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My Tryst with Entrepreneurship at Ashoka: Nurturing Growth, Empowering Futures

My tryst with Entrepreneurship is a journey brimming with discovery!

My tryst with entrepreneurship is a journey brimming with discovery, experiences, and profound gratitude. It began within the confines of the classroom but swiftly expanded, offering me a treasure trove of learnings and experiences that I will undoubtedly cherish and apply throughout my career and life.

My first encounter with an entrepreneurship class was sparked by the news of Aditya Ghosh teaching a course at Ashoka. Learning about service excellence in business from a leader who steered India’s largest airline and subsequently led numerous esteemed organisations was an opportunity I could not fathom! This was precisely what the Centre for Entrepreneurship consistently provided for its students. Aditya Ghosh’s course was an exceptional experience that inspired me to explore a range of entrepreneurship courses. These classes delved into the fundamentals of finance and accounting to the intricate art of company valuation. Through the Centre’s courses, I had the privilege of learning from industry experts across various facets of business, encompassing sales, marketing, service, business analysis, and even social impact!

The courses not only imparted valuable theoretical knowledge but also facilitated enriching field trips that expanded my learning horizons significantly. One standout experience was an enlightening visit to the Parliament of India, affording me the privilege to meet the Lok Sabha Speaker. Additionally, I had the opportunity to explore leading firms in the country, such as ChrysCapital and Akasa Air, where interactions with their CXOs provided invaluable insights into crucial subjects like investment strategy, deal negotiations, and the intricate operations involved in running an airline.

However, my most cherished field trip was an integral part of the ‘Strategies for Market Access’ course. Spending an entire day shadowing a Pidilite salesperson, I accompanied them on visits to 25 shops within a span of 6 hours. This immersive experience granted me firsthand exposure to on-ground sales tactics and strategies, offering a profound understanding of practical market dynamics. These skills have well-equipped me for my career.

The inception of the business club by the Centre aimed to foster growth and learning outside the conventional classroom setting. Selected as the club’s inaugural Director, it provided me with the platform to enhance my leadership and other soft skills. This role enabled me to initiate three programs designed to assist my fellow peers—a program facilitating internships, a mentorship programme with industry experts for student venture ideas called Guided Projects, and educational field trips to prominent company offices to learn from CXOs. Leading the club proved transformative, allowing me to cultivate my network and secure opportunities such as internships and job offers from some of the country’s leading companies. I went on to become the club’s president, and I take immense pride in the numerous inter-university competitions, seminars, and programmes that contributed significantly to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit at Ashoka.

Empowered by these experiences, my tryst with entrepreneurship bolstered my confidence to embark on an independent venture. Recognising that a majority of Ashoka students pursued Economics as their major with a keen interest in finance, consulting, business analysis, and entrepreneurship, I observed a dearth of opportunities to test these skills within the university. Hence, I conceived an academic festival, Equilibrium, designed to amalgamate all the aforementioned fields through inter-university competitions, seminars, discussions, and more. The Centre provided unwavering support, ranging from funds, contacts, and logistical assistance to ideas, enabling us to successfully bring Equilibrium to fruition. Its success stands as a testament to how the Centre wholeheartedly backs both small and large entrepreneurial initiatives at Ashoka.

My most recent role as a Teaching Assistant afforded me the opportunity to closely work with professors possessing extensive industry experience, aiding in the delivery of courses, and facilitating invaluable knowledge absorption among students. It also allowed me to delve into one of my passions- social impact. The course looked at social sectors including agriculture, education, and healthcare from a problem-solving and analysis point of view. The Professors’ teaching methodology allowed for rich and exciting discussions and ideas.

As I embark on the placement phase in my final year, my tryst with entrepreneurship has prepared me profoundly for the world beyond. I am profoundly grateful for the life skills I acquired through entrepreneurship at Ashoka, and I look forward to continuing this journey beyond its campus.

(Written by Aviral Anand, ASP 2024 )

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka