My Tryst with Entrepreneurship at Ashoka: Experiencing entrepreneurship differently
This piece takes a look at the journey of Ayush as an entrepreneurship student at Ashoka and how it has helped shape his professional journey
I remember someone telling me in my first year that Entrepreneurship cannot be taught. I think they are right. It has to be experienced through real-time projects, simulations and real-world case studies. I believe that to be an entrepreneur one must have multiple skills and a specialization in a few. There’s so much that an entrepreneur has to understand and then make decisions accordingly. My experience with entrepreneurship at Ashoka has been deeply rewarding and enriching.
My first entrepreneurship course was Dr Priyank’s Creativity and Design Thinking Course. This was the beginning of my journey. I learnt about various models in design thinking, which is a very powerful way to solve problems. At the end of the day, an entrepreneur is a problem solver, who’s solving product, marketing, finance and so many other problems in their startup. The course allowed me to explore the fields of behavioural science and user experience design. I spent the next year working in the field and learning hands-on in startups.
Then I did some courses on Marketing and Brand Building, which allowed me to understand how great brands are built and why marketing is so crucial. Using the learnings, I was able to work on the brand building of the podcast and small educational startup I was working on. I also did Nish’s Digital Professional Course, which taught me industry skills to run digital marketing campaigns.
It was because of all these courses that I was able to get exposure to how the real world works and what skills are valued. During the summer, I worked as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at a health supplements startup, which allowed me to use all the things I had learnt in these courses. It was an enriching experience as I was able to add a lot of value to the strategy and execution of various verticals in the company.
My last semester has been particularly very interesting. There were so many courses and across functions. The four courses allowed me to further expand and deepen my knowledge in areas of finance, business analysis, sales, distribution, marketing and branding. It also allowed me to understand how great businesses are created and what factors govern that.
Overall, my experience has been quite rewarding, considering the applicability of the skills I learnt in these courses. Although it didn’t make me an entrepreneur, but my overall business acumen has improved a lot. It has also allowed me to excel at different skills that an entrepreneur needs to make a startup successful.
Running a successful startup is dependent on multiple factors, some of which are in our control and some not. What entrepreneurship at Ashoka has allowed me to do is give me more control of the factors that are in our control.
Ayush Agarwal is an ASP’23 student at Ashoka University.