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A three-day Entrepreneurship Awareness Camp (EAC) was conducted at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore campus, from September 28-30, 2018. About eighty budding entrepreneurs at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, were delighted to be part of the highly-motivating camp. The EAC was organised by Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Corporate and Industry Relations (CIR), with support from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad, and sponsored by National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.
The camp began with a welcome by Mr. R. Krishnan, Head – Entrepreneurship Development, ACE. He spoke about the vision of Prof. C. Parameswaran, Director, Corporate & Industry Relations, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, that led to the establishment of ACE in June 2011, the ACE charter and the objectives of the seventh camp.
N. R. Mohanan, Advisor – Career Planning & Competency Development, CIR, spoke about innovation as a culture, decoding the mystery of vanishing companies, the shifting trend from mass production to mass customization and the need for all students to utilize every opportunity.
Rotarian A. Somasundaram, Chairman, Essilor Sankar & Co., and Secretary, TiE Coimbatore, was the chief guest for the inaugural session. Speaking on basic concepts of entrepreneurship, Somasundaram highlighted some success factors of Indians, his own journey as an entrepreneur, about giving back to society, and the keys to becoming an attractive, successful and trustworthy entrepreneur. He also spoke about his fruitful association with organisations such as the Rotary, TiE and Essilor Vision Foundation.
Wg. Cdr. Dr. A. Balachandran, Dy. Director – CIR, spoke on the identification of opportunities for entrepreneurs and mechanisms of product selection.
This was followed by a talk on historical background – Indian values vis-a-vis entrepreneurship and the present scenario. The speaker for this session was serial entrepreneur Mr. Pradeep Menon, Chief Officer, Lakshya Labs. The last session for the first day focused on schemes of assistance and support available from government agencies, banks, financial institutions, SFCs, etc., along with securities required by them. These points were explained by Mr. V. Saravana Krishnan, Business Development Officer, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC).
The second day began with a talk by Mr. R. Kannan, GM – DIC, Coimbatore. He told the future CEOs about how to start an SSI unit – government formalities, rules & regulations, location and different aspects of an industrial venture. The session that followed was on technology assistance from Research & Development (R&D) labs, choice of technology, etc. The speaker, G. T. Bharath, CEO, Casting India, who has traveled to over 20 countries, addressed the salient points of the topic.
The group then proceeded for a factory visit to Idikarai, a guided industry tour, followed by experience sharing by the entrepreneur known for his ‘SuperFan’ brand, Mr. Sundar Muruganandhan, Managing Director, Versa Drives. The industry tour was truly an icing on the cake for the participants. After the guided walk-through of the manufacturing assembly line unit, the students experienced a highly motivating interaction with Mr. Sundar. Impressive highlights were his passion for saving energy, the mission statement, the peaceful ambiance, the serene setting, the naturally-growing lawn, the wonderful framed pictures of birds photographed in the premises, the beautiful non-plastered walls, the rainwater harvesting facility, the organic cultivation and the alignment of all deeds with the goals. And finally, the riveting story of the transformation of a young rustic kid from Udumalaipettai who was inspired by his grandma to start a ‘workshop to give employment’ and who went to America for his higher studies, inspired by his aunt from the US, who gifted him a Texas Instruments’ calculator.
The final day began with a session on technical and commercial aspects of an SSI unit– a start-up experience, by Mr. Abhishek Dubey, Director and Mr. Abhinav Dixit, Director, Abhi Repair Pvt. Ltd., Coimbatore. This was followed by a session titled ‘Creativity and Business – the Person Behind the Venture’ by soft skills faculty member and business mentor, Ms. R. Sunitha Kumari, Dy. Manager, L&D, CIR. A session on communication skills for better results in business, by Mr. V. Srinivasan, Toastmaster and Founder, VS SME & Corporate Advisors, followed. The last topic, ‘Financial Aspects of an SSI Unit including Salient Features of a Project Report’ was handled by Mr. Sankaran Iyer, Toastmaster and Executive Coach & CEO, Strategeez Business Consultants.
Upon successful completion of the concluding session of the three-day entrepreneurship awareness camp, the students shared their feedback and received their certificates in the valedictory session from Mr. Sankaran Iyer. The vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. R. Krishnan. This was followed by a group photograph. A good number of the eighty participants who attended the EAC were now fired up to look at entrepreneurship as a career option.