ISB Updates

Building an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship

What does it take for a start-up to succeed and sustain? What does it take to translate an idea into a profitable business? What are the considerations while pitching an idea to the investor and what does the investor look for? Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business (ISB) Mohali campus, hosted a workshop on incubators and start-ups, along with Government of Punjab, to discuss policies, frameworks and best practices for incubators and start-ups to answer not only these questions but many others. This workshop aimed to broadly cover the entire ecosystem required for supporting an efficient innovation, entrepreneurship and start-up culture.
Esteemed speakers from relevant areas of incubation and start-ups, Government of Punjab, Department of Science and Technology, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, business incubators, angel funds, start-ups and academia along with ISB faculty, were part of this session. It was a great learning experience for the audience, hearing it from the practitioners.
According to Madhav Lal, Executive Director, Bharti Institute, the purpose of this workshop was to create a complete ecosystem of subject matter experts and interested people to support an efficient innovation, entrepreneurship and start-up culture. “The idea is to cover as much ground as possible. Once we identify the key issues and challenges we can go deeper into them.” he said.

Subject matter experts from various verticals of start-ups and incubators came up on stage and spoke about what works and what does not. Leaders who addressed the audience were Dr Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Investment and Promotion, Government of Punjab, Mr H.K.Mittal, Adviser, Member Secretary, National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Mr. Ravindra Nath, Chairman cum MD, The National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Dr. Raghunandan Rajamani, Executive Director, Indian STEPs and Business Incubators Association (ISBA).
During a panel discussion on funding for start-ups Mr. Rakesh Rewari, former deputy MD, SIDBI, and CEO SIDBI Venture Capital Limited, spoke about a start-up’s need for initial support. A big challenge is to support those who don’t have venture capital support, he said. He added that in the last two years government has understood the importance of start-ups being job creators and has taken steps to encourage VC funds, for example. Professor Ramabhadran Thirumalai from ISB touched upon a key factor of the process which was to pitch an idea to the investor. He gave useful tips on what to say, how to prepare and present. Mr. Munish Jauhar, CEO, GrayCell Technologies, Angel Investor, Chandigarh Angel Network, raised an important point that the primary focus is not on money but on mentoring the start-ups through professional support and advice. He also talked about the investment criteria that are sought for funding a start-up. Last but not the least, Mr. K.S. Bhatia, founder and CEO, Pumpkart, shared his personal experiences and the challenges he faced as an entrepreneur.
The session saw several interesting queries from the enthusiastic participants. Bharti Institute plans to give inputs to the government of Punjab for the start-up policy post the series of these workshops.