Laboratory in Entrepreneurial Motivation

Irtif Lone

In an elegantly designed conference hall the door was making rusty noise, the noise which every door hinge makes to get oiled. Every time someone made his way into the conference hall, the door made the creaky noise, so mild that many of us sitting in the conference hall did not notice it at all. But to our surprise, the first thing we were asked by the speaker was, “Does this noise disturb you?” For many like me, it didn’t. We are used to such things. And, between what’s the big deal about the door making some noise. I had just made my way through the curfew. I had pleaded in the morning with law (read curfew) enforcing agencies to reach the workshop. But, when this question was asked, it struck me. In couple of minutes the door was oiled and it no more made the noise. It wasn’t a big deal, but we for the next two days of the workshop would have had to bear with the noise had the speaker not asked this question.

This was last week, when I happened to be a part of the two day workshop on Laboratory in Entrepreneurial Motivation (LEM) by Professor Sunil Handa. He takes a course by the same nomenclature at IIM (A) and takes smaller capsules of entrepreneurship to various other IIM’s and IIT’s as well. Well, it doesn’t end here. He was accompanied by Ms Rashmi Bansal (IIM-A Alumni), a well known author and a motivational Speaker who has written her sixth book Take Me Home, recently. Over a million copies of her books have been sold so far. All her books are a must read, Connecting the Dots being my personnel favourite, though.  With both of them in this workshop, it was nothing less than the entrepreneur’s dreamland.

The workshop was organised by Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute at its Pampore campus.  It was just a small group of students, most of them from Management.  This is not what had been planned. But the curfew had restricted the movement. Many were not able to make it to the workshop. Fortunate that I made it to the venue, and blessed that it was restricted to fewer people. Lesser number meant more personnel attention to each participant.

The two day workshop was divided into six sessions, a joint session by Prof Sunil Handa and Ms Rashmi Bansal in the mornings and evenings. And that one session on both days between the two joint sessions was meant for one-to-one interaction between them and the aspiring entrepreneurs. I had the privilege of having this one-to-one interaction with both.

LEM was filled with various personnel experiences of Prof Sunil Handa, who has motivated hundreds of IIM graduates to take entrepreneurship as their career choice. But, then that one story to which he made a small reference was about one of his students who wanted to start-up a venture which Prof Handa didn’t have much knowledge of, so he went from Ahmedabad to Hyderabad without telling his student to find about the viability and feasibility of his project, investing his time, money and energy just to be sure that the particular student had chosen the right path. And when I made a reference to what he said, he brushed it off by saying, “this is what I do and what Rashmi does very often”.  I was awe-struck, how lucky of those students to find such teachers. It must be this dedication that makes these institutions the best. Or maybe they belong to a different creed.

There is much more I want to write but then considering the space I have been provided by the editor I would like to end it by thanking Prof Sunil Handa and Ms Rashmi Bansal for spending their precious time with us and to JKEDI for making this workshop possible.

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