The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr DEEPAK GOEL

CEO – KARMACIRCLES

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Understanding of the above quote is an important pre-requisite for an entrepreneur to be successful. The path of Entrepreneurship is the one that is filled with utmost uncertainties that one can face compared to the other naturally progressing career options.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, Great Lakes, offered me ample opportunities to interact and learn directly from the masters of this trade. As the campus is located in the corporate hub of the country, Great Lakes, Gurgaon enables extensive industry engagement with entrepreneurs, CXOs and industry experts as they visit the campus regularly to share their perspectives with the future business leaders of the nation. That’s how our batch (PGDM 2017-19) got to meet Mr Deepak Goel, CEO & Founder Karmacircles.

Mr Deepak Goel’s Guest Lecture at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was a compilation of his life and thought processes that aimed at providing the students with a more Entrepreneurial viewpoint of life rather than just living in terms of pay packages. An IIT-Delhi educated techie who went on to live the “American Dream” with his job at Microsoft to pursuing his MBA at UC, Berkeley to working at multiple companies from scratch with an entrepreneurial spirit and making them grow to where they are today, he has worn multiple hats because of his multi-faceted skill sets. This is what differentiates him from the other bunch of entrepreneurs, at least in the Indian context. He truly learnt the art of Entrepreneurship in and out, theoretically and practically to be able to follow his life calling of creating Karmacircles.

The lecture was a mix of Startup Organizational Culture, Valuation of Startups, General Principles of Success and quite an insightful bunch of advice to the multiple questions asked by the Students.

At the start of the lecture, he laid a very simple formula for a successful startup involving just four steps. (1) Identify the problem you want to solve, (2) Solve the problem, (3) Monetize the Solution created and then (4) go for more money to scale up the solution. A rather simple algorithm which in reality is really difficult to follow as even developing/handling that one simple product/solution is quite complex. This is what calls for the Product Management Concept. Explaining his understanding and experiences in Product Management, he expressed dissatisfaction of how Product Management is done or pursued by organizations in India as it still remains to be a highly misunderstood concept in the country. Being a seasoned professional in the field, he emphasized how the concept can help in building successful products within a company, going on to creating multiple successful companies within a big company, like Google. Working at Microsoft, he knew much more about Google and its processes than Microsoft which earned him the name of “The Google Guy.” He then shared some insights as to how Google managed its Product Line and has grown from a Search Engine to the huge yet entrepreneurial tech-conglomerate it is today.

He then went on to share his learning experiences under the guidance of Eric Ries of the Lean Startup fame and even Eric Ries’ Guru Steve Blank. The two major concepts he learnt were The Value Hypothesis and Growth Hypothesis. When these philosophies are incorporated in a company in its ideation phase, it significantly enhances its probability of achieving long-term success, thereby, ensuring value and growth creation.

Explaining Value Hypothesis, Mr. Goel talked in detail how companies can create value. Not just in monetary terms, but value that customers can relate to. But for doing so, the companies must have an eagle eye vision of the solution of the problem that they set out to tackle. Giving real examples from the start-up and corporate world, he differentiated how certain companies create value straight away to companies that create value over time.

Constantly comparing his Valley experience to his Indian experience, he stated that Indian start-ups and new-age companies mainly focus only on creating monetary value but not the intangible value and many of those companies go on to create initial momentum, to a great extent monetize it, but keep pushing their goalposts for the value creation. One of the main questions he raised during the lecture was whether these companies will be able to continue the momentum once the cash inflow slows down.

Explaining Growth Hypothesis, he talked about continuously doing what you do best and create personal and home-ground advantage in areas as such to create a true product that can grow sustainably over time.

Commenting on the Indian attitude of approaching jobs, he shared his story further and explained how he took several pay cuts in order to expand his learning curve, something he finds lacking in the Indian scenario. Linking the topic, he shared the factors one should consider while taking up a new job and said that the person you are going to work for, is the most important factor. Not being completely driven by package but rather through the group one is going to work with and the learning outcome one has out of the job as other major factors. He advised students to be ethical and act professionally when it comes to working in organizations.

In the last few minutes of the lecture, he gave a brief glimpse of his passions which include, Social Networks, Mentoring, and creating valuable products that solve problems. Being an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I found this session to be the most illuminating.

Such interactions with industry stalwarts prepare the students for the challenges of the business world and Great Lakes gives utmost importance to these guest lectures as they are the most crucial ingredient for developing business ready managers. The importance of these interactions is evident with the fact that 150 plus industry leaders, entrepreneurs and CXOs have visited Great Lakes last year and shared their valuable insights with the students to prepare them for what’s to come.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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Importance of Social Media Analytics by Himani Agrawal

Himani Agrawal visited Great Lakes campus to share her insights on Digital Analytics and its future with students. Himani is passout of 98′ batch of IIM Calcutta, she has worked with Microsoft before taking the role of Marketing Manager at SAP. Discussion centered around how modern day marketing is more about understanding data using statistical tools and how onus of being custodian of brand lies in hand of marketing manager.

