17 March, 2011

Notes from the IIT Mentors Program, Bangalore 2011.

Attended the inauguration of the IIT Mentors program here in India. The program is based on a pay-it-forward model with the goal of helping mentees reach out to mentors in the four tracks of Entrepreneurship, Corporate, Academia, Research.

The idea is to also impart Life skills along the way. Mentors would be able to advise, cheer and guide the Mentee over a period of 8-10 weeks with the Mentees required to spend a min of 10-15 hours a week.

More on the engagement model can be found here

The keynote was delivered by Kris Gopalakrishnan the CEO of Infosys and it was really nice of him to share a few stories on the mentors he remembers from his life. There were were many points that is worth mentioning from his talk. Here are the few.
  • You need a lot of patience in entrepreneurship. You have to aim to be there for a long time. 
  • Plan out your business roll out in phases. 
  • Any good organization has to develop and groom its leaders internally.
  • Accidental entrepreneurs are rare. If you want to be accidental, might as well buy a lottery. 
  • When you are in the business scaling phase, you need to identify the multiple engines of growth and work on them equally. 
  • You need to identify what is the predictable revenue source and can you generate that over a period.
  • In most startups the fallout happens in the transition phase. 
  • Its only when the operational load sets in that people start seeing the burden and often it results in  fallout. 
  • One has to have the vision of creating the instituion. 
  • The goals of building the institution has to be larger than the goals of the individual. 
  • You need to constantly research to create new products and services. 
  • If a job does not give you recognition, SHIFT. 
  • If a job gives you recognition, STAY ON. 
  • Good work cannot be suppressed for long. 
  • Think about Change and give it Time to happen. 
  • Have defined and realistic milestones. 
  • Have the confidence in your IDEA. 
  • Get early funding and work on it.
  • Don't start with your own money unless you are willing to take the risk completely, or are a rich dad's son! 
  • Do not postpone discussions on matters related to Downturns, Problems and Finances within the organization. 
  • The spirit of entrepreneurship in India is catching up.  
  • Always evaluate Success and look into what Value you are delivering to others. 
  • Do you see your other team members as equally delivering those values.
  • Create new jobs and give back to the society. 
  • The society respect is more than any amount of money earned.

Also met up a couple of VCs during the example mentoring session. Very interesting to hear from them on how they go about deciding whom to fund and how they verify.

The starts of this event looks promising and I am sure a lot of the IIT Alumni would benefit out of this.

Looking forward to more.

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