Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017 held at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017 held at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology
Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017 held at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology

This was the general tone as the Marena auditorium glittered with budding aspirants from all over Sikkim who had gathered to witness the Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017. The three day meet began by lighting of the diya and then a traditional welcome of the guests, Hon’ble MP PD Rai, VC of SMU Brig.(Dr.) SN Mishra, Director of SMIT Col(Dr.) A Garg, Pankaj Thakar, Amol Chaphekar, Krishanu Seal, Manish Rohtagi and Abhijeet Kumar, with a bouquet.
The CEO of Evento Opus- an initiative of student of SMIT, Anirudh Amin spoke about how had it began as a journey with a mere 5000 rupees in hand and how it had led to where he stood today. He concluded by extending his warm welcome to all the esteemed guests, speakers, participants and the audience.With greetings of the auspicious morning, Director of SMIT took over the dais speaking of his pride over his students, many of whom had went into the path of entrepreneurship. He urged the audience to have their own companies in the North East India, this would develop the state.

Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017

Director sir was followed by VC of SMU, (Dr) SN Mishra sir who brought before us the issue of the downfall of the IT Sector. Hon’ble MP, PD Rai sir then introduced the gathering to his world of entrepreneurship which had both political and social aspects with stories from his life. “When going gets tough, the tough gets going,” he quoted and left the dais with a dream of a 1000 start-ups in the following year. The inaugural event was wrapped up by Prof. (Dr.) Tej Chingtham who extended his gratitude to all the guests for being a part of the event and inspired the audience as he stated “Salary is the biggest bribe ever paid to stop dreaming”.
This was followed by a panel discussion on the topic “Is Sikkim ready for start-ups?” The panel consisted of the following members:

  • P.D.Rai, MP Sikkim
  • Anjana Lama, GM,NABARD
  • Gopal Lama, DistrictManager, LeadBank,
  • William Wilson Tigga, AGM, Sikkim
  • Pankaj Thakar, Founder, PadUp Ventures
  • Karma Bhutia, Founder, ISHIPPO
  • Diwakar Basnet,Writer and Entrepreneur

The discussion was aimed at bringing in experts from different areas related to entrepreneurship on a common platform. It was an interactive session where students from SMIT and outside gained the opportunity to learn. The panellists, known for their contributions in their respective domains, talked about how the business scenario in India has evolved in the last decades. The Panel Discussion focused on the recent wave of consolidation among new-age companies in the entrepreneurial ecosystem wherein with the funding drying up has resulted in over a dozen buyouts of young startups.The panel also discussed about how the ideas of start-ups are increasing in India and how the investors should come forward to help them. The panel discussion ended with an enlightening effect on the future of the start-up India initiative and the intricacies involved.
This was followed by the first talk of EM’17 which was delivered by the founder of Padup Ventures, Mr. Pankaj Thakar.

Addressing our inner fears he said that prediction of the future is not our need, instead we should work for the present. To college toddlers like us, he advised to use the might of the pen, suggesting writing, publishing papers and finding real projects to be a proper step in the field. The second panel discussion for Entrepreneurs’ Meet saw the panellists discuss entrepreneurship in context to “The Road Not Taken”.
The featured panellists were:

  • Abhijeet Kumar- Co-Founder of “ah!Ventures”
  • Amol Chaphekar- Investor
  • Manish Rahtogi- VP sales, Hero Cycles
  • Krishanu Seal–VP, Flipkart

The panelists had varied views on the subject and it was a very interesting discussion as they shared their respective philosophies. The crowd definitely had a lot to take away as the speakers talked about having a passion and having the vision to follow the passions. This was a true learning experience for everyone present. The second panel discussion of the event was followed by the pitching competition where a total of six participants participated. They pitched on various ideas that hold immense potential to turn into a successful start-up. Lastly the events for the first day of EM 17 concluded with the B quiz.in which a total of six teams reached the final round and proved that knowledge is power. The results will be declared in the final day.

Day 2 of Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017

Day 2 of Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017 started with a talk by Aman Kumar, the CEO and co-founder of Teeshood. He talked about how he started his entrepreneurial journey in the 6th standard with simple name-printed jerseys for friends. He advised all budding entrepreneurs to never lose hope and to always look for a way to get back up.

Aman Kumar’s talk was followed by Ranodeep Saha’s talk. Also a student, he is the CEO of Rare Planet- a company that deals with the branding of Indian handicrafts. He started his company after breaking up with his then girlfriend. He talked about passion, hardwork and faith being the 3 key components of any successful start-up. His message to the crowd was to look at daily problems from different angles because that is where all good ideas came from.
The third speaker talk was delivered by Vineet singh, the CEO of MobiKwik. His talk was on the topic “Evolving Indian Fintech Landscape- enabling low cost financial inclusion in India”. In his talk, he highlighted how a very low percentage of Indians use cards and other banking services in place of cash. Vineet Singh went on to point out the disadvantages of using cash and talked about making India a digitalized country.
After Vineet singh, Neeraj Gupta took the stage and talked on the topic “Intellectual property rights”. Through his speech, he made the crowd aware of the various rights and trademarks that should be kept in mind before launching a product. He laid special emphasis on applying for patents and inculcating a technological edge. Lastly, he urged the youngsters to break the ceiling and execute their ideas.
His talk was followed by the interactive session. This session between the dignitaries was a treat for the eyes. Moderated by Lalit Masta, few questions like “Where to invest? In marketing or in products?” were put before the panel.
The next event on the days’s agenda was Pitching Competition. The teams participating were:

