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The Entrepreneurship Development Cell Lecture Series - Inaugural Lecture

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By Sanju Ahuja, 

Mr. Suhas Mishra, the Co-founder and Director of Hector Beverages (the maker of Tzinga) and an IIM Calcutta alumnus on Entrepreneurship Development Cell  event.

The Entrepreneurship Development Cell of IIT Delhi inaugurated the first edition of Speaker Series on Wednesday, 7th August with an interactive lecture by Mr. Suhas Mishra, the Co-founder and Director of Hector Beverages (the maker of Tzinga) and an IIM Calcutta alumnus. Recalling stories from his initial days as an entrepreneur, he mentioned that his first startup (of selling a protein supplement powder) was along with three of his friends, a business which pretty much failed due to their lack of experience in the field. But that was just the beginning of this man whose current company expects a turnover of Rs. 1000 crores in the next 2-3 years.

The lecture was centered around giving advice to budding entrepreneurs on how to transform an idea into a successful business.Mr. Mishra revolved around three main points. The first was to test the idea and see if it is capable of making money at a small scale. No entrepreneur should expect to sell the first units of his product at loss and expect a profit later. The idea should be scalable and improvable. It should not be so well defined that there is no scope of improvisation. And it is very important that the business fulfils demands on a macro scale. The more voids in the market a startup fills, the more chances are of it being successful. For example, in India, the ratio ‘energy drink sale/ carbonated soft drink sale’ was just .01, and that is how the idea of producing Tzinga was conceived. Then he gave the example of how a clothing brand for working women is likely to be more in demand than a brand for men in early twenties because the former group of customers is an emergent one. Filling the gaps is a better way of making money than trying to fit in the crowd.The second point he made was to go straight after business once sure about doing it.

According to him, no startup could flourish in after job or weekend hours. Plus, us being IITians would always have enough money to live enough a decent life. So a business should be taken complete care of without any other work responsibilities. Either do it or don’t!The third point was to maintain the hierarchical nature of business. According to him, equal partnership never works because sooner or later, conflicts do emerge, both on petty issues and major decisions. If launching a startup with friends or colleagues, the first thing needed is to make the partnership and agreement very clear. Whether implicitly or explicitly, decision making should never lie in the hands of a committee whose members have equal power or the differences can turn ugly later.In the end, he talked of marketing strategies, how he reached out to his targeted young generation by booking ad slots during EPL matches or popular MTV shows rather than taking slots on a weekly basis. He talked about how the nature of ad should be relatable for the target audience. It was a meticulous lecture bringing out the minute details of entrepreneurship from someone who has ‘Been there, Done that and Been Successful’. A great guide for those who have their future businesses in mind, the interactive nature and the question answer session made the inaugural event a successful one.