Sushobhan Mukherjee


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Jhulan Yatra

Jhulan Yatra is one of the most important festivals for the followers of Lord Krishna celebrated in the month of monsoon (generally Bengali month “Sravan”). It is one of the most popular religious occasion of the Vaishnavas. Jhulan Yatra has been inspired from the swing pastimes of Sri Krishna and his consort Radha during their fable romance in the idyllic pastoral groves of Vrindavan.

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Jhulan is known for its spectacular display of decorated swings, song and dance.

But Jhulan is memorable to me since my childhood days. Jhulan Yatra was meant for creations where we could construct miniature landscape with the talent of art, craft, decoration and of course imagination. We used to create mountains with old clothes (after dirtying with Soil), create roads with Sand and create pond with Glass. The mountain used to be crowded with grass, trees and animals. The road were populated with cars, traffic police, traffic signal. The lands were used to be prepared with soil, grass etc. There used to be special preparation to collecting/purchasing dolls as per setting the desired landscape. It was complete imagination and every day we used to change the situations. We used to put plastic fish below the glass to create the effect. This was nothing but the present versions of Visualizations.

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These are not interesting for the kids than the Mobile Games?

I was curious. Yesterday was the kick-off day of the same. My family was reluctant to execute the same due to dirt etc. There were no enthusiasm from the kids as well since they did not experience it earlier. In effect, I was demoralized and did not do anything. But thought the day I searched Google and found no clue if present generation is aware of it and I was sensing we are gradually losing our glorious past.

During return I found in Facebook one of my brother initiated the same in his home for her daughter (I found that was the only post in this category) and yes I was getting charged up.

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In the late evening I decided to initiate it and finally did it in a small way. But interestingly my kids liked it and found them getting engaged and started putting their imagination. And I was delighted as my intention clicked.

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What about yours? Did you try with your kids? If not try it today.

 

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Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture & Felicitation of Toppers

Preface

I had never been to Jorhat earlier even though I am a frequent traveler to North-East for last 10 years. This time the option arrived due to Nasscom for the occasion of Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture to be held at Kaziranga University, Jorhat. I was invited being a Nasscom member to represent Industry side to the academia.

The event was scheduled on 21st August, 2015.

We started on 20th morning and flown to Dimapur. It was around two hours ride to reach Kaziranga University. We reached around 5pm and literally rushed towards Kaziranga Golf Resort to take part in the inaugural dinner at 7pm onwards.

This was an awesome place. Such a lush green with 18 holes golf course is one of the neatly maintained in India.

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We got introduced with distinguished guests, delegates, trustees, officials due course and the same was followed by cocktail dinner.

We returned hotel quite late and the return journey was quite adventures. Coz it was quite dark (rather no light) and the 30 mins drive through tea gardens was fascinating.

Actual program was next day.

Dewang Mehta

Dewang Mehta was one of rare visionaries from India in nineties when IT boom was not that prominent.

He envisioned a world where the Indian ICT industry would play a key role on the strength of its technology talent and skilled IT manpower.

Dewang Mehta envisioned of connectivity as commodity and vouched for the slogan “Roti, Kapra, Makan, Bijli and Bandwidth” (Food, Clothes, Homes, Electricity and Bandwidth) as a need of emerging, 21st century Indian.

The period 1991-2001 was the era of transformation and growth, for both Nasscom and Dewang Mehta. He was instrumental in defining Indian it strategies and roadmap for future. The NASSCOM got a new dimensions under his leadership.

Post his sudden demise, his family and relatives accumulated all his wealth and formed a charitable trust on his memory for betterment of the society in India.

Nasscom Tribute Video on Dewang Mehta must be watched if you have not seen earlier.

 And the occasion we all gathered at Kaziranga University, Jorhat is for the “Dewang Mehta memorial Lecture & Felicitation of Toppers”

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Kaziranga University

Kaziranga University was founded in the year 2012 by Khetan Industrial Group and promoted under the banner of North Eastern Knowledge Foundation (NEKF). The University is aspired to be a 21st Century University with a focus on research in emerging areas of Science, Technology and Management. The vision is to change lives through knowledge and apply it for the benefit of humanity. The futurestic vision found with Dr.PK Mishra and Dr.Rai were truely instrumental.

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The day

We reached the venue by 9.30am and the program was about to start. Chief Guest and dignitaries were in the dais and initiated the program with lamp lighting. It was followed by felicitation of Guests, Welcome Address by Prof. Sunil Rai (VC, KU), Inaugral Address by Rajiv Vaishnav (VP, Nasscom), Address by Shri Vishal Solanki (IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Jorhat), Felicitation of Dignitaries from Industry and academia. These were followed by the next special sessions.

