Raj's Lab

Strategy and Entrepreneurship


Dr APJ Abdul Kalam passes away

We just finished dinner and were walking towards our hostel rooms. One of our friends exclaimed saying “APJ No More?” – all of us in unison said, “If it is a message on whatsapp, please ignore.”

I came to my room and saw three more messages pop up on whatsapp. I immediately opened my laptop to check. I went through a number of articles to make sure what I was reading was true. Sad, but its true! The man who was here on our campus just a few weeks back and enthralled us with his energetic speech and inspired us to work hard, is no more. And what an end? True to his spirit of service, discipline, sacrifice and energy, he died with his boots on. He passed away as he was delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.

His life and his living was truly his message for us. I think we must all learn from his example. To live life as a service to others till the very end. I think the biggest respect we can pay him will be to take responsibility to live our life purposefully. I share with you his message that he gave to us on 20th June 2015.

4 things to stay motivated and achieve in life:

  1. Have a great aim (not small one)
  2. Gain knowledge
  3. Work really hard
  4. Persevere till you reach

(from my notes that I had made during his talk) – I hope we can do all the above.

Peace and Prayers for his soul to rest in peace.

Thanks Dr Kalam for ensuring that we are perennially inspired.


Eleventh Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad hosts a research conference every two years, called the Biennial Conference on its sprawling campus. Over a hundred national and international academicians come together for three days and share their ideas and thoughts. Amidst the brainstorming and networking there is also some entertainment to lighten up the intense discussions.

The Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CREED) drives all the research activities at EDII. The Biennial Conferences are also managed by the centre. The centre also does a lot of other activities like offering fellowships, running a journal, etc. To know more please read here: http://www.ediindia.org/CREED.asp

I first attended the Biennial Conference in 2013 (Tenth). I presented my paper and was happy to listen to so many more from both India and abroad. EDII had announced its Eleventh Biennial Conference (18-20 Feb’15) a few months back. Since this time around I am residing on the beautiful EDII campus, I am also playing my own small role in hosting this grand and probably largest conference on entrepreneurship in this part of the world. Truly excited about this! If you are interested or associated (even remotely) with entrepreneurship, you must not miss this event. To know more about the conference please read here: http://www.ediindia.org/doc/Eleventh-Biennial-Conference-Brochure.pdf Please check with the conference coordinator (details in the link above) about how you can participate in this conference.

Look forward to meet, network, interact and learn a lot through the conversations over the 3 days.

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Announcements: Three FDPs on data analysis in Jaipur

Having taken some baby steps in the field of academic research, I have begun to feel the importance of continuous education for faculty and researchers. While I have conducted number of faculty development programs (FDPs) on entrepreneurship, I have realized how important it is for me to attend a few as well. It gives time for reflection and contemplation apart from picking a few new skills.

Research methods is one such area. It takes time to pick it up well. It requires iterative learning to put it to practical use. Hence FDPs in this area are always welcome. During a recent trip to Jaipur, Dr Prabhat Pankaj shared details of three programs that they, at Jaipuria Jaipur Campus, are intending to conduct on various aspects of data analysis for researchers. The programs seemed relevant and timely. Since this is an area where tools are evolving very fast, I thought of sharing this with the larger community of readers.

While faculty, research scholars and those involved in academic environments may find it useful, I feel these tools are relevant even for entrepreneurs and small businesses to pick up. In a data driven world, what will one do without tools to fish them for patterns. Therefore having a sound knowledge of statistical and econometric methods, tools and techniques can significantly increases one’s chances to produce better research publications.

The three FDPs on Data Analytics:

  1. First FDP focusing on Advance Data Analysis Using SPSS and AMOS will be organized on January 30-31, 2015.
  2. Second FDP on Time Series Econometrics Using E-Views will be organized on February 20-21, 2015.
  3. Third FDP on Qualitative Data Analysis using Atlas-ti will be organized in the month of March, 2015.

For queries / nominations / information please contact Prof. Prashant Sharma:  prashant.sharma@jaipuria.ac.in or +91-7568799687

Happy Learning!

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Announcement: “How to start a business?” Workshop

Too many times during my interactions with aspiring entrepreneurs and students I am asked to handle sessions on “How to start a business?” It is a rather obvious question that every serious wannabe entrepreneur ends up facing. Since there are not too many people well versed in the regulatory affairs and equally adept at teaching them, I find it difficult to refer them anywhere.

So, when Kalyan (a dear friend) called in to share details about his training company (Ace Academy) offering a one day workshop by the title “How to start a business?” I voluntarily accepted to share the information amongst my network.

If you are a serious entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur or a curious student wanting to know what kind of enterprise to set and the related regulatory requirements, then this is the workshop to attend. The details are below:

The workshop will be held at ACE Academy’s training centre at Mylapore on Saturday, 22nd February, 2014, between 10 AM & 5 PM

The workshop will be interactive and will cover the following steps-

1.0    Analyse the business                                                                                                                            –

– Classify according to manufacturing, trading or services

– Know your peers and competitors

– Decide what operations to outsource and which ones to retain in-house

2.0   Decide on the location

– Closer to the customer or closer to the resources

3.0   Decide on the funds  required and means of funding

– Prepare Business Plan

– Decide fund requirements

– Decide on sources of funds

4.0   Decide on the entity

– Decide based on flexibility, speed, credibility, limited liability, cost, etc

5.0   Decide on the name

– Tips on naming

– Booking the name

– Relationship between name and entity

– Apply for trade mark / copy right

6.0   Form the entity

– Proprietorship

– Partnership

– One Person Company


– Private Limited Company

– Public Limited Company

7.0   Obtain PAN & TAN



8.0   Open bank account

– Type of account

– Type of bank

– Documents required

9.0   Registration under tax laws

– Applicability Matrix

– Income Tax

– Central Excise


– Service Tax

10.0            Import Export Code and MSME registration

– Import / Export Code

– MSME Registration

The fee for the workshop is Rs. 2,490/- (Including service tax)

Those interested in benefitting from this workshop can contact +91 44 2498 1027 or 97109 28701.

