Saturday, December 13, 2008

Money Multiplier

DE has been an interesting course. Before I got to AIM and in fact during the first semester I was pretty sure that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But somehow during the course of the two terms here I postponed my becoming an entrepreneur. It makes sense because I fully appreciate that before becoming an entrepreneur I have to be enterprising. Easier said than done! Not that its very difficult as such to spot an opportunity and make money. But sometimes its tiring to constantly keep looking for opportunities. Even if you find one, there’s always a feeling that no matter what the actual outcome is, you could have done it better… all in all, it is quite tiring but at the same time exhilarating to spot and do something.
When Rachna, Shibani and me ran a tea stall for a week as our walkabout it was a lot of fun. For the first couple of days it was almost as if we were doing an executive MBA with over 8 hours being put into the tea stall… but at the end of the week, each of us netted PHP 3500 and that felt so awesome… it was worth all the toiling – to make money out of almost nothing, knowing fully well that things were completely dependent on us.
So when the Money Multiplier project was given to us for DE it was very exciting. A few teams got together and decided to organize a multitude of events to multiply money. I thought it’d be a huge success… but I also realized then that when you’re doing something entrepreneurial, it’s better to work with people who’re at the same wavelength commitment and goal wise because with too many people things get a bit scattered. But all said and done, the experience was pretty great. For those 12 days AIM was transformed into a mini-carnival. There was poker going on at one place, the tea stall at another, Wii playing at a third, dart competition … you name it, we thought of it…
We weren’t able to execute all the ideas due to the amount of work load, submissions and assignments but otherwise we’d have had a movie showing, tee-shirt printing and table tennis competition.
My partner Vijay and me managed to make about PHP 10200.
The initial 200 was converted into 700 through a poker tournament we arranged positioned as professors versus students. This 700 was then converted into 1200 pesos through the tea stall. Vijay managed to find a deal in which we made about 9000 pesos. So all in all 10200 was earned by us in 12 days. Making money is truly a satisfying feeling, especially since we’re at a business school. It has been projects like this which have re-iterated to me that I am capable of being successful. Given the current financial crisis we’re in, everybody has fears and doubts about what the future holds. Such projects teach you to constantly look for opportunities. In fact nowadays my mind has automatically gone into automatic opportunity seeking mode. The other day I was having lunch at Thai in a box and I felt that a restaurant like TIB would do really well in India and I went up to the waitress and asked for the owners number. I plan to find out the restaurant / franchising policies while I’m back in India and if possible actually try and take TIB to India. Even if I don’t manage, I’d have learnt something new about an industry I personally would like to get into at some point of time in the future.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ex-post AIM

Before I stepped into the Asian Institute of Management I didn't really have an idea about what I wanted to do for sure...Of course alot of options jumped, cantered, galloped, flew and random walked (ahem... someone's been reading her FM) through my head.
I remember distinctly reading a fabulous piece in BusinessWorld on the future of the Sports Industry and was totally on board. Since then the idea of getting into Sports Marketing or just about anything related to Sports has been gestating in my head and finally I'm pretty sure that's my career path.
We could start something while we're here now that Sports Marketing is being offered as an elective.
My personal preferance post AIM is working in the industry under a brand and after 4-5 years I'd love to start my own venture specializing in adventure sports. I'd like to not just provide existing sports but have a sort of think-tank which designs adventure sports...
Wow... just typing about this electrifies me... now it's about networking with like-minded people and channeling my energy and of course being observant and open to learning all the time!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Passion Matrix

We started one of our more interesting classes this term, Development Enterprise... From the beginning itself alot of emphasis was put on us figuring out what we'd like for ourselves, thru' a venture, part-time or otherwise, to do in the long-term if not now.

I've always had more than an idea of what I want to start... but it has always been up in the air... For some reason I was loathe to pen it down...

At Baguio, I didn't really have a choice.. I had to pen things down... Strangely and fortunately... it felt alright penning it down... I think, in the past, I was worried that maybe if I wrote things down I wouldn't feel like doing it after... but when I actually did put it down, it felt more concrete and I kinda felt like I was gonna do it.

So here goes... my Passion matrix :

By 2015, I will experience and enjoy

For myself Thru myself

· A super - successful sports marketing career – all the time – 30 mins to 1 hour daily research and read on Sports Marketing
·Material goal: To own a house done up in dark wood in Mumbai (3 BHK at least)
·Learn sailing, diving, Tai chi / Capoeira, Spanish / Mandarin and to have tried out sky diving, shark swimming and a whole bunch of adventure sports
· African safari & sleep on a ‘macchan’ over-night in Dgorang-goro crater
·Visit Earth chakra centers like Macchu Picchu, Kailash Mansarovar

- To understand fully the economic and social value of sports

- Learn Perfumery

For Others Thru me

·Provide a platform for people inclined towards sports - Continual effort

For me Thru / with others

· Travel at least half the world – funding for which will obviously come from my career
· Will have gone back-packing through India and Europe
·Network with an eclectic group of people, globally
. Collect world music

For others Thru Others

· Social development through Sports through 'Barefoot' - the venture I plan to set up.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When will your enterprise succeed?

The more I sit for classes during my MBA, the more I feel that to succeed in anything, especially in your own venture it's most important to be happy, to be totally immersed and as Csikszentmihalyi avows: to be in flow. It's important to recognize the kind of person you are, play to your strenghts... not to bother fretting over your weaknesses... coz you can always find somebody to complement you... the world is beautifully organized that way... and most importantly to have patience.
In fact the magnitude of that virtue just hit me coz it's very easy to write that patience is the key to succeeding --- but actually demonstrating that... whoa...
My natural predilection is to multi-task but at the cost of sustainability. Obviously that means I personally, currently, lack patience... hopefully my flow driver will help me overcome that. What I personally need to accept is that at the beginning of any business I will not have all the resources that are required... in fact I may never have all the resources required coz usually that true determination comes in hindsight.
When I was asked what domain I would choose to be an entrepreneur in as of today... the answer popped into my head... Sports marketing! Not that I'm a hard core fanatic but I have been earlier on in life and I completely relate to the level of passion, flow and discipline that comes with it. It'd be great to use sports as a social developmental tool. In fact I'd love to be able to create a platform which can get talent recognized across all sports. I realize for that it's essential that I learn spectator engagement strategies.