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E Cell has done it again! With 5th year of their flagship event E Summit, they have reestablished themselves as the top centre in India to foster the entrepreneurial spirit. With speakers like Sailesh J Mehta, Tulsi Tanti and Sam Pitroda, E Summit achieved it quotient of glitz and glamour and attracted professionals from almost every field of industry.

E Summit, held on Sunday 6th Feb, was covered by ET now and had Essar at its Title sponsor. The event kicked off with a talk by Ajit Ranade, Chief economist, Aditya Birla group and was followed by a horde of panel discussions, individual speaker talks and workshops. What E summit did was to break down the idea of entrepreneurship into its various aspects and present it in an easy to handle manner, especially for us as IITians who have the potential of creating something from scratch and creating jobs for the rest, rather than taking up a job ourselves. They gave everyone present some perspective; each event was filled with perspectives – success stories, unsuccessful beginnings, the hardships endured and the way through all the difficulties. The events were an eye-opener for all the budding entrepreneurs as each panelist and speaker laid down the various aspects of starting your own company.

We quizzed some of the managers as to the various aspects of having E Summit:

What is the ideology of E Summit?
Udit Gandhi (UG): The ideology is to provide a networking platform for everyone who is keen on starting up. Like every year we had the networking lunch which serves this very purpose. We also had sector specific networking arenas for the same. The events and talks are organized to cover the basics of starting up.
Mayank Lokwani (ML): It serves as a platform to let budding entrepreneurs meet the elite class and learn by example. This year the theme was ‘connecting the dots’ and we tried to bring successful entrepreneurs from different fields such as Tulsi Tanti and Sam Pitroda to give talks since these people can inspire others.

What events are covered in E Summit?
UG: This year we had e garage, investors’ point of view on investment, eureka finals, Market opportunity report. Basically the events are meant to cover all the scenarios that a start up may face and to give the to-be entrepreneurs first hand insight into starting up. So it covers the basic questions like where to look for seed funding and what do venture capitalists think before investing in a firm.
ML: This year we looked into sector specific networking arenas such as renewable energy and web services. Fifteen minute talks by 3 to 5 experts, panel discussions and interactive sessions were held so that entrepreneurs get to know about the trends and the possibilities in the sector they would be entering.

How do you select speakers for the sessions?
UG: One of our focuses is IITians. So we call alumni and speakers who have already achieved success in their startups. This helps as alumni know about the life in IIT and various constraints involved. So they can better connect to the audience.
ML: Basically we call all the big names in the industry that can inspire people, people who are first generation entrepreneurs or are innovators in their field.

How did the E Summit fare this year?
ML: It did better than last year. This year we had around 1200 people registered for the networking lunch and around 1500 people who attended the events compared to 700 last year. Also, this time around various names like Ashish Kumar Chauhan, founder NSE; Shaheen Mistri, Sudhakar Shenoy, founder of IMC and Anil Joshi, Head Mumbai Angels gave talks. So it was a success.

So for all you out there dreaming of starting their own company E Summit is the place to be, may be next year. It serves as a first hand guide, a networking platform and trouble shooter for wannabe startups. After all the ‘fundae’ the one clear message that all conveyed was the same, do what you are passionate about and when you do find what you are passionate about follow it with utmost sincerity. Go, start!

– Rushabh Sheth