IIM Bangalore – Eximius 2020

Digital start for Eximius 2020, an entrepreneurship fest, at IIMB with fireside chats, workshops and a host of contests

17 OCTOBER, 2020: Eximius 2020, an entrepreneurship fest organized by the students of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, got off to a digital start, today, with the theme, ‘Get Set Disrupt’. The two-day national fest has case competitions, workshops, and speaker sessions in entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, healthcare, analytics, and more.

It was inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, Member of Rajya Sabha, and India’s Sherpa to G7 and G20, Karan Bajaj, IIMB alumnus and founder of White Hat Jr., Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director of IIM Bangalore, and Prof. Padmini Srinivasan, Chairperson, Post Graduate Programme in Management at IIM Bangalore.

While Suresh Prabhu shared his thoughts on entrepreneurship in the times of COVID-19, Karan Bajaj recounted his journey of building WhiteHat Jr. In a joint speaker session on ‘Wisdom for Startups from Grown-ups’, R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons, and R. Narayanan, angel investor and mentor, StartUpGrind, advised budding entrepreneurs on how to grow in uncertain environments. Maitreyee Kalaskar, Founder of ‘The Creative Talks’, conducted a session on designing and branding. Dharam Mehta, Head of Business Operations, WeWork India, shared his experiences of building a business from ground-up. ‘The Mad Talk’ focused on the three pillars of marketing – attention, perception and communication. 

Samina Bano, Founder of the Rightwalk Foundation, spoke about social change through public policy entrepreneurship. Satya Narayanan, Co-Founder, Career Launcher, shared five secrets of his entrepreneurial journey and dwelt on converting an idea into an IPO. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Founder, MD & CEO, Bandhan Bank, focused his talk on the grit and hard work involved in taking a start-up from 0 to 1. Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder and CEO of Haptik, spoke about how AI can disrupt customer experience. 

Sessions on entrepreneurship were led by Malavika Harita, Former CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Focus Network India, and Mukesh Bansal, Founder, Myntra. The founder of Humans of Bombay, Karishma Mehta, engaged with her listeners on social media journalism. Priyanka Madnani conducted a session on creating a pitch deck.

A panel comprising Ankur Puri, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Dhiraj Rajaram, CEO, Mu Sigma, and Prof. U. Dinesh Kumar, Chairperson, Post Graduate Programme in Business Analytics, IIM Bangalore, focused on analytics and had an engaging discussion on entrepreneurs vs managers.

A case competition on iD Fresh Food, a contest called Policy Marketeers, another called Techminator, a treasure hunt in DecipHER, a live auction in Investverse, a poster-making competition in Demystify, and an event called Social Pact had the participants hooked. The day drew to a close with a stand-up act by comedian Kenny Sebastian.

Day 2: Speaker sessions, workshops and more…

Day 2 of Eximius featured eight speaker sessions. Tarun Katial, CEO of Zee5 and Founder of Big FM, spoke of the delivering “a superlative experience for the next billion”; Dr. Jawahar Surisetti,  TED speaker and Navin Rungta, Founder of eLAGAAN, dwelt on the importance of scaling a startup and the necessary due diligence and compliance required; Imran Jaffar, Managing Partner of Gaja Capital, talked about the educational initiatives at Gaja; Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder of Biocon and pioneer of India’s biotech industry, spoke on stakeholder and expectation management; and Rammohan Reddy, Innovation Coach, Innocentrix and Co-Founder, Nextspace, spoke on the power of networking. The other speakers included Srikanth Velamakanni, Co-Founder, Group Chief Executive & Vice Chairman, Fractal Analytics, Vivek Tiwari, Founder, Medikabazaar, and Haragopal Mangipudi, Founder, GuNaka, and Co-Creator, FinUNO.

A panel on ‘Wonder Women’ featured a conversation between Palak Shah, CEO, Ekaya, and Neha Rastogi, Founder, Agatsa, and was moderated by Prof. Srivardhini Jha, Chair of the Entrepreneurship area at IIMB. A fintech panel featured Vinay Bagri, Co-Founder, Niyo Solutions Limited, and Anuj Kacker, Co-Founder, MoneyTap, who spoke on opportunities for start-ups in the banking and financial services domains. 

A workshop by Deepa Bachu, Co-Founder & CEO, Pensaar Design, and Arul Ganesh, Design Researcher, Pensaar Design, highlighted the importance of design thinking and disruption. Ankur Goel, Founder & CEO, SkwerUp Capital Partners, shared advice on funding and finance, while Smedha Sarkar, Founder of EduMaan, spoke on idea generation and lean canvas development.

A fireside chat with Sandeep Kochar, Co-Founder of BlewMinds Consulting, Yogendra Vasupal, Founder of Stayzilla, and Nagaraj Prakasam, Co-Founder, IAN Impact & Resident mentor, NSRCEL, saw enthusiastic audience participation in the Q&A session.

Eximius 2020 closed with a cultural performance by student members of IIMB’s music and dance clubs – Taal and Dhwani.