The concluding day of Horizons 2012 at IIM Kozhikode saw speakers from various walks of life coming up and sharing their experiences. The day started with a session by Mr. Akash Gautam, one of the most proficient and effective motivators that the Indian youth has witnessed over the past decade. He talked about the importance of an idea in an entrepreneurial venture and explained how getting a “backdoor entry” becomes vital for a venture to succeed. According to him, the primary target for any new venture should be to reach the No.1 spot in its micro-market. There is no place for mediocrity and people would always approach the best player in the market, however niche that market may be.The next speaker for the day was Mr. Mahesh Murthy, founding partner at Seedfund, India’s leading early-stage venture capital fund which has helped establish the likes of CarWale, EduSports , RedBus, RupeeTalk and Sportskeeda. He has over 26 years of marketing and communications experience, of which 15 years are in online marketing. He talked about the new-age developments in the field of marketing. With social media gaining popularity and other factors contributing to the ever-changing atmosphere, the old conventions for successful marketing has now changed. He remarked that an entrepreneur should be able to spot fast changing trends even before they are out open in the world through any form of media. He concluded by saying that in his journey of life he has realized that there may be no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but walking on the rainbow itself is an enriching experience.It was followed by a session from Deepu Chandran- Director and co-founder at Innomantra. He brings with him extensive experience in innovation, new product management, strategy and marketing. In the past, he has worked on strategic consulting assignments alongside leading consulting firms like PRTM and Arthur D. Little. He began his career at Larsen & Toubro, where he worked in the areas of strategic planning and new product management. Deepu has been a speaker at several conferences including the CII India Innovation Summit, 2011. In 2008, he was awarded the India Innovation Prize by the Government of Karnataka and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He spoke about the importance of developing empathy and connecting with the target group while embarking on a business venture. According to him, spreadsheets and business models on papers are not implementable however good and viable they may look on paper, unless the prior field work has been done.
The evening session started with a very interesting talk delivered by Sidharth Agarwal, Director, Teach for India. He joined Teach For India as a Fellow in its first cohort in 2009 and decided to join the Teach For India staff after graduating from the 2 year Fellowship. Before that he has worked as a senior consultant at Genpact (strategy and operations). He received an MBA from S.P.Jain, Mumbai in 2006 and Bachelors in Economics and Maths from Fergusson College in 2002. He talked about his journey in Teach For India and said by taking the ‘road less traveled’ he has actually been able to experience an internal satisfaction which might not have come had he gone the conventional way.Next in line was a session by Ankit Doshi. Ankit Doshi is the creator of KiRa Education which runs the management education portal insideiim.com Ankit conceptualized InsideIIM.com in the final term of his MBA at IIM Indore inspired by the positive feedback on his writing on ankit9doshi.com. Over the last 12 months, InsideIIM has emerged as a must-visit portal with regards to recruitment and career related information for management education aspirants and students. Ankit worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for 14 months before plunging full time into his own venture. He has also worked for start-ups like WhatsonIndia.com (no longer a start-up!) and CPLC (acquired by MT Educare) prior to his MBA. He talked about his journey of InsideIIM.com from the inception to the execution stage stating various challenges he had to face in the journey.The day ended with a thank you note from Industry Interaction Cell, IIMK expressing gratitude to all the speakers who graced the occasion during the 3 day conclave.