The making of an entrepreneur

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by Meera Srinivasan

As entrepreneurship gains momentum, the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society Regional Summit at IIT-M presents an exciting opportunity for aspiring business leaders to share and explore their ideas.

How exciting it would be to come up with an idea, incubate it and later develop it into a good business model? For those, who value creativity, originality and hard work, entrepreneurship seems to be the right choice.

Once an area not all that explored, entrepreneurship has now emerged a worthy option where those, who have made successful attempts are quite eager to share their experience. What has worked for one may not necessarily work for another, but nothing like having the opportunity to learn from others’ successes, and importantly, mistakes?

When the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) Regional Summit is held in Chennai for the first time from August 22 to 28, it would be one such opportunity where the young and the experienced meet. (For details, visit: www.asesindia.iitm.ac.in)

An initiative of the Cell for Technology, Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Support (C-TIDES) at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, the event seeks to provide a platform for students, aspiring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and veteran entrepreneurs to come together.
The ASES is a student organization based at Stanford University, California, whose mission is to educate and network the future leaders in business, technology in the Asia-Pacific in order to foster a global entrepreneurship society, says an organizing member.

With networking having become one of the key strategies for any profession and more so, for entrepreneurship, the event promises to be the ideal forum for anyone with that one brilliant idea.

In fact, several networking initiatives have picked up in a significant way both in the real and virtual world. The National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), for instance, is a non-profit initiative that seeks to inspire, develop and support aspiring entrepreneurs.

The NEN recently expanded its activities to bring together college pass-outs and budding entrepreneurs in one platform. It has about 70,000 members in 30 cities, an indication of the prevalent level of interest in entrepreneurship.

What is it about entrepreneurship that has made it such   an interesting career option? Whether it’s the story of M. Mahadevan, whose enterprise brought an exotic menu to Chennai’s restaurant scape, or that of IIM-A graduate E. Sarath Babu, who decided to pursue his dream and establish a catering service, the bottom line is that these are not far-fetched efforts that require magical powers.

With passion, perseverance and the willingness to take risk, anyone with that spark can make their attempt a success story that would inspire others, is something Sarath Babu tells youngsters all the time.

“Growth depends on our capability and there is just no limit to it,” he says, over three years after he established his company.

Speaking of challenges, he says every entrepreneur is bound to encounter different challenges in the initial years. “Once we learn to deal with them, there is no looking back,” says the young entrepreneur.

Quite a few students are showing keen interest in entrepreneurship, if the activities of student cells in arts and science colleges are any indication. Many city colleges have started hosting bazaars, where students make or source products and display them for sale in stalls.

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