Technology is an innovation amplifier – Industry and Institutions together can bring transformation : Prof Sadagopan, Chairman, MeltingPot2020 2017 Edition

It was an honour to have Prof S Sadagopan, Director IIIT Bangalore, as the chairperson of the Meltingpot2020, a landmark movement, an initiative by CL Educate, that is working towards bringing youthful, research-oriented entrepreneurial education institutions and innovation fostering industry players.

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(Prof Sadagopan interacting with Dr. Mashelkar, former chairperson of CSIR, the keynote speaker at MeltingPot2020)

Prof Sadagopan, in his opening remarks spoke about how the time has come for both, educational institutions and industry, to work together with technology playing the role of innovation amplifier to solve problems that will change the nation.

  • IT as innovation Amplifier
    • Core competence of most of us who started in 1960s –
    • We digitized everything over the forty years
    • Changed industry after industry
    • 2Ts were the largest exports
      • Tea, to drink
      • T for textile
    • IT is the largest now
      • 8bn dollar revenues today
      • MMT changed how travel industry works
      • Today innovation has changed how governments functioning
      • IT has been enabler and amplier of innovation
      • Kapital needs is much smaller in tech space compared to other spaces

NEXT PRACTICE, from CK Prahalad, one of the foremost thinkers India has produced in the modern times spoke about how next practice is what we need to focus upon

For the youngsters, your time has come, with all humility we can change the world

  • Our generation went to the US, worked for the best, for the US and Europe
  • We contributed a lot, that shows up… GOOGLE and Microsoft
  • SATYAM, SIVAM, SUNDARAM….soon we will have a SIVAM joining Satya of Microsoft and Sundar of Google

Solving problems in India

  • From 2010 things have changed
  • Indians solving India’s problems, in India
  • They have global reach
  • Tweak the innovations with price-performance parameters
  • Examples
    • Railway reservation
      • A 60 kg human being had  to go 16kms for reserving his seat, one day gone
      • Now we can have it in a jiffy, from anywhere. With millions doing reservations every day; imagine the man days saved, at one-tenth cost
    • Travel-khana
      • Food delivered at Train stations – priced at 29,49,69 rs
      • Delivered to your seats – breakfast, lunch and dinner
      • 33 million people travel every day on trains
      • Investment is a pittance
    • Redbus
      • Organizes small bus operators
      • Handling 2 buses to 6000 buses today
    • A Stanford undergrad student of sociology
      • Heard about India’s innovation explosion
      • Landed in Blore at my office
      • She was fascinated how they were using Egipura
      • They were using missed call
        • Husband comes up picks her on cycle when he receives a miss call
        • Missed call service offered by banks
          • 1 for balance in account… 2 for ….blah blah
      • She starts a business in Thailand and Malyasia – Valerie is her name

Can we make a difference to our neighborhood, that is happening

It can make a big difference

We need to make a delta difference, not just an epsilon

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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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Introspective notes for self, Inspiration for everyone else – June 2013

On Setting goals and Chasing them

DO NOT JUST THINK IT – INK IT! If you have a goal to achieve, write it down. Written goals transform wishes into wants, thoughts into action, cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. WRITE IT DOWN in as many posters as you want, paste them all over your home, vehicle, especially places where you spend most of your time. Create a song and make it into your mobile tune… Every element around you should be talking to you. JUST DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PUSH YOURSELF TO REALIZE YOUR GOAL.

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There is nothing called failure, you actually give up. When you fall down and stay down, people say that you failed. Do not give up! Keep banging the door that you want to open. Open, it will. It depends on your passion and perseverance. As long as you do not give up, every door in this world can be opened. Just believe in yourself. Love.

An inspiring video of Mark Inglis, a native of New Zealand, who climbs mount Everest even after becoming a double amputee…

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Importance of execution, and the way you go about

You cannot escape the inevitable, why procrastinate….. Kaal karey so Aaaj Kar, Aaaj Karey so ab…. JUST DO IT!

———————

Always under-promise and over-deliver…. Over achieving your objectives / targets is the biggest boost of confidence you can give for yourselves and for those who are betting on you.

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Good Judgment comes from a bad experience and Good experience comes from a bad judgment! Why hesitate, just jump and swim…. yes, be prudent in whatever you do! Believe in yourself and your judgments… Enjoy the journey!

