VCCircle conference on Edu-Investments, November 18, Gurgaon, India – My notes as a Panelist

I was part of two sessions, one as a panelist and the other as a special invitee… Here is my notes – Pre-event, during Event and post thoughts…

PANEL

Edupreneurs: Revolutionising the Effectiveness of Education Delivery Systems (How can edupreneurs work in a dichotomic market like India to merge the chasms between the organized and highly unorganized education sector in the country, mainly higher education? Building sustainable businesses is the key to being a successful entrepreneur. How should entrepreneurs and institutes walk away from working in silos and leverage each other’s strength in creating a robust education system?

Panel Members –

– Manjula Pooja Shroff, Chairperson, Kalorex – Moderator
– Bindu Rana, Director, Millenium schools
– Prachi Windlass, Director, Michael and Susan Dell foundation, INDIA
– Gopal Devanahalli, VP, Manipal Global Education, Manipal Group
– R. Sreenvasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate

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Each one planned to introduce oneself and ones work, in short….

My Pre-Event NOTES of CL Educate Intro…

Career Launcher is a leader in –
– Test Prep
– K-12 education – Indus world schools
– Skill education – skill schools

Also through the following entities, CL does capacity building of University and Corporate

– CL Media – Digital Presence
– GK Publications – Curricula and Pedagogy; Curriculum Support & Publishing
– 361 degree – On Demand  Learning
– Accendere – Research Incubator
– Bilakes – Business Incubation & Seed Funding
– Kestone – Corporate empowerment and building institutional Partnerships

Statistics in Numbers

CL – 265 locations, 1.5 million engaged, over 1.5 lakhs more than 50 hours
Accendere – Research incubation, Patenting, Journal publishing
CL Media – 163 institutions trust with us for branding, outreach and awareness building
Kestone – integrated marketing,events, customer activation, training, staffing; 100 corporates, 500 events – wipron nokia, microsoft, snapdeal, PayTM
G K P – 1.5 million books.. career and education
361 degree – largest in India – online enabling partner for University and corporates over 20K learners

Footprint – 20K schools and colleges; 1.5 lakh students > 18,200 hours on our web offerings per week

What CL does at UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

Academic Thought Leadership, International Presence, Institution Credibility

– Capacity building of universities and institutions, learning institutions
– Consulting Visioning Strategic Thinking
– Faculty, Academic development, Research and innovation
– Admissions: Outreach and Application – TAAF Services
– MARTECHING
– skill education
– Incubation and entrepreneurship
– Career Development Center – Employability, Higher studies facilitation

—CONTEXT——- current market scenario —–challenges for the nation

Only 18% graduates are employable in India
91% software professionals lack programming and algorithm skills while 60% lack domain skills
71% lack soft and cognitive skills while 73% lack English speaking and comprehension skills
57.96% have poor analytical and quantitative skills
For core jobs in mechanical, electronics/electrical and civil jobs, only a mere 7.49% are employable


The session was supposed to be on higher-education, but the panel felt that the continuum from school to university has similar challenges and reforms are needed across the segments. Also opportunities and investment needs do exist across. So the pre-session discussion covered the entire spectrum.

Pre-event notes of each of the panelists..

Issues I noted down ..

– Democratization of Learning and its access
– Contestability of markets, access to Universities
– Digital technologies and creating impact
– Mobility and the influence in learning; Global Mobility
– Integration with industry; Industry funding research
– Opportunities for entrepreneurs and Funding possibilities

– Life-long LEARNERS, COURAGE, HUMILITY : Key, How to instill?

Gopal Devanahalli wanted to talk about

– I would like to focus on higher education and continuing education for working professionals.
– Changing learning needs of working professionals – esp in certain industries like IT
– Online courses & types of courses that are relevant to the learners
– The effectiveness of the online delivery model and how to make it more effective.
– Regulatory issues

Prachi Jain Windlass  wanted to talk about the following –

– Opportunity areas in K12 education, college entrance and career readiness.
– Opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the ecosystem. Many of our portfolio companies: Avanti, Convegenius and OnlineTyari are taking this approach. understanding their core and leveraging the ecosystem for non core areas.
– Our experience in breaking down the silos in the govt education system, and the role that private sector players can play, risks involved.

