Entrepreneurship is a path less taken. There is no method to it. But when a group of young and confident MBA grads come together and discuss it, it generates a lot of interest and enthusiasm. This is exactly what happened on May 31st, 2008. Around 15 students from Babson College, the #1 in Entrepreneurial courses, led by Mr. Bala Iyer were hosted by the students and the administration of Great Lakes Institute of Management (Great Lakes).
Professor Sriram, Executive Director, Great Lakes and Professor Veeravalli, addressed the gathering and talked in brief about entrepreneurship. There was an air of expectancy from the Babson students and Great Lakers alike as far as the interactions and discussions were concerned.
Mr. Sukumar elaborated on the Young India chapter and the activities that are being taken up. The Babson students were curious to know if they could do their bit as students from abroad to help the cause of Young India. A lot of creative discussion took place on that front.
We had a half an hour break and Professor Sriram took the opportunity to talk about the history of Great Lakes. Professor Sriram went about in a very erudite manner explaining to the Babson students, the USP of Great Lakes, that being the 1 year MBA program and its diverse batch of students and of course the Great Faculty!. Great Faculty attracts good students and vice versa. Good students attract great placements and it becomes a positive feedback cycle. We also talked about the possibility of having a student exchange program which could serve to enrich students from both the institutes. Prof .Sriram said that this could materialize as early as next year when the new campus of Great Lakes would come up which would further add diversity to the batch and make the learning experience truly international.
After the break, our fellow Great Laker and Champion Dheeraj gave a presentation on the Entrepreneurship Development Forum at Great Lakes and the activities that had been done so far. After this, we had an open house session which lived up to its billing. A whole lot of questions were asked from either side and Professor Veeravalli as well as Mr. Bala Iyer answered these questions and got us thinking about latent possibilities. Mr. Bala Iyer also elaborated on the curriculum at Babson and how they go about practicing and honing their entrepreneurial skills during the course of the program. He stated that their purpose of visit was to study the Indian IT industry as a whole and the factors affecting it in a globalized world.
I think at the end of this open house session, all the students present there realized that there was a lot in common in terms of our thought processes and this could lead to something meaningful in the future. Perhaps a joint workshop, you never know.
It was lunch time and we went to this place called ‘Checkers’ which was about a kilometer and a half from Great Lakes. As scheduled, we got to meet Mr.Gopal Srinivasan, the MD of TVS Investments. He addressed the gathering.. A lot of questions were asked and we had a really fruitful discussion about the Indian IT industry and how it is shaping up and the factors that make it tick and of course CSR in general in India as compared to the west.
I am sure everybody in the room was in awe of Mr Gopal. He could rattle out numbers with ease and his knowledge on Business was something to savor. We had a lot of informal discussion with the Babson students and this added to familiarity and friendship during lunch.
All in all, an amazing experience. It helped remove certain misconceptions on either side. An apt ending to this episode would be that the World is getting flatter as we speak!
(Ranjit Shankar, Class of 2009)