MICA Students Pitch their Entrepreneurial Dreams

CoolAvenues Newswire | January 27,2014 03:19 pm IST

Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad has been abuzz with excitement, as UK-based investor and Director at Cohezia, Mr. Chandresh Pala, Mr Siddharth Deshmukh, Strategy and Partnerships Director at Cohezia and Mr Amit Kishore, visiting faculty, MICA, were on campus recently to judge viable business models developed by the students.

As a part of the Digital Communication Management specialization course launched in 2013, the final year students of the Post Graduate Programme in Communications Management had to present a Digital Communications Management Project- a business module for a minimum viable product- to Mr. Chandresh Pala, the venture capitalist. The individual projects took approximately 6 months, consisting of planning and execution of their pilot projects and applying the resulting insights into their main business module for the same. Of the 14 students presenting their viable business modules, Sidharth Uchil, Sarabjeet Kaur, Anshul Agarwal, Prerna Gupta and Safna Laskari were shortlisted. Based on mutual interests of the students and Mr. Chandresh Pala, some of the projects can potentially see the light of the day.

Seeing the positively confident attitude of the students Mr. Chandresh Pala observed, “The students do need a larger than life approach to their business dreams and yet, a more real-life perspective on the analytics of their projects and the problems they would most likely face out there. Nonetheless, I was impressed by how well connected they were with their projects and so open to correctly identifying problems within the same!” He further added, “To actually go out and test your entrepreneurial dreams in the world is surely an eye-opener. I would expressly recommend the same to all who dream of big businesses.”

Throwing more light on the process of this 6 month project Mr. Siddharth Deshmukh commented, “We encouraged a ‘fail-fast’ methodology- the more you fail, the quicker will be your learning from the same and application of the insight to your business module.” Professor Rajneesh Krishna, faculty at MICA, elaborated on the same, “The DCM Project was an initiative to integrate the students’ knowledge across varied fields, with the varied marketing skills required on-field, thus moulding them into ‘entrepreneurial managers’.” Commenting further on the same, Mr. Amit Kishore added, “We launched this course with an aim to empower our students with enough knowledge to help them turn their dreams into successful business ventures!”

In resonance with the current trend of social-media Sidharth Uchil’s idea of a social-network linked online platform for product recommendation and advocacy, was quite impressive. Having presented an e-business of monetizing social-media recommendations, Uchil quips, “Though our faculty was constantly guiding us, I highly appreciate the fact that we had to plan, test and re-apply all our knowledge, in a real-world market scenario. It is more about us being satisfied with and confident about our business plan, than about convincing the Venture capitalist!”

Echoing his thoughts, Anshul Agarwal, who presented his popular website for learning and developing vocabulary through memes- funny visuals, added, “This 6 month project was quite insightful- we developed a prototype, ran it in the market, derived and applied its results to the project and developed a revenue model for the same, based on our findings. Thanks to Professor Rajneesh Krishna and Professor U.T. Rao, that we had this amazing opportunity to present out business dreams to a venture capitalist, who can potentially invest in and bring them to life!”

Having show-cased an e-commerce website for price-negotiation for buyers and sellers, Prerna Gupta observes, “This is the first time that I have presented my idea to an investor and the response is very encouraging. This project has given me a huge opportunity to bring to life one of the ideas that I deeply believe in. While working on this project I was faced with various limitations and road blocks, but through pivoting and some research, I could arrive at the optimum and most feasible execution of my idea. I intend to pursue this idea and develop, grow and nourish it to its fullest. And this entire experience has made me more determined and courageous to aim for the sky while pursuing my dreams.

Safna Laskari, who pitched the idea for a mobile app that lists retailers offering deals commented, "Being the first batch of students specializing in DCM, the project gave us an un-paralleled opportunity of being able to take a digital business idea right from the ideation stage to the stage of actually being able to pitch it to a venture capitalist. Throughout the project we had Mr. Siddharth, from the same firm mentoring us and providing us with his valuable inputs." Presenting a website for customizing designer labelled luxury products, Sarabjeet Kaur notes, “The best part of this insightful project was that we learnt so much from the real-world markets out there, while still being rooted in the safe environs of MICA!”

Dr. Nagesh Rao, Director and President at MICA, who was also amongst the panel evaluating the students business modules, informed, “MICA has pioneered a specialization in DCM this academic year, as a part of which, each DCM major worked on a live project and presented it to UK-based venture capitalist, Mr. Chandresh Pala. I’m proud to see the range and creativity of these projects, each having important practical applications in life. It was particularly productive for the students to get insights from Mr. Pala on converting their ideas into viable business plans. As we go forward I expect greater interest amongst students, to major in the Digital Communications Management specialization.” 



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