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Alumni Corner

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EDI Alumni Association (EDIAA)

The alumni association is rich in diversity in terms of its students representing sectors ranging from manufacturing to services and not-for-profit enterprises. Nine hundred members spread across different regions make up the association. Besides, the EDIAA is steadily adding more members with each passing event and activity. The alumni, who are the ambassadors of the Institute, share their experiences through various programmes, such as;

  • Entre-Plexus: It is an annual EDI Alumni meet, wherein the effervescent minds meet to discuss their progress as successful entrepreneurs.
  • Networking Summit: A networking event for the EDI Alumni, the summit aims at generating a forum where the alumni can network with each other by way of sharing their current and future business/career plans.
  • EDIAA Premier League: A night cricket tournament organised by and for EDI alumni. It brings the members together in a non-formal fashion and promotes healthy, informal interaction.

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Entre-Plexus and Other Events Organized by EDI Alumni Associations

The EDI Alumni Association (EDIAA) was formed on 20th May 2007, is working towards a future where EDI alumni take pride in their entrepreneurial experience and pass that enthusiasm on to their peers, prospective students, families, and community. The Association aims to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship among its members and community at large. EDIAA also shares EDI's vision to make the institute among the top ranked entrepreneurship education institutes in the world. The EDI Alumni Association pledged to make EDI Alumni – the Future of Growth.

It is with this motive of refreshing the minds of PGP alumni, EDIAA organizes ENTRE-PLEXUS – the annual EDI Alumni meet. Discussions, debates, Interactions, Networking opportunity all of these are provided to equip the dynamic alumni with an unending urge for progress.

Entre-Plexus
The first EDI PGP alumni meet, christened "Entre-Plexus" was successfully organized during May 19-20, 2007 by the IX batch students under the leadership of Mr. Abhinav Daga. The dignity of the event was increased by the healthy attendance of around 150 Alumni. EDI invited Mr. Sushil Handa, Chairman and Managing Director, Claris Life Sciences Limited, Ahmedabad as the Chief Guest at 'Entre-Plexus 2007'. EDI also arranged guest lectures by Mr. Sunil Parekh. Ex-Director, CII, Gujarat and Mr. Gagan Sethi, Janvikas, who spoke on Entrepreneurship & Modern Technologies and NGO Governance respectively to EM & MN alumni.

The second Entre-Plexus held during 4-5 January 2008 and the theme was How Successful People Become Even More Successful. During this event it was disclosed that the one year PGP program that EDI has been hosting for the last ten years will hence forth be a two year encapsulated program recognized by the AICTE. The Chief Guest was Mr. Devang Nanavati who delivered keynote address on A better India by the way of Enterprise creation and unveiled the first EDIAA newsletter. Dr. Urmish Chudgar, MD, Intas Biopharmaceuticals and Mr. Munish Patell, Director, Kennsville Golf and Country Club delivered lectures. Mr. Vikas Kumar, EDI Alumnus made presentation on 'Microfinance Focus-India's First Microfinance Online Monthly Magazine'.

During 26-27 December 2008, with a theme of Responsible Entrepreneurship the third Entre-Plexus has been organized. The chief guest Mr. Natwar Lal Patel, MD, Meghmani Organics Limited delivered keynote address on 'Fostering Responsible Entrepreneurship in Today's Global Scenario'. During this event EDI Alumni Association interactive website was launched. Mr. Chandrakant Prakash Mohata, a IX batch alumni's book entitled Mehfil at EDI was released. Mr. Aalap Gandhi won the "Drashtant" a case study presentation on responsible entrepreneurship. 'Manthan', panel discussion on Responsible Entrepreneurship was participated by Mr. Piruz Khambatta, CMD of Rasna Pvt. Ltd. & Chairman CII National Committee on food processing; Mrs. Anar Patel, Founding Trustee of Gramshree Trust; Mr. Arun Baid, MD Aura Herbal Wear; Mr. Prasad Chacko, social worker and former regional manager, Action Aid India; and Dr. Dinesh Awasthi, Director, EDI. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Rasananda Panda, economist and visiting faculty at EDI.

