IdeaFest kicks off and inspires Students at IIMA

by IIM Ahmedabad on Monday 16 January 2012, 3:50 PM | Category: Press Releases| View: 1671 views

IdeaFest kicks off and inspires Students at IIMA

IdeaFest kicked off this Saturday at IIM-Ahmedabad in exciting fashion. The two day event organized by the students of the Public Policy group and the Entrepreneurship Club is a platform for interaction between students and experts from various fields who have made unconventional career choices.The two day event brought to campus highly illustrious people from different fields such as venture capital, policy research, image management, education and the non-profit sector. The inaugural session initiated a lively discussion between Dilip Cherian of Perfect Relations, widely regarded as India's foremost “image guru”, and the students on the topic of image management. Mr. Cherian spoke about the need for companies to manage their image through a good communications strategy and shared several anecdotes from his career.Vineet Rai of Aavishkaar spoke during the second session. He tried to debunk the myth of social entrepreneurship and gave a good picture of what Aavishkaar does to fund, support and nurture rural enterprises all over the country.

Participants at one of the talks, IDEAfest

Anshu Gupta spoke next. He is the founder director of Goonj, a non-profit organization that has created a mechanism for second-hand clothes to pass from the wealthy to the poor. He impressed upon the students the dire need for making clothing a basic human right since it is just as critical a need for people as food and shelter.“Having two excellent speakers, Vineet Rai and Anshu Gupta, speak on the common issue of development but from very different perspectives was a very enlightening experience for me, personally,” said Pranay Prateek, a first year PGP student.The last speaker session on the first day was given by M. R. Madhavan, the head of PRS Legislative Research. His research initiative works to strengthen the legislative process by making it better informed through research and data collection. Mr. Madhavan spoke about the lack of awareness on important issues among our legislators at both national and state levels, and how PRS provides research on public issues free of charge.The second day turned out to be as intellectually stimulating as the first. Again, we saw people of very high caliber come and speak about their work and experiences, and to urge the students to also step out of their sheltered roles and take something that excites them.Anil Joshi of Mumbai Angels defined the role of angel investing in the business landscape today. He answered questions on how Mumbai Angels decides which startups to fund, the pitfalls today's startups face and how they may be avoided.

Jagdeep Chhokar during a talk on Governance and Policy

Jagdeep Chhokar spoke about democracy and governance in India. On the question of what can be done to improve governance, he urged the audience to act on whatever they are able to do in their individual capacity and not wait for big ideas. The big ideas will come once you get your hands dirty.On the topic of venture capital, Anand Lunia spoke about the kind of entrepreneurs venture capital funds are looking for. He explained how it is important to show your commitment before you seek funding. Mr. Lunia gave the example of Redbus to explain the kind of tenacity that is required to make startups successful.

Addressing a very different topic, Ms. Kiran Sethi spoke with passion about the Riverside school, which she founded in Ahmedabad. She stressed the importance of new models of school education (hers being just one of them) that are coming up all over the country. What is important, according to her, is to create curious and competent future citizens, rather than information hoarders. She shared the learnings from her design background at NID and how she has applied them in designing a new curriculum for school education at Riverside school.

Kiran Sethi during the talk

On the need for such events, Prashast Srivastava, a second year student and the coordinator of the Public Policy group said, “I think what we learn in class is limited in many ways, and there is a need to broaden our horizons by interacting with people who have made unconventional choices. These people are highly successful in their fields and can give us keen insights into the socio-political environment of the country. We hope at least some students have been inspired enough by these speakers to take their own ideas and convert their dreams into reality as well.”

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