There are tools and technology which enable companies us to process and make sense of big data, we can understand consumer behavior like never before. With the advent of social media, companies now-days are very concerned about their online brand image, be it response to new product, service levels, promotions or news because consumers are vocal than ever before to express their emotions on social platforms. Companies need to continuously monitor such trends which can provide them time to address issues with actions which can be measured (again by listening to trends). It is also easy to measure ROI and effectiveness of a campaign.

SAP NetBase is an ERP software, its millions of servers connects to social media platforms like Twitter/Facebook/Blogs and can ‘listen’ to what consumers have to say about Brands and their competitors. Through Natural language processing tool it can understand slang terms like ‘gr8’ and ‘my phone is sick’ and also update its database automatically as new slangs emerge. She also talked about SAP JAM through which organizations can do social collaboration and include all stakeholders like employees, partners and customers to share information which can shorten sales cycle and improve engagements.

Since Analytics as a specialization is offered by Great Lakes, Gurgaon and Gurgaon is hub of Internet/ecommerce companies such insights by Himani really helped generate interest among students , who plan to take marketing and analytics as a specialization.

New Beginnings @ Great Lakes Gurgaon…

Landed at the Delhi airport and the first thing I thought was that my face was going to tear off because of the 40 degree heat wave. It made the Chennai heats seem like a breeze. FACT!

Thank God for the AC cab, I made it to the college. The admissions team handed over a few documents for me to fill and then there was the long wait for sorting through the fee, accommodation and scorecard papers. Finally, I was done with the registration process around 4 pm and was ready to be taken to what would be my home for the next year.

Day 1 of induction started with a bang and gave us a proper feel of the year that was to be.  With more than 10 hours of interactive sessions with our Directors and professors and fantastic Powertalks from CXOs of 2 companies – Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Shopclues.com and Mr. Eric Fridolfsson, South Asia Head, IKEA, followed by a farewell cum welcome party in the evening – our day was jam packed. And all this, even before the course had actually begun. Looked like it would turn out to be a year to look forward to!

The first day also taught us a lesson in contingency planning for the lectures that were supposed to be round up by 5:30pm continued till 7:30pm leaving us with no chance to go back to our hostels and change. And we did well for beginners. For, come 8 pm, we were at Club Rhino, ready to party in our full fledged business attires!

Great Lakes Farewell and Welcome Party

L to R – Titans Rithvik, Richa, Ehtisham and Yogesh @ Club Rhino, Gurgaon.

Great Lakes Gurgaon Titans Party

and when the drinks kicked in !

 

 

Seeing the professors and seniors recollecting their time together made us realize that we were only a year away from a party like this organized for us and that, indeed, there was no time to stand and stare in a yearlong MBA program!

But all good things come to an end. And so did the party. And finally, we headed back to our rooms wondering whether we could battle the hangover and wake up early enough to make it to the Convocation the next morning!

Yogesh Babu

A proud Titan
PGPM Class of 2014
Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Global Energy Scene by Dr. Harish Ahuja

Dr. Harish Ahuja

President (Strategy & Corporate Affairs) – Moser Baer Projects Private Ltd.

Date: 04th Nov 2011

Great Lakes IEMR is fortunate to host Dr. Harish Ahuja as a part of Industry Thought Leader Series. He is the President (Strategy & Corporate Affairs) at M/s. Moser Baer Projects Private Ltd., New Delhi. His areas of expertise are Power markets, Energy risk management & Strategic planning of Power sector i.e. regulation, generation, transmission, distribution & trading. Prior to joining Moser Baer Projects, Dr. Ahuja was Joint Secretary, Department of Power, Government of Delhi. Before that, he served as Director (Finance & Law) in Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Union Territories & State of Goa, Ministry of Power, Government of India. Dr. Ahuja did his Graduation in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Raipur, Ph. D from IIT Delhi and PGP in Applied Finance from IIM Kolkata.

Dr. Ahuja started the session by discussing about the present and future World Energy Scenario. He mentioned that there is huge demand for Energy which depends upon the wealth of the nations. He stated that the Energy intensity is decreasing and the per capita consumption is varying extremely across the various countries. Then he compared the primary and final energies consumption and also talked about the usage of primary energy in various forms of final energy like heat, transportation and electricity. Later he moved on to the Energy geographies and explained about Oil, Natural gas, Coal, Renewable sources and Electricity.

Dr. Ahuja has thrown light on the world reserves, production, the major producers and consumers of Crude oil, Natural gas and Coal. Further he spoke about the renewable energy sources and pointed that solar and wind will be the key contributors to the future energy needs. Then he discussed about the electricity generation from various sources of energy and explained how the trend has been changing over the period with the technology and fuel availability.

Dr. Ahuja finally compared the world energy consumption with energy consumption of India and also talked about the energy demand trend in the future from various sources of energy. The session was very interactive and ended as Dr. Ahuja answered the questions posed by the students about the world energy future, open access in T&D and nuclear energy.