Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) conducted a month-long Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP), from June 12- July 8, 2017, at Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore. The free certificate course, which was supported by National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, was a success, with twenty-five budding entrepreneurs from science and technology backgrounds attended a host of business talks.

The EDP commenced with an inaugural talk by the Vice President of TiE Coimbatore, Ms. J. Mohanasundari, Managing Director, Sharp Electrodes & KayJay Sharp Trendys. In the first module, basics of entrepreneurship were covered by Amrita’s alumni entrepreneurs, Mr. Pradeep Menon and Mr. Vasudevan Uppili, while the schemes of assistance were covered by executives from DIC, NSIC and MSME.The second module covered project selection and pre-feasibility, which was handled by Dr. G. Sivaramakrishnan of BKM Solutions, Mr. C.P. Saravana Kumar of LogBase & CakeBee, Mr. K. Mahesh of Green Black Enterprises, Mr. N. Sridhar of Innovatus Systems, Mr. Prashant Goel of Hulikkal Electro India, Mr. Albert Jermi of SIDBI and consultant, Mr. S. Gunasekar, and Ms. R. Sunitha Kumari, Corporate& Industry Relations (CIR), Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore. The team also went on to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Agri Business with a visit to TNAU-TBI, as well as had interactions with experts from the Entrepreneur Counselling & Guidance Team at CODISSIA.

The third module comprised consolidation of business idea and market survey. In this phase, apart from three days of field work that included survey and data collection for the identified business opportunities, the group visited the following factories: Amar Metering Pumps, Sharp Electrodes and KayJay Sharp Trendys. They also received technical inputs from Mr. A.R. Muralidharan of Warrior Management Services, Mr. Senthilkumar Murugesan of Unilogic Technologies, Mr. Dileep Abraham of Interglobal Logisolutions, Mr. V.T. Amarnath of Martram Foods, Mr. Ramesh Srinivasan of LessBurn, Mr. Surya Narayanan of Sportico and Mr. R. Krishnan of ACE, CIR, Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, among others. The fourth module featured developing entrepreneurial competencies and achievement motivation training by Mr. V. S. Sukumaran, Sr. Visiting Faculty, EDI, India.

The fifth module involved finalising projects and report preparation, which dealt with detailed aspects of preparing a project report from understanding working capital, costing and other financial concepts, to production planning, product-mix, purchase techniques, etc. Resource persons for this module included Mr. V. Srinivasan of Ideamart, Mr. S.Santhospillai of Nvron LifeScience, Mr. Udhay Gopal of Perfura Technologies, Mr. G.T. Bharath of Casting India, Mr. Arumugham Sankaran of Unitus Seed Fund, Mr. V. Devaraj of VL Management Services, CA Parvathi Srinivasan of PSG & Co Chartered Accountants, Mr. Ram Anand of SBI, Mr. V. Raman of IOB (Retd.), Mr. Sushil Sivanesh of Impresso 3D, Mr. K.R. Sreeni of Amrita Serve and consultant, Mr. Bhaskar Reddy. All the participants got an opportunity to attend a BNI networking meeting over breakfast after equipping themselves with business cards and availed of real-time networking opportunity with other entrepreneurs face-to-face.

The sixth and final module enveloped management inputs and touched upon various aspects like Marketing, Finance, HR, Leadership, IPR, Legal and Ethics in business. This commenced with an industry visit, where the management inputs were provided on the spot by entrepreneurs Mr. S. Ravi Chandran of Suchel Enterprises and Mr. S. Senthil Kumar of Simta Machinery, while the other resource persons were Mr. R.P. Ramanathan of Meta Yage IP Strategy Consulting, Mr. Vijay Raj of Foodly Nutrilive India, Mr. Krishna of SKATE Inspired Learning, consultant Mr. Sankaran Iyer and Wg. Cdr. A. Balachandran, Sr. GM, Corporate Relations, CIR, Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Prof. C. Parameswaran, Director, CIR, Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, presided over the valedictory function and presented the course completion certificates to the budding entrepreneurs. Mr. D. Jayagopal, Chairperson, EDP Cell, CODISSIA, was present during the function. The participants were mostly from Coimbatore. In addition to people who had left their jobs to start their entrepreneurial journey and some who had just started their venture, there were also a couple of postgraduate students pursuing their M.Tech from the Amrita and five MBA students from Hallmark Business School, Trichy.Coordinated with inputs from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad, this was the third EDP hosted by Amrita Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. “Previous EDPs have resulted in 30% of the candidates successfully commencing their ventures within six months of programme completion, and we hope this one too would yield a similar percentage of conversion,” said Prof. C. Parameswaran.

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