The fourth Entre-Plexus was held during 11-12 December 2009 with the theme T Dimension – Inventing Businesses of Tomorrow. The Key note Speaker of this event was Mr. Mukesh Bhandari Chairman & Chief Technical Officer Electrotherm India Ltd and he addressed on Enterprise Sustenance Through Technology Intervention. The speakers of this event includes: Mr. Rajiv Bhatt, Senior Manager, Deloitte, Mr. Malav Mehta, MD Infinium Ltd., Mr. Pulkit Gaur (Technopreneur), Prof. Subrat Sahu (Strategy professor from IPMG), Mr. Rajiv Bhatt (Senior Manager, Deloitte), Mrs. Shriya Damani (Technology Transfer Consultant) and Mr. Kunal De (NID, Gandhinagar), Prof. Rasananda Panda visiting faculty at EDI, Dr. Anil Kane, President (World Wind Energy Association, Bonne, Germany), Dr. Arjun Mehta, Director-Gujarat Life Sciences and Mr. Nirav I Jamnapara from Plasma Research Centre.

During this event EDIAA has initiated the launch of EDIAA – GCCI Youth Wing with an objective to conduct workshops on entrepreneurship development. Also in December 2009, EDIAA formally got registered as TRUST.

The fifth Entre-Plexus was organized on 22nd January, 2011 where in all the alumni are invited on campus for academic and social interactions. As part of this event a Networking session was organized wherein each participant spoke briefly about his/her current and future business plans.

In addition to the Entre-Plexus, EDIAA conducts various events all through the year to bring the alumni together to generate networking opportunities.

EDIAA Premier League (EPL) night cricket tournament was organized by EDIAA Ahmedabad Chapter on 17th May 2009.

EDIAA successfully conducted EDIAA Networking Summit on 26th July 2009 with the theme A Forum to Share, Exchange and Network in which around 54 alumni where each one shared their current as well as future enterprise plans.

An entrepreneurship development workshop for evolving entrepreneurs, name Utkranti was organized jointly by EDIAA and GCCI Youth Wing on 28th February 2010 in which 16 participants were benefitted.

To promote networking among Ahmedabad based alumni / members, EDIAA Ahmedabad Chapter organized social and cultural events regularly. The Ahmedabad based alumni along with their spouses had brunch at Ellisbridge Gymkhana in April, 2010, Dinner at The Village restaurant at July, 2010, Dinner at 'Agashiye' Restaurant on 17th February 2012, Movie program at Cinemax, SG Highway and Coffee Meetings at Rajpath Club.

On 16th – 18th December 2013, EDI has organized its Annual Alumni Reunion, a three day program. The event was inaugurated by the Guest interaction of Shri Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Exchange4media Group, followed by networking, interaction and experience sharing of alumni with current batch students. Second day of the event was organized for a Business Simulation workshop by enParadigm, trainer of the workshop were Mr. John Cherian and Dr. Kamal Kishore Sharma. Lastly on the third day, the event ended with sports activity, workshop by National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) on 'Getting to market' and launch of book on 'Family Managed Business' by Religare Finvest Ltd. The panel of the book launch event consisted of Mr. Bipin Dudani, Sr. VP & Zonal Business Head, Religare, Prof. D. D. Trivedi, Distinguished Visiting Faculty EDI, Mr. Mohit Gupta, VP Marketing, Religare, Mr. Gaurav Parmar, Alumni EDI.

The Annual Alumni Reunion was celebrated during December 19th -21st 2014. The event was inaugurated by the Guest session on "Family Business Management" by Shri. Prasad M. Kumar, Board member, Business Chairman – institution building and Governance, GMR Group, where students from different management institutes have also participated. This was followed by networking and interaction of alumnus in different sectors and students. The 2nd day of the event started with a Guest interaction on 'Success without Stress – Coping up multitasking' by Ms. Atika Dhandhia, Director - Training for The Art of Living Foundation, Board Member – World Youth Forum for Ethics in Business, during conference held at the European Parliament, Brussels 2013, followed by cultural evening, rock band performance and other sports/fun activities.

Student-Alumni interaction : A series of session on the title 'HiStory – Uski Kahaani Uski Zubani'

EDI Alumni Association has started an initiative, a series of sessions for student alumni interaction, wherein alumnus from different sectors share their journey with current students after graduating from the institute. The benefits of establishing student/alumni interactive sessions are immense. Students have the opportunity to talk and visit with professionals who were once students in their shoes. They have the chance to ask questions, observe their work styles, and learn about a specific sector/industry. The alumni speakers can "provide career guidance, encouragement during the academic program, advice on important course and field work, and opportunities to make professional contacts". In addition, students build stronger connections to the institution through interaction with alumni. Today, networking is key for success in any stream.

