Dec 7, 2017

A world class Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding(CEMS), the first of its kind in Asia was launched by Hon'ble Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari in Kochi . The project is with partnership of Siemens and Indian Register of Shipping and has a cost of Rs 766 cr. It will provide advanced skills for ship building and repair. Have been working on it for past 10 months, right from inception. Hope we create an institution that outlives us !

Nov 22, 2015

Orientation sheet for Taste Entrepreneurship Movement

Team member: Select a team member with complimentary skills

Product: Select a product that people understand need and will buy without much persuasion and has good profit margin

Product/Service Development: Choose a product based on cheap sourcing, your skills and clear market need.

Investment generation: Remember cash generates cash

Pricing: Price a product that ensures good profit and is within buying capacity of target customer

Place: Sell the product at a place where you can get multiple consumers at one go

Strategy: Think hard on how you will you sell and follow it

Negotiation: Negotiate from a position of strength not from a weakness

Deal closing: Close a deal as soon as it serves your minimum threshold mark

Reinvestment: Reinvest your profits in the same or new product, do not let cash be idle

Marketing: Aid your product by catchy advertisement that catches people attention

Medium: Sell product by all mediums available direct to people, to sellers, via online or offline

Payment: Do not settle for payments later as soon as you sell, take the payment

Restrategize: If things do not work leave it,  try something else

Taking help: Take help of family friends, relatives anyone you think can help you

Profit Sharing: Share profit between partner and you by the amount of effort put by both

Good will: Do not compromise on your good will

Ethics: Do not give false promises to customers, play the game fairly

Best of Luck!!

Work Hard to be the best team in college, this is the first taste of entrepreneurship !!

Nov 2, 2015

Skill Development in India-the untold story

One guy had the vision, he was late C.K Prahlad ( bottom of Pyramid concept pioneer), in his speeches he talked about "I would like to see 500 million skilled technicians by 2022" ,the year India celebrates her 75th birthday. Nice Idea, nice gift .

Sadly, we took not just the idea but also the visionary number. 500 million sounds like a cool number good to quote and write about.Manmohan Singh the erudite Prime minister loved it. It was an aspirational target, not thinking what will these 500 million people do, is local employment demand for it, will people move out to demand areas . At almost half way from 2010 to this 2022 vision, we have clear answers.

The 500 million target was broken as below amongst  20+ ministries and the NSDC.

All this was good NSDC followed with skill gap surveys targeting areas of need but within the wrong framework provided. No one questioned this basic figure and here we were all wrong. NSDC was to be setup as a PPP but industry did not put in any money. The govt put in 99% of the money and made it unique model

Some who try to put the 2+2 argue using people entering the work force logic which actually points to the other way. It is normally quoted ad nauseum that 12 million people enter work force every year, this is primafacie is incorrect, economists say it is not ~6 million people.With population rates dropping to 1.4 this figure goes further down. At best even if we were to assume 12 million people the target would be 12*12=144 million people not 500 million. Worst case: The target cannot be more than 250 million people. 

The target needs to be halved. Lets face it, that’s what India needs and lets do it with quality.

Oct 24, 2015

A sacalable model for entrepreneurship development in Indian Colleges

Every third person in India is a youth. By 2020, 64% of the country would be in the working age.[1]There is a mad scramble for jobs today and this is only going to intensify. Some people view this as a demographic dividend but this could also be a ticker bomb we are sitting on.

A combination of young population and high unemployment can be explosive (Arab Spring). With a focus on higher education, more and more people are enrolling and studying but as education levels go up, unemployment levels have also gone up[2].It is easier for high schooled to get a job than it is for a graduate(NSSO data: unemployment rate amongst illiterate men (15-29 yrs) in urban areas is 2.5 % against 5.3% for graduates or higher in 2011-12).This phenomenon worsens as we go to rural areas, where the problem is more pronounced

Our fascination for government jobs, our approval of job seekers and skepticism for first generation entrepreneurs make them outliers, who pave their way against stiff societal opposition. First generation entrepreneurship does not have a nurturing ecosystem. A new NREGA like model can sow seeds of entrepreneurship and be a game changer..

