Highlights from NIT Trichy’s Youth Business Summit

Highlights from NIT Trichy’s Youth Business Summit

Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India and Chairperson, NIT Trichy, delivered the opening keynote at the conference, which aimed to give its students a first-hand perspective of business and entrepreneurship.

Rising Startup Opportunities

Kumud Srinivasan, President – Intel India, and Chairperson, NIT Trichy, set the tone for Pragyan, The Youth Business Summit, conducted by the students of NIT Trichy with her keynote address on ‘Leading India to its Tomorrow’. International Monetary Fund reports and GDP growth suggest that India is one of the fastest growing economies. With high computing penetration, population size and therefore the user base, India has all the makings of an IT revolution. Be it low literacy levels, malnutrition, congestion, poor yielding crops or pollution, there are several areas that will benefit from IT intervention. With government adopting IT and initiating Make in India, Digital India campaigns, the demand for computing technology is expected to increase. “In the last three years, there has been an increase in the number of startups,” she said.

By 2020, of the 50 billion devices that are expected to be available globally, India is expected to consume only 5.4 per cent of it. Srinivasan believes that the challenge is to understand how to accelerate technology adoption and, for this, the Government, industry and academia need to work together.

“Bridging the industry-academia gap is crucial to help our educational institutions stay close to the latest opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship.”

She also believes that the youth is emerging as the unifying force and the Government is also focusing on equipping them with the right skills to become entrepreneurs. Intel has also introduced programs to mentor and support budding entrepreneurs to provide industry support as well as benefit from fresh ideas coming from students.

Qualities of an Entrepreneur

Rajesh Srinivas, Group Executive Vice President, YES Bank, listed the qualities needed to improve productivity: Vision, Strategy, Communication, Leading by Example, Setting Goals, Giving Incentives, Talent Building, Creating Positivity, Avoiding Excuses, Courage to Take Off and Networking.

He also opined that one needed to work hard and work smart to be able to succeed. “When you work hard, learning rate is higher and therefore, the chances of rewards are also correspondingly higher,” he said.

Optimizing resource usage was another critical criterion stated for improved productivity.

IT in Auto

Amit Jain, Country Head of Electronics Group, India, Visteon Corporation, pointed out the need to be aware of trends, and the megatrends – trends that take time to fructify and stay for long – for businesses to be able to plan their product lines and make them future ready. Highlighting the society and technology trends, he also expressed the view that the future looks bright for the youth as India has the unique advantage of being a young population. Technological innovations have revolutionized the automobile business so much that most brands come with similar fundamental units such as the engine and the car parts. This standardization is beneficial to the customers, assuring them of quality. The differentiation can be felt more in the application-readiness of the cars but needs infrastructure readiness of the roads to be able to provide continuous connectivity.

But the greatest area of opportunity is the data that gets generated by the use of software in cars. This is currently black data and no one knows what to do with it. “Right from security solutions to customer relationship management and customized solutions, the arena is open for the entrepreneur to come up with solutions,” he said.

He also believed that currently car penetration in India was only seven out of 1,000 as against 800/1,000 in the developed world. Understanding what the customer is willing to pay for, to push more auto sales, is another area that entrepreneurs can work on.

Ready to Make?

A panel discussion in the afternoon had participants keenly follow the topic “Make in India, but can India make it?” Anand Subramanian, Senior Director of Marketing Communications and Spokesperson, OLA Cabs, Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategic Officer of Grey (a  WPP Group Company ) and the author of Consumer India – Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet, and India Reloaded – Inside the Resurgent Indian Consumer Market, Zubin Sharma, founder and CEO, Project Potential and Ms. Savitha, representing Teach for India formed the panel, which was moderated by Govindraj Ethiraj, founder of Ping Digital Broadcast.  The discussion touched upon many topics including what innovation meant to the members and what Make in India should focus on.

Sudhakar Ram, CEO and MD of Mastek, listed the five important steps to build a successful start-up. He opened with how irrelevant current systems and structures, like schooling, were becoming and spoke about the importance of the start-up culture and explained them in detail.

The Indian mindset is opening up and the large youth population has to learn to think out of the box to be able to address the problems faced by the country. That in itself is a great area of opportunity. Currently, though the startup numbers are on the rise, copy paste seems to be the modus operandi, where successful business models are being replicated. The future can be promising only if innovative solutions are found for the unique problems India faces – the market is waiting and ready. For this, while the government needs to ease up regulations to encourage innovation and create awareness about its initiatives, the industry too needs to be proactive in supporting promising ideas with fund and mentorship.

Key Takeaways

  • Government-industry-academy synergy important for Make in India to be successful
  • Vision, strategy, communication, optimizing resource utilization some of the important qualities of an entrepreneurs
  • Information security and customization two critical areas of opportunity, especially in the auto-IT convergence field

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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