Q and A with Sakina and Mokhtar – Next Gen Entrepreneurs

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Dreamers Sakina and Mokhtar from Pune, had shared their Dream with DREAM:IN earlier this year. Since then, they have been to Dream Camp 1 and also to the Plan Camp. Sakina and Mokhtar dream of setting up a company that provides advertising on mineral water bottles. They have traveled to Bangalore to spend a few days with the DREAM:IN team to shape their Dream and launch their venture as soon as possible.

We had a few questions for Sakina and Mokhtar on their first day as entrepreneurs-in-residence and here’s what they had to say –

What is your Dream?

Quench (their venture) was born out of the need to offer businesses a way out of the current world advertising clutter. Quench promotes a new and novel medium for corporate communication. Our Dream is to utilize water as a communication medium offering businesses customization.

How did you come up with this idea?

Reading stories about young entrepreneurs who had created companies based on non-conventional advertising. This made us realise the huge scope of this medium. It triggered our thoughts as to why not utilize a resource as valuable as water as a communication medium.

Tell us a little about your backgrounds

We are both from a business family background traditionally. So it was always inside us to become our own bosses.

(While Sakina has completed her MBA in Retail Management and Marketing with 3 years of corporate experience following which she entered her family business.

Mokhtar is a petroleum engineer by profession and has been working on international assignments for 2 years. His job being in the oil field involved a lot of travelling, adventure and challenges.)

We have known each other since school so there was always a trust factor to work on a business idea together.

How has your experience working with DREAM:IN been?

It has been enlightening so far. Continuous guidance from a host of mentors is the top thing we have received from DREAM:IN. In this age of selfishness we have received great support and encouragement from DREAM:IN. Having received a solid platform out here.

What are your next steps, How do you want to take your idea forward?

We want to move from the conceptualization stage to the execution stage. Having our thought process in place we look forward to launching Quench and getting our first Client as soon as possible.

Why have you come to Bangalore?

The purpose to come to the city has been – getting out of our comfort zone and working on the idea with complete focus. We were sure to receive continuous help and support from DREAM:IN. They have all the tools and resources we need to accomplish our Dream Plan. We hope to receive this support from them.

What do u expect to achieve by the end of your trip?

Completion of all the background work to get Quench running.

We, at DREAM:IN wish Sakina and Mokhtar all the best for their venture and will update you soon on their progress!

If you want to share your dream with us, mail us at dream@dreamin.in and we’ll get in touch!


Dream Mentor Feedback – Asit Sait

Post Dream Camp 3, we have been receiving positive feedback from both the Mentors, as well as Dreamers that attended the camp. Here’s what Asit Sait, Dream Mentor from Mumbai had to say –
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Dream Camp 3 was my first Dream Camp and quite frankly I had no idea what to expect when I started from Bombay 🙂
Our four dreamers had diverse backgrounds and dreams, which had us (me and Ashish Rajadhakshya) totally engaged…
* Hari : dreamer from Salem, whose dream is to provide art education in his region for anyone interested in learning art skills by putting together a school where local artists can teach.
* Pam : Dreamer from Brasil, whose dream is to to inspire people to dream by recording dreams from across cultures and making them available to everyone. (It will be interesting to see if there is a synergy with the DREAM:IN platform to further integrate into existing Social Networks as discussed with the team).
* Juhi & Sonja : Dreamers from the Tara Trust in Goa, whose dream is to motivate underprivileged children to stay in school and seek learning, by engaging them through creativity, through the arts.
Just amazing to hear the questions of this diverse bunch, and to see their thoughts evolving by sharing our experiences. Amazing to DreamScape together and see the result. To give youth a chance to be on such platforms, is a huge force multiplier….Magic will happen 🙂
Dream Camp 3 has been a brilliant experience for me. Hat’s off to the DREAM:IN team for putting it together. It’s also inspiring to see how the founding team has persisted with the idea and execution and continue to drive the evolution of DREAM:IN.
Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of Dream Camp 3 and I look forward to an ever growing community of DREAM:IN.
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Dream Camp 3 – Day 2

Dream Camp 3 supported by SAP Labs – 27th April 2013

Day 1 of the Dream Camp was an energy filled productive day. Everyone that attended the camp was eager to come back on day 2 for some more action.

