Building India One Start-Up At A Time: Rising Bharat At NIT Rourkela
The concepts of entrepreneurship and startups might seem similar but are not really. Confused? Pretty much obvious! The Foundation for Technology and Business Incubations(FTBI), NIT Rourkela supported by Startup Odisha and Entrepreneurship Cell conducted an event on October 22, 2019, which witnessed energetic and versatile personalities who spoke about various amazing and intriguing aspects of startups like the one mentioned above. The speakers explained major technicalities and delicacies with such elegance which left the attendees quite much astounded and stupefied. But do not worry about a thing as we have got you covered with all the happenings of the evening.
The event kicked off with the FTBI startup heads interacted with the audience and teaching them the lessons they learnt in their entrepreneurial journey till now. Anurag Mishra from Estino, Abhijeet Sahoo, founder and CEO- Ovotees, Suraj Kumar Nayak from Clavictor, and the head of Awalk Innovations gave short speeches and later on asked the audience if they had any questions.
After this session, Dr Rajeev Kumar Panda, Professor in Charge of Foundation for Technology and Business Incubations addressed the audience and invited Prof. S.K. Patel to come on the stage and say a few words.
The three main speakers of the evening were:
Mr Saurabh Jain- Vice-President of Paytm
Mr Bipin Babu- Co-Founder of Innowork
Saurav Trivedi- Co-Founder and Director of Baudhik ventures
Three P’s of a startup by Saurabh Jain:
Kicking off the evening with a powerful session by introducing the students to his concept of three Ps- Product, People and Purchasing Power, he explains what an entrepreneur actually needs to make his start-up a success. He laid down the lifecycle of a start-up in a very basic manner:
Search for a problem
Build a product to solve that problem
Scale that product to a large platform
Create a Portfolio to sell that product.
He also introduced the students to a new initiative by Paytm- Build with Paytm in which Paytm is providing financial incentives to growing entrepreneurs.
Three I’s by Bipin Babu:
Propagating the message of INNOWORK- Innovation, Intention and Investments, Mr Bipin Babu explained the concept of Rising Bharat and how it provides a platform to start-ups. Build his career on start-ups, Bipin started his first start-up at the age of 19 and sold it to a company today known as Viacom18. Having worked in reputed companies like Google and invested in companies like Snapchat, Bipin’s life has been an example of how versatile an entrepreneur can be.
He then explained to our budding entrepreneurs what an Angel Investor is looking for:
Don’t be jazzy or sassy, just be real. Don’t just have an amazing idea, build and justify it.
Credibility and Brand name of a company by Saurabh Trivedi:
He begins his session with examples of some infringement cases in which one company has to pay a fine or modify its product just because their ideas matched. He discussed why patents and brand name is important for a start-up to earn revenue. Continuing his session on technicalities related to a start-up, he gave a few examples on how to commercialize your product.
On the backdrop of Ideas pitching session, team Monday Morning caught up with Saurabh Jain, Vice-President of Paytm for some words for our readers:
Monday Morning(MM): What do you think about the start-up culture in India? Are you satisfied with it?
Sourabh Jain(SJ): I am happy with the way in which the start-up culture ecosystem is growing in India. But there is a scope to grow a lot more. There was a start-up event in China in which more than one million people come to participate. So, in scale, we lag behind other countries, but the way in which it is growing, it will become a very big part of the Indian market and economy in the next five years.
MM: Belonging to a commerce background, how did you come to the field of technology?
SJ: This is an interesting story. When I was in class 6th, I was playing the super Mario game and my mother told me that you will get nothing in life by playing super Mario game. So I decided that I will do something and make games like Super Mario. I started learning computer science and learned the C language in class 7. I was all set to pursue it further but due to the untimely passing of my father, I decided to stay at home in Delhi and continue the same family business. After I completed my CA, I decide to pursue it again as you don’t need any prior knowledge of Physics Chemistry and mathematics to go into computer science. So started learning things myself and my habit of self-study helped me a lot.
