Friday, March 2, 2012

Journey so Far

We had an interesting journey so far. we covered some amazing books and as dicussed may be around 5000 pages during the course. Nice presentations and great ideas were communicated to the class- thats what we call 'peer learning'. It will be a good idea if you canw write your personal notes and comments about the books which were used in the class- what they talked about, why do you think the book reading was made a part of the course? what other books we could have included in the book reading exercise of the course? But more than all that, the theme and concepts in the book that your group handled and what learning lessons you carried from the book reading and peer learning exercise. Best


  1. I liked some of the books that were discussed. I was surprised when I found Neale Donald Walsch’s book in the list Sir recommended but was delighted to find how it beautifully found its place in the context of business and entrepreneurship. The book assigned to me “barbarians at the gate “ also makes a very interesting read. Though it’s an bit overwhelming with its 500 pages size.. but once you start it.. its an unputdownable bargain.
    A book that has been a personal favourite and I think could have been included in this course is “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis. Although the book is set in the context of baseball, it makes a great read as it depicts how Billy Beane and his pals were able to topple a system that had stood the test of time unchallenged and did so remarkably. Also the book cites the victories of underdogs who faced constant criticism and how they proved the baseball royalty wrong.The book makes extensive use of statistics and says that although it may seem impossible but it is never impossible to win !!
    We have also included some inspiration books in this course. There is one I read and cherished. “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt. This talks about finding happiness, contentment and meaning in life. It makes for an excellent flight read.

  2. More than the concepts of the Book, the learning was from the examples which has shown a positive direction to the learning. Applications of the concepts are well remembered. From the other books, the learning was from the peers presentations and their view points and critiques. It was indeed wonderful to read and present a book which gave a scope to completely understand the perspective of the author. I would recommend one of the books "Outliers-The story of success by Malcolm Gladwell" This was suggested by my mentor and now an entrepreneur.
    From my reading "The power of Unreasonable People" I carry forward the 10*3 = 30 different opportunities where you can pick one area and try to deliver it. Be it in the area of making Healthcare opportunities available at low cost or delivering quality education. In the area of social Entrepreneurship, there are a lot of opportunities and the market is waiting to accept it.
    This course in brief gave me over-all perspective of how a New Venture could be modelled a clear understanding of Who cares for What. Enjoyed it.

  3. It was a great journey of 18 hours so far (with two hours remaining tomorrow). I enjoyed reading books as well as learning from others. It was great to listen to some of the excellent business ideas and to learn how not to approach in a business. From Peer learning to listening to Sir's thoughts and to listening to some of the industry people about a new venture is something I am very sure is going to help us in the future. I think our group was lucky enough to read a great book on 'Social Entrepreneurship' which taught us many lessons and the same we tried to share with the class. I especially liked the ideas presented by sir on emerging markets/economies which are going to be the biggest opportunities for tomorrow.
    After going through this course I am sure of doing great in my venture of 'Virtual Supermarket', whenever I take it forward and the learning from this course will be of immense help to me.

  4. Social entrepreneurs have developed entirely new business models to try to solve the world’s problems. The power of unreasonable people presents many such ideas in the form of hand-picked real life examples. It also talks about unreasonable social entrepreneurs who strived to adjust the system where it is dysfunctional rather than accepting the status quo. social
    entrepreneurs do not run away from trouble, instead,develop workable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. In their book on social entrepreneurship, author John Elkington
    and Pamela Hartigan examine the various activities and accomplishments of these inspirational leaders. According to the authors, the globe’s public and private organizations should
    quickly line up to support and fund the work of innovative social entrepreneurs. No one can escape the world’s problems, so this inspiring book is must read and recommended to those who would like to meet a few of the brave souls who are doing all they can to develop imaginative solutions to the challenges everyone shares.

  5. I liked some of the books and will surely go through them. Few other books, though were good without any doubt but involved matters very distant to entrepreneurship as per my understanding. But still I liked the way different groups came up with ideas to make the presentations interesting. Learning wise some presentations made me conscious about the personal challenges faced by an entrepreneur something which I had never given a thought earlier. And yes the best part was the discussions on the emerging markets and businesses which can cater to their needs. Also though I consider social entrepreneurship as an integral part of this course I somehow feel that we spent more than required no. of hours on it that too at the very start of the course.
    Mohammad Khurram

  6. My teams presentation was on the book, "When everything changes, change everything". One of few self help books that I have read, unlike the most this book does not spoon feeds the reader with jargons and methods of right and wrong, where as it lets the reader perceive the book as he wants it and molds it according to his own situation. Its author Neale Donald Walsch recites a live example of losing three pillars of his life at the same time, his job, relationship and health and how isolating himself was one of the biggest mistake that he made emphasizing his ability to suggest solutions which is relevant across varied situations. The book review presentation was a fine way to work as a team and delve upon ideas relating to philosophy. If not a book, but a movie which I would have liked if undertaken in context of this subject in "in pursuit of happiness" although this movie does not relate to entrepreneurs. It deals with the understanding of human emotions of extreme situations at its best, and how to cope with them. As an entrepreneur a presentation on the same would have given a different perspective.

