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Creating an entrepreneurial mindset through experiential learning; offered by DCSE

Hey Guys!

 Caution: Read further only if you are willing to bring success to your efforts!

So, are you sure you want to speed up the venture activities... Great!

Do you know a key to entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is simple like an energy – it can be passed from one to another through conduction, conviction or radiation. But to be so, you need to be in the aura of entrepreneurs. Now where can you get them? Entrepreneurs are definitely not the ones that roam around in parks every evening, unless any one passionate arranges such an event in one of such parks! But there is one place which is no less than a entrepreneurial park.

As we all are well aware, most obvious course of any entrepreneurship is starting up a business. It is a preconceived notion that every entrepreneur must struggle hard in market to sustain the venture in premature stage. People won’t really listen to your crazy ideas and may be you need to spend a lot amount of your lifetime to build up the venture. But here is the deal – Lean startup!

As explained by Eric Ries “Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup, how to steer, when to turn, and when to preserver and grow a business with maximum acceleration.” In brief, it is a scientific approach to create and manage startups and get desired product to customers’ hands faster.Nowadays this trend is well recognized as lean startup movement which is being used by lot of entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of business.

Sounds interesting! Isn’t it?

IDEO.org’ is one of the successful start-ups that  integrated the methodology of lean startup and has pioneered in the market.  So, what does Lean Startup actually mean?  To give a little more highlight on this, five main principles of Lean Startups are as below

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere: To be an entrepreneur, you need not be a techie guy who spends all the day in creating tools and gadgets. From a farmer into a field up to a service guy providing healthcare services, anyone can be an entrepreneur.
  2. Entrepreneurship is management: A startup is lot more than just an idea. There is a lot of Jugaad for every idea to make it a viable revenue generating stream. Hence it is different type of management than conventional which gives crisp to entrepreneurship.
  3. Validating Learning: Soon after you are into startup, your process of validating the learning starts. You get to test each learning with the process of learning itself thus confirming that your learning is experimented and well filtered.
  4. Innovation accounting: Again entrepreneurship is all about putting a measuring tape to each and every step that you take. In formal words it can be called as monitoring the venture activities be it monetary or non-monetary.
  5. Build, measure, and learn: End of the day, entrepreneurship is all about converting an idea into a tangible product which can be offered to customer. Since customer is the best evaluator, entrepreneurship gives the clear idea of learning towards perfection.
Isn't that an amazing way of becoming an entrepreneur? I am proud to invite you all for the workshop on "Lean Startup Principles" by Mr. Tathagat Varma, Founder & CEO, Thought Leadership.  He is also a TEDx - Google speaker, check out his video here.

The workshop is in association with TiE Hubli chapter and Sandbox Startups, two organizations supporting entrepreneurship in tier-II & III cities.

FYI, limited seats! Apply now! Contact entreprenation.dcse@gmail.com to know more about the event!

Don't miss to attend "Entrprenation - Entrepreneurship Carnival" on 18th of April 2015.  Come celebrate entrepreneurship with us!

Content & Communications Team

We at Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Master of Social Entrepreneurship are looking for idea and creative wizards for the Entrepreneurs' Carnival! You are invited to be a part of ENTREPRENATION, Entrepreneurs’ Carnival on 18th April 2014 at Hubballi, Karnataka.

The event is a platform for you to elevate and nurture your entrepreneurial talent. A place to meet similar people, mentors, investors, CEOs and what more you might find potential cofounders for your business venture!

The carnival is where ideas meet inspiration, talent meets opportunity and founders meet co-founders!

 Let's all meet together and make INDIA happen!!!


Are you the idea wizard? Then, Pitch your !dea is your  thing!  DCSE’s Master of Social Entrepreneurship is giving you a platform to turn your dreams into reality. You have ideas and can that ideas be tested in front of investors? Then this event is for you. We invite you to present your idea in front of an amazing panel of judges which includes investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and incubation managers.

Three minutes to turn your life around and give your idea a chance of lifetime!

What's in it for you?

1.    Prize money up to INR 25000

2.    Biz Spark start-up package worth INR 45000

3.    Meet investors, CEOs, mentors and incubation managers

4.    Sponsorship for a PG program in Entrepreneurship

SOCIAL AD Challenge:

Here is a challenge for all the creative minds out there! You walk around… and see a cause worth raising your voice? We challenge you to shoot a video that has a social message or identifies a social opportunity (a problem)to work on.

You get five minutes (the shorter the better) to showcase your creativity! Let your creative juices flow!!!

What's in it for you? 

