IIM Bangalore Eximius 2019

Bangalore, August 9-11, 2019

Eximius, hosted by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IIM Bangalore. is amongst the most significant national entrepreneurship summits in India. This year’s theme is “Transcend the Ordinary” which focuses on inculcating the ability to go beyond the realm and take risks. The three-day national summit comprises events, workshops and speaker sessions packed with excellence and innovation. It also features case competitions and workshops in entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, healthcare, analytics, fine arts among many others. There is stimulating energy unleashed by the convergence of brilliant minds in an electrifying world of innovation.

Eximius 2019 was inaugurated by dignitaries including chief guests Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission (2004-14), Sahil Barua, IIMB Alumnus and Co-founder at Delhivery, Bala Malladi, CEO at ACT Fibernet, Prof. Padmini Srinivasan, PGP Chair of IIMB and Prof. K Kumar, Dean Alumni Relations & Development of IIM Bangalore.

Dr. Ahluwalia sharing a few thoughts on entrepreneurship and inspiring the budding entrepreneurs said that India has an ecosystem where small organizations or startups can disrupt large organizations. He also addressed the issues in understanding how the economy works and mentioned that many in politics, fail to realize that economic change does not come at once, and that policies should be internally consistent. He said that the primary reason of today’s unemployment is that employment is not being picked up in the manufacturing sector. 

In the panel discussion with Vaishnavi Reddy of Brandstory, Ankit Chowdhary of Servify and Manan Chandan of Healthify spoke about the traps the firms fall into during their initial years. They emphasized on user-centric design and how teams should learn to design as per today’s business scenarios. He said that adoption is another challenge that the companies face. One way to solve this could be to make use of data and behavioral patterns that would fuel the design of the product.

Next in line was Prof. B Mahadevan of IIM Bangalore giving valuable insights on inspirational leadership and how Bhagavad Gita is helpful for budding Entrepreneurs.  He spoke about the charm of entrepreneurship – “Entrepreneurship is all about charting the uncharted path”. Passion to make a difference to the world and the joy of solving unaddressed problems is what should drive the entrepreneurs. He ended the session with “Success and prosperity comes out of understanding the basic principle of mutuality and inter-dependence”

Mr. Shreevatsa Prabhakar, the founder of Servify, talked about consumer satisfaction. He mentioned that traditionally service has never been considered as important as the product itself. There should be a focus on consumer experience as great consumer experience ensures increased opportunity.

Another eminent speaker at this year’s Eximius was Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, founder of Dare2Compete. He weighed in on the importance of failures and how everyone should have a resume of deviations. Reading and analyzing things around oneself, establishing oneself as a brand and networking well with people are key points that startup professionals must keep in mind.

The panel discussion on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ revolved around the norms and exemptions in place to help startups. It was discussed that in VC industry, age is just a number, the sooner one starts, the more respect he or she gets. It was also stated that mergers and acquisitions in a start-up was an oxymoron.

Savi & Vid from Bruised Passport gave tips to the participants on how to produce high-quality content. The stressed on the importance of posting consistently, and how that helped in building up appropriate audiences.

Mr. Sahil Barua, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore shared the story of his startup “Delhivery” and urged entrepreneurs to target problems that are large and meaningful, take complete responsibility for their venture and stick to their objective, no matter what.

Further enforcing the spirit of entrepreneurship, Kris Gopalakrishnan, one of the co-founders of Infosys, provided valuable insights into the life of an entrepreneur. He stressed on the importance of being happy in life and explained the laws of Ikigai followed in Japan for the same. He also lay down the differences between entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial approach, stating that the latter mindset is a necessity for success in today’s world. He also gave a word of advice to the budding entrepreneurs, “Fail fast, fail small”.

Startup Expo was an opportunity for start-ups to showcase their offering to a diverse crowd of investors, entrepreneurs and customers. This year the expo had projects ranging from customized textile stores to electronic devices which help detect child harassment in schools.

Staying true to its objective of fostering an innovation mindset, the first event of Eximius 2019 was BzzWings, a B-plan competition organized in association with NSRCEL, the innovation hub of IIM Bangalore. Shortlisted teams presented their ideas to an eminent panel that consisted of Mr. Suman Sasmal, Ms. Prapulla Sandeep – mentors from NSRCEL and Mr. Mohan Sundaram, a serial Entrepreneur. The projects spanned over a broad spectrum ranging from automated self-sanitizing toilet seats to a platform to revive the culture of sending letters and postcards. The experienced panel provided valuable insights aimed at differentiating the idea/project, viable expansion, costing, etc. that greatly enriched the quality of the projects. Canfem, a social enterprise working for women breast health and Sharepal who offer Travel Gear as a Service (TGaaS) emerged winners of BzzWings 2019.

Being an Entrepreneurial summit Eximius’19 witnessed a lot of events around the same subject.  Pitcher Perfect, an event where start-ups can pitch their ideas in front of top-notch investors/VCs and get funding. This saw a good number of budding entrepreneurs presenting their idea. Healthonomics is an event by Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories, where participants got an opportunity to work on solutions for live projects. Another event for participants to showcase their marketing skills, where participants have to design a marketplace business model of an online ad platform to facilitate the reach to consumers through online channels.

Changemakers, a competition organized by Public Policy Club in association with ENI, where participants got a unique opportunity to explore, debate and put forth their views on challenges Indian entrepreneur faces these days and construct a feasible public policy for the same. Team Scrap Rangers from SCMHRD, Pune emerged as winners while students from IIPM, Bangalore and IIM Bangalore were ranked in second and third places respectively.

With events ranging from case competition on Akshay Patra Zero Waste Challenge, Ace The Waste to designing market strategy for ACT Fibernet, Actuation, Eximius witnessed a lot of diverse events in its 3-day entrepreneurial summit.

All the three days of Eximius closed with an enthralling Cultural Night with performances from Taal and Dhwani, the dance and music clubs of IIMB respectively and also mesmerizing performances by ‘The Local Train’ and a DJ night to wrap up another successful edition of Eximius.

B Leaders Event at Eximius 2019

The Student Alumni Committee, IIM Bangalore organized its flagship event at Eximius 2019 – B-Leaders, a panel discussion on entrepreneurship featuring successful alumni entrepreneurs who have tasted success in their ventures across different fields.

The esteemed panel members were Mr. Vipul Parekh, co-founder of the well-known online grocery Big Basket, Mr. Amarendra Sahu, co-founder of NestAway Technologies Pvt Ltd, an online platform for renting homes, and Mr Ravi Karthik, Chief Marketing Officer at Atria Convergence Technologies (popularly known as ACT Fibrenet), a leading internet and digital television services provider.

The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Deepu Chandran, Chief Executive Officer at Pikkol, an online platform providing one-stop relocation solutions, and the IIMBAA Bangalore Chapter Head.

The topic of the discussion was “Customer Acquisition and Sustainable Business Models – Building the Right Mix”, that explored the debate around the strategies adopted by start-ups to acquire new customers and increase their market share, while still being able to discover avenues that lead to profitability and ensure that the business model is sustainable in the long term. The panel members shared many of their own personal experiences from their start-up journey, their successes and failures, and the valuable learnings they gained along the way.

The event was conducted at the Auditorium, IIM Bangalore on 11th August, 2019. The event saw active and enthusiastic participation from the audience, many of whom were aspiring entrepreneurs themselves who were keen on resolving their queries and cleared many myths about the start-up journey.