Manjula Pooja Shroff of Kalorex wanted to focus upon
– Changing scenarios
– Integration of k-12 to Higher Ed
– Teaching Learning delivery process

Bindu Rana’s concerns included

– Challenges in running schools – to deliver the intended
– Regulations stifling the effectiveness
– Challenges in setting up rural schools – quality, price point, training, delivery

– Why cannot the government see education as any other industry? With challenges of access and quality existing all across..

  • Promote PPP models across
  • Engage and bring in private partners to collaborate in school and university systems
  • Use technology to improve training of teachers in enriching content, pedagogy and all processes
  • ….

Other Issues discussed across panels – My notes

Is the nation ready for only digital? Is that trend every where?
– hybrid model is the most successful one
– engaging is the key, mentoring, giving the confidence

Lessons from failures? Key to success
– Team with vision
– sustainable relationship within and with customer
– respect with disagreements in board room and among the team members

Skill education went through cycles.. now we are in the third..
A. IT education – 80s and 90s
B. Sales upgradation – 2000 onwards..
C. now vocational? Entrepreneurship
– quality of higher education is lacking
– rote to conceptual learning, how will we make it happen
– concept of job, loyalty shifting
– nature of learning will have to shift
– propensity to entrepreneurship
– learning to learn paradigm

How do we enable learners to face VUCA?

– VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
– learning, calling passion from within, help others raise their capabilities

Public education….how to revive?
– policy enablement

– Rote to Conceptual learning?
– edtech – retrain teachers, students,
– appraising teachers, reward them, being discipline,monitor

Home schooling
– becoming popular
– investment opportunities?
– work-life, work-home balancing

Key to succeed in Education space

Quality first, then scale
Be prepared for long haul, then scale
Then comes franchising

—————————————————– As a special invitee..

AKAMAI Presentation – Digital delivery platform, especially Video that will be 80% of the content on-line in the near future..

– formats : 5 min and 20 min content
– launch has to be fast, else you lose the client/subscriber

High quality
– no stalling/no buffering;
– always available, relevant,
– no data plan restrictions

Education on mobility? what are the trends, and what will be challenges of the future..

Instant user experience – FB provides
Consume as much as possible
Offline content goes online – you tube
Download during nights, local content play while travel
Challenges about space on device
Battery running out – delete the app

Here is the link to a set of photographs of the event uploaded by VCCircle on their FB page https://www.facebook.com/VCC-Events-1176152369113449/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1355409131187771

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Empowerment to Excellence Program @ Dibrugarh University

The EMPOWERMENT TO EXCELLENCE Programme by CL Educate at Dibrugarh University has been a big learning experience for every active participant of the programme, including me in some sense. The impact in the four days has been no less than ‘transformational’, as most students shared. Of course, a 2-day outbound program preceding this would have been even more impactful and life-changing.
‘Empowerment to Excellence’ at Dibrugarh University was a four-day intense, interactive programme to initiate and facilitate every student of Engineering and Management faculty to –

  • Understand one-self
  • Create a vision for oneself, for one’s career and life
  • write a “Statement of Purpose” : Set Long term and Short term goals
  • Realize the elements of personal effectiveness, and plan to work on self
  • Understand the secrets of an effective communicator
  • Identify ones strengths and areas of concern for improvement
  • Be a good participant and contributor in group discussions and group activities
  • Be an effective presenter and communicator
  • Reflect, introspect and realize areas for action, from ones participation in the program
  • set an agenda and action plan for personal growth
  • Commitment to one’s own development and also development of the entire group

The program schedule, session plan and process were as per the agreed frame work. We adhered to the schedule given, to a great extent. The session plan for GD / Communication underwent a little change due to change in the number of participants.