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Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture by Sanjay Mehta

Sanjay Mehta, MD of Teleperformance, India kicked off with the emerging trends of business in a tribute to Dewang Mehata, the visionary of IT in India. His enlightening pitch was truly instrumental and unveiled different spheres of business. He said that our competitions are following us and if we are not attentive, disruption of existing businesses will be the outcome. Yellow taxis could not visualize the Waves of Uber and Ola. The entire dynamics got changed with the appearance of Spotify, Natflix and so on.

The scenarios will get complex day by day. The baton of decision making power has already been shifted to “Customer”.

If we cannot adopt with the evolving trends, the existence might be at stake like Nokia (who got vanished from the market within two years).

The customer centricity has even flattened down organization pyramid structure. Instead of CEO, customer is the king in today’s scenarios.

Hence in order to be in the wave of changes, we need to be transparent, versatile, innovative and strategic.

Non-metros will be the future of India and if we focus there instead of competing only in metros, we can address the larger audience with bigger scope, spirits and opportunities.

Time has come for the non-metros to be proud as it holds huge potential to lead India.

Windows 8 was globally launched from the BPO of Indore and Jaipur, whereas Jaipur led it during Windows 10 global launch. And incidentally it was done by Sanjay Mehta’s company only.

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Workshop by Dr. Bhooshan Kelkar

Dr. Bhooshan is the director of MobiuSutra Consulting Pvt Ltd. He is an ex IBM and presently envisioned to train Indian youth starting from higher education to engineering and management cadre. His topic for the discussion was “Employability and Innovation”.

He put us to think on our approaches, thought processes. There are several scientific tools and technologies to map human affinities and channelize/ focus towards that to achieve greater heights of life.

Self-Discovery Tool, Psychometric Tests, Johari Window, IQ and Aptitude Tests are few of the mechanism as briefed by him.

Similarly there are “Criticality and Innovation Tools” as well like 6 thinking Hats Workshop, Creativity Workshop, Games.

Next sections were amazing. He revealed some wonderful unknown free tools/portals on Online remote internship, online learning for school/college students, general learning courses, publishing journals and surely filing patents.

The Eye-opener fact was all the tools he revealed were having major industry acceptance, world’s renowned university accreditation. Moreover, he narrated a case study on against each of the tool, how it was beneficial to the students/participants in terms of better opportunity, getting jobs, getting sponsorship and so on.

He shows two videos on the ground to changing thought process. “Visa all it takes” and “You can do it” both were awesome.

Finally the one punch phrase of “Hungry and Angry” was the killer. If you have fire in the belly, success will follow.

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Interaction of CEOs with Students

This section was moderated by Mr.Nirupam Chowdhury, Regional head, Nasscom-East and Panel Members were Ms. Soma Banerjee (Co-founder and CEO, Business Brio), Myself (Sushobhan Mukherjee, Co-Founder and CEO, Prime Infoserv LLP) and Ms.Atreyee Borooah Thekedath (Director, Webcom Media). The discussion agenda was “Industry needs for Employment”. We kept on talking on the same points which keep on saying in other institutes as well:

  • Attitude matters than skills
  • Instead of Skills , the thought can be mold towards knowledge so that it inherits the capability to apply the same to life
  • The shift in mindset towards start-ups instead only dreaming about biggies.
  • The differences between “Job” and “Earning” to be understood.
  • The sense of accountability, ownership, approach may act as the differentiators.
  • Keeping eyes open and adopting to upcoming technology trends (like Internet of Things) beyond academia will lead them towards the leading path.
  • In case, students are having risk taking appetite, entrepreneurship may help them in long run as well.(In case of any mentoring, guidance, funding , directions, they may reach anyone of us).

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Topper’s Felicitations

The felicitation program was not only for Kaziranga University, rather almost all colleges from Northeast like Silchar, Dibrugar, Jorhat, Assam were invited. There was majority of girls in the toppers list.

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Cultural Program

Cultural program was with traditional Assam dances, songs followed by blockbuster Hindi songs. All the performance was conducted by the students only.

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Return

Return was 22nd August, 2015(Saturday) afternoon. We did not leave the chance to have city ride and also collecting some very special local legacy.

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Conclusions

It was refreshing three days out of traditional busy schedule. In midst of nature, with the orientation with industry leaders, academicians, students were truly energizing. Overall arrangements, hospitality by Kaziranga University, Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust and Nasscom were awesome. I intend to come back here in the university and off course the golf course in near future with different objectives. The students found to be having entrepreneurial spirits. Me and my fellow members in Bengal entrepreneur echo system would love to assist, mentor in near future.