Plan Camp

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For Day 2 of the Plan Camp, the facilitators remained the same – Dinesh Menaria, Girish Raj and Jayant Tewari. Day 2 of the Plan Camp also began at 9:15 am.

The Dreamers that came in for the Plan Camp on Day 2 were –

1. Akash Raman: Mentored by Ketan Hajarnavis, Raji Math, Prof. R Mohan, Gen N K Manchanda and Francis Xavier.

Post production design for photographs and album designs. Akash, the CEO of Oodio, dreams of scaling up his business and providing faster and better services.

2. Ifthikar Javed: Mentored by Rana Chakrabarti, B. Mohan Kumar, Prof. R Mohan, Raji Math, Gen N K Manchanda and Francis Xavier

myEcoDay is an online shop for solar and eco-friendly products run by Ifthikar who aims to make these products and solar panels more easily available across India, specially in households.

3. Boris Gomes: Mentored by Rana Chakrabarti, B Mohan Kumar, Raji Math, Prof. R Mohan, Gen N K Manchanda and Sriram K.

Boris dreams of packaging dance teaching and dance learning, like a “do it yourself” sort of kit that will have multiple applications.

Another Dreamer Anbarasu could not make it due to an emergency. Like the previous day, there were a lot of questions, feedback etc. given during the Plan Camp.

Action

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Day 2 of the Dream Camp began at 9:00 am with the DreamScholar brief. Apart from the returning Dreamers from day 1, there were a few designers that also joined the camp as DreamScholars. A DreamScholar’s role is integral to the DreamScaping process as they add the ‘design edge’ to the whole process and always provide valuable input.

The eighteen Mentors, fourteen dreamers and fourteen DreamScholars had already been assigned in to teams based on the previous day’s discussion, and they were directed to their respective tables to be seated. The space was transformed in to an enterprise studio with every table having post its, pencils, a white board/soft board, markers, paper and DreamScaping sheets.

Sonia started the day with a presentation on the DreamScaping process, where she explained that this is an excellent way to focus on the idea and also gain clarity on the same. The seven groups worked in two consecutive sessions, with a break in between, to create DreamScapes one dreamer at a time. The first set of Dreamers even got the chance to make a mock presentation to the audience and answer a few questions as well.

Towards the end of the afternoon, Dinesh presented the Dream Plan format to the audience. Sakina Wagh, returning dreamer who was part of the Plan Camp on Day 1 presented her Dream Plan to the audience and also spoke to the Dreamers present on the quality of mentorship and the  great opportunity she had been given.

The final session of the camp began at 4:00 pm. Super Mentors were invited to come, be pitched to, and give their feedback on all the ideas. The super Mentors that came were –

Mr. Praveen Kanipakam, President, Sharp software development

Mr. Sandeep Dhar, CEO, Tesco HSC

Dr. Akash Rose, Director, NICC

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Every Dreamer had the opportunity to pitch their idea to the super mentors, who duly noted down their feedback, which were then shared with each dreamer after the camp. Some of the Dreams that were presented were –

Manoj Surya’s dream of scaling up his venture, ‘Metrolabs’ that provides training to students on cloud technology and app development.

K Seraman’s dream of setting up generic medicine stores all over India, using low-cost medicines that would be exported, to be sold to the poor instead.

Ranjan and Burhannuddin, co-founders of ‘Oyepary.com’, a website that aims to link people to all nightlife events around their city.

After the pitches, the Super Mentors took stage and interacted with the audience to answer questions and also give feedback. The panel was moderated by Sonia and Mo who encouraged the audience to ask questions and share their thoughts.

The Dream Camp was very well appreciated by all. Here is some of the feedback received from the Dreamers and Mentors –

“DREAM:IN is a great concept. It helps people develop creativity to become successful innovative entrepreneurs. All people should attend the camps” – Dr.

Rajendra Kumar

“Mentoring at the Dream Camp allowed me to brainstorm and cultivate dreamers’ ideas, it also made me pause to think about and evaluate my own dreams” – Eleanor Horowitz (Unitus seed fund)

“Extremely inspiring and motivating experience on what we can achieve with collective wisdom only @ DREAM:IN” – Ganapathy Subramanian (SAP Labs)

A special mention here has to be made about SAP Labs, who have supported Dream Camp 3. Rana Chakrabarti, Ganapathy Subramanian and Sajid Saiyed from SAP Labs were present and participated as Dream Mentors at the Dream Camp. They told us that they had an amazing experience at the Camp and would love to be a part of such activities in the future as well.

