A changemakers session by the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation cell”
BUILDING INDIA’S LARGEST BROKERAGE: A CHANGEMAKERS SESSION BY ENI
By Soniya Lunawat & Prasanjan Mitra
“Be in the business you have the edge over others,” articulated Zerodha CEO, Nithin Kamath, on the evening of 7th February at IIM Bangalore. The second session of ‘Changemakers – Where founders tell their tales’ organized by the ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell’ saw a packed classroom eager to listen to the founder of India’s largest broking firm. Nithin began his journey just after the 2008 crisis when other established brokerage firms had started to diversify their interests. Contrary to the popular belief of taking VC support to grow the firm, he spoke his heart out about how he and his brother have grown Zerodha while still being in bootstrapping mode, and without spending even a single penny on Google AdWords.
Throughout the talk, the one thing he focused upon was the need to solve the real problems that customers face and making yourself knowledgeable enough to do it better than anybody else in the industry. For him, not having a business plan and being guided solely on intuition gained through his 15 years of the trading experience, worked. However, he advised budding entrepreneurs to make a fool-proof business plan and not rely on the luck to drive their success. Though the number of active traders in India (people trading once a year) as of now is limited, he underlined the importance of right investments and discussed Zerodha’s plans to reach to the masses.
Students, as well as startups, left the session feeling motivated rather than restrained with the resources and opportunities they have.
Apart from functioning as a guiding force behind Zerodha, Nithin is also an excellent poker player. To give IIM Bangalore students an opportunity to interact one-on-one with him, ENI had organized an informal ‘Poker session’ in the hostel blocks.
The ‘Changemakers 2019’ series concluded with the audience gaining insight into how the unicorns of the ‘Indian Startup Industry’ have developed and made their presence felt.
REVOLUTIONISING THE FITNESS INDUSTRY: A CHANGEMAKERS SESSION BY ENI
IIM Bangalore witnessed an insightful panel discussion by the ‘Changemakers’ of fitness industry on 29th January 2019. Changemakers is a flagship event of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell of IIM Bangalore. The first talk of the Changemaker series was on ‘Is FitTech the new FinTech’, and the panel had entrepreneurs from three big startups in the fitness space, viz-a-viz HealthifyMe, Cure Fit and Auro. The discussion was moderated by IIM Bangalore’s esteemed Professor Sourav Mukherji.
The talk began with Professor Mukherji discussing the inspiration behind and the unique journey of each of the startups. Mr. Nikhil Moorjani, Vice President at HealthifyMe, shared how the firm started as a calorie tracking app and evolved into a nutritional trainer cloud, now with over 500 nutritional coaches across the world. Mr. Karthik Narayanan, co-founder and CTO of Auro, called Auro the Alexa of fitness. It leverages machine learning and IOT heavily to democratize the personal training process through voice-based interaction, and gives fitness enthusiasts a flavor of boutique fitness classes. Auro has been witnessing a 60-70% W-o-W growth. The third panelist, Mr. Shan MS, Director of Cult.fit and an alumnus of IIMB, discussed how Cure.fit is working on its the vision of making ‘being healthy’ easy for people. He also talked about other horizontal initiatives of Cure.fit, viz-a-viz Eat.fit, Mind.fit and Care.fit, which work under the umbrella of Cure.fit, and how these are being integrated to deliver a holistic experience to customers. He also discussed how Cure.fit has been successful in providing a sense of community-based bonding to people who are new to fitness regimes.
In the second half of discussion, the panelists interacted with each other and the audience on topics that centered around what these startups are doing to retain customers, what their marketing strategy is, how they manage trainers, coaches and ensure their well-being. The discussion ended on an inspiring note by the words of Karthik Narayanan, Auro: “If your heart is in it, go for it, not for the money.”