MHRD Innovation Cell organized a webinar as a live You Tube session on 5th May, 2020. It was an interactive session with three speakers namely Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director general, EDII, Ahmedabad, Dr. Amit Dwivedi, Associate Senior Faculty, EDII, Ahmedabad; and Mr. Mayank Patel, CEO, Cradle, Incubator, EDII, Ahmedabad on the topic “Entrepreneurship, Business Idea, Business Model Canvas”. The session anchor had driven the panel discussion by asking questions to the speakers to express their thoughts out of their experiential learning on the following areas: Entrepreneurial Motivation, Empathy and Business Idea and Business Model Canvas. Faculty members and students of Manav Rachna University attended the session. The session was very interesting, insightful and visionary as the speakers talked about their experience and expressed their views from educators’ perspective as they are teaching in Academic program in Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Sunil Shukla‘s views on motivational factors of entrepreneurs are: personal characteristics, things emanating from environment, business idea and it is driven by 5 constellations of forces namely: societal values and beliefs, social/political stability/instability, availability of infrastructure/facility, contacts/networks, Government policies. In his view characteristics of entrepreneurs are self-confidence, risk management (ability to take calculated risks), belief in themselves, focus on competency development, perseverance, patience, hardworking, committed, fairly strong in mind to accept failures, an attitude of never giving up, and emerging out stronger from failures. He talked about Trait Theory and Competency Theory which says entrepreneurial characteristics should have need of achievement, desire for autonomy, risk taking mindset, creativity, drive for innovation, determination, ability to believe in oneself and internal locus of control. Mr. Shukla feels gender difference does not have any impact on the competency level of entrepreneurship. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research project is an annual assessment of the national level of entrepreneurial activity in multiple, diverse countries. It has observed same level of motivation among male and female entrepreneurs except in Pakistan where lower motivation level has been observed among women entrepreneurs. However, this research has found that need of achievement is higher among male entrepreneurs but need of autonomy is higher among female entrepreneurs. Research also found that in entrepreneurial success, gender plays no role.
Mr. Mayank Patel was requested to explain Business Model Canvas (BMC) and its importance. He stated that BMC helps would be entrepreneurs to crystalize business activities. It is used by investors also as both of them have the objective to increase the revenue. It has nine elements namely: value proposition, key activities, customer segments, customer relationships, partners, revenue stream, key resources, channels and structure. It helps to make a business plan. In answer to the question on the reason for high rate of startup failures and the main challenges faced by startups, Mr. Mayank said that many a times, startups fail to identify the right problem they want to solve and often they fail to go deeper in problem understanding, fail to analyse all aspects of problem and the corresponding solution. It is also very critical to get good quality team members. He took the example of Zoom video conferencing software and its value proposition as a collaborating platform at a global level which has made it so popular in this Covid pandemic crisis situation and gave rise to such a huge customer base across the globe. When asked about the kind of support EDII provides to young entrepreneurs he stated the following : EDII provides education and training, helps young entrepreneurs to prepare business plan, helps them in fund raising from Angel Investors, VCs, availing Govt. benefits, connecting them to customers and other ecosystem enablers, and ensure that their business ideas get converted to a viable business. In general mortality rate is high for startups although some grow fast. His experiential learning says the startups who empathize with customers, gain a deeper understanding of their problem in terms of pain points of customers and try to relieve the pain of customer with a good sustainable solution, they succeed.. At initial stage statrtups shouldn’t focus on earning more money , more revenue they should instead focus on how they can get repeated customers, how their solutions can impact wider customer base. Perseverance and tenacity are two important traits of entrepreneurs.
Dr. Amit Dwivedi’s observation by looking at EDII students is the following: today’s students want to get into innovative business which can scale up globally and they do not aim for MSME business which was the interest of students few years ago. Students these days research a lot before venturing into a business. Role of family members in supporting the student to choose entrepreneurship as career is extremely important as the students need lot of emotional support on this lonely challenging journey on the path of entrepreneurship which has lots of uncertainties and risks.
Dr. Sunil Shukla concluded the session in agreement with Dr. Amit Dwivedi that with his long work experience with EDII, he has observed that today’s Faculty members who come for FDP are pretty much involved, engaged in the program and they spend quality time which was not the case few years ago. Those days it was more of attending the program in a routine fashion.
Students and faculty members of Manav Rachna University got a very good understanding about the thought process of students pursuing their academic programs in Entrepreneurship.