Though a technical festival, it was the cultural performances that captivated the audience at the recently concluded annual conference Shaastra organised by Indian Institute of Technology-Madras. Students and guests flocked in large numbers to Envisage 3.0, a techno-cultural show managed by the student committee of IIT-Madras.
The conference’s first event was the Entrepreneurship Confluence with panelists who included Anand Rajaraman, Co-Founder Junglee Corp, Sunil Handa, Professor, IIM-Ahmedabad, and Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman of Infosys who discussed topics like “Start-up Culture in India vs Abroad” and “Entrepreneurship vs Climbing the Corporate Ladder”. Saying that this was the best time for startups and India is the best place, Gopalakrishnan called for a better ecosystem to nurture startups and entrepreneurs. “Beyond laws and government policies, people should also learn to accept failures for 95 per cent of startups fail,” he remarked.
Offering his own predication of the future, Gopalakrishnan said, “Every industry including the likes of automobile, healthcare, finance, and others will be re-engineered and see a change in the next two-three decades, in turn, offering good potential for startups in the country.”
Advising entrepreneurs against pooling all their money into their ventures, Gopalakrishnan urged them to look at angel investors and such. This way, risks could be mitigated, was his argument. As a reflection of his observation, he told the audience how that in a country like India, it was entrepreneurship by necessity that was taking more centrestage than entrepreneurship by, say innovation.
Rajaraman, for his part, too enthralled the audience with his observations about the startup industry. Quoting Silicon Valley, he said that now startups have moved from the valley to find concentration in billion dollar companies from China and Europe. Rajaraman stated that the recipe for success was execution and innovation, traits that Google worked on to work up the ladder, according to the Stanford University dropout.
The Shaastra Lecture Series kick-started with the lecture of Arogyaswami Paulraj, known as the father of wireless communication. He is the inventor of MIMO, the technology behind Wi-Fi and 4G communication. The Alexander Graham Bell Medal awardee’s was followed by a lecture delivered by Pawan Sinha, Professor, Department of Brian and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. firstname.lastname@example.org