21 Feb 2020 12:57 IST

Great Lakes hosts 12th international entrepreneurship meet

Conference held in tie-up with Atal Innovation Centre, Balachandran Incubator

Great Lakes Institute of Management recently hosted the 12th International Entrepreneurship Conference on the campus. The theme was “Unicorns, zebras, or...? Exponential-Virtual-Prosperous”. Industry professionals, senior academicians and students participated.

The chief guest was Alex Paul Menon, IAS, former CEO, Chhattisgarh InfoTech Promotion Society and 36inc) Special Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh, The guests of honour were Chandu Nair, Entrepreneur-Advisor, Facilitator and Investor, Co-founder-Scope e-Knowledge Centre; and Dr Murugesan Velayutham, Vice-Chancellor, Annamalai University.

The annual conference was hosted by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and AIC-Great Lakes Balachandran Incubator (AGBI). The conference acts as a platform to highlight innovations by entrepreneurs and the ways they are able to reach their goals effectively. Academicians and senior managers from the corporate world shared their views on current entrepreneurial challenges.

The conference overview and welcome speech was presented by AGBI CEO Saurabh Chaubey.

Dr Bala V Balachandran, Founder, Chairman & Dean Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, welcomed the chief guests and participants. He said, “The world is changing, and business education is undergoing a huge disruption. B-schools across the globe are evolving in terms of methodology, with many of them shunning the brick and mortar model. E-learning has gained huge prominence and has today become an important aspect of classroom learning. With the changing dynamics, ideology and technology adaptation, I believe B-schools are now ready to lead the industry.”

Talking about entrepreneurship, Dr Balachandran added, “We don’t have to look for inspiration anywhere else but in our own country. India is home to so many inspirational and successful businessmen, and yet there is an apprehension when it comes to starting a venture. That is because of the risk involved in starting a business and the fear of failure. Here at Great Lakes, the AGBI is a step-by-step guide to all the ideas and innovations that hope to leave a mark in society. It gives me immense pleasure in knowing that Great Lakes is one of the first B-Schools in the country that will have start-ups graduate from its premises in the coming year.”

Dr Suresh Ramanathan, Dean and Principal, Great Lakes Institute of Management, said, “It gives me great joy to stand here today to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship. We have seen a huge change in the mindset of people. Gone are the days when job security and stability meant everything. This new and young generation is hungry and eager to do something different whilst having control of what they are doing. It is important to understand that entrepreneurship is not just about wealth creation, but also about using it to do something transformational for the betterment of society.”

Chief Guest Menon spoke about his experience of setting up and creating a start-up ecosystem in Chhattisgarh. “I believe that entrepreneurship should be a part of one’s lifestyle. A successful society is a progress machine. It takes the raw material of innovation and produces human advancement,” he said.

Chandu Nair said: “In my era, Unicorn just meant a mythical creature, but today they represent successful startups. Taking into account my experience of being with about 12 start-ups, I truly believe that change in our country is possible through entrepreneurship. So what is holding back graduate students from being entrepreneurs? The risk involved. I believe that entrepreneurship gives one the power to control one’s destiny. India is the third largest start-up eco-system in the world, following the US and China. Tamil Nadu is number one in terms of incubators, according to the National Business Incubation Association; incubated start-ups have an 87 per cent chance of survival. Statistically speaking, taking the incubation route is beneficial for start-ups. I am thrilled to see that AGBI at Great Lakes is offering students a chance to be job creators. ”

Speaking about faculty development, Dr Velayutham said, “The 21st century is not about secure jobs and guaranteed employment. With the dynamically changing world, demographics and technology Today, knowledge creation, innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship have gained prominence. India will soon out number China in terms of population and job creation for young people is important. Entrepreneurship comes to the rescue here, providing all with the opportunity to be self-sufficient.”

A memorandum of understanding was signed with Annamalai University for a yearly endowment series.