Students of Goa Institute of Management recently had the opportunity to interact and interview Mr. Mahesh Murthy, one of the biggest names amongst venture capitalists in India. Ribandar Talks have always been the melting pot of ideas and information
Students of Goa Institute of Management recently had the opportunity to interact and interview Mr. Mahesh Murthy, one of the biggest names amongst venture capitalists in India. Ribandar Talks have always been the melting pot of ideas and information through which the GIM students get a window to the corporate world. Mr. Murthy was recently invited for a Ribandar session and he turned it out to be an absolutely eye-opening experience for the students.
Mr. Murthy's name needs no introduction; LinkedIn has included him in their "Power Profiles in India 2012", which is a marker for the most visited Indian Profiles on its popular site. He has also been ranked in top 100 Indian Influencers list; therefore, it was only natural that the session held on 18th Jan was highly anticipated. Young students who were looking to be inspired from listening to Mr. Murthy and interacting with him were not to be disappointed with the opportunity.
Mr. Murthy has worn several hats over the years of his impressive career. After dropping out of college, he started selling vacuum cleaners door to door. He climbed the ladder the hard way, finding recognition for his work with Grey India and Ogilvy Hong Kong. He then made a name for himself with a Silicon Valley agency, CKS Partners, as CD, GM & Partner, where he helped create the first graphical UI for Yahoo in 1995 and the now-classic Earth's Biggest Bookstore campaign for Amazon in 1997.
Given his impressive profile, it was only natural that the venue that housed his presentation was bursting at its seems. Mr. Murthy, with the perennial smile on his face and affable manner, won the huge gathering over within no time. He talked about the great business venture of "Entrepreneurship" and made an instant impact with the students. He shared his own life experiences, which include coming from a middle class Tamil family that valued education tremendously to being the man who initiated a turnaround for Channel V and became a Donald Trump-like figure on TV shows.
It was interesting to listen to what Mr. Murthy had to say about the education system in India—he wasn't about to mince his words. "B Schools focus on creating employees while there is lesser inclination towards moulding entrepreneurs," Murthy stated. That's the old legacy and issue with education in India." He then went on to help students understand the different steps of starting a business, from licensing to managing the costs that are involved.
Mr. Murthy also discussed the novelty factor as far as business ideas are concerned, and he encouraged students to be innovative and unique in their thinking. He stated that the "Creation of duplicated ideas is a problem in China, while in India there's the issue of adoption of existing ideas. Creation of new business ideas is the call of the day. Start your venture by challenging and disrespecting the existing ideas in the current world." These statements, and his sound advice, prompted a round of applause from the students in the audience.
He then highlighted the disparity between students' academic learning and real world practises in the industry. It was good for the students to hear and understand what is expected out of them when they step out into the corporate world. He concluded his talk by focussing on a few important points. He said, "People believe in number 1, nobody asks about the second position. Word of mouth publicity and a proper use of multimedia develop the best market, which no Kotler marketing strategies can deliver. Personal relations feedback is more important than ratings and official rankings provided by big companies due to the trust factor implied."
His final advice to the students who were now eager to ask him questions was, "Reaping relationships is very important. And remember, failure always help you grow." As he drew an end to his talk he was flooded with queries from students, who were thrilled by the experience, to say the least. Mr. Murthy took the time and effort to answer all questions candidly, and he left the students with a big smile on their faces and a fire burning in their hearts.