An inspiring video that talks about Initiative, Execution and Perseverance

———————-

Out of the box thinking and being creative

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the Aeroplane, the pessimist, the parachute – Grg Bernard Shaw

A story about two shoe salesman who happened to travel deep into the rain forest and chance upon a primitive tribe. The first salesman messages his boss, “NO opportunities here. All the people go barefoot.” The second one also sent a message, “Everyone here barefoot. Huge opportunity! Send all the possible sizes and styles”….. a favourite story of Akio Morita, founder of SONY.

—————

Discovery and innovation come out of seeing what everybody sees, but thinking and doing what nobody has ever done before. Do not be afraid to fail, just do it!

—————
Believe in every individual, he / she can startle you

Accept that people think differently than you do; Do not waste your time trying to convert the diehards. Instead, work with them, live with them, respect their differences, be open to learning from them, and be thankful the world isn’t full of people exactly like you.

—————————–

Child is the father of man!

How true this statement is. The way Mallika Nethra Sreenivasan and Svwara go about their explorations, in fact make them the best teachers I have ever had in my life. I need to have more patience to explore and learn as much as I can. Thanks to Indira for making life more meaningful.

——————-

Don’t Expect gratitude! You may get it but don’t expect it. Do whatever you do because it’s right, because it pleases you; Your reward should derive from the fruit of your labours, not the arbitrary whim of disinterested recipients. And when that infrequent expression of gratitude comes your way, humbly accept as it will be that much sweeter.

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If this posting is inspiring enough and has set some thoughts in you, kindly share with others; Leave your comments here, what more I could do to inspire you and others. You may wish to follow the blog for future postings. Thanks, Love and regards. Sreeni

40 People Who Changed the Internet – Author: Aurora Gatbonton

Author: Aurora Gatbonton
Au aka AwGatsby is a photographer and portrait artist who works full time in creating web content for the web. You can follow her on Twitter.

As I came across this article by Aurora on another blog, I felt it is a good one to be incorporated and shared! I am linking to the blog from here!
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The world has become tightly connected since the internet. The web itself has replaced the practice of reading newspaper. Most of us now communicate through e-mails instead of paper and pen. We now watch networks or movies online, it has even become a wide business venture, so much so we can now make purchase and pay our bills through the internet. The web has also transformed friendships through various social media. It also provides us the possibility to reconnect with people from our childhood and it can be a life changing event.

Having a great idea is one thing. Turning that idea into a booming company through innovation and execution is what that matters most. Here, these are the people who have the biggest impact on the direction of the web: past, present, and future. They changed the internet and revolutionized the way we lead our lives today. Just imagine the world without internet. You can’t because it has become our daily life.

Forty people who changed the internet @ hongkiat.com

I will try and do a much broader and interesting one on these forty in a few days!

sreeni@iwsb.in

Think Big! Start Small! – India : Challenges or Opportunities?

– Almost 88% of Indian Economy is unorganized
– The companies, big or small, that we want to work for constitute only 12% of the economy
– Over 70% of Indian population is non-urban and reasonable chunk is well-off
– Majority is still looking for basic amenities and services
– In 2009, The number of work Visas issued to foreigners to work in India is more than number of Visas Indians applied for, to work abroad!!
– Over 30,000 Korean children are studying in Indian Schools under South Korean Government’s Focused program –> to conquer the 88% of the economy!!

So what are the implications?

– India is a vast nation with immense possibilities
– High potential to organize the unorganized
– The world is heading to India to take advantage of this vast potential
– Mukesh Ambani recently said, “There will be over a dozen companies as big as Reliance in 2025, many of those are yet to start their entrepreneurial journey!”; “India will create 20million jobs every year”;

Indian Universities do not cater to a couple of million, where will the rest come from? Watch this youtube video…

– Indian economy has grown leaps and bounds in the last two decades due to a great deal of entrepreneurial activity in IT/ITES sectors. The next two decades will see such huge activities in a range of small and medium enterprises, organizing the unorganized.
– The real opportunity with the statistics that we have, is in the space of entrepreneurship and nowhere. Are you game for it?

