Entrepreneurship Is The Future

DQC News Bureau
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TiE has been facilitating the growth of entrepreneur skills amongst its

members. Its recent awards ceremony at Kolkata saw the participation of over 200

delegates, including entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs, organizations,

students, angel investors, academic thought leaders, senior government

representatives, etc


The Kolkata chapter of The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), a global not-for-profit

organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship, recently organized its

annual entrepreneurial summit in Kolkata, followed by an awards ceremony

focusing on enterprising growth in the region.

Nearly 200 delegates and speakers from across the country, including

entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs, organizations, students, angel investors,

academic thought leaders and senior government representatives converged to

promote and celebrate entrepreneurship during TieGer 2009, the annual

entrepreneur summit with its theme tagged as 'Entrepreneurship Is The Future'.

"We are facilitating the growth of entrepreneur skills and fostering its

development through TiE. Primarily for the Kolkata chapter, we are strongly

focusing on areas across West Bengal and Sikkim. Also, we are looking forward to

have more solidarity across the eastern region," said Vasant Subramanyan,

President, TiE, Kolkata chapter.

(L-R) Hemir Doshi, VP, IDG Ventures; Pradeep Gupta,

Chairman, CyberMedia India; R Ramraj, Sr Advisor, Sequoia Capital and Sam

Chapin, Ex Director, Airawat during the event

Seeding the Seeders

The organization has facilitated Seeders, a newly formed seed fund, set-up

by some of the members to provide seed capital to promising young entrepreneurs

in the information and communication technology domain. "We have a pressing need

to provide seed funding for entrepreneurs in the region and we are supporting

initiatives which would facilitate start ups to get seed and angel funding,"

Subramanyan added.

The Seeders is the latest development in TiE. The division, headed by

Abhishek Rungta, founder of Indus Net Technologies is keen in his efforts in

organizing fund provision for the new entrants in the industry.


"We provide the initial funding for new entrepreneurs and for the time being,

we are limiting ourselves in the IT and technology domain only. We provide

incubation facility of Rs 2 crore at the maximum. But mostly, it is in the range

of Rs 2 lakh," Rungta said.

While arranging for the Seed fund, the organization facilitates with other

established capitalists and investors to pick up stakes in the new firm and

foster the development of the same.

Getting government and student buy-in

This time, at the TieGer event, the Sikkim state government also

participated with its plans for developing the region. Speaking on the sidelines

of the event, PD Rai, MP (Sikkim) said, "Developing entrepreneurship is not only

crucial for the development of business, but also essential for social

development. As unemployment continues to deter the economic progress of the

nation, self-employment provides a good answer to address the issue."


Besides the annual conference, TiE Kolkata also initiated a B-Plan

Competition through its knowledge partners National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN)

and E-cell of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta. It received 90

B-Plans from students, MBAs and early stage entrepreneurs for 2009. From this,

20 B-plans were short-listed and through an elaborate vetting process the list

was further shortened to four.

"TiE's Business Plan Competition is one of the biggest initiatives in the

state to scout for winning ideas and entrepreneurial talent. TiE Kolkata has

set-up an independent jury with members from education, social sector, policy

makers, industry and TiE Charter Members to evaluate the B-Plans," said Deepak

Daftari, Chairman-Business Plan Initiative, TiE Kolkata.

Nurturing Gen Next

This year, the business plans or concepts submitted by young students and

entrepreneurs included a wide range of business ventures starting from B-Plans

to provide services like bonsai and medicinal plants to high-end commercial

mobile telephone-based solutions B-Plans for rural health, alternative energy

and collaborative purchasing power B-Plans for wellness and healthcare services

B-Plans to offer web-based applications business plans to provide fish sausages,

herbal lipstick, lifestyle refreshment et al.


TiE has a 7-point criterion on the basis of which business plans are

evaluated and vetted for awards. TiEger 2009 B-Plan winners would get mentoring

and networking support to launch their business.

"We are extremely pleased with the support that we have received from

entrepreneurs and the Government of West Bengal and a program of this magnitude

can be organized only with the support of such sponsors," said B Hari,

Chairman-Major Events, TiE Kolkata.

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is focused on promoting entrepreneurship based

on 3As-awareness, advocacy and assistance. The objective is to help budding

entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking and education and create an

atmosphere for fostering the spirit of enterprise, especially among the young.


The strength of TiE's global network can be gauged from the fact that it

currently has a network spread across 53 chapters in 12 countries, with over

11,000 members and 2,500 charter members who are top entrepreneurs, venture

capitalists, lawyers and management professionals in their chosen field. The

parent organization, TiE Global, was founded in Silicon Valley (USA) in 1992.

Channel makes its presence felt

The IT channel industry is one teeming with ingenious entrepreneurs. So it

is not a surprise that they were equally present and participant in his event.

Speaking about developing entrepreneurial skills, PK Sinha, President-Patna
chapter, TiE said, "One has to remember that entrepreneurship is not a 9 to 5

job, and neither is it everybody's cup of tea. An entrepreneur needs to keep

scanning for opportunities and seizes it when the time is ripe and exploits it

thereby building up his business."

Besides a panel of eminent personalities, gracing the occasion was also

Pradeep Gupta, President, TiE, Delhi chapter and publisher of CyberMedia India's

various publications in the ICT space.


In his address to buzzing entrepreneurs looking for venture capitalists for

funds, he said, "Resorting to a VC is not always commendable. Since there are no

laid rules for entrepreneurship and no guide book is present to address the

queries, one has to decide on his own sources and funds. There are variations to

do things and keeping options open is always recommended."

This message hit home amongst the budding entrepreneurs at the event, several

of who were seen then discussing about their individual plans and how they would

like to amongst the most successful entrepreneurs of the future.

Avishek Rakshit