  1. Krishanu Kashyap and Anupriya (“Instasecure” – An automated home security app using cameras, cloud and analyzing software)
  2. Tilak Raj and team (Logistry – An app based logistics service provider)
  3. Shoten Group- Provider of high quality organic food supplements and beverages.
  4. Vishal Kumar and team- Startup about revolutionizing farming with the help of movable plants and farms- Pilot plants)
  5. Net-Spec Solutions – A cloud based real estate maintenance and management solution.
  6. AL-VIS – A cross-platform super app for a person’s everyday needs.
  7. Afterglow- Technology for energy saving and maintenance regarding street lamps.

This was followed by the 3rd panel discussion of the meet. The panelists were Vibhore Sharma (CTO, Naukri.com), Abhijeet Kumar (Co-founder, Ah! Ventures), Dr. Kumar Padmanabh (Lead Scientist, Robert Bosch) and Amol Chaphekar (Director, Technology and Innovation). Discussing on the topic, “Which start-up is better- online or offline”, they put forth some points to keep in mind for any up and coming start-up. The main message was to balance the expenditure of time and other resources between marketing and product development. They said that a half-done product or a weak marketing scheme could both kill a company.
The fifth talk saw Mr Vibhore Sharma, (CTO, Naukri.com) tell us the story of how Naukri.com, one of the biggest job portals, came into being. He talked about how Nukri.com went from 40,000 CVs in 2001 to 49 million CVs today. He concluded his story by urging the audience to learn from his experiences and to aspire towards being consistent.
Next to take the stage was Dr. Kumar Padmanabh, the Lead Scientist at Robert Bosch. His talk was on Iot (Internet of Things) and about the different components and the power that IoT held. He split his talk into 3 parts in which he explained what IoT actually means and its applications in big companies and start-ups. His final message was- “Find solutions to your own problems”. After his talk, the Impromptu competition took place in the Seminar hall. Topics got to choose the topics through a lottery based system.

They were given 2 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to state their points. They were judged on several criteria like creativity, confidence, knowledge on the topic and clarity. The day 2 of Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017 concluded with an interesting competition called Logomania. A total of 4 teams participated in this competition. All the teams were given a logo of a famous brand and they had to redesign it within 24 hours. The results of the competition will be declared on the final day.

The final day of Entrepreneur’ meet 2017

The final day of Entrepreneur’ meet 2017 – first and the largest start-up of north-east India started with talks from two of Sikkim’s homebred female Entrepreneurs namely Dekyi Yangchen and Reena Rai. They talked about how women can go on to achieve great things once they are empowered. Their talk inspired the students on how these eminent women personalities have come a long way to gain equal rights to their male counterparts. This was followed by a deliberation session with the local entrepreneurs of Sikkim which was moderated by Mr. Nirmal Mangar. Mr. Sonam Wangchuk who undoubtedly was the highlight of the deliberation specified the importance of a stronger political and financial ecosystem and breaking out from the colonial hangover.

Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017
Entrepreneurs’ Meet 2017

This session gave us an insight on the ventures of the talented local entrepreneurs of Sikkim. This was followed by the talk of Manish Maheshwari, CEO, NETWORK 18. Beginning with the local language of Nepali, he stated “Education is the life-long process of learning”. Lalit Masta, Business head, ABP Group, was next to take the dais and he enlightened us with the vast amount of knowledge that he shared on Intrapreneurship.

The keynote speaker Mr. Sonam Wangchuk delivered his much anticipated talk. The talk lasted about two hours in which he highlighted the various projects undertaken by him. He also spoke about the urgent need to reform Indian education system and how the responsibility fell not only on the teachers but also the students. Telling the attendees that problems and their solutions make like interesting, Mr. Wangchuk ended his speech. His talk was followed by an interactive session between the audience and Mr. Wangchuk himself.

Finally the events of day 3 were concluded with the valedictory ceremony. The chief guest for this ceremony was Hon’ble additional chief secretary and principal secretary, HRDD department, G.P. Upadhyay. Other guests of honour were Dean SMIMS, Air Marshall, G.S. Juneja and Director, SMIT, Col.(Dr.)A.Garg. The prize distribution took place during this ceremony in which all the winners of the several events organized during the 3 day meet were felicitated. The winner of Logomania was Satyam Kr. Nepal from ATTC.

The winner of B-quiz was Tenzing from TNA. The winner of Impromptu was Arnab Ray from SIEM and finally the winner of the most anticipated pitching competition was AMTRAC by Alzamam and group. Finally the day 3 of entrepreneurs’ meet 2017 was concluded with the cultural event in which students of SMIT enthralled one and all with their performances ranging from the Gurung dance to the melodious Nepali songs.