Home 3Q2015 Bombay to Goa

Bombay to Goa

by Chayan Chatterjee

A budding entrepreneur shares the story of how he scored deals at the GBF.

“First alumni event in more than 10 years since graduation!” is what came to my mind as I was boarding the flight to Goa. Not that I have been actively trying to avoid my classmates or that I don’t enjoy their company, I guess the Alumni Association just made a really kickass effort this time around to grab my attention and got me to sign up.

Bombay to GoaIn the weeks leading up to the GBF, I had caught myself feeling excited about the upcoming event. Partly because of the networking opportunities that the SIG core team spoke about so much, and the rest because I just wanted to catch up with the ‘junta’ and talk about old times. I just prayed that the event would live up to expectations…
Looking back, the GBF was exactly what I was looking for, and here are some of my memorable moments –

Healthcare SIG email group: I was simply blown away by the enthusiasm of the fellow SIG members on the email group. There were several conversations about topics to be covered at the event, or the choice of speakers, and it was great to see people from different backgrounds and age groups chipping in, contributing to very rich and insightful discussions.

Working with the core team: I’ve already mentioned the countless emails going back and forth, and someone had to sift through all that and come up with an agenda that catered to all (well almost) the requests. And we were fortunate to have the team of Prof. Bellare, Girish, Zenobia and Hardik take the lead. I had the opportunity to briefly work with them at the event, and I must say that it was really effortless working with this group. I was most impressed by the group’s constant introspection about the ongoing events and planning for the future. You guys better watch out for the Healthcare SIG in 2016!

Not that I have been actively trying to avoid my classmates or that I don’t enjoy their company, I guess the Alumni Association just made a really kickass effort this time around to grab my attention and got me to sign up.

Presentations by alumni and current students/researchers at the Institute: The highlight of Day 2 – it was great to see alumni presenting their product and business ideas. As the founder of an early stage start-up, I learnt as much from these presentations as I did from the expert panels. It was also very encouraging to see current students, researchers and start-ups from SINE present their development efforts.

In addition to being a learning experience, these presentations also offer an excellent opportunity for networking and identifying suitable business collaborations. Imagine my surprise when I look up and see someone presenting a product that would go hand-in-hand with a solution my firm is presently developing and would save significant development time. By the way, that is exactly what happened!

The follow through: The SIG love is far from over. About a fortnight after the event, I received an email from a core team member informing me that a senior SIG member was interesting in learning more about my business. I quickly set up a call and was treated to a one-on-one gyaan session with someone who has nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare space. That, in my opinion, is the true essence of the GBF.

“Totally worth it!” was my thought as I left for the airport. And now I find myself looking forward to the next edition.

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