    Debashree Chatterjee

  7. NVP was a different experience and very interesting journey; I think “Experimental Learning” is a way forward. In this course we have tired different tools of experiment such as book review, entrepreneur’s journey, business plan and idea to IPO.
    As far as Book Review is concern, it was very interesting to read different types of book and more interesting was to know different people’s view about different books. Book review was very good idea in terms of generating awareness about different types of books. There were some fantastic presentations I have seen in the class.
    As far as variety of books is concern, it was mix bag experience. Some of the books life Barbarians at the gate, The monk and the Riddle are some of the very interesting reads. But I felt some of the books like Empires of mind, what got you here, won’t get you there, are not very relevant to entrepreneurship.
    Social entrepreneurship was a “good to know” concept but I was expecting more discussion on Technopreneurship in Indian context.

    Chintan Gandhi
    FT 12420

  8. Our team's presentation was on 'End of Poverty' by Jeffery Sachs . This was the first book i read of this author. and i was pretty impressed by the manner in which he wrote it. Talking about ending poverty across the world by ODA (Official Development Assistance), he points out some interesting facts about the US spending and how they can be better used to end poverty.

    The best part about Sachs was that he was writing out of experience of having worked at ground level and not just talking in the air. Even if poverty does not end by what he suggests, i am sure it will reduce drastically.

    I suggest we can introduce autobiographies of some major entrepreneurs as part of the course to motivate more people to take up entrepreneurship.

    Vanshaj Dhall

  9. Well , interesting presentations for sure. I cant really comment on the books other than the one I read - 'Barbarians at the gate'. The presentations gave us a fair idea of what the books were dealing with, looking at a range of factors from macro economics to social hierarchy. I would like to read a couple of the books.
    The books did give us a wide albeit macro perspective of business and covered broad areas of entry points. However, we should have a talk with someone who became an entrepreneur recently, so that we can relate to the economic scenario and someone whom we can relate to ( a telecom services provider using technology at the turn of the millenium definitely had a higher chance to succeed, plus the backing of infy) - I guess the interview deliverable will cover this aspect well.
    The book 'barbarians at the gate' is very well written with complex characters and strong negotiations with ethics being a fine print running throughout the book. However, I couldn't relate the book to this course as we were discussing leveraged buyout of a firm dealing in millions. We debated and discussed as to how this is relevant to the course and what exactly should we highlight to the class.
    On the upside though, it was the first time I saw a movie and read the book and understood that a lot of details are swallowed on screen.
    Siddharth Radhakrishnan FT12259

  10. All the books discussed were instrumental in giving a holistic view of starting a venture and the presentations were excellent, however, I found little relevance to the operational aspects of entrepreneurship. For e.g, 'What got you here....' really was meant for executives but for fledgling entrepreneurs it is jumping the gun. I would recommend the following books:

    1] Biography of Branson
    2] Confessions of a serial entrepreneur
    3] Titan - JD Rockfeller's biography
    4] Delivering happiness - Zappos CEO biography and very relevant to the current e commerce interest in India.
    5] Made in America
    6] Lee Iacoca's biography

    It is a wonderful idea to bring in such guest speakers and a longer engagement with a full blown VC would be very fruitful. Guy Kawasaki has a wealth of knowledge in this area and if it could be somehow incorporated in this course, business plans could be further fine tuned.
    The learning from Simi's video was very important and it showed us how tricky it is to balance personal life, entrepreneurship and migration.
    Overall, a fun course!
    Siddharth V 12361

  11. The course on "New Venture Planning" is different from other subjects. Here with the help of fellow students we came across contents from 10 different books. We now have a fair idea not only on how to handle failure but also on how to manage success. The business plan presentations in front of various speakers helped us to understand about what investors expect from a business plan. This course has motivated and definitively increased the intentions of becoming an entrepreneur.

    Venkata Manotej 12372.

  12. The course was beautifully structured and it took us through the several concepts of starting a new venture. Right from the book on the bottom billion to how to what got you here won’t get you there, the books were sequenced in very logical manner. We got a perspective on financial aspects of a business like Seed Capital, Venture Capitalists, Joint Ventures, LBOs, etc. Social aspects like the bottom billion of the population and working for social cause are also a part of starting a venture.
    The book that my group reviewed was “Barbarians at the gate”. It was based on a true life incident and is a splendid corporate drama. It shows how when the stakes are very high, people are willing to take a huge risk. It also gave us a perspective of how US corporate houses managed to pile up billions of dollars of debt in the late 80s. It also, in a very subtle manner, shows us the downside of LBOs. A classic read for finance fanatics especially.
    A book that I find really interesting is “Every Street is paved with gold” a book about the founder of Daewoo – Mr. Kim Woo Chong. The book describes how Mr Kim, a aggressive person with great business acumen, had the skill of acquiring an ailing or failing company (reasons like bad management, demotivated task-force, etc) and turned them around into profit-making businesses. His multinational conglomerate was largely responsible for the upliftment of the South Korean economy. According to me, the most important learning was that it is possible to turn around a company that is going down-hill with the help of the right management force.

    Ankita Jain