Soaring on the Wings of a Business Dream

Published: 08th September 2015 06:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2015 06:39 AM   |  A+A-

On my first day at IIM Ahmedabad, I found a highly intelligent but equally eccentric guy seated next “NIT Surathkal.” Perhaps seeking to impress, he added, “The only college in India with its own Truth be told, I was impressed.

Years later, when I visited the campus, I physically verified this fact. I can also verify the fact that NIT Surathkal continues to produce intelligent eccentrics like Shashank “Back in 2005, when we joined college, nobody had heard of the term ‘entrepreneurship’. NIT-K was one of the first colleges in India to start an ECell.”

Soaring.jpgAs Shashank and Abhinav worked to spread awareness about entrepreneurship, a strange thing happened. The e-virus entered their system and they decided to start a company themselves. This venture, started in the fourth year of college, has blossomed and grown into Practo - a software being used by 10,000 doctors. A company which employs over 300 people with revenues close to `20 crore. Today, NIT-K is still the only college with a private beach but hundreds of colleges have E-Cells.

To these colleges, I throw a challenge: Can each E-Cell inspire 10 students to start a small business. Here’s to the intelligent eccentrics of the world - may their tribe increase! Shashank ND was born and brought up in Bangalore in a standard middle class family. “My parents were both in government jobs. My father was with Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL), while my mother was working in Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).”

It was a joint family, but nobody in the field of business. Shashank attendedthe National Public School, Bangalore, from KG, right up to Class 12. He was an average student - more into “I was flowing with the wind, with no inspiration whatsoever to do anything. But in Class 12, it While friends and classmates were busy preparing for various entrance exams and knew what they wanted to do in life - he didn’t have a clue. One evening, Shashank mentioned to his parents that some of his friends had qualified for the National Olympiad in mathematics and science.

“I saw this poster in my dorm for E-Cell. At that time I had no idea what entrepreneurshipwas… I “Why haven’t you tried?” they asked. Shashank got up from the dining table, called up a friend and bugged him about when was the next qualifying test. And, basically, “I pretty much locked myself in one room for the whole year, grew a huge beard. Not only did Shashank qualify for the Informatic Olympiad, he went a step further. When the AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) results were declared - to everyone’s surprise - the once happy-go-lucky student had made it to the prestigious NIT-K (Surathkal).


Rashmi Bansal is a writer and an entrepreneur. Her five books on entrepreneurship, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, Connect the Dots, I Have a Dream, Follow Every Rainbow, Take Me Home and Poor Little Rich Slum have sold over 7,50,000 copies and have been translated into 10 languages.


Saurabh Bansal did it. Shashank ND did it.Eshwar Vikas did it. Arise, Awake is the story of entrepreneurs who started a business while studying in college, or right after graduation, turning their backs on lucrative placements, to pursue dreams of their own.

Stay up to date on all the latest Hyderabad news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp