Avlokan 2.0 - International Level Entrepreneurship Summit on Beyond Sustainability
JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), Center for Management Studies organised Avlokan 2.0, a nine-day International Level Entrepreneurship Summit, titled Beyond Sustainability – Trends in Regenerative, Socially Responsible, Community Ventures, from 10th to 12th and 17th to 22nd January 2022. Vidhyanidhi, the student research and development cell, in association with Gyanidhi, the faculty research and development cell, took the end-to-end responsibility of the prestigious event. The summit witnessed an impressive turnout of 80,000 delegates from over 90 countries. The entrepreneurship summit offered the participants valuable knowledge and views from dignitaries such as Dr. David Aaker, Dr. Bruce Kingma, Dr. Robert Hisrich, Dr. Jay Rao, Dr. Allan R Cohen, Gary Stewart, Michael Goldberg, and many more.
Track presentations took place from 10th to 12th January 2022. Participants presented their research papers in finance, human resources, marketing, and general management domains. Each track group had respected session chairpersons assigned to it, who graded the participants according to the set criteria. All participants presented their papers, which followed a question and answer session. The presentations continued for three days as per the schedule. It provided valuable insights into various topics and research methodologies to the audience. Participants from various countries presented more than 275 papers in 18 different tracks.
Entrepreneurship Summit started with the inaugural session. Dr. Shiva Chaudhary, Assistant Professor - Center for Management Studies, briefed all participants about JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) and CMS. Dr. Dinesh Nilkant, Director of CMS, delivered the welcome address. Dr. Chenraj Roychand, Chancellor - JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) and Dr. Raj Singh, Vice-chancellor - JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), also addressed the audience. They appreciated the efforts of Dr. Varsha Agarwal and the entire organising team. Dr. Varsha Agarwal, Head of Research Cell at CMS, delivered the convener note to welcome all participants and briefed them about the event. She introduced eminent speakers. Before the first keynote session, participants watched the highlights of Avlokan 2021, in which Dr. Philip Kotler, Dr. Rogers M Smith, Professor Muhammad Yunus, and many other prominent speakers were present.
The first day had Professor Mr. Gary Stewart, Founder and CEO of FounderTribes, Inaugural Lecturer of Entrepreneurship of the Tsai Leadership Program at Yale Law School, Yale University, making the curtain-raiser of the summit a grand success with his propitious presence. He shared indispensable insights into the global market, the UK’s dominance in Europe, London’s dominance in the UK, and the affinity of American investors towards UK markets, especially London. He further brought the gender disparity in venture capitalists to attention.
The next guest speaker was Mr. Amrit Lal Bhardwaj, FCCA, FHEA, MBA, BSc, PGCE, DipIFR, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University Wales, UK. Mr. Bhardwaj did not fail to grace with his experience-laden views. He had put forth his study of American Bank, business planning, poor management, poor finance in the company, and the reasons for a company’s downfall. He showcased a company’s financial statements and taught different terms like the Death Valley curve, the three-year golden rule, goodwill creation, etc.
The session started with a panel discussion with the enthusiastic alumni of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), Jia Jain and Abdul G Sait. They discussed their journeys with the institution and what led them to entrepreneurship. Professor Michael Goldberg, Executive Director - Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship, Case Western Reserve University, USA, started his session with some quizzes that made the session extremely interactive. He talked about Silicon Valley, Cleveland’s funding, and the creation of NGOs.
The next speaker, Dr. Robert D. Hisrich, shared his personal experiences with entrepreneurship. He focused mainly on three topics; characteristics of global entrepreneurs, infrastructure that makes doing business different, and future trends for entrepreneurs. He highlighted that an entrepreneur must have a great vision, a good team, and the best practices to be successful. He explained in depth that entrepreneurs should understand the values, cultures, and history of the country where they want to start their company. The main takeaways included having more women entrepreneurs in the future and increasing the usage of artificial intelligence.
Dr. Monoo John started the third day of Avlokan 2.0 with an exciting voyage through the entrepreneurship initiatives of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University). He shared information about projects launched by the university that encourage young people to become entrepreneurs. He spoke about the Kalpavriksha Accelerator Program and Student Nirbhar Program. He emphasised protecting the environment and encouraged students to support the OLA Electric Scooter initiative.
Dr. Jay Rao, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Babson College (USA) and Founder of InnoQuotient (Barcelona), was the first keynote speaker for the day and set the summit in motion. He began his presentation by grabbing our attention with his creative ideas on market giants and startups. He focused on three primary points; the transition of startups to scale-ups, entrepreneurial obstacles, and small-scale business issues. His in-depth presentation provided a broad overview of the current situation of startups and furnished a comparable alternative for scaling up a new business.
The second session of day three had Professor Allan R Cohen, an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Professor (Emeritus) at Babson College (USA). He spoke on the topic, Entrepreneurship for all; what does it take, and when is it appropriate? Professor Allan said, "Entrepreneurship is one solution, but it must be for all at every level because new ideas and solutions are needed deep within an organisation. But the question that arises is how to move innovators to ambidexterity. The solution for this is to keep on trying. Do small experiments, learn fast, and try again. Leaders should use their power and influence to make others more powerful and not show off their power or status. Everything has risks involved in it." Professor Allan suggested that the entrepreneur should be a risk-taker and should not fall in love with the ideas.
The third speaker was Dr. Dinesh Nilkant. He spoke on university, education, and entrepreneurship. He said, "There is a lot of competition, and tech entrepreneurs have come to light after the pandemic. Many people are now excited about entrepreneurship!" He highlighted that currently, higher education is not up to the mark as 21st-century kids are learning a 19th-century curriculum. He suggested that to improve the education system, teachers should be updated about technology and be futuristic. Dr. Nilkant enlightened the audience about two approaches to teaching; about and through. 'About' is theoretical, and 'through' is application-based. He advocated the need to generate an entrepreneurial culture and create a curriculum with more hands-on learning. He said, "Employment is a treadmill and entrepreneurship is trekking." He gave examples of businesses that went through hardships in the beginning but are now success stories. Dr. Nilkant mentioned that true entrepreneurs follow their passion, put in great efforts, provide quality products, do their best, and most importantly, have an attitude of gratitude.
The fourth day of Avlokan 2.0 witnessed keynote speaker Mr. Darshan Doshi, Advisory Board - Babson Collaborative, Director - Adeption, and Director - FLAME University, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, making the summit impactful with his speech. In his speech, he put forth his study of an investor pitch. He took the example of the intercom where he stated about problems and solutions, market and competitors, and progress we want. He also mentioned some mistakes to be avoided.
The speaker for the second session was Gustavo Rojas Ayala, General Director - Mexicanos Primero Sinaloa (Mexico). Mr. Gustavo delivered an eye-opening session on aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning global education. By focusing on the impacts of the pandemic on education, he expressed his views on the immediate response to the crisis taken up by institutions worldwide. He shared data and research findings in support of his thoughts on the crisis. He highlighted the transition of many schools and colleges from offline to online during the pandemic and its severe effects on students. He pointed out the loss of learning of the generation, an increase in the number of school dropouts, and disrupted socio-emotional development of the students. With an optimistic approach, Mr. Gustavo talked about turning this crisis into an opportunity for an extended school ecosystem. Mr. Gustavo then brought a positive end to the session by showcasing the good sides of the world’s innovative response in the form of online education.
The speaker and chief guest, Dr. Bruce Kingma, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University and Martin J. Whitman School of Management (USA), had raised over $350 million to support entrepreneurship, innovation, and community engagement initiatives at Syracuse University. He was also invited to the White House in 2012 by President Obama for the National Summit on Entrepreneurship Education and has received over seven National Awards for entrepreneurial education. Dr. Bruce Kingma spoke about his book, Academic Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement: Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle. He explained initiatives taken by Syracuse University and its entrepreneurial ecosystem, which include faculty innovation, student entrepreneurship, and community engagement. He showed a video of the views of several famous personalities on entrepreneurship. He highlighted community initiatives like the Near Westside Initiative, Southside Innovation Center, South Side Initiative, and many more that helped women entrepreneurs.
The first session of the day had Dr. Raj Singh, Vice-Chancellor of JAIN (Deemed-to-be University). He delivered his profound thoughts on creative collisions of unusual suspects in breeding innovations and entrepreneurship. He started the session with the quote, “If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need!” He highlighted diversity helps bring more innovations and why some innovations go wrong. He listed out approaches to innovation like capabilities, culture, strategy, and structure. He explained his viewpoint with numerous examples and case studies. He concluded with the innovation model that supports entrepreneurship.
The second guest speaker of the day was Juan Manuel Gonzalez, an alumnus of Stanford University and CEO of Teach for Mexico. Juan Manuel Gonzalez started the session with his life journey. He founded the program, Teach for All in 2011 to create an environment where educators, government, and students can collaborate. This program has impacted more than 1,20,000 students. He enlightened the audience on three elements. He concentrated on creating a fantastic organisation and honing storytelling skills under the first one, which was how to be good at fundraising. The second element focused on finding and keeping the greatest talent which emphasised the value of a positive organisational culture. Finally, constructing a solid governance model and building a strong board, including how to open many fundraising avenues. He ended the session with a phrase, “it is our responsibility to leave the world better than we found it. The world changes with our actions.”
The final speaker of the day was Dr. Luke Pittaway, O’Bleness Professor of Entrepreneurship, Ohio University (USA), who propelled the summit to greater heights with his presence. The session highlighted the role of physical spaces in imparting entrepreneurship education. It would not be wrong to eulogise him for bringing out the inconspicuous aspects of entrepreneurial education. He emphasised how US trends influence entrepreneurial education. Dr. Pittaway further mentioned different types of physical spaces like student dorms, student incubators, fab labs, and maker spaces, to name a few. He also shared the biggest hurdle he faced in his study of spaces which was very little to no pre-existent literature on the role of physical spaces. He mentioned different forms of innovations. He spoke about the vitality of mixed configurations, which enables a person to move from formal to informal spaces or vice-versa. He also put forth concepts like materialisation, ideation gestation, effective programming, and typology. He introduced a seven-step process model to understand the role of spaces. He concluded the insightful session by expressing that it is not necessary to burn millions in pursuit of physical spaces, rather a minimal investment would do the job.
