7 Jan 2012

The TeS2011 Experience... An Entrepreneurial Summit...

I had attended the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit (TeS2011) at Bangalore on 15th & 16th December, 2011. I know it’s almost a month since the event was held, but there are some insightful points I want to share with you.

The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a community which was initiated by a handful of successful entrepreneurs almost 20 years ago; the most noted name of those being Vinod Khosla. Today TiE exists in 57 cities, 14 countries and spans across 5 continents.

A lot of accomplished and prolific entrepreneurs had come as speakers. They shared their knowledge and experiences with budding and wannabe starters. Some of those speakers were Dr. N.S. Raghavan (Founder Infosys & NSRCL), Sachin Bansal (Flipkart.com), Kunal Bahl (Snapdeals.com), Hari Rajagopalachari (PwC) and Dr. G. Sridhar (ACE Learning). Lunch, dinner and tea sessions provided good opportunities for attendees to connect with each other.

I’ll quote some insightful and interesting points shared by a few of them:

a.   Perception of unfairness in an organization (and real life) can be mitigated by increasing transparency & communication.
b.     Humans are filled with ‘Unrealistic Optimism/bias’, i.e. the hope that things will get better, about many situations in life despite credible information and data to oppose the belief.
c.  Behavioural economics & neuroeconomics (subjects that highly interest him) are already playing a key role in businesses pricing and positioning their products & services.

a.      USA has witnessed 47 recessions in its 220 year history. All cases have extended into global crises.
b.      In 2011, India has had a $15 billion trade surplus with the US. Also, in this year, the US has exported goods & services worth $1.4 trillion but imported worth $1.8 trillion. (This goes to show how difficult it is for US to control the fiscal deficit and borrowing, which is already 120% of the $14 trillion GDP).

a.      The fundamentals of e – commerce in India are strong.
b.      Selection of products is the largest property of an e – com organization.
c.      Talent, infrastructure and payment methods, amongst others, are the biggest challenges for an e – com service in India today.

a.      The 3 key pillars of an e – commerce company are – Value, Assortment & convenience.
b.      In 2 years, around 3, 00,000 online transactions (purchases) are expected to occur in India daily.
c.     Tier I cities prefer online retail for convenience & choice, while Tier II do so due to lack of options in offline retail.

a.      If things are easy, we generally don’t want to get into it. Entrepreneurs get kicks out of doing the hard stuff.
b.    Initially, every entrepreneur feels superhuman; like there are 48 hours in a day. Then reality sinks in. Not giving up, however hard you are enticed to do so, is the key.
c.      Get a good job, get married to the right partner, and then give entrepreneurship a thought.

a.      Failure teaches a person how to build character.
b.      94% of the successful companies today have built themselves without Venture Capital (this, in contrast to the thousands who believe a having a VC is more important to run a business).
c.  Successful entrepreneurs are endowed with 'Temporary Forgetfullness', which helps them move on from failure towards success.

a.       A higher purpose than profitability is what leads to sustainability of a venture.
b.      An organization not scaling with time is limited in leadership, not organizational capabilities.
c.      Introspection every now and again by a person is what keeps her/him in sync with passion & governance and not give into selfishness and greed.

a.      Technology is the future of education.
b.    Technology, if used to make the teacher look like a superstar, will gladly be adopted by the teaching faculty.

This experience was one of the most enriching ones of my life. I also got to meet a lot of budding entrepreneurs and it was fascinating to hear their ideas, beliefs and strategies. One who really enchanted me was Ritheesh Shetty, founder & MD of SUN ITeS Consulting Pvt. Ltd., a BPO which provides employment to the challenged. The firm was initiated a few years ago in his bedroom, and today is an income source for almost challenged 60 employees. However, he is very down to earth, shy, calm and blows no trumpets. Another one was Praveen Singh of 99tests.com

The confidence and passion of the speakers at the event was contagious. The event was very well organized. The host, Lakshmi, was professional. Her experience and command at interaction stood out distinctly. It was great to tweet at the event and connect with others. The social media manager for the event, Sneha Kataria, deserves accolades for a job superbly done. Overall, congratulations to the TeS2011 team for such a well managed event. All of us should attend at least one event sometime. It’s held in Mumbai & Bangalore.


  1. Very interesting points Vishal. And thanks buddy for sharing them. These points are not only useful for business, but even for life in general!!

  2. Must remember points :)
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  3. Very useful points. I am impressed with what Mukund Mohan said.

  4. Hope these points are useful for all of us, Binu & Deepak. :)

    Mr. Valady, very true. He was my favourite speaker at the event. Plus he's so fired up with enthusiasm and optimism it is contagious... :)

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