This scalable inclusive model involves mimicking real life entrepreneurship in colleges with the least cost, time and in an entrepreneurial manner. In order to testthis approach multiple pilot experiments were conducted in Haryana and Karnataka. In a college, everyone studying in any course, in any year had a right to enroll, to test 15 teams of 2 students (complimentary skills) were given “trigger money (Rs 1000 per team) for a short duration (a week with 2 weekends included) to go out and generate profits. They were no pre requisites and rules. The students kept the profits/losses. At the end of the duration the principal amount was to be returned. Money was routed through known hands of the teacher. These experiments threw surprising results.

Students quickly thought of an idea and went out to implement it since they were competing and had limited time. They handled inter personal team issues, learned, earned and sharedprofits. They used their skills (opened study classes, beauty points, sold self made paintings), sold local products (handicrafts, khadi clothes) and local resources (local delicacies) and came up with tangible selling propositions. They convinced strangers, shed their inhibitions and hesitations and enjoyed the process. Girls participated as keenly as boys did. The peer pressure of competition made them work hard, the incentive of keeping their profits and the recognition through awards motivated them, involvement of college authorities ensured they returned back the money and the short time frame allowed them to focus. The process initiated them to business realities and removedthe inhibitions to try. This taught the first alphabets of entrepreneurship so that they construct sentences and weave entrepreneurship stories in the future.By and large it infused energy, fun and provide a way to express business acumen.

Such experiments are not completely knew, similar efforts with encouraging results have been done by premier business schools like the Indian School of Business,Stanford University and the Deshpande Foundation in India. However the idea now is to scale up and make it available for every Indian student, studying any course, in any college in the country.

The durable asset created here is change in behavior and learning experience for creating new businesses. This sprinkles the seeds of entrepreneurship all across the country. Close government linkages to other government programs can provide the fertilizers (nurturing mechanisms) and irrigation (conducive ecosystem) for them to grow into a full entrepreneurship venture.

Sincethe program isobjective, cost and time effective it can be readily scaled up. Use of technology, online and mobile media makes it possible to further reduce time and costs. In terms of costs in less than 1/4th of a dollar (per team), in terms of time- in a week’s time and in terms of quality- by students actually doing it, we gave a taste of entrepreneurship at places where conventional ecosystem may not reach in the near future.

The scale up requires a PPP model with government and private sector coming together to make a corpus fund. An autonomous body called the National Entrepreneurship Foundation under the new entrepreneurship ministry can be formed.Given that it is a rolling fund, a one-time fund is regenerates and sustains operations. At the cost for less than 30 crores we can cover all 35500 colleges in the country. There would be some non-performingassets (NPAs) but implementation by a private player and strong processes would mitigate this risk. The nurturing ladder from colleges to states to national level requires efficient benchmarking, accreditation and rewarding systems. A database of potential entrepreneurs will make it easy for government and private players to identify job creators and link them to government programs. Such an ecosystem cannot be created in isolation. It needs bodies like the new Ministry of entrepreneurship or Ministry of small and medium enterprises, industry bodies, skill development bodies to come together to take specific roles to ensure we create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship in colleges.

Long back, introduction of cadavers revolutionized the teaching in medical schools, the introduction of trigger money and its associated nurturing system is a game changer to awaken the entrepreneurship spirit of the youth in a cost effective manner. This dedicated trigger money provides an opportunity for students to taste entrepreneurship in a fun way and sow the seeds for a bumper entrepreneurship harvest.

"Ashutosh did his MBA in Strategy and Finance from Indian School of Business in 2011, along with an exchange programme at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where he studied International Development. He worked with the Development Office of a Member of Parliament and then with Evidence Action, where he was responsible for scale-up and institutionalization of the Deworming and the Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation program reaching 36 lakhs children in Delhi. He is currently working on a new cost effective and scalable model to institutionalize entrepreneurship development in Indian colleges by providing a real life taste of entrepreneurship to students in a public private partnership model with government authorities, industry bodies and civil society partners. He can be reached at

[1]‘State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills,’ a report published by IRIS Knowledge Foundation in collaboration with UN-HABITAT


Jun 30, 2015

Pride, Politics,Progress & selfie

In complete darkness , you see the stars. Its is the presence of darkness that is critical. Such was the political vacuum in India that it accentuated Narendra Modi's role. Undoubetdly his presence has brought in one person who has little to take for himself. The same however cannot be said for the party he belongs which will always be torn due to conflicting interests.