Kush Medhora, CEO and Co-founder, DREAM:IN closed the event by thanking the participants and the DREAM:IN team for their collective effort towards making the Camp a success.


Dream Camp 3 – Day 1

Dream Camp 3 supported by SAP Labs – 26th April 2013

The Dream Camp has become a highly successful format where young people travel from across south and west India in to the city of Bangalore and have the opportunity to gain confidence, to interact with Mentors and start developing their enterprise idea. The process of value creation is accelerated.

Plan Camp

As always, we aim at adding something new to every Dream Camp and this time was no different. Apart from our regular format of the Dream Camp, wherein Mentors and Dreamers interact on Day 1 and a few selected Dreamers get to shape their ideas on Day 2, we also launched the Plan Camp.

The Plan Camp was a platform for Dreamers from Dream Camp 1 and Dream Camp 2 to come back to the DREAM:IN Centre and share their progress on their Dream Plans. Each Dreamer was given a two hImageour time slot and had the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a group of mentors (in most cases, their old mentors returned). Dinesh Menaria from the DREAM:IN Team has been working with these Dreamers right from the end of the Dream Camps to help them create a really robust and hard working Dream Plan. Apart from Dinesh, the other facilitators were Mr. Girish Raj, co-founder of Idiom Design Consulting and senior member of the DREAM:IN team and Mr. Jayant Tewari, Dream Mentor and financial expert who has been working on the financial aspect of nearly all the Dream Plans.

The Dreamers that came in for the Plan Camp on Day 1 were –

1. Sakina Wagh: Mentored by Francois Xavier – Bertschy, Aleksandra Rose, Raji Math, Elizabeth Verghese, Gen N K Manchanda and Charlene Sequeira.

Sakina dreams of setting up a company which will provide mineral water in bottles which will carry advertisements.

2. Charles Ma: Mentored by Francois Xavier – Bertschy, Aleksandra Rose, Raji Math, Elizabeth Verghese, Gen N K Manchanda and Charlene Sequeira

Charles is a dancer and dreams of starting a Bhatnatyam dance school and becoming the best soloist in India.

3. Vineeth Vincent and Glen: Mentored by Raji Math, Elizabeth Verghese, Gen N K Manchanda and Sriram K.

Vineeth and Glen dream of promoting artists and using music as a way of positive development in schools.

4. Kamal Raj: Mentored by B. Mohan Kumar, Sriram K, Elizabeth Verghese, Gen N K Manchanda and Raji Math

Kamal represents Reap Benefit, an environmental service organization that works with schools, colleges and corporates to bring about low cost systemic changes in the areas of waste, water, energy and biodiversity.

This session started at 9:15 am and went on until 6:15 pm. There were a lot of questions, feedback etc. given during the Plan Camp. The energy of the room was very high and at the end of every session, the feedback was that this was a really valuable addition to the Dream Camp format

 Interaction

Dream Camp 3 was supported by SAP Labs, with whom we have had a long standing cordial relationship. While the Plan Camp started at 9:15 am in the Think Tank room at the DREAM:IN Centre, the Dream Camp began at 9:30 am where over 30 Dreamers had been invited. As the day began, both Dreamers and Mentors gathered in the DREAM:IN Centre after registering themselves. We had 18 Mentors from technology, design, business, finance, retail etc. Some of our Mentors came all the way from Mumbai, Pune and Erode, just to be a part of the Dream Camp.

Our past two Dream Camps have been very well received, Dream Camp 3 was therefore highly anticipated by both Mentors and Dreamers alike. This time we had Dreamers come in from Mumbai, Pune, Salem, Goa etc. in to Bangalore. The quality of ideas was also very high as the Dreamers had a wide variety of ideas ranging from entertainment to food to technology etc.

The day started with a Rahul, DREAM:IN Team member welcoming the audience, updating them on Dream Camp 1 and 2 and also thanking everyone for coming, including our Sponsors SAP Labs. He then introduced the moderators for the day – Sonia Manchanda, co-founder and Creative chief, DREAM:IN + co-founder – Idiom Design and Consulting, and Mohan ‘Mo’ Polamar, Founder of No2co2.

