Thursday, August 6, 2009

my dream, finally!

i haven't blogged on these pages for over six months. Besides laziness, the reason also was that i wanted to start a school for entrepreneurship. a few of us got together and spent a number of beery evenings poring over how to go about it, but unfortunately nothing came of it. It would be easy to say not having enough money to do it on our own was the show-stopper, but that would only be an excuse. as a friend of mine is fond of describing anything that has lost fizz, this too became "khuda fizz"!!

i wasn't ready to give up even though i did not have a definite plan in mind as to how i would do it. One day i was invited to run an entrepreneurship awareness workshop at New Horizon College of engineering, Bangalore. Post the workshop, they took me around the campus and i was stunned at the infrastructure that had been created. So I asked for a meeting with the Chairman.

I was ushered into Mr Mohan Manghnani's office in the next five minutes and even before i sat down i said," you have a very impressive facility, but tell me something, why haven't you set up a centre for entrepreneurship".

Mr Manghnani looked at me and said "will you do it?". So i said, 'sure i'll set it up for you'. He said "no, can you set it up and run it for us?". I said "sure" .

it was as simple as that. I was amazed at the way decisions were taken, my white paper on the centre was reviewed by the team he put together, consisting of HOD's and principals of the various streams, and in less than a week, we had signed on the dotted line.

this was in April and we decided to start the centre post vacation. I came on board on 20th july and here i am, sitting atop captive 5000+ young, vibrant minds and the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development is in biz!

they says it pours. a month after we signed up here, PES school of engineering, Bangalore invited me for a discussion to set up the Centre for Entrepreneurship. Dr Sridhar Mitta who is on their Board introduced me to Ajoy Kumar, the COO, a week later I met Jawahar, who's the Founder Chairman Mr Doreiswamy's son and within hours we had signed the deal.

so on 15th July, the Centre for Entrepreneurship was born at PESSE !!!

both are new age colleges, running professional, corporatized organizations, having created best in class facility and intellectual capital.

both see entrepreneurship as a very positive and viable career option to their students.

what we are offering in both the places is a full credit course in entrepreneurship for 36 hours, four hours a week, for nine weeks. The content is real time, pedagogy is experience- sharing by entrepreneurs, both successful and failed.

at the end of the course, the class has to do the biz plan in groups of four, and the best biz plans will be incubated in college, the entrepreneurs will be given seed capital, they will be mentored and hand-held to get their companies off the ground for the next two years.


the response from students is amazing, i addressed a class of 110 students at PES (its open only for final year students) and 81 registered for the course!! and in New Horizon, so far I have met 84 students, out of whom 71 have registered!!

in both the places, we are offering it as a value-added course for a small fee of Rs 1000.

for this year, we are concentrating only on our students. Next year, we will open it up to all interested entrepreneurs!!!

if my life get's any more exciting, i'll develop and burst an aneurysm!!!