Modi's style has brought in the first phase of what he thinks people are lacking, pride in the nation, respect in the world and a peek into the goodness we all have. Selfies with world leaders adds to his and the nation's presence, selfies with young kids endear him to people but selfies hardly solve anything. A 10 second job in individual and collective vanity. To make matters worse such is the band of his followers who do not think deep and must be in defence of whatever he does. Selfies, photo ups add little to changing real India, it only makes people feel good and rather puts them in a place where they cannot really question the PM, he has gone to their emotional system and hence logic counts little.

Great work has been done in Yemen, Nepal in army operations in Manipur and in launching initiatives for financial inclusion but we must not be blinded. Swatch Bharat Abhiyan is a great tool for people who hardly contribute, but for people who really contribute the idea looks just good for media. Celebrities will not clean up anything they will pose and feel, thats a great success but deep in villages its water for toilets that matters.It is the presence of dustbins, the presence of toilets in urban areas that will ensure people do not relieve in public.

#Selfiewithdaughter is another example, a 10 sec effort is a great move but does not attack where most needed, the idea that women and men all are equal, must have equal opportunities in education, health and decison making. Research on female nutrition suggests that women eat last hence the least as little is left in poor families. Hence #rotiwithdaughter seems a more deeper change move. There is a serious lack of depth and no one in the media seems to really question that, all are self absorbed to be on the right side of power.  What else explains Lalit modi taking his word on social media rather than mainstream media, his doubts that people would air the wrong side.

Modi has added to India's optimism, he is the best person we have but he is just setting the stage, the actual play is yet to get live, these are just fillers but the content of development for the poor is yet to roll out. His focus on Yoga suggests it is a long term game for him not a T20 match.

I am sure he will do well, but only when his party allows and his followers understand they are people in India apart from him who are as partiotic as he is if not more.

Jun 3, 2015

Bihar- dreams and despairs

Its been a while since I wrote on this blog, partly because I became a Victim of everyday work. There are lot of things I wanted to share much from my travels then from books. Visited Bihar many times , always left saddened

1. Looks life an African capital to me, alive from those movies. No traffic lights, no coherence, no pride in human identity.

2. People I meet are generally unhappy they did not get a govt job. Sad to see this metric define human happiness levels.

3.Sad about Bihar since I expect a lot from here, every second person I meet is sharp, has knowledge but does not use it at all, that's a big worry , sad lives, something is super wrong .

4. All said í done corruption and mai baap culture rules, no one has learnt anything and may not learn too.

5. Bihar is the most promising and most dissapointing place in India. Young stupid people waste lives to be mercenaries of uneducated politicians in the govt service. Those in service have sold all good morals long back and do nothing for ppl.

6. Bihar ppl are an afraid lot, for god knows what,  smart ppl being afraid of unsmart ppl is doom as it is Bihar.

Ps: on board a 6 hr late train in Patna, hope time meant something.

Jan 18, 2015

Delhi elections: whom to vote whom to not

1. AAP Vote because

1. Clean money
2. Need to be promoted to ensure check on Bjp after congress is too powerless
3. Has selfless volunteers, they brought young to politics
4. Made their stand clear and joined politics
5.Made mistake but admitted
6. Its the tadka in politics the spice of Indian politics
7. Will help them grow which is good for Indian politics

Do not vote for AAP because

1. They need to do dharna, with central govt of Bjp there is no way things will be easily granted to them
Not a smooth ride for them due to allignment issues with centre.

Vote for Bjp because

1. Allignment with centre govt
2. Modi govt policies maybe fastracked

Do not vote for Bjp

1. Where are funds coming from
2. There will be a tussle for leadership, cannot escape this.
3. Weaker opposition in india overall .no party will question their wrong,AAP will have a long way, may loose relevance

Vote wisely , but do vote, your choice makes delhi and democracy stronger !!

Jul 10, 2014

Scalable entrepreneurship development in Indian Colleges

Spoke on scalable model for developing entrepreneurs in colleges at an American Center event in ISB Mohali