Watch more videos on these entrepreneurial endeavours in the unorganized spaces at IWSBINDIA channel on YOUTUBE. Wah India Wah!!

Think Big! Start Small! Watch out for my next tour of India on Entrepreneurship this December!!

Entrepreneurship in Action

This article is an outcome of a questionnaire that Economic Times asked me to respond to, on entrepreneurship and Career Launcher’s endeavours in the entrepreneurial space….

Do you think “India has market for entrepreneurship?” In what ways can entrepreneurs add to the Indian economy? What kinds of entrepreneurs are you looking at? Rural? Young? Retired?

If we look at the last two decades of dramatic growth, it has been solely because of entrepreneurship in this country, though it has been limited to IT and ITES. We have started dramatic shifts in the bio-technology space too apart from automobile and ancillaries.

We foresee next two decades to be time for entrepreneurship, especially social entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship that will make some fundamental shifts in the rural economy. With over 70% of population still working in agriculture, with 95% of jobs present in unorganized sectors, come to think of it, the country has been chugging along only due to small and medium entrepreneurs or agripreneurs.

Career Launcher has moved into setting up schools in the villages of India that not only promote inquisitiveness among children from very young age that eventually will lead to innovative problem solving for rural issues, but also use these school infrastructures for Community Enabling Centres that will impart technical skills, life skills and entrepreneurial skills to the youth apart from promoting indigenous art forms, artisans and communities.

If as a nation we start focusing on greater enablement of these groups and also promote more enterprising youngsters to move into these spaces, we will not only alter the rural landscape, but also stem the flow of population to the urban India that is bursting at its seams. At times, some wizened by age but young at heart also start their journey of entrepreneurship, and we welcome them too. So EDUCATION and ENABLEMENT of YOUTH, rural and urban, is the key and that is the direction to go.

Whom does Career Launcher partner with to promote entrepreneurship? Various initiatives that you have undertaken? Explain the partnership in Detail? What was the prime objective? How did the idea germinate?

Career Launcher, as an organization, always stood for ‘Inspiring Leadership’ especially entrepreneurial. Every individual who is inducted is an ‘Intrapreneur’ and we evaluate an individual for ‘entrepreneurial leadership.’  Our every engagement with youngsters in schools and colleges, either during the career planning / motivational sessions or when we go to recruit, we share our journey and also journey of many an individual who dared to create their own path.

 WE MENTOR PEOPLE TO ‘MAKE JOBS’ AND NOT ‘TAKE A JOB.’

Having been in Education space, we always looked at an ‘educationist’ at heart to be an ‘inspiring leader,’ who by his own performance and interaction instills the spirit in youngsters they come across. If we look at our entire educational facilitation and learning centres across the country, over 100 of them are created by first time ‘edupreneurs,’ none from any business family. We are witnessing some of these edupreneurs moving into mainstream education space too.

We are building a unique business school, IWSB (Indus world school of business. www.iwsb.in) that focuses on entrepreneurial leadership, more importantly social entrepreneurship. Right now as I am responding to your questions, there are about fifty students working with various organizations across the country in the social sectors, experiencing the real India.

SRIJAN, a business plan and incubation competition of IWSB, saw more than 250 young teams pitching with their ideas from across the country. The three month process went through regional rounds hosted at IIT Bombay and Delhi, IIM Kolkata, IISc Bangalore with eminent panels evaluating the ideas. The finals were held at IWSB campus at Greater Noida wherein top 16 ideas were showcased. We are in the process of incubating the top six winners who emerged after evaluation by panels that included Prof Anil Gupta, serial entrepreneurs Mahesh Murthy, Vishwadeep Bajaj, Hitesh Oberoi, a few professors from IIMs, mentors from department of science and technology, a couple of young CEOs and private equity funders. We are very positive that many of these aspiring entrepreneurs are taking the challenges of creating alternatives that will be of use to the common man.

We have initiated partnerships with central and state governments that will eventually lead to inspiring youth in the countryside start their own small enterprises. We are involved in revitalizing 20 ITIs (industrial training institutes) with various state governments. We see this initiative in a couple of years creating ‘entrepreneurial enthusiasm’ among the rural youth. We have been partnered by states like Rajasthan to create SKILL SCHOOLS to make youth of the state employable. We would like to make sure some of them turn out to be entrepreneurs.