My reflections at the end of the programme –

  1. “Awakening”: Managed to infuse energy and purposefulness among the participants
  2. Every participant has been shaken, active ones have woken up to his or her potential and the possibilities; they are charged to push themselves to give their best
  3. Many have started working on their “Statement of Purpose”; the dialogue is on regularly in the whatsapp groups
  4. The barriers between the departments have been broken; For the first time they got to know about the students from other departments as they worked in cross-functional teams in various sessions. By the end of the programme they gelled as if they all are one.
  5. The realization among the students that the campus has enough resources within to create productive interactions and activities to sharpen their skills; They have promised to engage themselves at least once a month
  6. The participants realized how they can effectively use the social media platforms to further their career goals; They shared about these as the sessions progressed

At the end of this program, and with my experience at IWSB and other universities, I am convinced that –

  1. “Empowerment to Excellence” programme should be preceded by an outbound program, where the participants have to challenge themselves in many situations, mostly physical or strategic in nature; that helps every student push boundaries and realize his or her immense capabilities.
  2. “Empowerment to Excellence” should be integral to every university programme, especially every university that we are facilitating. All our other programmes will be immensely effective if we take student through this programme.
  3. This program should be in the second year of the four-year undergraduate program (like BE/BTech) and in the first year of Post-grad programme; We should have this before the academic year commences. And must be a compulsory programme, as it is beyond imagination of any student, how it can really impact.

With such a series of initiatives, students will become very purposeful and it will become integral to every students thoughts and actions. This could make a huge difference to their journey in the university, with student working towards his/her goal, empowering oneself with all that he or she needs to excel in career and life.

Student’s Presentations, Reflections and Feedback

A. Kindly watch the videos of a few presentations and reflections of the participants at the end of the programme, uploaded on the youtube channel of CL Educate, under

Dibrugarh University : Empowerment to Excellence playlist –

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYIF2mj1kyOCmToc2rx3pJsgw3qMI-3dx

Presentation sample – Most of them were presenting for the first time ever in front of a couple of hundred audience from across the departments of the University

Reflection of learning – Sample –

These set of videos also showcase the effectiveness and impact of the programme through

– The reflections of shifts made by the participants and

– Commitment of participants for their own future and that of the group


Delighted to see the feedback of students on SURVEYMONKEYt –

– Over 80% of the students have rated the conceptual sessions ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’

– Over 70% have rated the Drills / Group Activities / Presentations sessions ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’. We made sure that every one got a couple of drills, still that is not enough. More and more practice needed here. Unfortunately we had time constraint. I have asked the students to do their own drills. Shall continue to push them through Whatsapp.

– Over 90% have rated the facilitators ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’

Of course we can always be better than what we are. Hope we will continue on that path.

In another post, I shall share part of the PDF with detailed feedback that a few students shared. Their delight in their personal growth through the four days comes through these sharing.

Education, a space to create lasting impact for generations

Going by the consumer behavioural studies, researchers in marketing have documented that, every DELIGHTED customer shares with at least 6 of his friends / families about his great experience with a brand. He becomes a brand ambassador to endorse your brand among his friends and acquaintances. It has been estimated that in the era of social media, this effect multiplies to about 60 folds (spreads across the country and the world).

On the contrary, a DEJECTED and DISAPPOINTED customer, shares with no less than 20 of his friends/acquaintances/strangers about the abysmal service rendered, and this spreads anywhere between 80-100 folds! People take pleasure in sharing ‘Khundak’ wali stories….

Now look at the impact every DELIGHTED customer is going to cause and every DISAPPOINTED one is going to cause……… More and MORE Delighted students and families we make, we not only get their heart-felt blessings, but they also drive more walk-ins who need no convincing…They come to pay and join.

Especially, in the space of Education, the impact is unimaginable. Every family will bless for generations to come.

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Here is a small episode that happened yesterday…

I finished my class at CP and came out. It was evening, about 5:30pm. I was strolling in CP and clicking a few interesting pictures (you can check on twitter @sreenindia) on the occasion of Independence day. Suddenly three youngsters came to me and asked me whether I will give them a short interview on five questions based on the relevance of INDEPENDENCE DAY! They run a channel on YOUTUBE… I interacted and responded to their questions.. When they got to know that I am part of CL, all the three youngsters who were till then a little haughty, melted like anything. Two of them told how CL has impacted their families, by helping their brothers/sisters realize their dreams… They profusely apologized. They stayed for a while to ask advise for their journey of life, business, channel etc.

