Entrepreneurship is a learnt skill, says Mphasis chief

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Ahmedabad, Nov 23 (UNI) Entrepreneurship is a learnt skill and not necessarily a born skill, according to Mphasis chairman Jerry Rao.

Speaking at the ''Confluence 2007'' here today, Mr Rao emphasized the importance of teaching leadership in management schools. Risk needs to be taken in order to create value, he said.

One of the issues often not touched upon, when entrepreneurship is discussed is the ruthlessness needed to back one's passionate endeavour, he said.

Remorseless attitude, he said, is needed to successfully start a venture. India's ''ecosystem'' was conducive for budding entrepreneurs, yet the government's policies come in way of entrepreneurship in several ways.

Sequoia Capital MD S K Jain said a new idea must address three key issues -- whether it is solving a large problem currently or in the future, whether the customer is willing to pay enough for it, and, finally, whether the entrepreneurial team possesses the skill sets to be able to implement the idea. He also emphasized how age was not a barrier by citing examples of people in various age groups who have been successful entrepreneurs.

Referring to SKS Microfinance, founded by Vikram Akula, he said Mr Akula chose to target poor clients without collaterals and without access to capital with small loans of Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 based on the group lending model. The company is currently growing at an astounding rate of 10 per cent per month and has nonperforming assets of around one per cent, ''a figure most banks would give their right arm to attain''.

HCL Technologies vice president Anand Pillai talked of ''Intrapreneurship'' which is simply an entrepreneurship within an organization.

Prof Manikutty of IIM Ahmedabad conducted a session on Understanding Leadership where he called attention to the fact that the limiting resource in organizations in the 21st century is going to be leadership skills. The shortage was there because ''leadership involves fundamentally different skills''.

'Finomenon', a workshop on corporate finance was conducted by GE Commercial in which top corporate practitioners shared their views with students on the long-term investment opportunities available to companies.

'Confluence' is the annual international Business School Summit of IIM, Ahmedabad which began yesterday and is the biggest event of its kind in Asia.


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