Few of the alumni speakers were:
  • Mr. Sumit Grover, MD, Vinod Group of Companies (President EDI Alumni Association)
  • Mr. Ashish Chowdhary, Co-Founder, Konnect Me App
  • Mr. Laval Bhatt, CEO, HoneyBee Infomedia
  • Mr. Nikhil Talreja, Chief Operating Officer, Digital UpStarts
  • Mr. Gaurav Parmar, Director - International Business, Rimtex Group
  • Mr. Suril Udeshi, Hospitality Consultant
  • Mr. Arun Jain, Allure Fashion Shop
  • Mr. Vinod Agrawal, MD, Arunaya Organics P Ltd.
  • Mr. Anand Choudhary, Owner, AVN Commodities P Ltd
  • Mr. Abhar Patel, MD, Shlok Group
  • Mr. Navneet Dutta, VP-Client Relations, Kotak Mahindra Bank's Wealth Management Business
  • Mr. Nishant Shah, Entrepreneur
  • Mr. Kalpit Shah, Managing Partner, Mahavir Impex
  • Mr. Gaurav Parmar, Director, Rimtex Group of Industries
  • Mr. Mitul Shah, Director, Supak Industries P Ltd.

Alumni Success Stories

Belonging to a middle class service family Shajumon Joseph Palakel (Joseph), being a bright student had won 'National Merit Sholarship' for XI and XII class. Eager to stand on his own, right from X class, he financed his studies on his own by offering tuition in playing guitar and all academic subjects of V to X classes. Being confident and outgoing, Joseph had developed good social network and during his college days made money by organising cultural events and festive parties. He used to mainly target the high net worth individuals (HNIs) and earn around 1 to 1.5 lakhs per annum through sponsorships and ticket sales. The desire for financial independence and social status derived from working urged him to have a job and start earning simultaneously while pursuing M. Sc.

As a sales executive at Nishutu electronics & Systems Pvt. Ltd., Joseph honed his marketing skill, strengthened his social network and had a good exposure of work culture. During his ten years stint with Ashok Leyland Ltd, Joseph gained rich experience in varied areas like marketing, sales, supply chain management (SCM), quality checks and testing of CVs and internal audits for ISO 9001, 14001 as well as QS 9000 standards.

Joseph's agility towards opportunities led him to set up JP Trade & Financial Services (JP Trade) and 'Pastrilla Bakers' jointly with his friend Mr. Singh in 1995 and 1997 respectively. But bitter experiences of partnership led Joseph to his lose trust and confidence in people and made him risk averse!

To divert his attention from such bitter experiences and to make productive use of his capabilities in September 2000, Joseph resigned from his position at Ashok Leyland, and enrolled into one year PGDIT programme at Nirma Institute of Management followed by PGDBEM at EDI. These years gave him some time to think and start afresh.

The inadequately met consultancy needs of the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment finally led Joseph to initiate MindMirror Consulting for offering unique consulting services to the small and medium enterprises (SME). Till date Joseph had catered to the needs of more than 200 clients.

He believed that by continuous reinvention it was possible to meet the challenges of consulting sector. But whether he would be able to sustain his consultancy firm remained to be seen!

Contact Detail
Mr. Shajumon Joseph Palakel can be reached at Mindmirror Consulting,
23, Kiskhinda Rowhouses, B/h Hema Park, Jashodanagar Cross Roads, Ahmedabad 382445,
Telephone:+91-079-25892038,
Mobile: 91-9825034289,
Email: sp_joseph@hotmail.com

Ryan D' Costa (Ryan) was from an affluent hotel business family in Jamshedpur. During his higher secondary school days, as the president of the school's Interact club, Ryan's active participation in various camps, students' conferences and projects won him the Principal's award for Leadership and social service in 2003.

As the mess secretary at ST. Xavier's college, Mumbai, observing a tremendous scope for improvement in the menu as well as operations of the hostel mess, he convinced the college mess staff for making required changes in the existing processes which eventually led to an increase in the turnover as well as the profitability of the mess.

Being extremely fond of cooking and baking, over the years, Ryan had spent considerable time in the kitchen, learning best recipes from his mother. His love for cooking also made him keen to learn new delicacies from the latest cooking books.

Having witnessed the benefits of having one's own business, Ryan was keen for entrepreneurship! However, before taking the plunge he wished to have first hand work experience for at least three to five years. But on observing a sick and dying family bakery unit, Ryan postponed his work plan and made up his mind to revive the ailing bakery, anyhow!

To revive the ailing bakery, Ryan introduced new systems, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and innovative incentive schemes and within six months the bakery started breaking even. Having revived the bakery, in 2007, Ryan enrolled into the Post Graduate Diploma in Business Entrepreneurship and Management (PGDBEM) programme at EDI, Ahmedabad. Applying the knowledge and insights gained at EDI and renovating and re-launching the bakery as 'Brubeck Bakery', Ryan ensured that the bakery started reaping profits!

