“A leader not just shows the way, he walks with you on that path”- Mr. Vikram Ahuja, C.T.O. of ‘Vlink’, shared these immortal words whilst his candid session with the students of MBA IIT Kanpur. Sir gave the perfect example of Elon musk to drive the point home. World famous personality, Musk with his futuristic and altruistic vision has raised the bar for innovation. The solar city venture by Musk, aims at scaling up the entire level of civilization of our planet!
Mr. Ahuja led us through his journey after leaving the portals of IIT Kanpur, his experience at his family owned business from where he moved to Boston to work with companies in the domain of healthcare, retail and artificial intelligence to his post Harvard experiences in start-ups, as an angel investor and as a business strategist.
He added in particular how the case study method deployed at the IME department was helpful to him at Harvard where the same methodology is applied, and how case studies bring students closer to the practical scenario, urging them to think innovatively to solve the problem at hand rather than getting engrossed in the theoretical details.
Mr. Ahuja also shed some light on the difference between the work culture in US and India and how in US innovative ideas are more encouraged and ample opportunities given to employees to further nourish and market their ideas, even though Indians are more hard working.
He emphasized on the differences between the start-up ecosystem in US and India, where the US system is one step ahead with more prominence on innovation whilst the Indian system is still in the e-commerce stage primarily. He further talked about the disruptions caused by social capitalism where in companies like ‘AirBnB’ and ‘Blah-Blah cars’ have changed the market scene and are getting increasingly popular with the public.
To a query on how he identified start-ups to invest in, in his capacity as an angel investor, he mentioned certain parameters like the idea and its relevance in the current market scenario, whether the startup has a genuine business model and competence for meeting the customer demands. He also shared an observation of his, of how in the US, it’s mostly the MIT graduates who start the company but it’s the Harvard graduates who sustain it as the former would have moved onto another innovative venture.
The session was immensely inspiring and uplifting as is also evident from Mr. Ahuja’s ‘LinkedIn’ page where he has asked people to contact him for help in Business & marketing Strategy. In a nutshell he advised us to be leaders and not just managers; and to innovate and not shy from taking risks; as the biggest risk in today’s time is not taking a risk!