Ms.Gayathri Shanmugham, Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Science Hopper, interacted with students of Amrita School of Business, Bengaluru and discussed the world of Business Ventures on January 23, 2016. Her business, Science Hopper Education Private Limited, aims at providing experiential science education services in order to change the perception of children towards science and reposition it as a fun filled subject with a lot of potential to learn and grow. They also aim at developing curiosity and a questioning mentality at a nascent stage.

Ms. Shanmugham has 13 years of experience in the corporate field and has worked under many firms namely TCS, Tele Tech UK and IBM. Her formative years of studying Electrical Engineering at Madras University, followed by the Management Studies at BIM Trichy, provided her with scientific and business knowledge. Together with corporate experience, she has been able to utilize this knowledge in a coherent and productive way.

Ms. Gayathri Shanmugham designed her talk primarily as an interactive session. She shared her experience about starting a venture and shared that sometimes we learn things in life the hard way.  She felt that her first business didn’t work out as expected because of three reasons. Firstly, she did her business on a partnership basis and only she was the full time partner. The remaining partners were only part time. Secondly, she didn’t know her partners professionally. Thirdly, her partners were her neighbors. She closed down the business when she felt things didn’t work out as expected. She was able to compartmentalize her mistakes at different stages and made sure she never repeated them. 

Ms. Shanmugham further explained the initial problems she faced such as regulatory compliance and paperwork issues. She also provided a brief information on the IIMB incubation facilities and the funding involved. She also mentioned  risks involved such as time constraints and financial status.  

According to Ms. Shanmugham the primary question one has to ask before starting any business is whether the product provides value. A company cannot sustain unless it provides value to its customers.  She also strongly recommended networking, as she believes it to be the fundamental of any business. She feels that seeking help from others is never a sign of weakness. She seemed to be a perfect example on how to balance and blend personal and professional life and the participants found the session to be very informative and valuable.

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