He planed to expand 'Brubeck Bakery' within Jamshedpur in the next five years and later expand into the neighbouring cities. His vision was to be one of the major players in the bakery market and to nurture Brubeck as a brand offering excellent 'cakes and savories'.

Contact Detail
Mr. Ryan Joseph D'Costa can be reached at Brubeck Bakery,
Main Road, Bistupur,Jamshedpur – 831001,
Telephone: +91- 657 - 2425321/ 22, 2434411
Business Enterprise Website : http://theboulevardhotel.net/brubeck.html,
Fax:+91 - 657 – 2427743,
Mobile: 91-9934302310,
Email: ryan.jdcosta@gmail.com

Hailing from a middle class service family from Maharashtra, Abhishek Govekar's (Abhishek's) illusion that the hotel industry offered a lucrative career led him to enroll in a three year hotel management programme at the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Ahmedabad. But during the five months industrial training in hotel management at 'The Leela', Mumbai, Abhishek eventually realised that the hotel industry neither offered attractive remuneration nor conducive working environment. He determined that he would do anything except working in the hotel industry.

'Rich Dad, Poor Dad', a book by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter awakened his interest in entrepreneurship. Eventually Abhishek enrolled in the PGDBEM programme at EDI in June 2006. Abhishek fondly stated: "Those days spend at EDI are one of the most memorable days of my life! Today, I face the business challenges drawing from the little experience I have and by applying the entrepreneurial theories learned and insights gained at EDI."

With a background in hotel management, Abhishek found it to be the best sector for initiating and developing a business enterprise. The minimum investment requirement in catering services and a relatively stable demand of educational and corporate clients led Abhishek to offer catering services to educational institutions as well as corporate clients.

Starting early during his stint at EDI, beginning with clients like Institute of Engineering & Technology and Electrotherm and later catering to SNL Financial, Anand Niketan, London Infotech, Azure, Abhishek went on gaining experience and learning from his mistakes. While earlier he had been outsourcing food, in January 2009, he launched 'Lotus Hospitality Services' to offer direct catering services.

At present Abhishek served breakfast, tea, lunch as well as dinner to the students of Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences (GAIMS), Bhuj. By introducing management information systems (MIS) and standard operating procedures (SOPs), Abhishek planned to streamline the operations and reduce wastages.

Abhishek envisioned that Lotus Hospitality Services would compete with Sodexo in Indian institutional catering market by delivering value through quality services, to its customers. But, Lotus Hospitality Services faced challenges like acquiring and sustaining clients with higher sales volume, sourcing and motivating skilled manpower and controlling the cost of raw material!

Contact Detail
Mr. Abhishek Govekar can be reached at Lotus Hospitality Services,
A-10, Mayurpankh, Near Jhansi Rani Statue, Shivranjini Cross roads, Ahmedabad 380015,
Mobile: 91 -9924638700 / 9723555099,
Email: govekar.abhishek@gmail.com
Unlike his peers interested in working for big brands, Prashant Hiralal Sachdev (Prashant), a Pune based computer engineer was keen to become an entrepreneur. Rather than joining his family business of trading agricultural commodities, he desired to start on his own in the IT sector. He yearned to create a product based business like Microsoft, Google rather than the usual IT service businesses as Infosys and Wipro. But sensing a strong need of gaining relevant work experience at a small yet innovative product based company before venturing, Prashant went for a six months training in 'embedded systems' at Micromax, Mumbai and also gained a rich exposure while working for three years at Kenati Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Pune.

To satisfy his strong appetite for entrepreneurial knowledge, Prashant enrolled into entrepreneurship development programmes at EDI, India and Babson College, U.S.A. During his stint with EDI he created his first business plan involving a metadata stream parallel to the video stream to facilitate television news viewers in watching their desired news stories. At Babson, Prashant reformed his original business plan to offer metadata solutions for online videos and thereby add value to the existing online video experiences of the end users.

Back in India, roping in Nilesh Daine, one his seniors at Kenati, Prashant launched Onion Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in December 2008. Onion Technologies aimed to emerge as a niche metadata player in videos, beginning with offering the best metadata solutions to online video platform companies, thereby saving the latter's time as well as efforts. Retaining its focus on the metadata in videos, Onion technologies would be extending from online videos to various other platforms like set-top boxes, mobiles and each such embedded device where consumers watch videos. Prashant's dream was to nurture Onion Technologies to enable it to emerge as a leading product based company enhancing end user experiences through rich metadata solutions for premium online, offline (downloaded) and television videos.