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The Search for Freedom

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India is celebrating 69th year of Independence today. But truly are we independent on our thoughts, our philosophies? Last year I had written my thoughts on it (click here to read last year’s blog).

This year my idea is to look back and narrate on some of the lost stories. A nation, a society, a country can only get freedom though it’s people and hence the upbringing of the people from their childhood is extremely important.

Unfortunately we are geared in copying the westerner world by completely bypassing our rich ancient cultural heritage, the traditional power of knowledge. The world had recognized Narendranath Dutta (Swami Vivekananda), Abhay Charan De (Bhakti Vendanta Shri Prabhupad) for their spiritual philosophy in order to achieve peace of mind. But we rarely tried to adopt that even though it was originated from our homeland. There are few more forgotten stories as well.

Bimal Ghosh and Gurusaday Dutta were instrumental on their thoughts to build nation/society through building youth for future leaders.

Do we know? Are we following it now? Let us know first:

Manimela

Manimela was a movement for children started before independence. It was initiated by Shri Bimal Ghosh (was known as Moumachhi). He dreamt of working with children to create a conglomeration of selfless volunteers who can think and act for the betterment of the larger society.

Manimela initiative was started on 15th April, 1941

Manimela was conceptualized for children in the age group of 6-16. Idea was to get them together to learn the skills of nurturing themselves in order to become well informed, morally upright, socially concerned, emotionally balanced and spiritually, well groomed responsible citizen of future. The Manimela Mahakendra with its headquarters in Kolkata, it was soon spread across with it’s strong structural architechtechture, vision and mission.

Bimal Ghosh had established about 400 Manimela units for children before Independence. Unfortunately today, the number has dwindled and rarely people are aware about it.

Few of the important activities for the children were drill, recitals, art, craft, yoga, games like kho-kho, kabaddi, quiz and debate competitions and off course the opportunity to render selfless voluntary services to the needy in the hours of need.

Bratachari Movement

Gurusaday Dutta will always be remembered for his initiation of Bratachari Movement (where the Bengali word – Brata meaning taking vows as the objective and ‘chari’ – meaning the practice).  The movement was designed to build self-esteem and awareness of nationalism among people of undivided India, regardless of religion, caste, sex or age. It was a comprehensive programme of physical, mental, and intellectual culture based on the best traditional heritages like physical exercise, art, dance, drama, music, singing and social service. The Bratacharis aspired to perform good deeds, strengthen fellowship and develop the mind and body through dance.

Bratachari Movement was intended to present a complete synthesis of life, designed through practical trainings and disciplines. It was a concurrent effort to build harmonious cultivation of the body and soul.

Five focus of life were defined as Knowledge, Labour, Truth, Unity and Joy. The Bratachari Movement was a systematic and integrated pursuit to the five aspects of life.

It is unfortunate that Bratachari Movement has lost its significance gradually.

Do you feel these movements could have been relevant for our children?

Can these be revived for our own future benefits?


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Frustration, Anger, Stress, Pain and Tears!

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Sunday evening Shock? Wondering what’s all about?

These are feelings of an entrepreneur almost every time he tries to washout negatives and try to regain his/her positives. Sounds ridiculous? Do not agree?

Well, then it’s time to explain.

Glorified Job

One of my close friend says “we are doing job in our own company” and it is brutally true. We all make the same mistake thinking “I am the Company” and in effect tend to cross barriers by stretching morning to night. Entrepreneur tends to cover up gaps of surroundings and he/she becomes so busy with “No time to breath” even. But “Busy-Ness” is not business. If we do not have time even to think, strategize, generate ideas, then that is useless. But yes it happens revers i.e we tend to be so buy in transactions, we do not ever have time for the “Big Leap”. Sales to Delivery, the whole cycle chokes the complete bandwidth of the entrepreneur as the surrounding can not synchronize with his/her thoughts.

Gap in Vision

Entrepreneurs are idea generators. They can see the hidden opportunities in an action. A 10K opportunity may hold 10Lac opportunities ahead. But aligning towards futuristic vision with the surroundings are extremely difficult. No one believes in his/her thoughts of “glory” in future and mess up present in “quarrelling” and off course future cannot yield glory as usual.

