Thursday, September 16, 2010

One day of Entrepreneurship

This blog is an outcome of the fun we had fulfilling a course requirement. Yes, you heard it right. The course was or should I say is “Managing new Ventures” and the assignment was to come up with a venture with an investment of Rs. 1000. The activity could include selling food items, providing printing services, consultancy etc. We were divided into teams of six each and given a week’s time to show and present our learnings. It was an exciting task given the opportunity to become an entrepreneur for a day.

Now I will share my learnings that we had about entrepreneurship after the task and class discussion. I know it would be premature on my part to come to a conclusion after a very short stint in a predictable environment but nevertheless a few generic but exciting things did come to the fore.

The insight about entrepreneurship was presented by our professor in an interesting manner by a framework “FEAT”. Let’s see what it is?

F stands for Fun and Fear of failure: An entrepreneur enjoys what s/he does. What may be prosaic, mundane or a chore for others, is fun for the entrepreneur.  And as the pointer provided by the latter part of the first sentence, entrepreneur doesn’t have fear of failure. Now comes our experience that was in sync with it. I will have to disclose our offerings now. They were, “Kesar Jalebis and Rabris.” For the fun part, just look at the creative promotional article prepared in the form of b’day fames (a ritual at IIM C) by one of our teammates, Shshank.

********Mouthwatering Experience ********

 Presenting the fames of “Rasbhari Kesar” Jalebi & Meethi Rabri
“Humein khaoge to unglianyan chatthe rah jaoge……….. hum hai hi itni meethi”
One of the most savored sweet dish of India fame
Served hot dipped in Sugar Syrup “simply irresistible” fame
“Crisp and soft” meant for melting in the mouth fame
Peculiar concentric circles make it the queen of curves fame
Many girls have been named after it owing to their sweetness fame
Still nobody can match its sweetness fame
“Humein khaoge to unglianyan chatthe rah jaoge……….. hum hai hi itni meethi”
Jalebi and Rabri- Made for each other fame
Rabri- rich creamy dessert full of cashew, raisins and almonds fame
Rabri- Jalebi combo has been regarded highly by all connoisseur of Indian food fame
Inseparable Combo has been frequently compared with the everlasting love stories of Romeo-Juliet, Heer-Ranjha fame
One of the most gratifying food experience fame
You all are invited to enjoy the mouthwatering “Jalebi & Rabri” 
~You Can’t Afford to Miss This
~Satisfaction Guaranteed
~Managing New Ventures since 2010

As far as the fear of failure is concerned, we had to overcome our apprehensions i.e. whether the students would like it, whether the cooks would be available, what if we can’t sell our stock etc? We could go ahead with the venture was a testament of the fact that we did succeed in overcoming that.

E stands for Experimental: Now comes the experimental part. Jalebis was neither discovered by us nor do we claim to have done so. So our challenge was to present our offerings in a way that should be novel for that setup. So we used the combination of Jalebis with a dash of rabri and to make it look enticing, we got it prepared on the spot. Other promotional attempts included posting pics and posters on Facebook (and liking it with comments) & Picassa, fames (as seen above) on college intranet and Youtube links of famous Jalebi ad of Dhara cooking oil. 

A stands for Adversity: The only certain about entrepreneurship is uncertainty. And they happen to be the major source of adversities. In our case, our underestimation of demand threatened to cut short our foray and profits and the same went for the pricing part as we had to be profitable as well. Even the quality, taste as well as timely supply were prominent aspects as we were dealing with food items. Dealing with our supplier too was no mean FEAT. We managed to overcome them in the end but man wasn’t that challenging?

T stands for Team Work: We were a group of six students and as is the case, we have different likings and disliking, risk taking capabilities, consumer perceptions, abilities etc. Even though we are a closely knit group of friends (Yes, you guessed it right, we could form our own group) but the brainstorming part did take some time. We initially thought of customized T-shirts, providing consultancy (read free-riding), setting up pizza delivery chain (one group commendably did it), other food items, handicraft items for foreign students on Exchange Programmes etc. but finally we did come to an agreement. That’s why we could have fun along the way as well.

In the end it seemed we had really achieved a FEAT.

I hope you enjoyed our experience as much as we did (That’s why we are sharing it). Do share such exciting events through your comments. 



  2. Although I couldn't have this particular product, but certainly enjoyed most of the 'New Ventures' that were doing the rounds at campus during the past week. Very interesting exercise indeed! From the viewpoint of customers like me, I would say we should have one such course every term :)

  3. @ Priyesh, it was exciting indeed, a welcome break from the monotony of projects and assignments. And if customers too were delighted then it was a win-win situation. :)

  4. Nice buddy! Selling jalebis and rabri is certainly an uncertain FEAT!!!

  5. @ Palak, more than the uncertainty, this exercise was about exposing yourself to the basic nuances of entrepreneurship. Though selling rabri-jalebi in an IIM did sound unimaginable initially :).