We have started partnering with great entrepreneurial facilitators like TIE, SRISTI, Deshpande Foundation etc.

TIE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, a global forum for promoting entrepreneurship initiated by South Asian entrepreneurs from silicon valley, now with presence in over 12 countries of the world. In each of the summits, TIE creates opportunities for students and youth from various institutions to rub shoulders with stalwarts from industry and other sectors to interact, question, share and get inspired. For more check on www.tie.org or http://www.tie.com

NIF, National Innovation Foundation (www.nifindia.com) and SRISTI (society for research and initiatives for sustainable technologies and institutions (www.sristi.org), are initiatives of Prof Anil Gupta from IIM Ahmedabad, that have contributed immensely in unearthing the innovations across the hinterland of India, and have been taking a few of them to market place every year, not limited to India but across the world. It is our privilege to associate with such a movement.

Deshpande Foundation (http://www.deshpandefoundation.org), initiated by Gururaj and Jaishree Deshpande, is invigorating grass root entrepreneurship in uttara kanara. Its work in fostering and promoting sustainable developmental initiatives is too exciting to be not associating with.

‘Partnering the state and central governments, along with like-minded organizations as stated above to foster entrepreneurship’ will be our cornerstone to empower the youth, urban and rural, to transform the REAL INDIA.

What kind of response are you looking at when economy is in Gloom? Kindly share a case study / testimonial.

It has always been observed that ENTREPRENEURSHIP BLOOMS when the ECONOMY is in GLOOM. Crisis begets the best.

A couple of months ago, I was in EAST CHAMPARAN, northern Bihar, considered to be one of the most backward districts of this country, during SHODH YATRA under the aegis of NIF. The aim is to unearth innovations from the countryside. It is no surprise that Mr. Saidullah, an elderly gentleman who has designed the amphibian bicycle, and awarded for innovation by none other than Dr. APJ Kalam, comes from this district.

We came across another gentleman, Mr. Sinha, who has developed a silensor for 14 KV generators that limits the noise pollution to just 5 metres and air pollution by almost 98%. He is being courted not only by some financial institutions to fund through NIF’s initiatives but also one of the large generator manufacturing company wants to manufacture his innovation to cater to large market that is just waiting to grab it. Mr. Sinha invested rupees six thousand from his pocket to innovate one piece, once it goes into mass production, the costs could dramatically come to three digits for the additional feature.

In the last couple of months many young men and women, who have been hitherto working for well-known corporates have quit all those ‘cushy’ positions to become edupreneures, started CL centres or initiating schools, and are dirtying their hands, right now so to speak, with a clear vision to make things happen.

So, many youngsters are restless to do something on their on, and they are looking at entrepreneurship very seriously. As a nation we should stroke it and make it happen.

How does your company assist the entrepreneurs when project gets approved by you? On what parameters do you evaluate the viability of a project?

Markets are always going to be there for innovations that can solve societal problems. They should be scalable and replicable. Indus World School of Business has an incubation lab that scouts for such people with ideas and passion, then invests and mentors if they are willing to dirty their hands.

We are always eager to strike or further our partnerships with entities like TIE, SRISTI, Deshpande foundation etc. so as to see that the ideas that emerge from corners of the country, from common men and women, find a place of pride under the sun and in the shelves of stores that each one of us walks into.

We are going to see many eminent entrepreneurs who have made their name in the last couple of decades jump into mentoring and funding young emerging entrepreneurial ideas, and we are definitely going to seek their help, co-opt them in our endeavours in this space.

For other organizations that intend to promote entrepreneurship, what advise do you have? How beneficial is partnering with local bodies / specialized institutions?

Good to have more organizations that is looking to promote entrepreneurship. I would like to confess that we ourselves are just ‘beginning’ our journey. It is a long and exciting journey and we would like to see as many jump into this exciting journey and swim even when tides are pushing one back. Partnering like-minded institutions will always help when the going gets tough.

“Careers in entrepreneurship are bound to catch up in India,” kindly comment

The whole of this discussion has been on this one sentence… Nation is waiting to explode entrepreneurially in every walk of life… let us facilitate it happen.

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Looking forward to your inputs and comments… sreeni@careerlauncher.com

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