The theme of 1st International Conference was “Digital Entrepreneurship: Prospects, Perils, Dividends and Challenges” with many sub-themes. The Conference was graced by sixteen national and international speakers who are truly global leaders of ‘Digital Entrepreneurship’. Eleven speakers were from industry who are the CEOs, Founders and world leaders of digital enterprises. The rest were from world class academic institutions who are consultants, incubators, mentors and thought leaders of “digital Entrepreneurship, and some of them are even listed in the list of world‘s ‘Who‘s Who‘.
The conference started with a bang, when the Conference Dias was graced by three eminent world leaders of ‘Digital Entrepreneurship ’: the Chief Guest, Mr. Amit Shah, Sr. President of Yes Bank, Mumbai, Keynote Speaker, Dr. Subhro Sen, Director, School of Entrepreneurship & Management, Shiv Nadar University, Noida and the Co-Chair of the conference, Dr. Naresh Kumar, Head of Research, Global Entrepreneurship Research and Innovation Centre, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan along with the Conference Chair, Dr. Swapan Kumar Majumdar, Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Vijayan Immanuel, and other dignitaries of Presidency University, Bangalore. After two days deliberations it ended with rich international flovour and spirit in terms of content and construct. The closing ceremony was chaired by Mr. Vinshnu Vardhan, General Manager, Bombay Stock Exchange, the prime sponsor of the Conference.
He beauty of the conference was its thoughtful construct of four plenary debate sessions like:
- (1)‘Digital Entrepreneurship, the New Vista of Doing Business in the Digital Era’,
- (2) ‘Emerging Technologies, Platforms, Processes, and Business Models of Digital Entrepreneurialism’,
- (3) ‘Ideate, Innovate and Harness the Dividends of Digital Entrepreneurship’, and
- (4) ‘Policies and Frameworks for Inclusivity, Sustainability, Safety and Security of Digital Enterprises’.
Over and above there were four paper presentation tracks, where thirty one research scholars and academicians presented their research findings and one track for bidding entrepreneurs to participate in poster presentation contest. The conference received high appreciation from all corners ‾ be it participants, students, speakers or critics.
The keys of success of this conference were lean planning, rigorous research about the sub-themes and finding matching speakers, dynamic scheduling and the flawless execution of each session and convincing five hundred plus young hearts, industry delegates, and faculty members to attend the conference. The major highlights of the conference were:
- The thought provoking speech of the keynote speaker, Dr. Subhro Sen, about the prospects of Digital Entrepreneurship and its impact on humanity with vivid visuals engaged, enlightened, inspired and mesmerized the audience. Dr. Sen cited his own 30 years of experience in digital entrepreneurship and researcher before becoming an academic and predicted that digital entrepreneurship is about to transform every fabric of our modern life and livelihood. He emphatically mentioned that “There is no Business without Digital Business”, Dr. Sen also mentioned that the right students of Presidency University are welcomed to avail the Incubation and Innovation facility of Shiv Nader University. Mr. Amit Shah‘s narratives and examples of Yes Bank‘s success from a startup to a global digital bank demonstrated the transformative potent and job creation potentials of digital entrepreneurship.
- The first panel discussion of Day 1 was chaired initially by Dr. Subhro Sen and subsequently by Dr. Kamal Kishore Sharma, Startup Mentor and Academician turned Serial Digital Entrepreneur. The other members of the panel were two successful startup Digital Entrepreneurs of Bengaluru, Mr. Anil Naabhyya and Mr. Schin Anchan. Panel discussion revealed that all the young achievers were motivated to do something different while completing their college education. Anil mentioned the pains and pleasure of learning in doing new things, while Sachin was on the opinion that innovation and determination are the keys of success.
- The first plenary session of Day 2 was chaired by Dr. Alokenath De, the Country Head of Samsung, and the other panelist were Ms Ulla Kovikoski, Head India Operations of Avanto Ventures, Finland, Mr. K. Rajagopal, CEO & Co-Founder of Machine Operation Monitoring, Bangalore, Ms. Gita Chengappa, General Manager of TREC ‾ STEP, Chennai, Mr. Krupesh Bhat, CEO and Founder of LegalDesk.com. Ms Ulla expressed that Indian young entrepreneurs has great potential, they need to be flexible and continuous learner. Success requires perseverance, support and guidance and un-put-down-able attitude. Mr. Rajagopal shared his story and redefined definition of entrepreneurship. Mr. Krupesh Bhat shared his US and India experience and concluded that Bangalore has the best digital ecosystem to support digital entrepreneurship. Ms. Chengappa stressed the need for incubation center, where the young talents need to be nurtured before they can bear fruits. Dr. De narrated his personal experience in mentoring and nurturing young talents as an organizational policy of Samsung. The key takeaway of this session is that entrepreneurial journey is full of twists and turns. It requires support to flourish and supports are available, but one has to discover how to avail the necessary support.
- The second plenary session of Day 2 was facilitated by Dr. Kamal Kishore Sharma, Startup Mentor and Academician turned Serial Digital Entrepreneur. The other panelist were Mr. Pankit Desai, Founder and Co-CEO of SEQURETEK.com, Mumbai and Mr. Murthy, D.H.R, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Presidency University. The session revealed that the Cybersecurity is an area of concern as well as an opportunity for computer engineers and scientists to innovate. Prof. Murthy pointed out that Indian scientists are quite capable to handle any threats of Cybersecurity. Mr. Desai pointed out that getting the first customer is the most difficult task of any digital entrepreneur and one has to pivot several times to discover the customers for his product or service. Digital entrepreneurship is a journey of continuous learning. To succeed in this journey soul search digital entrepreneurs have to partner with others with complementary skill sets. According to Mr. Desai the most common security frauds happen due to customers’ ignorance. Digital device users’ awareness is the best antidotes of Cybersecurity.
The key takeaways of the conference are:
- (1) Digital revolution is unstoppable;
- (2) The disruptive power of this potent of digital technology is the hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship;
- (3) Those who will fail to adapt or reposition themselves in digital world will remain isolated and eventually die;
- (4) Worldwide digital entrepreneurs are number one job creators;
- (5) No industry will neither escape nor survive without opting for digital transformation;
- (6) Incubation and innovation centers are the nurseries or backyards of digital entrepreneurship; and finally;
- (7) If Presidency University wants to be a power house or repository of digital talents, it must have Centers of Excellence in Incubation and Innovation for Digital Entrepreneurship. Knowledge of digital entrepreneurship is grossly incomplete and indispensable to survive and thrive in this digital landscape. To fast forward our learning about the various facets of Digital Entrepreneurship, we must meet annually in the forum of International Conference on Digital Entrepreneurship till we know every bit of it.
Therefore, SOM decided to conduct the second international conference on Digital Entrepreneurship in March 2019.
The proposed theme of the 2nd International Conference would be “Digital Entrepreneurship: Platforms, People, Process and Technology“ in a wider scale and space. The beauty of this conference lies in its diversity of opinions, viewpoints and regional experiences. I am sure participants of next conference will find it interesting and exciting and thought provoking and will continue to encourage entrepreneurs and researchers to share their thoughts, experience and concerns for building a better tomorrow.
Swapan Kumar Majumdar