Please contact the above numbers to register! Good Luck and Happy Learning!

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Announcement: Launchpad Challenge 2014

If you are a student interested in Entrepreneurship then you may want to explore this competition. These days competitions truly serve as a launch pad for start-ups in numerous ways. They include validation of concept, finding co-founders, raising funds for bootstrapping, etc.,. So if you are one such entrepreneurial soul living on any campus in India, here is one more chance for you not to miss. For details and links read below:

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, and the National Entrepreneurship Network are delighted to invite you to take part in Launchpad Challenge 2014 – an initiative that celebrates and supports breakthrough innovations from students across all disciplines! 

If you are a graduate or post-graduate student in India with an exciting idea/product/prototype to share, enter the Challenge to win national recognition and fast-track commercialization support, including:

  • An opportunity to attend an intensive business plan workshop tailored for you
  • An opportunity to pitch your idea/product to leading investors
  • Recognition at the Launchpad Challenge Grand Finale at EDII, Ahmedabad (to be held on 7th March, 2014)

To enter the Challenge, please submit your completed nomination form (available at link below), on or before 15th February, 2014

Eligibility: The EDII-NEN Launchpad Challenge 2014 is open to all graduate and post-graduate students in India, affiliated to recognized universities or colleges. 

Process: Interested and eligible students are requested to submit their completed nomination forms on or before 15th February, 2014. A national jury will review the nomination forms and select the most innovative ideas/products – which have the highest potential for impact. Selected candidates will be informed by NEN representatives and invited to attend the Grand Finale at EDII, Ahmedabad on 7th March, 2014, where they will take part in an intensive workshop on building effective business plans, and have an opportunity to fast-pitch their ideas or products to investors.


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Launch of MGR Alumni Association (MAA) at Dr MGR University

This weekend I had the honor of being one of the dignitaries at the launch function of the Alumni club of a young university. The alumni club of the Dr MGR University met for the first time on the 26th of January 2014 and set into motion a formal alumni club. Apart from the various guests the committee that convened the event provided me the great opportunity to share the stage as one of the guests and share my thoughts on the occasion. Being one amongst them I felt it was a great chance to speak on behalf of my fellow alumni. When we were students it was an engineering college affiliated to the University of Madras and the same has now grown on to become a Deemed University.

After listening to a host of talks from various guests and taking away a lot of useful inputs for how alumni can associate with the alma mater, I spoke on the importance of living up to the mission of the institution through which we all passed out – ‘To encourage our students to be Job Creators rather than Job Seekers” To my surprise a lot of us had turned entrepreneurial. It was inspiring to see classmates, seniors and juniors gather in large numbers and acknowledge the happiness of being part of the same community. I enjoyed sharing my ideas and opinions on how the alumni club itself can act entrepreneurially and create a network that will not only enhance the value of the University but also provide a strong leverage to all the alumni.

We all went around the campus that had changed over the last decade. It was great meeting our faculty members who sacrificed their weekend to be with us on a Sunday evening. One more round of inspiration from the community (teachers) who are why we are where we are. Every successful person always quotes a teacher in his / her life who had shaped their careers. This shaping also seems to have happened in subtle ways.

An interesting part of the event was to recognize successful endeavors of alumni in a variety of domains including academic excellence, research excellence as well as business excellence apart from corporate excellence.

I enjoyed the event and came back with a lot of thoughts and questions on how entrepreneurship can be applied to areas beyond business enterprise creation. I hope to reflect and write on them in the coming days.

Thanks to the Dr MGR University Management and the MGR Alumni Association (MAA) for giving me this wonderful opportunity. It was truly an honor and experience that I will remember for a long time.

Look forward to meeting more friends and alumni in the next meet up on 26th of January 2015. Hope more people can make it!

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Business Today’s 22nd Anniversary Issue dated 19th January 2014

Due to constant travel and much demand on my time (personal and professional), my reading of magazines has taken a beating in recent times. While I still manage to catch up on a few magazines, it is extremely selective. After a long time I ended up picking a magazine that I read fully (cover to cover).  I also ended up reading it in almost one sitting (I think two in all).BT 22nd Anniv Mag Cover

The issue is interesting for the collection of articles by interesting minds. Right from Al Ries and his clarion call for ‘narrowing focus’ (a topic very close to my heart) to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s interesting statement “I don’t know who Rahul Gandhi is…” the issue contains a good number of articles covering a whole range of domains including but not limited to: urban transportation, Indian toys, Tourism and Kashmir, Inequality and Sufi Music.

You are bound to get a view from top thinkers in their respective fields, interviews with practitioners, evolving trends, facts, figures and sources of information that you may find interesting from your interests. Go ahead and consume this little gem of an issue! Thanks to Business Today to create such a lovely 22nd anniversary issue of their magazine. Congratulations and Hope to see many more lovely issues such as this. Best wishes for the future as well!

For a complete list of articles in the issue and the articles themselves please do look up here: http://businesstoday.intoday.in/issue/334/1/


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