Another episode happened, on the last Saturday. I was waiting outside Manav Rachna university for a pick up, looking into my mobile and responding on whatsapp. Suddenly I had a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around, I found a family, husband-wife with a kid in arms smiling at me. The couple were students of IWSB in 2008-2010. I just hugged them. They noticed me standing by the road, as they drove and took a turn to come and stop, to ask if I need any help, to be dropped….

I can keep narrating many stories…I am sure each one of you is creating such an impact that is far reaching…which you will narrate your lifetime.

Let us be the catalysts for transformation of the families that we touch. Let us make it happen.

9/11 Gander Story : Welcoming with open arms…gratitude !

This inspiring story that came my way on WhatsApp touched me immensely. I did some research before blogging for eternity, by borrowing relevant photographs from the web. The copyright holders kindly pardon me.

————————–

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on *Delta Flight 15*, written following *9/11*. [This operation is called YELLOW RIBBON by GANDER people. A video story, very moving, at the end of the post here]

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

150910154647_gander_canada_hospitalidad_624x351_gandertownhall_nocredit

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander .. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the aircrafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

9-11-moved-them-most-01

Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic
“The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark’s photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail.”

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

 

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.

What we found out was incredible…..

  1. Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.
  2. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up
  3. ALL the high school students were required to volunteer theirtime to take care of the “guests.”
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  6. Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.
  7. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.
  8. Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility.There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.
  9. communicating from School computer centre
  10. Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.
  11. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.
  12. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.
  13. homecooked food
  14. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.

He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

*This is one of those stories that need to be shared. Please do so…*

Here is the in depth story by NBC on the enormity of challenges that Gander took upon itself. This video appeared a good decade later. It is a moving and overwhelming story. I was in tears, watching.


A very inspiring narration of what every human being and community can really do, if only we wish to. Why wait for an adversity, can we do a small way every day!

#Vision #Purpose #Passion #Perseverance – John Hanke and Pokémon Go.

How long does it take to create an overnight success? For John Hanke it’s taken him 20 years to create Pokémon Go.

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This week, the Pokémon Go app has broken all records, with 10 million+ downloads in the first week, exceeding Twitter in daily active users, and with higher average user time than Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram & WhatsApp.

How did John Hanke create such a massive overnight craze? Here’s the 10 times he levelled up in his lifetime to reach Pokémon Go:

1st Level up: In 1996, while still a student, John co-created the very first MMO (massively multiplayer online game) called ‘Meridian 59’. He sold the game to 3DO to move on to a bigger passion: mapping the world.

2nd Level up: In 2000, John launched ‘Keyhole’ to come up with a way to link maps with aerial photography, and create the first online, GPS-linked 3D aerial map of the world.

3rd Level up: In 2004, Google bought Keyhole and with John’s help, turned Keyhole into what is now ‘Google Earth’. That’s when John decided to focus at creating GPS-based games.

4th Level up: John ran the Google Geo team from 2004 to 2010, creating Google Maps and Google Street View. During this time, he collected the team that would later create Pokémon Go.

5th Level up: In 2010, John launched Niantic Labs as a start-up funded by Google to create a game layer on maps. John explains why he called it Niantic:

“The Niantic is the name of a whaling ship that came up during the gold rush and through a variety of circumstances g hv bot dragged on shore. This happened with other ships, too. Over the years, San Francisco was basically just built over these ships. You could stand on top of them now, and you wouldn’t know it. So it’s this idea that there’s stuff about the world that’s really cool but even though it’s on the Internet, it’s hard to know when you’re actually there.”

6th Level up: In 2012, John then created Niantic’s first geo-based MMO, “ingress”:

John explains: “In the case of Ingress the activity is layered on top of the real world and on your phone. The inspiration was that it was something that I always used to daydream about while I was commuting back and forth from home to Google.”

“I always thought you could make an awesome game using all the Geo data that we have. I watched phones become more and more powerful and I thought the time would come that you could do a really awesome real-world adventure-based game.”