Professor Sunitha B.K., HOD - Center of Management Studies, took the first session. She started by briefing Mr. Paul D Reynold's presentation as he was supposed to be the first speaker. The topic for this session was Economic Development and Business Creation: A Global Overview of Entrepreneurship. Professor Sunitha brought to light the national issues of business creation. She elaborated each of these issues, involving components of the business, creators, new venture contributions, structural adaptation, major challenges for new business, and practical policy implications. She brought to life this brief discussion with real-life instances. Some of her notable thoughts include her take on the fact that not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur, but what one can do is quick adoption which is very much required now. There will be many challenges like accepting the fact that our business can fail and we will face business issues; we need to adapt to the changes. Later, Mr. Amrit Lal Bhardwaj added some valuable insights into how product or service, marketing, and financial management are essential for a business to thrive.
The second session was a panel discussion, where Dr. Aileen Lonescu- Somers, an alumnus of Imperial College of London and Executive Director of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Switzerland), spoke about entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs and compared the local level to the national level. She mentioned the successful businesswomen and highlighted how still it is difficult for women to manage a business because of less corporation from society. She discussed how sustainability, innovation, and changes are important in the company so that the workers will have an interest in the company's goals.
The second panellist, Thomas Trier Hansen has attended more than 50 conferences advising companies on trail plans. He talked about the human chain worldwide and discussed how companies have a responsibility toward the workers, stakeholders, and environment. He mentioned that commitment matters and needs to be maintained. He also discussed human rights and corruption and connected them with legal rules. He explained how to change the rules, and engage a company with the workers and vice-versa.
The third panellist, Mr. Zohar Hod, a data manager and technology guru, started with how technology helps to connect to the world and have an equal distribution of more centralised data wand. He also created a chip to collect data and helped many companies to carry their data and keep it safe and private. The data in the chip can not be copied anywhere else.
The fourth panellist, Mr. Manish Chaudhary, an alumnus of IIT (Delhi) and IIM Bangalore, Founder and Director of Peak mind in Purnatvam Foundation and SkillingIndia.in, spoke about the peak mind which helps children to have a positive mindset through personalised coaching, time management, and stress management. He discussed how working with teenagers helps in the development of society and the work environment.
The fifth panellist, Mariana Guedea, a socialist and CEO of Meraki Organization (Nicaragua), has attended many international conferences and talked about the program. With 14 years of experience, the organisation has passed it to different companies and how COVID changed the program. During the pandemic, they started attaining people online as the program was for primary and secondary levels students. She explained the board game and funding and how big companies do not allow small companies to come over. She concluded her speech by talking about how to be very clear about the path and how the people will come on the journey to success. She said, "Be clear about the goal and indulge in meditation connecting children and parents, irrespective of the degree we need to attach emotionally."
The entire panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Mahesh Ramachandran, an alumnus of London Business School, Faculty of Indian School of Business, General Partner at Pontaq, and Founder of Commonwealth Inclusive Growth Services Ltd. India. He brought many important key insights from this discussion. His questions and inputs were also appreciated by all panellists. All the panellists ended their presentation by talking about the innovation model which helps in entrepreneurship.
The chief guest for the day was Dr. David Aaker, an alumnus of MIT Sloan School of Management and Stanford University, Creator of the Aaker Model, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Haas School of Business, Berkeley, and Vice-chairman at Prophet (USA). He is also known as the Father of Modern Branding. With his well-acquainted skills in the field of branding, he addressed the audience on the concept of the future of branding. Dr. Aaker started on a note of ESG - Environmental Social and Governance disruptive innovation which highlights that the present policies are not inspirational and the youth does not understand the depth of the policies or rules. Focusing on branding, he emphasised the communication, passion, and impact that a brand leaves behind. Dr. Aaker mentioned that present digitalisation has put game-changing strategies on steroids, which only means that there is a major lack of creativity when it comes to building strategies; only old strategies are mixed and matched. He guided the audience with the opportunities available in the present age of technology. He said, "Branding has to be done at multiple mass media sources and in the age of social media, it must be more focused."
In the end, the session included interactive questions and answers. Various faculty members expressed their gratitude to Dr. Aaker and shared their admiration for him and his contribution to the field of branding.
Dr. Varsha Agarwal delivered a vote of thanks and expressed her gratitude to all JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) officials, speakers, participants, and the entire organising team. Overall, the summit was an immense success and appreciated by the entire participants' community. This was the second edition of the Avlokan Summit Series, which was hosted by CMS Research Cell.