1. Cash Prize up to INR 15000 

2. Winning social ad will be showcased in our websites (Deshpande Foundation India and Master of Social Entrepreneurship)

3. Meet some inspiring and creative personalities from the industry!

You are required to: 

1. Register for the events (separate entries).  Log on to www.detmse.org for more information. 

2. Connect with us: Like us on Facebook, Tweet us at  @ENTREPRENATION1 

3. For any queries do mail us at: entreprenation.dcse@gmail.com or call us at: +91 814-773-2100

Now.. what are you waiting for? Register yourself! Spread the word! Share the news with your peers, friends, neighbors and their neighbors! 

We will soon be updating the guidelines for the individual competitions! Stay tuned... 

Entreprenation Communications Team

One evening I received a mail regarding the Human-Centered Design (HCD) workshop which was organized for us [4th Sem Master of Social Entrepreneurship (MSE) students] and I was curious about the topic. I hadn't heard about the term and well, I looked it up at Google. I found out that it helps to design product/service focusing on customers in the market.  What was more interesting is that we were having an Acumen Fellow (international leadership development fellowship) as the trainer. 

 (Engrossed in a deep discussion- the trainer and the trainees)

The next day, I met the trainer on my way to college. Ms. Bailey Vaez, a bright and warm person and one thing that you would notice about her is her smile. While introducing herself, She told the real intention of the workshop is to gather market inputs about a service that she is trying to launch. She is working with Asian Healthmeter, a diagnostics company (a social enterprise) As a consultant she is helping the organization to scale their operations. Through this workshop, Bailey sought to gather market intelligence using HCD. Market studies and field action always makes us happy and it is interesting.

 The workshop was very hands-on, less theory and  more action was the mantra. Personally speaking, this action component in the workshop aided in understanding real time obstacles and problems of launching a product / service in the market. As a budding entrepreneur myself [I am co-founder of E-Vision, an e-waste management company with 3 other friends of mine], I am greatly benefited by this.

The Challenge: 

With basic understanding of how HCD works, we were all set to collect customer insights. We need info regarding the customer behavior toward the diagnostics services. With Bailey facilitating our progress, we brainstormed amongst ourselves and designed the questionnaire for the survey! We formed teams and chose specific areas of Hubballi ( a nice city, you must visit this once!) to visit and conduct the interview with the target market - patients and general public. We did a mock interview session to avoid common pitfalls during surveys and prepared ourselves.

Having learned basics of Research methodology in my program, along with my teammates, I was able to finish the interview quite early. The data was segregated for further analsyis. The survey helped us understand the general behavior traits of the market. For example, we found out that most of the people visit a particular diagnostic center because their doctor referred it. One other finding was that proximity to one's residence also play an important role in choice of the diagnostic center. As a business decision maker, for me, these insights are valuable. If I were to launch a service, then, it can be a success or a failure based on a doctor's recommendation.

The real challenge came next when we were asked to design a service  (based on the data collected). We had a freedom to choose our target audience and then design the service accordingly. For this to make sense, we went out for a second survey to gather more inputs. The objective of the survey was to find out whether or not the market will accept our service.

The Presentation: 

Equipped with the market survey and customer insights we gave a marketing plan in front of the judges which included, Mr. Niranjan Demanna, Program Manager - Sandbox Startups (Business incubator, Deshpande Foundation), Mr. Vadiraj Purohit, Marketing Manager at Asian Health Meter and of course, our beloved trainer Ms. Bailey Vaez, Consultant - Asian Health Meter.

We presented the idea and our team was appreciated for ideas like including Thyroid Diagnosis in the package and initiatives like SMS alerts to patients. We were also suggested to gather more inputs to understand the market dynamics before coming up with a service / product plan. The other team won and nonetheless all of us are elated at the outcome.

As told earlier, I am a co-founder of E-Vision, e-waste management company and understanding customers is paramount for the launch of our venture. For example, if we launch e-waste in Hubballi, what is the market that we have? Will the venture be sustainable? Do we have enough market potential for it? How do we model the service so that we gt support from the consumers, kabadiwalas and government bodies. A lot of questions needs to  be answered. Writing a business plan and pitching it in front of investors needs sound market understanding. Tools like HCD come in very handy to design products / services by keeping the market in mind. And, I personally feel this workshop was (and is) very beneficial for us!

Contributed by:

Mr. Jithin Sunny, 4th Sem MSE student, narrating a workshop experience hosted by Master of Social Entrepreneurship at Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

About the course: 

Master of Social Entrepreneurship is a two-year postgrad program  that builds social entrepreneurs.  To know more about the course, click here.

Did you like the article? Share the article! Tweet us at @DETMSE and like us on Facebook.

Hello all!!!

Thinking what the title of the blog post is all about? Recently one of my friends asked me how is the program that I am a part of is different / unique? He said, "Dude, you say it is out-of-the-box program... well, tell me how"?   I did not get offended, but, told him, can I get back to you? I am here for over a year now and been handling a wide array of activities. It is my program and yes, I am biased towards it. I know that we are not perfect, but we do things with all heart and soul. Are these things enough for an academic program? Dear friend, thank you for asking me that question...this piece is because of that.