7th Level up: In 2014, Google and the Pokémon Company teamed up for an April Fools’ Day joke, which allowed viewers to find Pokémon creatures on Google maps. It was a viral hit, and got John thinking the idea could be turned into a real game.

8th Level up: John decided to build Pokémon Go on the user-generated meeting points created by players of Ingress, and the most popular became the Pokéstops and gyms in Pokémon Go:

As John says, ”The Pokéstops are submitted by users, so obviously they’re based on places people go. We had essentially two and a half years of people going to all the places where they thought they should be able to play Ingress, so it’s some pretty remote places. There are portals in Antartica and the North Pole, and most points in between.”

9th Level up: John raised $25 million from Google, Nintendo, the Pokémon Company and other investors from Dec 2015 to Feb 2016 to grow a team of 40+ to launch Pokémon Go this year.

10th Level: John and his team launched Pokémon Go on July 6th in USA, Australia and New Zealand. Since its launch, Nintendo’s share price has risen $12 billion, and the app is already generating over $2 million daily in in-app purchases, making it an overnight phenomenon.

The overnight success of Pokémon Go has taken John Hanke 20 years to create. Throughout these 20 years, while he had a big vision of a game layer over the world, he didn’t know what form it would take. At every step, he just focused at his next level up.

At each new level, he had new powers, new team members, and new items in his inventory…

Are you, like John, treating your own entrepreneurial journey like one big MMO?

Keep the end in mind, but focus today on simply levelling up.

At every level, grow your powers, your team, and your luck.

And know it takes many levels to win the game.

“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” ~ Eddie Cantor

#sharing #knowthyself #sreeni.org

Cultural resonance – Manjari Sinha ji covers SPANDAN in her Statesman column

Manjari Sinha
| 02 June, 2016

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The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) celebrated Africa Day on 26 May at the Azad Bhavan Auditorium. The theme India-Africa: Bound Together highlighted Africa’s diversity, success, economic potential and cultural resonance with India. The celebration comprised a panel discussion, a week-long exhibition of African costumes, paintings and artefacts, a food festival of Afican cuisine and a cultural programme.

The cultural programme opened with lively songs by the Capital City Minstrels, New Delhi, but the talented troupe from the Kingdom of Lesotho stole the show with the multi-talented African ensemble Likakapa Africa, which literally means The Legends or Crème de la crème. The lively performances by the renowned ensemble were a blend of Famo Music, Afro-Jazz, Hip Hop; that established an instant rapport with the audience. Unable to resist the vibrant rhythm and the contagious zest of the African music and dance, many were seen whistling and dancing in front of the stage.

Likakapa had two major Famo artists Rabots’o le Semanyane and Lebohang Lets’ohla, who led most of the songs backed by Tom Rakoti, the Afro-Jazz artist, and Molibeli Mokake who was both a Hip-Hop performer and a Rapper. The ensemble presented the unique stylistic music and dance, commonly seen in the streets of major towns and villages of Lesotho.

The Spandan-World Dance Evening at the India Habitat Centre the same evening, was the enthusiastic culmination of  a month long Festival of the Performing Arts and an ambitious exhibition of dance photographs, curated by R Srinivasan in the open spaces of the Habitat World on the occasion of the World Dance Day. 

 Celebrating the infinite potential in umpteen varieties of dance forms, Spandan showcased a spectacular melange of dance forms from Indian classical dances like Odissi by Arushi Mudgal, Bharatanatyam by Suhail Bhan and Kathak by Irina from Russia to contemporary dance by Neha Sharma of Sadhya, Jazz by Danceworx, Hip-Hop by the Quake Crew, Flow Art by Eshna Kutty, Tajik dance by Naseeba from Tajikistan and a mesmerising Folk Fusion by Nitisha Nanda from Banjara. The over-packed Stein Auditorium resounded with thunderous applause at the end of this extravaganza of dance, conceived by R Srinivasan of Spandan, created by Indira Ganesh and anchored by their 13-year-old talented daughter Mallika. 

Humkadam-2016 by Rachana Yadav Kathak Studio.

