It was an eventful Friday morning – 7 buses with more than 200 attendees made their way to Infosys campus, Mysore, the venue for a 3-day entrepreneurial retreat. #PNGROWTH 2016, was handcrafted by iSPIRT foundation and academia professionals of Stanford and Duke school of businesses for Indian Start-ups. Each bus was assigned a bus facilitator and Pallav Nadhani, who set the ice-breaker game rolling in our bus.
Infosys Campus, Mysore is one of the best campuses one can experience. We were highly-charged with great energy and enthusiasm after a delicious lunch that was arranged at the venue by the organizers.
Enter, Day-1 Session.
The agenda was focussed on crafting visions statements, setting goals and identifying scopes. We were assigned partners, asked to exchange information about our company, our vision, goals and scopes and also gave feedback to one another. Thanks to ways we’re programmed, our feedback was sugar-coated, attempted to never offend anybody with our brutal expressions. Little did we know that this exercise had a greater purpose until Sharad Sharma insisted “Sugar-coating was never the name of this game!” The session was an eye-opener for many of us, as he explained that it was important to learn the art of calling out on somebody’s bullshit on their face. This exercise put every one of us into deep-thinking, unlearning and reconciliation.
Day 2 , 9th Jan Saturday
PNgrowth 2016, was essentially designed to construct a mindset wherein entrepreneurs need to ascend from just being profitable to becoming a category leader. As the first step, each of us had to get to the grass-root level of what “unfair advantage” our businesses offer. Adding to it, we were asked to analyze many other aspects of our businesses. The PN Growth ecosystem is so solid, that this mentorship program not only helps new-generation and budding entrepreneurs of product companies to learn from peers, but also strengthen the startup ecosystem with the sound knowledge on how to run a business like a visionary. This one-of-a-kind experience of business modelling was presented to us based on combined efforts of industry unicorns and academic professionals from Duke & Stanford.
Day 3, Jan 10th Sunday
The enriching conversations and the beam of positive vibes injected by mentors is what made this retreat a fun learning experience. It was Sunday morning and it never felt like it . The third day was designed to focus on putting every learning that we had gained over day 1 and 2 into action. During this implementation, we were not only able to define action items for the early-stage and growth-stage of the businesses, but also understand and prioritize each of these action items. “Shark Tank”, one of the most valuable sessions at the event happened. Every participating company was given a 15-minute slot to present their idea. The mentors questioned us, gave feedback and also guidance. This collaborative mentoring was priceless. Our special thanks to all the learning coaches who took their precious time off their busy schedules to contribute to the community and a big shout out to the iSPIRT team, especially Avinash Raghava and Sharad Sharma to make this event happen. Everyone of them have been a wonderful source of inspiration and exuberating great passion and energy.
PN Growth program has helped shape many of us to build great companies and for that, a great deal of thanks! We are now driven by this one superordinate goal of becoming a category leader. India is already proud of many such companies and many more will get there soon. They say “all good things come to end”– but for PN Growth members this is just the beginning!
Guest Post by Arvind Parthiban , CEO – Zarget (A/B Testing & Heatmap Software)