But the biggest challenge for Onion Technologies was to attract the 'right customers' for shaping up its offerings and identifying a business model which aligned well with its long term vision!

Contact Detail
Mr. Prashant Sachdev can be reached at Onion Technologies Pvt. Ltd.,
2, "Shantanu", 73/1 Bhakti Marg, Off Law College Road, Erandwane, Pune – 411004, India,
Business Enterprise Website: www.onion.tv,
Telephone: +91-0231-2654259,
Mobile: +91-98220- 44688,
Email: prashant.sachdev@gmail.com
Growing up in the countryside setting in Uttar Pradesh, Satyavir Chakrapani (Satya) had imbibed values and principles during the early years of his life. His father's community oriented practices had left a lasting impression on his mind.

Having tried conventional career options like arts, teaching and law finally Satya realised that he was not interested in such career options but, was keen to do something different…..something that could impact millions of lives. So, he embarked his journey in the social sector. Working with different organisations like World Vision India, Shramik Bharti, Rural Development Institute (RDI) of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (HIHT), Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA), Oneworld South Asia (OWSA), he toiled for ten years in various social development areas comprising microfinance and information & communication technology for health care.

An urge to do something meaningful for the society ultimately led Satya to set up Shikhar Development Foundation (SDF) in September 2007 and offer micro-credit and micro insurance (life) services in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi. He also managed 'Sewa Ashram', which aimed to rehabilitate the poor and destitute in the NCR. Manpower, financial resources, poor regulation in the microfinance sector and high cost of operation were the major challenges to be overcome. To meet the additional resources required for scaling operations so as to curb cost of operation, in February 2009, Satya floated Partners of Shikhar Trust (POST), an investment vehicle, to invite likeminded development oriented individuals to invest in it so as to promote microfinance activities. Satya also planned to secure funds by approaching angel investors, venture capitalists and investment banks. On March 25, 2009Satya acquired Anup Leasing Pvt. Ltd (ALPL) and renamed it as 'Shikhar Finance & Development Services (P) Ltd' (SFDSL).

Having offered rehabilitation services to 3000 destitute and microfinance services to 10,000 families in the NCR, Satya planned to transfer all the microfinance activities of SDF to SFDSL and in addition to micro credit and micro insurance, offer investment and housing finance products through SFDSL. In the next five years, Satya envisioned five branches of 'Sewa Ashram' in Delhi. He desired to position SDF as a national level institution offering innovative skill development programmes for empowerment of the underprivileged!

But, whether Satya would be successful in fulfilling his dreams was yet to be seen!

Contact Detail
Mr. Satyavir Chakrapanni can be reached at Shikhar Development Foundation (SDF):
A-88,3rd Floor, Masoodpur Market, Main Road , Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070
NGO Websites: www.shikharfin.com, www.sewa-ashram.org,
Telephone:+91-11-26896598 / 589,
Mobile: 91-9990054101,
Email: satya.chakrapani@shikharfin.com
Viral Pandya (Viral), a shy, introvert, below average student from a middle class Gujarati service family from Baroda inspired by his friends' success in business decided to plunge into business.

With an aim of acquiring technical experience in insulation, Viral joined M/s Lloyd Insulations (India) Ltd. as a project supervisor and acquired rich technical experience in hot and cold insulation piping, equipment towers, reformer ducting, T.G. set and reformer pigtails with calcium silicate blocks. At M/s. Navbharat Insulation & Engineering Company, he led a team of five site supervisors, an accountant and around 200 workers for insulation work worth around Rs. 1.5 crores at five plants of Reliance Petroleum Limited. Having gained such work experience and acquired entrepreneurial training at EDI, he eventually initiated Rudra Engineering, a thermal insulation business.

Delivering value to his customers by strictly adhering to the stringent quality and safety standards and honouring the tight deadlines, Viral build up a strong base of reputed clients in Gujarat. Tirelessly nurturing his baby enterprise with sincerity, commitment and hard work, Viral, eventually created a business enterprise with a sales turnover of Rs 2.42 crores.

Viral aspired to nurture Rudra Engineering so as to enable it to emerge as the best insulation service providers across Gujarat!

Would Viral succeed in fulfilling his dream?

Contact Detail
Mr. Viral Pandya can be reached at Rudra Engineering,
1/A, Amee Society, Diwalipura Old Padra road, Baroda 390015
Business Enterprise Websites: www.rudraengineering.com,
Telephone: + 91 (0265) 2331951,
Mobile: 91-9376224883,
Email: pandyaviral@yahoo.com