Sales vs Delivery/Operations

This is a general phenomenon in any enterprise. Once I was working I had seen always “Projects”, “Delivery”, “Operations” team hold “Sales” as culprit for problems. “Over commitment”, “Wrong Selling”,“Mis-conception”, “Price Reduction”, “Getting pressurized by customer”, “Agreeing something which are not realistic” were some usual terms which were being used to “Sales” Team. Now in entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur is a sales man himself/herself, but unfortunately everyone surrounding him/her behaves the same way as stated above. Finally Entrepreneur feels like not bagging orders in future which he/she can not execute himself/herself. Otherwise everyone in his/her support echo system keeps him/her so pressurized as if he/she has done blunder picking up an Order.

Speed

Assume Birendra Sehwag and Rahul David are batting together. Sehwag is batting explosively and Rahul is still not finding his rhythm. Will Rahul ask Biru to slow down since he is not able to match up with his pace? Rather he will try to rotate strike and intend to give maximum strike to Biru so that the team can avail maximum runs. Thus cricket is a team game. Only individual will not win matches.

Same is business. The entrepreneurs generally run in a “Bullet train” speed and as usual others surrounding him/her can not match up since they are riding on “Bullock Car”. But unlike Rahul, the surrounding here will try to influence, induce him/her to slow down in lieu expressing fear of “Risk”, “Failure” etc.

No Excitement

Nothing excites people actually. New order, good order, good revenue, success, opportunity nothing excite people at least in Bengal as I have seen. Suppose a good order bagged in with good margin and credential, but customer condition is that the same needs to be started within next two days. Customer has given advance money also. The condition of “two days” disturbs the entire support system psychologically even if the organization is having much work pressure. Except the entrepreneur (who stretched himself/herself to bag it), he/she find no one besides him/her other than criticisms “we are  unnecessarily getting pressurized by customer. If customer has delayed it for 6 months, we have every right to execute it in 30 days”. And the spirit, excitement, the celebration , the joy nothing come to the front except tears for the poor Entrepreneur.

Apprehension and Reluctance

People are always apprehensive about any incidence, especially in Bengal. Assume some of my close friend had offered a very lucrative business opportunity from abroad and in very easy terms. Instead of drilling down to the thought process of grabbing it and plan for execution for the same by safeguarding ourselves, people starts thinking on problems areas of the deals and what are risk factors could be fetched so that the order may not be executed.

Ego

Hope you have remember ego tassel in Bengal during Singer incidence. Inca se both the parties (ruling and opposition that time) could have overcome their poor political angle and thought of Bengal, the history would have been made. Same in business. We have learnt across “Customer is God” since he pays us money, gives us order and more precisely we live/succeed only due to them. That does not mean there is no problem at customer side. There are lot politics, lot of conspiracy, and corruption at in several cases. But end of day we cannot fight with them even if they are wrong. Our objective may be to get the money in time, but the methodology of deployment cannot be a direct tassel. But we do that. We avoid meeting them since they are defaulters and start pushing them for payment and sometimes in goes up to “legal threat” since it was a “contractual obligation”. But if we suppress our ego and satisfy customer’s ego who are mostly interested in “Oiling” (meetings, requesting, begging again and again, and almost like stepping down in front of them) and our objectives get fulfilled in terms of collections, new orders, ultimately win is ours. But who understands it?

Branding

Start-ups generally is not having any branding during initial phases. Hence the sales happen due to entrepreneurs personal brand. His/her personal relationship, past credential help the organization to generate orders. In lieu organization start building it’s corps. However the organization still have to stretch themselves by some extra mile in order to extend “Good Service”, “Value Additions”, “Quality Control”, “Integrated Approach”, “excellent process” and off course at a “lowest price” in order to compete to the so called “brand”. If the organization can do that, the same will yield an exceptional wealth “Good Will”.

But do we do that? Touch your heart and confess!

No! I personally failed to convince across the domain (inside the company, vendors, collaborators, associates) and everyone is interested to extend services as per order valuation. That means since customer is paying lesser money and squeezed us, they are eligible for better service. Guess I am not aware of it. The so called “Brand” (who had established themselves already in the market) does the same and customers are forced to pay them premium.

But without having any brand, behaving like employees of those “big brand” (inherited during employment stage) is a fuss.

Adoption to changing trends

People might have seen me attending lot of events. No one directly ever asked me, but generally people think “my business is running very well and I have enough free time”, “I love attending, enjoying foods and showcase over facebook”, “I have enough time to waste”. And lot of my surroundings are reluctant of accompanying me since they do not have time to waste beyond “Business”. But believe me, events are not only for networking, it is the place of understanding “changing trends”, “happening” across the globe. What we are doing today is not important. If we are not connected with the future trends, the future will not accommodate us.

Lot more areas are there to cover and illustrate. May be those can be covered in the next blog some other time.

Are you an entrepreneur? Did you face similar consequences?

Look forward towards your inputs.