10 points that the Kerala should address to create a healthy startup ecosystem

Following up on previous article about asking the right questions and looking into details , let me start with a topic which is close to my interest.

Kerala jumped into the startup race even before any other state or the startup India campaign even got conceptualized. But for the state which also launched India’s first IT park, the trend is to fall back in policies it pioneers in. The initial run of guts and glory soon loses its steam and the state becomes a mere spectator whereas neighbouring state marches ahead in quantum leaps.At least this is what has happened in most of the cases.

I was both amazed and shocked to read the first startup policy in the country but then I was convinced about one thing that it’s a cause worth fighting  and it required more hands to make it reality and government alone cannot do much  and that’s how i ended up starting kitchen.This was then followed up by the student entrepreneurial policy. and then the Frying Pan happened.

Frying Pan Workshops

I been working with the team at kerala startup mission which is the nodal agency responsible for implementing the policy as per document and i must say that the leadership team under its CEO has done quite a remarkable job in past two years. And i admire the passion and vigour of the work the team does. And what i am writing here is very little to do with KSUM and more to do with the vision/plan of the state machinery towards entrepreneurship in general.

The timing of such a policy was important, on one side a state fighting the highest unemployment rate in the country & on the other side a shade of a looming recession in the middle east which is the major income source for the state.Imagine 3 million NRI’s living in the gulf countries and how this could affect the state economics. One would argue that the oil crisis is just a temporal fracture and for those, here is some food for thought :

Now, i have invested 12 months in trying to contribute to startup eco-system of the state. And having seen it all, i thought i had to pen down some important things that needs to be fixed or addressed  if we are to see any of these big goals to be reality. I am proud that the government has taken such steps and taken the leap of faith but like i wrote in my previous article its time to look into the details and ask questions. And here is what they are :

  1. Start with the basics : the Vision

    Now, I have always used the vision statement of the startup policy in all my presentations in the past 12 months in highlighted form and this is what it says “ Kerala to emerge as the No.1 Destination in India for Startups and amongst the top 5 startup ecosystems in the world “. As i always say the most strategic part of this document or statement is that we don’t really set a target as to when we want to get there. But having said that, we really need to ask ourselves on how we want to get there be it even 100 years from now.( starting up village like model and spending Rs.2500 crores is definitely not the answer )  I have full faith in the talent that this state produces but i feel that people who created this document hasn’t really looked at the chart of top 5 startup ecosystems in the world. startup-ecosystem-rankings-2015-chart

  2. No vote bank politics in startups

    We also have a special program for SC/ST who wants to start-up. I am nor against or for reservations based on caste but entrepreneurship is one thing which does not or should not be brought under this ambit.

  3. Too much or only focus is on IT driven product startups

    The policy is termed ‘technology’ policy and is extremely sided for technology product startups.Now, let’s recap and look at our state. We launched India’s first IT hub but missed the IT growth bus  but then world’s biggest producer of value added spices , Asia’s largest producer of blood bank ,biggest manufacturer of footwear  but yet we choose not to bring in the expertise and accomplishment of these businesses and focus extremely on IT/technology driven products because, ” hey, that’ what everyone is doing ! ” Now, one might argue that KSIDC,KFC are working in the space of manufacturing but the domain Kerala government chooses to focus/project however is of a IT driven startup policy.

  4. Lenient Student policy with no ground mechanisms in place

    The student entrepreneurial policy & the technolgy university setup to steer this notion has even more bizarre ideas to promote entrepreneurship. One of the points from the policy is   ” KTU permits the concept of Student Entrepreneur in Residence. Students will be permitted to apply for grant of official leave of one year at a time for entrepreneurial initiatives during their study. ”  I believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, incidentally that’s what i teach in my orientation classes for entrepreneurship clubs via Frying Pan ( another oxymoron perhaps 😉  ). Now,points #5 ,#6 & #10 are collective reasons of why i feel that there is no real ground mechanisms in place but simply a general notion to observe and copy silicon valley entrepreneurs and their ideas.

  5. Merely a breeding ground but no real ecosystem

    So we want to follow silicon valley but do not want to create a similar ecosystem. Our blind focus on tech based products is like the achilles heel of our startup policy. So i have a tech product, i figure it out and implement it but then India’s first & only digital state doesn’t have enough market or user base or demand for such a product. So what do i do ? Move to Bangalore or anywhere else ! Exploride, slated to be the biggest crowd sourced campaign , or Neyya ( Finn technologies ) another crowd funding success or Dexetra which started off in Kerala is now termed a bangalore based success story , all these are startups who was bred here and then its IP/value/tech was exported to bangalore or US. Just as how we are the biggest exporters of human capital to the world we now started exporting high value startup tech to other cities.

