My Experience of TEC (The Entrepreneurs Circle) meetup:
I came to know about NextIdeas and TEC while browsing the facebook. I explored more about this event by calling NextIdeas and the support guy connected me with the founder, Mr Kappil Jaswani. After talking with Kappil Sir and exploring this event further I was convinced that this event is for me.
I was excited about it, as I had never been to an event like this before. The session was free of cost on first come first served basis. As I desperately wanted to attend this event I came about an hour earlier than the scheduled time.
My decision to come early paid off and not only did I get a front seat but also, half an hour chat with some of the special guests like Dr Sanjay Jindal, a respected surgeon of the city, founder of Vardaan Hospital and Mr Jayesh Surisetti, an IIM Raipur alumnus along with Kappil Sir himself.
The event started around the scheduled time as soon as Rajeev Sir arrived. He looked very energetic and young. I had never seen him before. In fact, I had even mistaken him as one of the participants.
Rajeev Sir started by telling his journey as an entrepreneur. He first told about his mother who learnt swimming at the age of 65 and that she is his great inspiration and has encouraged him all along his career. He also talked about his 20 years of marriage and how Mrs Roy has always supported him no matter what difficulties came his way.
He narrated the story of his Seafood Export Business. He said that the adventure was very profitable and he had built it to a point where his profit margin was highest among all his competitors. But unfortunately, he had to let go of that business because he was not happy with the practices in the aquaculture industry.
He then went on to share what struggles he had to face as an entrepreneur. He told us that there was a time when he was in Orrisa where a storm had ruined his entire house and he had lost everything.
He also agrees on the fact that being an entrepreneur has become a sort of fad these days. Everyone wants to be one, but very few people know what it takes to be one. One reason given by budding entrepreneurs is that they want to be their own boss, about which he amusingly says “As an entrepreneur, you realize that sometimes even the “chaprasi” (peon) is your boss”.
He says that there is no balance in business life. An entrepreneur or businessman has to work really hard to bring together all the people, to bring together all the systems and make them work. He says the two qualities that differentiate a successful entrepreneur and unsuccessful entrepreneur are GRIT, the ability to go on despite difficulties and PATIENCE.
One interesting thing that he said in the conference was “This is not the time and age where MBA makes sense”. He believes that we are living in a very different age. This is an age of technological disruption.
Most of the stuff that schools and colleges teach these days isn’t of much use in the real life. You will gain more experience in building and running a business by selling eggs than by going to an MBA college or by working 5 years at Infosys.
He says that most of the startups these days are not looking for degrees. They look for skills of the candidate. He gave an example of ZOHO, an IT company which hires 12th pass candidates. He is not a very big fan of the present education system.
After sharing his journey, in short, he began answering questions of the participant. Some of which are below:
Q. What according to you is the most important thing in life?
~ Health. You should never compromise on it. It is the Temple given to you by GOD in which you live and above everything else, you should take care of it.
Q. How did you recover when you lost everything?
~ I had some stocks worth a few million rupees. But they were stock, I had lost all the cash. I had to sell a part of those stocks in order to get back on my feet.
Q. Do you think that entrepreneurs should operate with partners or alone?
~ I prefer to work alone. I find that I get more work done when I am alone than when I am working or discussing with others.
Q. Do you think that there is a bubble in education industry?
~ Absolutely! The quality of education these days is deteriorating by the day. There are lots of institutions out there who are just doing business in the name of education. Also, the supply of engineers has increased to dizzying levels. The quantity has increased but quality has suffered a lot.
After the Q&A session, we celebrated the birthday of Rajeev Sir, followed by Networking Tea and the program concluded.
This is only a brief summary of the whole event. There were lots of other things that Dr Roy shared but for the sake of the length of this post, I’ve kept it short.
In the end, it was a very positive experience for me. I didn’t know that such intelligent and innovative people live just a few kilometers away from me. I also met some very talented students from IIM Raipur in the networking session. We talked about each other’s current & past adventures and exchanged contacts.
I am looking forward to attending more events like this. This event “The Entrepreneurs circle” happens once every month. I have purchased the annual subscription and planning to attend it regularly. If you are also interested you can go to NextIdeas website and contact them. You can also go to TEC page to see who is the upcoming guest.
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