Rachana Yadav Kathak Studio presented Navagraha for their annual event Humkadam-2016, at the Epicentre. Based on the Hindu astrological science that says the nine celestial bodies, or Navagrahas, affect our character with their typical characteristics, when close to us, Rachana most imaginatively conceived and choreographed Navagraha, incorporating the entire repertoire of Kathak  through different groups of students portraying different Grahas, according to the characteristics of these Grahas matching the maturity or the age group of her students.

Opening with Navagraha Stuti, an ode to the nine celestial bodies, the programme started with the youngest age group, the twinkling stars, in “Jagmag deep jale…” with the basic Hastakas and simple Tode Tukde based on Sargam.

Navagraha took off with Brihaspati, the Graha for knowledge and longevity, with Guru Vandana. Venus, that stands for the feminine grace, was presented next, by a young adult batch dressed like delicate “Abhisarika Nayikas” on Shyam Kalyan Bandish “Sundar sej sanvar ke…”, interspersed with  Aamad, Tode, Tukde, Parans and Chakkardars…et al.

Mercury was depicted with Sargams in Raga Yaman; Mangal Graha had Krishna Arjun Samvad with the dancers dressed in the energetic colour red; the Shani or Saturn had the impressive Malkauns Tarana; and Rahu-Ketu portrayed by twin sisters was applauded for their remarkable pirouettes. Surya and Chandra, the climax, were danced respectively by Rachna’s senior-most students. Surya had Pramelu, Paran and the impressive foot-work in the challenging Tala Dhamaar and Chandra was depicted through a Ghazal “Pighal raha hai Chaand…”, as an Abhinaya piece, completing Kathak in its entirety.  Rachana’s imaginative choreography was enhanced with the most appropriate music composed by Samiullah Khan.

Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/voices/cultural-resonance/145968.html#xLvFAqpXhAYqO079.99

HT City – Spandan: Celebration of performing arts to end with world dance evening

  • Nikita Saxena, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |

  • Updated: May 25, 2016 19:59 IST

I am just pasting this article from the HT CITY website…SPANDAN in HT CITY

Suhail Bhan, a Bharatnatyam dancer, during performance.

Get ready for an evening of dance as Spandan — the month-long photo exhibition and dance festival in the Capital culminates with the World Dance Evening.

The event, which celebrates performing arts, aims at encouraging young talent. Talking about the event, R. Sreenivasan, the founder, says, “Spandan is all about enabling youngsters to realise their potential to make their dreams come true. While this year’s theme is celebration of iconic institutions, gurus and artists who help individuals to realise their talent and contribute to the field of arts, world dance evening celebrates the future of an artist.”

Some of the artists performing at the evening will include Arushi Mudgal — an Odissi dancer, Suhail Bhan — a Bharatnatyam dancer, Irina Biryukova — a Russian Kathak dancer and Nitisha Nanda — an Odissi danseuse and belly dancer.

Suhail Bhan, on his performance, says, “I will start with Pushpanjali, which is an offering of flowers, followed by Ashtapati that portrays Jai Deva Rasleela of Krishna, Radha and his Gopis. My last piece will be based on Raga Mandari. There aren’t enough people who encourage art and culture. This event contributes a lot in that way.”

Irina Biryukova, a Kathak dancer from Russia, will present a solo performance at the event.

International dancers performing on Indian classical dance forms will be another highlight. Irina Biryukova, Kathak dancer from Russia, says, “One of my performance is solo, while in another, I am performing with Nasiba Miravazkhonova, who is from Tadjikistan.” Nitisha Nanda, who will be presenting a folk fusion act, says, “I have been associated with Spandan since 2013. My show will be a fusion of different Indian dance forms.”

Danseuse Nitisha Nanda will present a fusion of folk, Odissi and belly dancing.

Nitisha Nanda, who will be presenting a folk fusion act, says, “I have been associated with Spandan since 2013. This is a very intriguing concept that involves a mélange of different dance styles. My performance will be an interesting fusion of folk dance, Odissi, there will be a tinge of Rajasthani and Gujarati dance, and belly dancing.”

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