Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE), conducted the 6th Entrepreneurship Awareness Camp (EAC) from 15th to 17th September, 2017, at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore. The free-certificate course which had eighty participants was sponsored by National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), under Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, organized with support from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad. 

The first day of the camp began with an inaugural address by Prof. C. Parameswaran, Director, Corporate & Industry Relations (CIR), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. He highlighted how Amrita students get to choose between the three options – Placements, Higher studies and Entrepreneurship. Prof. Parameswaran spoke on the opportunities available to students in the realm of entrepreneurship.
The first session, 'General Concepts of Entrepreneurship', was by the Chief Guest, Mr. K. Muthukumar, Hon. Asst. Jt. Secretary, Entrepreneurship Development, CODISSIA. The second session by Wg. Cdr. A. Balachandran, Senior General Manager, Corporate Relations, CIR, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, was on the topic, 'Identification of Opportunities for Entrepreneurs and Mechanism of Product Selection'. 

The third session was by Mr. Prashant Goel, CEO & MD, Hulikkal Electro India. A mechanical engineering student of Amrita 2007-2011 batch, Mr. Prashant spoke about 'Technical and Commercial Aspects of SSI units'.The fourth session on 'Communication Skills for Better Results in Business', was presented by Ms. Sindhu Kalyanasundaram, Founder, Ignite Akademi. Drawing upon her rich international corporate exposure, she highlighted the importance of communication for entrepreneurial ventures and explained the nuances of communication skills related to integrated marketing communication and advertising. 

The second day began with an exposition on 'Schemes of Assistance and Govt. Formalities, Rules & Regulations while Starting an SSI Unit' by Mr. S. Sathesh Kumar, Deputy Director, Branch MSME Development Institute. Mr. Sathesh who worked as a scientist in Naval Science & Technological Lab, DRDO, Vizag, before joining MSME in 2002, has received the Young Scientist award twice, and trained more than 800 entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, 50 cluster groups, and more than 300 entrepreneurs in the field of Electrical, Electronics & Instrumentation and related areas. 

The second session of the day, 'Creativity and Business—The Person Behind the Venture', was presented by Mr. Krishna, Founder Director, Skate Inspired Learning. Mr. Krishna, a Mindfulness coach, elucidated creative thinking in business by blending ideas from Psychology, Mythology, Management, Leadership, etc., in his inimitable introspective and reflective style.

In the afternoon session, the participants were taken for an ‘Industrial Visit and an Experience-sharing’ session with entrepreneur Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Managing Director, Nuova Fil Infotek Pvt. Ltd. The company is a 100% Export Oriented Unit, which manufactures and exports a wide range of products for fishing and technical textiles, including sports fishing and commercial lines, synthetic and braided ropes, fishing twines and nets, sewing threads, long line fishing gears and tackles. Mr. Rakesh’s account of how he grew his venture was truly inspiring. The budding entrepreneurs also interacted with his son, Mr. Garvit Sahai, an alumnus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and presently the Marketing Director at Nuova Fil. The third day began with a session, 'Financial Aspects of a SSI Unit Including Salient Features of a Project Report' by Mr. Sankaran Iyer, and Executive Coach & CEO, Pinnacle Business Services, which highlighted the major aspects of financial planning for start-ups and ended with the message “Cash is King!” 

The next session, 'Technology Assistance from Research & Development (R&D) Labs, Choice of Technology, was conducted by Prof. K. Visweswara Rao, Head, Technical Competency Development & Placement, CIR, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Prof. Rao, a postgraduate in Electrical Engineering (Instrumentation) from IIT Kharagpur, has considerable experience working in power industry. He has worked in organizations such as NCC, BGR, Reliance, GVK, SOGEX, VSP, etc., in Engineering, Project management, EPC and Operation and Maintenance. 

This was followed by a session titled, 'Historical Background - Indian Values vis-a-vis Entrepreneurship and the Present Scenario' by Amrita alumnus, Mr. Pradeep Menon. A serial entrepreneur and cyber security specialist, Mr. Pradeep Menon is the Chief Officer of Lakshya Labs. He has been successful in building four organizations from scratch, in the field of Information Security and related areas and merging them with global multinational firms. 

The camp ended with feedback from the participants and the valedictory session. Mr. R. Krishnan, Head, Entrepreneurship Development, ACE, CIR, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham handed over the certificates to the participants.

Lohith Dathi, one of the participants, commented, “The camp was wonderful and educative; it has cleared many myths about entrepreneurship. It has boosted my confidence.” Another participant, A. Deepak Kumaar, stated, “It has given me an opportunity to introduce myself to a lot of amazing people.” V. Sai Pranay, another participant said, “This camp has helped me to know about various aspects of entrepreneurship. The industrial visit was a great experience. It has covered all the major aspects of entrepreneurship.” B. Janavi, said, “Basically it was an excellent event: Life changing experience which CIR Department of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has given us. I feel immensely enthusiastic and motivated.”

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