parikshit Borkotoky – Founder, Kraftinn. Prof. Tara Shankar Shaw, Assistant Professor – IIM Shillong, moderated the discussion. The discussion analyzed various logistics problems in e-commerce and possible ways to deal with them. The participants of the discussion gained valuable insights into the operational problems in e-commerce in India and the benefits that would give to the Indian consumers. Also, the discussion explored consumer behavior and the role of the government with respect to e-commerce in India.

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The panel unanimously decided that e-commerce is the way forward but it must overcome  the present hurdles and come up with innovative solutions in order to grow and tap the huge market potential in India.

The second day of Emerge 2013 commenced with an expert talk by Ms. Rubia Braun – CIO, Metro Brava who spoke on “30 things to learn before you are 30” – some serious food for thought for all future entrepreneurs. The engaging, motivational and insightful discussion revolved around revamping oneself as an individual such that it readies him or her for taking up future entrepreneurial initiatives.

“There are no fairytales unless you make them yourself. Be the exception, and know that you’re probably not the exception!” said Ms. Braun, encouraging the audience to stand out from the crowd and to follow one’s dreams despite the many hurdles the world might stow in one’s way.

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The next expert talk by Dr. Parag Mankeekar focused on how a certain incident or event changes the course of one’s life. He shared his life experiences at various disaster sites and spoke about the importance of disaster management in a country like India with a huge population.

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The final event of Emerge 2013 was the Investors’ Conclave. The speakers who graced the podium were Mr. Abhijit Ray, CEO – Unitus Capital, Mr. Prajakt Raut, VP – India Angel Network, Mr. Shyam Menon, Investment Director – Infuse Ventures and Mr. Kunal Upadhyay, CEO – CIIE, Ahmedabad.

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Important and crucial decisions relating to fund-raising for setting up an entrepreneurial venture were focused upon. The insightful session concluded on the notes of innovation, commitment, decisiveness, awareness and creativity, the five major facets that can drive any business plan to obtain adequate funding and encouragement from the investors.

EmergE 2013 came a close with a series of entertaining performances by the students, bringing the perfect finish to the action packed weekend. State Bank of India was the Title Sponsor and the summit was co-sponsored by Central Bank of India and The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd. and POLARIS was the Event Sponsor for REVEAL, the case study competition.

*This news article about EmergE 2013 was published in Shillong Times newspaper on 19th September 2013. As an organizer of the event, I am happy that EmergE 2013 went on well and happier that it got over.

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