On day one, we had eighteen mentors join us while on Day two there were more than eighteen mentors as some of the mentors from the Plan Camp also wanted to be a part of the DreamScaping process.

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The Mentors that came in for the Dream Camp were –

Mr. Jadeja Dushyantsinh, technology professional with Intel

Mr. Francis Xavier, designer and part of the organising committee of Global Service Jam

Mr. B. Mohan Kumar, technology expert

Mr. Ganapathy Subramanian, IT professional, SAP Labs

Mr. Rana Chakrabarti, Design thinker and IT professional, SAP Labs

Mr. Sajid Saiyed, IT Professional

Mr. Ashish Rajadhyaksha, CEO, Moonsoup

Mr. Asit Sait, designer and co-founder, Niwas

Mr. Arnab Chakravarty, Designer and academic, Srishti

Mr. Sridhar Chakravarty, architect & design director, Idiom

Mr. Ramesh Agarwal, IT professional with Intel

Mr. Shashikiran, Entrepreneur & Head of Bangalore Chapter, TiE

Mr. Kunal D Mehta, Designer, Mu Sigma

Ms. Eleanor Horowitz, Unitus seed fun

Mr. Pooja Mehta, Entrepreneur and Design Manager, Idiom

Mr. Lovell Khanna, experienced business professional

Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Doctor and experienced business professional

Ms. Charlene Sequeira, Designer

Ms. Aleksandra Rose, Dean, NICC

Mr. Vipin C, Faculty, NICC

Prof. R Mohan, Faculty, KonguEngineeringCollege

Mo briefed the audience on the Dream Wheel tool. This time, the entire audience was seated in the DREAM:IN Centre, so the dreamers also had the opportunity of listening to the brief. As usual, Mentors and Dreamers were paired very carefully, based on their expertise. Every team of Mentors met with approximately 4 dreamers each. There was a total of 2 hours given to the Mentors for the evaluation process, however, some of the dreams and the dreamers were so interesting that many Mentors spent more than 1 hour on one dreamer, trying to understand, in depth, their ideas. Dreamers were also asked to come prepared to answer any questions that the mentors might have. They had also brought along with them supporting material, films, presentations etc. The space was also designed in a way that Mentors and Dreamers could pick up coffee and snacks without having to move outside. This session went on until lunch.

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Soon after lunch we had a series of interesting talks. The first speaker and also Big Dreamer for the day was Mr. B J Arun. (Arun is a serial entrepreneur and also a Kannada Rajyotsava award winner) who spoke to the audience about his journey towards realising his dream. There were a lot of questions from the audience (more so from the Mentors) who asked questions like ‘What should a fresher look for in joining a start up?’ Soon after Arun, the next speaker that took stage was subject matter expert, Mr. B Mohan Kumar. Mohan has already been a Dream Mentor at Dream Camp 2 so this seemed like familiar territory to him. He spoke to the audience on various strategies that an entrepreneur could use. He also touched upon points that clearly differentiated an entrepreneur’s journey from anyone else. The last speaker for the day was another experienced Dream Mentor, subject matter expert, Mr. Jayant Tewari. Jayant told the audience about how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur, and how being one will pay off in the end. Jayant also said ‘If you are a 9 to 5 kind of person, then entrepreneurship is clearly not for you’ and ‘The biggest currency that a start up has is equity’ The speakers were then invited to participate in a panel discussion (moderated by Sonia) to address the audience and answer any queries that they might have had. Interesting points like ‘High level of skill is available only for a high salary is a misnomer’ Prof. R Mohan and ‘You should not get sentimental about your business. You should be able to adapt and change’ – B J Arun, were discussed with the audience.

After a break, the Mentors gathered together to discuss which dreamers would be selected for day 2 while the Dreamers waited outside patiently. Scores were compared, Dreams and Dreamers were discussed in great detail and finally 14 Dreamers were selected to come back for Day 2. This time, there were no eliminations and all the remaining Dreamers were asked to come back for day 2 as DreamScholars. The final list was soon announced and the Dreamers and Mentors were given the next day’s schedule.