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'India can rise when job seekers turn job creators'

Last updated on: October 21, 2009 18:07 IST

'More job seekers must turn job creators'

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Shobha Warrier
in Chennai
"Most of the entrepreneurial energy is focused on products and services at the top end of the market. But there is significant opportunity to unlock the potential of about 800 million Indians who are at the base of the economic pyramid," says Krishna Tanuku, executive director at the Wadhawani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development.

He is upbeat on the TiE-ISB Connect, an annual event jointly organised by the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and the Hyderabad chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) at the Indian School of Business, to promote budding entrepreneurs.

The TiE-ISB Connect 2009 starts on October 22 in Hyderabad with a workshop on 'Jumpstart your Venture' followed by various other sessions like funding and operational challenges during seed stage, taking India forward and company showcase. Krishna Tanuku talks on what to expect from the event.

With an optimistic theme, 'The Crisis will pass...Will you?' how do you plan to help the budding entrepreneurs?

A good entrepreneur can always find opportunity, even in adversity. While economic cyclicalities are inevitable, there is always room for innovation and entrepreneurship. Our theme reflects this belief.


Image: Krishna Tanuku, executive director at the Wadhawani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development

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Last year's theme was, 'The next 800 million opportunities'. Were you able to tell them about so many opportunities? This year, are you going to talk about 800 million more opportunities? Where do you see these opportunities?

Traditionally, most entrepreneurial energy is focused on products and services at the top end of the market. But there is significant opportunity to unlock the potential of the about 800 million Indians who are at the base of the economic pyramid, who have hitherto been untouched by economic activity.

Last year's theme was aimed at providing aspiring entrepreneurs with insights into the opportunities in this market, across a diverse sectors including agriculture and agri-processing, manufacturing, retail, energy, among others. This will continue to be a large market for many more years, and our events will continue to focus on the emerging opportunities.

How successful was TiE-ISB 2008 Connect?

This is an ongoing process, and success cannot be measured for one year in isolation. Over the years, TiE-ISB connect has helped create more new ventures, provided access to funding through the network they established with venture capitalists.


Image: 800 million Indians are at the base of the economic pyramid.

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'India can rise when job seekers turn job creators'

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What is the 'Company Showcase' all about?

'Company Showcase' is an opportunity for young and exciting companies and showcase their products/services to the niche audience participating in the conference.

Companies participating will have the advantage of discussing and receiving quality feedback from fellow entrepreneurs, venture investors and business leaders. This again provides networking opportunities for our participants.

In what way can entrepreneurs take India forward?

India is a large country with significant socio economic diversity, unmet needs of consumers at all levels and more importantly, millions of people with significant aspirations to move up.

India can move forward much faster when a few millions of job seekers become jobs creators. Once this happens, the country can move faster in the right direction.


Image: Need to create more jobs.

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'India can rise when job seekers turn job creators'

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How important is the presence of entrepreneurs for the growth of an economy?

Entrepreneurship is a basic building block of every nation's economic growth. According to a study conducted by Kauffman Foundation, about one third of today's US economy (about $3.5 trillion) comes form companies that did not exist about 20 years ago. This entire economic growth essentially came through entrepreneurship route.

Building an effective entrepreneurial ecosystem is far more important for a country like India where in about 15 years, its demographics will include more than 500 million people below the age of 25 with very high aspirations.


Image: Entrepreneurs vital for economic growth.

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'India can rise when job seekers turn job creators'

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Is it essential for a management school to have a centre to nurture entrepreneurial talent?

The primary role of any good management school is 3 fold; creating a body of appropriate and relevant management knowledge and insights, finding effective ways and means to disseminate this knowledge and finally, helping societies to effectively to transform this knowledge into a time bound and measurable actions.

Since entrepreneurship development is one of the key pillars of any country's socio economic development, it is essential that business schools include entrepreneurial development as part of their core focus areas.


Image: The Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

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How successful is a centre exclusively for creating entrepreneurs?

Most centres that focus on entrepreneurship development view their approaches as part of a very long journey with some intermediate check points. Their success should be viewed more from the standpoint of their role in help creating an effective and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Finally, what are your expectations from TiE-ISB 2009?

TiE-ISB is an on going and effective annual programme and is part of an overall journey of enhancing the role of entrepreneurship development in India. We expect the event to advance both ISB and TiE's joint efforts to engage more and more entrepreneurs to participate in and benefit from enormous opportunities available.


Image: TiE-ISB promotes more entrepreneurs.

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