I just got back after watching and listening to Kishore Biyani live -courtesy a panel discussion on “Growth in challenging times” by CNBC Awaaz -as a prelude to a contest that would soon be on air later next month!
I have been an avid admirer of his-and now reflect that I have blogged about him at least 3 times before- one about the potential of jobs in retail industry, and then soon after reading a biography of his -and getting an insight into his "future"!!
The panel discussion had Mr Biyani share the stage -along with a senior banker, the local FAPCCI head and the TV anchor-while three entrepreneurs were given the chance to introduce their business, and share their dreams, in front of an audience of about 300 other entrepreneurs / small business owners. The brief case studies involved the panel quizzing the 'promoters' -and then Mr Biyani sharing his comments-and it was very evident how clearly he could feel the 'positives' and the 'USP' of each of the presenters-despite their inability to articulate as much in a 'mission statement'.
Sensing the mood that a large majority was sceptical about the platitudes of the banking community, Mr Biyani was quick to point out that the banks were quickly understanding the new businesses -and would soon live up to our expectations. He was confident that Corporate India would see the 'venture' finance companies fund, mentor and build an ecosystem for fostering entrepreneurship.
Talking about the media's obsession of 'recession'- he smilingly accused the Indian media of 'imitating the jargon of the TV channels in the West'- depicting it as 'half empty " while all what was happening was 'correction of certain excesses' -which were necessary as the respective companies were growing at hectic paces. Mr Biyani shared the example of his group becoming a 'kanjoos' -by cutting costs, inall possible places, and at same time trying to entice the 'average Indian customer' to part with his valuable money -showing many reasons/occasions to spend!
"India needs entrepreneurs". "No pain, no gain". " No fear about failure". And that the passion "kuch karne ki" was the overriding need. "Dream Bigger" -he advised one of the presenters-as our country needs it!
PS- Across the globe, Sramana Mitra too provokes us Indians to think ,while on a Forbes platform, exhorts the Westerners to channelise the 600,000 unemployed pool of highly skilled technical people about 'shoestring entrepreneurship' !! Any bells ringing?? Reach out for a strategic round table!! Or 'power of ideas' , the initiative of the Times of India group. The time is just right.