In one sentence, my program is unique because of its Execution (delivery)!!!

 (Pic Courtesy: Click here)

A little background about the program: 

The two year master's program, Master of Social Entrepreneurship,  is just 3 years old. Launched in 2012, we have around 31 students. Some of them are intrapreneurs, some of them are entrepreneurs and we have a batch that is all set to graduate this August.

 Well, how UNIQUE is the program:  

 I offer you a few examples, you draw your conclusions, what do you say?

As a wannabe entrepreneur, you learn business plan writing. When flirting with ideas and developing a model, tell us where would you look at? Books? YouTube videos? discussion forums? My students undergo workshops on product-design concepts like - Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking. In these camps, students go out, meet targeted customer and then refine the ideas. That's when the actual business plan writing starts! Cool, isn't it?

Being a socent is not at all an easy job. There are people (read socents) that work in villages or even livelihood specialists that work with rural community. Can one sit in classrooms or meeting rooms and decide what is important for them? How do we take products/ services to grassroots? What tools are at our disposal? As simple as conducting a sample survey or assessing impact of an intervention or suggesting an intervention needs tact in meeting villagers, take them into confidence and then collect the information, right? Now how do we teach that skill? For that, the students spend a week's time in village understanding them, living with them (yes, they do!) and empathizing with their needs, situation and problems. Now, don't you think it is a better way of understanding your target customers?

To set a business up, you need to have Finance. How do you raise funds? We can teach this by using really nice presentation (which Ms. Roma Bose does it from the USA, thanks to her expertise and good will with Deshpande Foundation!). Ms. Bose also emphasized that Fundraising cannot be learned just like that. Students work towards organizing a fundraising event, gather support and then raise the fund for an identified purpose.

Isn't the approach unique & hands-on? The institute believes in learner-centric approach and we constantly innovate teaching methods to suit the learner's needs. The result of this approach is that, each student (you) grows in the process! It is not just a concept that we (as in the institute, my teammates and I) aspire to imbibe, but also personality of a student that gets shaped in the due process. Being a teacher from a long time (BTW, I am not old, just experienced), I see how this approach is effective. I have a student who is setting up e-waste management company [E-Vision] based on her Effective Communication presentation! I am so proud of her [now it has 4 co-founders!]. [Guys, I am proud of each one of you.. :)]

These are just a few examples of how the program unfolds itself. There is a lot more! You should come down, visit us to know more about it! :)


Albert Einstein defines Insanity as 'doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results' . If you want to do something new or try an unconventional path or take the road less traveled . you cannot do this by trying age old methods... can you?  Well, that's what we do here. Being different, breaking molds, creating history and a wave of change! Interested??? Meet us, refer us! We love idea mani's, enthu cutlets and well, every one!

Tell me what you think about the program and of course,  this piece of article! Tweet us @DETMSE, follow the institute on Facebook and follow the blog!

The author works as an Asst Professor and this is a narrative of his personal account. Apart from taht, he also works as the Lead: Impact Assessment & Content Management.  Know more about the institute here.

Sometimes you have to sacrifice the convenience of taking the straightforward path, for one that is winding uncertain, to discover yourself and the world we live in. Well, at least I did.

(Experiencing the World: My Life, My rule, My explorations)

My post-secondary education has been unconventional since the beginning, and has taken me on a (long by some standards) journey that has provided me with experiences and wisdom I never could have dreamed of. To start from the beginning means to go back to the two years I spend traveling upon high school graduation. I participated in two youth volunteer/learning programs that brought me all across Canada’s vast lands, and later to the west African country of Ghana. For the first time in my life I was out on my own in the world, and the growth I underwent during this time shaped me in ways I can’t explain. What I can explain, however, is how I knew this experiential approach to learning was something I needed to maintain throughout the rest of my education. I was in on the secret, and I wasn’t going to waste that privilege.

Fast-forward a year: my university life began in a program called “Global Stewardship”, an intensive, cohort program based in the school of social science, focusing on international development, sustainability, and global awareness. It is a unique curriculum that incorporates community service learning alongside it’s academic modules, and I found this dynamic approach to education promising from the beginning. By promising I don’t mean a way to make a quick million or become a major celebrity, I mean that it promised to broaden my mind and equip with me with critical thinking skills I could (and do) apply in all life situations, academic and otherwise.

While I was immersed in this field, I spontaneously decided to enroll in a couple Communication Studies classes, which opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world, through the lense of media, technology, art and pop culture. I had always wanted to be a journalist, travelling the world and writing about all of the horror and beauty that lives “out there”, so I declared Communications as my major shortly after, and even transferred schools to best suit my new direction. My passion for global awareness, social development and environmental conservation never died, however, so I preserved “Development and Sustainability” as my minor as well. I think it’s absurd for us, as young people whose minds are eager to change and grow, to pick one thing to study for four years, or however long the system has told you that you have to go to classes for until you get that certificate of glory. There is so much to see, do and learn, in the classroom and beyond, to be restricted in such a way.

