The first question Prof Rama Velamuri asked us was how many of us might see themselves as entrepreneurs in the future. Majority raised their hands, however, I was not one of them, for me entrepreneurship has never been something I would like to strive towards and thus I was a bit apprehensive of what the course might entail.
Prof Velamuri followed his question by stating that even those among us who do not see themselves as entrepreneurs still need to have an entrepreneurial mindset as more and more managers especially in the senior and top management need to be able to lead their companies through the faster changing environments of business and here having an entrepreneurial mindset will help navigate through the decisions.
The week was divided into specific topics, which all were presented first by going through an example case on the topic and after this discussion ensued not just on the case, but generally on the topic in question. What this capstone course did was pull the learnings of most of the individual modules we had had and made us practice what we had learned. This was done as a combination of knowledge without any focus on one specific area, which made this much more “real” than other modules where focus had naturally, been on the module topic disregarding other relevant areas as much as possible to teach the topic in hand.
By going through cases like the R&R and Naturhouse or watching the video Infinite Vision on Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy and Aravind showed the different facets of entrepreneurship and what it can achieve, but Prof Velamuri made also sure we knew what from this can be taken to managerial work and how to evolve our entrepreneurial mindset.
The week culminated in presentations from our groups each showcasing an idea for entrepreneurship. There was a variety of great ideas and this exercise truly allowed us to try to see if we had that entrepreneurial spark within, alas this was not the case with me, but I still learned a lot and take the advices from Prof Velamuri with me.
- Innovation is not a requirement for entrepreneurship, in most cases it is bringing existing products to market in a novel way
- Networks are vital, but not just accumulating one, but nurturing and maintaining it is imperative, it is about give and take
- Collect experience and take calculated risks – failure is nothing to be feared
- Entrepreneurs hate type 2 errors, administrative managers type 1 – try to find a balance between these two