Last week I was at the Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME) campus in Electronics City, Phase 2, Bangalore. While I enjoyed the talks and panels, I also benefitted from the long and detailed comments from three senior academics in entrepreneurship.
There are a few reasons why attending this conference was special to me:
- I listened to speakers, many of whom were from the theme areas identified for the conference. Few academics and many practitioners presented their thoughts. This clearly highlights the limited scholarly work conducted in the area and the greenfield for potential research that exists.
- I enjoyed the keynote address (talk) by Prof Larry Cox from Pepperdine University USA. His short creativity exercise was interesting and useful. His discovery of India’s ‘Language of Horns’ was hilarious and eye-opening. Above all his idea of taking intellectual property from labs and bringing it to the classroom was exciting and my biggest take-away from the conference.
- Having three senior academics (Prof Mathew Minimal, Prof Jay Mitra, Prof Larry Cox) especially from your same domain, listening to your paper presentation is itself a lot these days. But them, spending 30 minutes on your paper, providing specific feedback, comments and inputs for improving the manuscript are just a bonus. I am writing this because it is such a rare occurrence in an academic conference these days. If you attend many conferences in India, you will appreciate the value of what I have just shared. Thanks to XIME for making this happen.
- I made new friends and enjoyed the hospitality of the institute. I believe academic agencies / institutions have to make it financially easier for doctoral students to attend more such conferences. It will be a big contribution to the research ecosystem in this country.
- I must also mention that I received the ‘Best Paper Award’ too at the conference. This was a cherry on the cake! Thanks to the reviewers and conference chairs to giving me and my co-author (Dr Balachandran) this award.
Thoughts from moving around in Bangalore: While I have had wonderful experiences in Bangalore, during this trip I spent time travelling across the city for a few meetings. Every intra-city move took a few hours, cost a lot of money, and exposed me to the growing pollution (all kinds) that we are creating for ourselves. While I do not want to give a discourse on what we need to do to become more sustainable, I can only say that I did become more sensitive to the growing risks of sustainability. If we don’t do something about it soon, reversal may not be a possibility. I am sure this will not be the end, but it may not be a very pleasant beginning of something else either. Lets sensitise ourselves of this growing challenge and take small individual actions. Let us apply Mahatma Gandhi’s age-old wisdom – ‘Be the change you want to see’.
Happy Thinking and Happy Acting!