The competition that had been titled “YES Aspire to INNOVATE scholar” did consider entrepreneurial vision of the candidates as a criterion for selecting the winners. Despite not having a vision as such, I made it through. I like to believe that my honest answers and never say die attitude sealed the deal in my favor. Yet, honestly I do not have any disruptive idea in my mind and my natural self always tries to avoid chaos and uncertainty.
Wondering what would I do with the mentors assigned and how would I come up with innovative ideas all along, I arrived in Mumbai on a March morning for the felicitation ceremony. I had my own doubts, fears and was not that sure if I was indeed the right fit in a hall full of future entrepreneurs. However, my fears were somewhat allayed by the topic for panel discussion – “At the Crossroads: Blue Chip Job vs. Bootstrapped Startup”.
The panel was comprised of people from various fields with deep, diverse experience. There was the person whose journey had been a conventional one, one that I could easily relate to. However, the chairs were also warmed by someone, who had innovation running in his genes. His grandfather, much like Steve Jobs, had envisioned and had launched a business ahead of its time sensing its need for the general public. That business of his is now a most widely read and respected English daily.
The panelists shared their insights into the emerging trends and evolving landscape of corporates looking to build both an intrapreneurial culture as well as a startup ecosystem.
While the panel couldn’t reach over a consensus on whether a person should opt for a plum job offer from a reputed corporate or get his hands dirty in an emerging startup, they agreed on the point that one should invest his time and energy in things which he is passionate about, which is the only route towards excellence.
Later in the night, while interacting with my mentor, who seemed very passionate about innovations, I asked, “Why haven’t you ventured out on your own?” He said, “The bank offers me enough opportunities to take risks, expand my horizons, and innovate”. It seems that at times an opportunity may beckon wherein one doesn’t even have to go through this dilemma in first place!
Akshat Modi, an Yes Aspire to Innovate Scholar, is the media guy of IIM Rohtak, handling the media and PR activities in all the events that happen round the year in the institute.