It’s crucial that we recognize that social norms or expectations are not limits set in stone, but rather as guidelines that can and, in my opinion, should be questioned.

I never forgot my secret though, the power of education out of the classroom, so when I heard about the Co-operative program at my University, I jumped on board right away. Co-operative education (Co-op) is an optional program in which students alternate study semesters with full-time work experience semesters related to their courses and field of interest. In this way, you can test out different career options, while improving your skills and connections through real experience. What’s even more enticing about this program is that your options are not limited to your geographic community - you are connected to job opportunities everywhere. And that’s how I ended up in India, the land of diversity, color, history and religion. I am entering my fourth month of a Communication internship with Deshpande Foundation, in which I am learning about work and life in a context I never could have perceived sitting in my bedroom, studying my textbooks, back in Vancouver, Canada. It’s been the perfect complement to the formal, or traditional, side of my degree.

People all over the globe question “the arts degree”. It is widely seen, and accepted as, a route to nowhere - a waste of money that lands you a job at your local restaurant in the end (if you’re lucky). The problem, however, is not the subject of the degree itself but the scale by which we measure it’s value. If we see high wages and secure employment as the only measure of personal or professional success, then sure - everyone should enroll in engineering or pharmacy. However, if we recognize social consciousness, critical thinking, global perspectives and the enrichment of our world as factors that just as precious, then “alternative” university programs and courses, as well as experiential learning, would be seen as just as, if not even more, valuable. In my opinion, this is the the mentality we need to adopt if we are to grow as a society and change our world for the better.

Part of 1 of Series: "Your friend from Canada"

Contributor: Ms. Dara K Hill, Communications Intern, Deshpande Foundation

About the Series:  The series captures the cross-cultural experiences of the author, who at present is working as the Content Writer with the team. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, log on to our website and check out about the program, the admission for fourth batch is open!

Engage with us at: @DETMSE

Like us on Facebook

Social media has brought in enormous potential not merely for reaching out to people but also to build a brand. Thus it becomes very much essential for one to create measurable goals while using tools of social media. However the attractive figures provided by most of the analytical tools of vanity metrics available does not validate one’s branding efforts or the ROI on social media strategy. We (4th SEM Master of Social Entrepreneurship students) had a great discussion on ‘Leveraging Social Media to build Brand” with Mr. Emil Kuruvilla. Mr. Kuruvilla or Emil as we fondly call him works as the Senior Marketing Manager at EforAll, Deshpande Foundation’s Massachusetts counterpart.

Learning Objectives:

1.    How do we assess the metrics generated?
2.    Does increase in page visits mean the campaign is a success?
3.    What is a brand?
4.    How can we use social media to build the brand?

(MSE Students with Emil Kuruvilla after the session)

 The discussion was initiated with the important concept of ‘Vanity Metrics’. Can one blindly trust the SEO and social media efforts are being efficient? Does number of page visits and page likes mean that we have a better brand than our competitors? The metrics can be measurable indicators for any social media user to assess the reach out to the people. Any company bears the goal of creating brand image amongst the populace. Social media is a tool just like any other to achieve the desired output. To simplify more, any tool of social media such as blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other similar medium can be always used to lead the user to the core website of organization or company.   

Thus the key of social media is one should be able to drive people to the link. Creating such an effective matter which can attract people to opt for clicking the link is a man skill. With the advance aids available it has become quite possible for everyone to make the online content more effective. The same applies for the websites. Websites, with the liberty of size of the content, succeed in capturing the customer value. The content of social media thus acts as an advertising channel which drives the customer to the core website. Flexibility and quick response are the advantages of social media which can be used for creating concise and relevant matter on social media.

Brand can be identified as nothing else but an impact. Thus building a brand is quite similar to creating an impact on the minds of population. In the case of building brand through social media it become simple yet very challenging for anyone to build brand through the channel of social media. However there can be some steps which can help in building the brand through social media. Very most important is how you present your brand in visual format. Unique color and formatting style should be maintained throughout the social media tactics. Also one should look after that ‘Brand Tone’ is being maintained. The last but not the least keep is that the social media whichever one is using should be easily accessible to the audience. These are some of the things one can mind while using social media for branding purpose.

The session with Emil was a valuable learning about social media. Though all of us are a part of social media nowadays we really need to understand social media as a tool and not merely fall for the vanity metrics.

Contributed by:

 Mr. Kedar Kulkarni, MSE IV sem

About the course: 

Master of Social Entrepreneurship is a two-year master's program that nurtures your entrepreneurial talent. To know more about the course, click here.

Did you like the article? Share the article! Tweet us at @DETMSE and like us on Facebook.