MM: What appealed you so much in Mobile Application Technology that you contributed so much to it?
SJ: At the time I actually started working in the field of Computer Science, I wanted to do something new and something that is going to be relevant in future. So I picked up Mobile Application Technology in 2001 with a dream that every middle-class family will have a smartphone in a few years. But now I am very happy to see a revolution that now even Rickshaw drivers and Vegetable vendors are using mobile and using mobile payment methods like PayTM and UPI to accept payments. That also helped my career so much because now the Mobile Application Technology has become the most pursued field in the computer science field nowadays.
MM: How will you inspire a student who is exposed to good placement opportunities to go for startups?
SJ: I would simply say that it totally depends upon what you expect from life. To answer this I would like to share an interesting happening from my personal life. I was running my own startup and practically every startup owner has to work at least 6 days a week and sometimes that reaches to 7 days a week, so I used to work from morning to evening even sometimes at night. A friend of mine who is now vice-president of HDFC bank and earlier in those times used to be the A.V.P. quite a times made my wife question me that you used to be more of him but now he earns more than you. Now being in PAYTM I cannot say if I am earning more or less than him but I can definitely say that I am earning at par with him.
Both have their own perks. The job provides my friend stability but what my startup gave me was the passion and the happiness of changing the world one day. Paytm somehow gives me both, money as well as opportunity keeping me as well as my wife happy(chuckles).
MM: With the ocean of startups coming up every day, what unique feature a startup must possess to create its place in the market place?
SJ: If a startup focuses on any societal problem then it is unique in itself. Most startups these days focus on technology and primarily what the media covers. Once my cousin came to me and said, whenever I am ready with an idea and am about to start a startup, somebody else is also ready with the same idea. My question to him was, from where do you get your ideas? He said from ECONOMIC TIMES.
My friend Vijay Shekhar Sharma(Founder, Paytm) has been covered by economic times and when economic times started covering Paytm, it was already running for many years!
I would say if you are are trying to extract an idea from somewhere, you need to be a great researcher but still if you are trying to solve a problem your startup would definitely emerge as a unique and innovative idea.
MM: Tell us something about the working environment of Paytm.
SJ: Despite being on a very large scale now, we are technically a startup. The only dissimilarity between my startup which I was running earlier and Paytm is the resources and the people. The resources and the people in Paytm are many times my startup but we all are under pressure and uncertainty. The technology changes, human taste changes, and moreover government policies changes, to build a product under that uncertainty is indeed a very exciting challenge.
In my opinion, if someone is from a ‘Sarkari Naukri’ mindset, it is going to be a really tough job for him/her to work at Paytm and deal with the pressure.
MM: Inspire our reader with a few words on entrepreneurship.
SJ: I would like the readers to know one thing that Entrepreneurs are the one which saves the country from internal problems. An army is a fighting force that fights primarily on land and protects the country from external enemies but who would save it from the internal problems. Here is when the Entrepreneurs come into the picture. I would put them at par with the army people as they are a lot of problems in India which cannot be dealt with alone by the government due to several reasons but can be handled by the Entrepreneurs as they are flexible, techno-savvy, design-savvy, etc and hence, I salute Entrepreneurs in the same way I salute the soldiers fighting for us on the border.
Binay Tulshyan, the president of E-Cell NIT Rourkela was very happy about the event and had this to say,
Event was really a great success, attendees were very interested to listen to VP Paytm and they found his words worth hearing and full of knowledge. I personally found it interesting. It taught me many practical technicalities. I want to have a startup of my own but didn’t know a lot of things which would help me to fulfil my dreams and keep me motivated throughout. They taught us how an entrepreneur should think and work to be successful. It is beneficial for all those out there who want to be an entrepreneur and have a startup of their own.
Team MM congratulates E-cell on all its accomplishments and completion of this event. We wish them all the best for their upcoming ventures.