  6. Blind Eye to the Indigenous

    While we are busy exporting human capital from the state, there were some people who were trying to turn a different stone. We forget our own strength in the battle to be a silicon valley ( which we truly cannot become ) , the state completely ignored or lost eye to detail for indigenous industries. Be it spices or coir, production has fell back dramatically as quoted by the world’s largest producer of value added spices. Not just these, people who took up indigenous products are still being ignored, take for instance Lifetree Agro who has been working on bringing forth tender coconut water as a brand for the last 5 years has found very little or limited support from state machinery. It’s funny, how yet players from thailand sell the same product in Lulu Hypermarkets at Rs.99.

  7. Ease of doing business

    I am not going to keep saying about low score on this particular index. Forget private business, what’s the status of government infra projects which gets stuck due to petty political differences.Even an ambitious project like Kochi metro has hit delays due to delays in land allotment. Smart City which is really supposed to be live in early 2004-05 was somehow launched last month and now imagine doing your startup in such a climate.

  8. Uncertain government policies

    So a startup comes with a tech product to find lifestyle destinations or things to do in Kerala or a tech product for MICE industry & Boom ! Enter new alcohol policy and there goes your prospective customers to other states/cities owing to govt. policies. Every policy is interconnected however remote things might look.

  9. Lack of Lifestyle options

    Now this is a issue startups & MNC’s face.People don’t want to work in the greenest IT park in the country, forget people from other states even our own youth doesnt want to stay back and work. a dipstick i did with 1000 students from professional & arts colleges had a shocking 60% youth wanting to migrate outside kerala for work or higher studies. So what does the state with the biggest coastal line in the country offer as lifestyle or entertainment options ? There is more entertainment or lifestyle options per sq.inch in a small state like Goa compared to Kerala or be it even bangalore.

  10. Lack of Mentors

    So we want to create entrepreneurs & more jobs in the process. What does successful people or businessmen from the state do towards this ? Are they brought in to the picture or given a role ? Let me tell this again, entrepreneurship cannot be taught ! All we can do is show a direction & leave to the individual to find his/her calling. But to do this we need veteran businessmen or successful startups to return to their state and spend time with incumbent entrepreneurs and share collective wisdom. In case you are one of them who wish to do it, I have created Kitchen & Frying Pan Academy just for that.

To sum up, i think we have a very good chance to be a good breeding place for innovation but that necessarily needn’t be like another silicon valley. We have created ‘Kerala model’ in human development index, one of city is voted to be the place in live in. We have so much good things happening around due to good work and vision of the people of this beautiful state. I point out these things, cos I want to see our state overcome these and march forward.

I’d like to know your thoughts too on these points ? Is there any point i missed ? Like to hear your thoughts on the same.

Disclosure : I have spent 12 months executing Kitchen CAN events with a small team , doing orientation classes for Entrepreneurship clubs in colleges via Frying Pan Academy. While the CAN events have been FREE events, the college sessions were charged classes.

The oxymoron state named Kerala : Literally God’s own country

God’s own country is gearing up for elections & the political reality show is heating up day by day. The opposition party has chosen to expose the shades of scam & corruption by the current ruling party to win the hearts of voters.

Now,before we get to that topic, what intrigues me is the complete silence any of the political fronts have taken on serious issues, which really grips and holds the key to the growth of the state. Let’s have a quick look at these topics :

  1. Smart City Kochi : Is it really Smart ?

    There has been reports of how some major IT companies stayed away from Smart City and most of the companies who leased out space in the IT SEZ (Special Economic Zone) don’t really require to be in an IT SEZ area. The ruling party has been in the forefront in terms of announcing how smart city was made a reality under their leadership and in a rush to inaugurate the project before poll dates were announced. One might debate that had the project taken off as planned during 2004-05, things would have been very different.

  2. More than 60% of youth prefers to work outside Kerala post their UG/PG.

    Though I don’t have an official record to make this claim. Having done a dipstick myself with a sample size from professional and arts colleges with 1000 students, a staggering 60% students does not want to stay back and work in the state and prefer to migrate to to other cities. One might argue, when the state has the most pathetic unemployment rate in the country, what choice does the young generation have ? I fear that the trend has more to do with the uncertainty in policies/direction and also lifestyle restrictions the younger generations have within the state.

  3. Has the first & biggest IT park in the country & yet IT exports fall short behind Karnata

    Now 7 SEZ in Kerala Vs 17 in Karnataka is not my point of discussion here. Even after pioneering into IT when other states were taking baby steps, Kerala and its infrastructure didn’t grow to match the industry growth and naturally the opportunity was lost to cities like bangalore,Gurgaon & so on. Different governments and public policies ensured that the concept of technopark has not grown at the pace it deserved. Now, we have the ruling party advertising about Smart City in its election communication but the point irrespective of who comes into power, our leaders lack the eye for detail and going far with whatever they start.

  4. First state to unveil Entrepreneurial policy in the state but the ease of doing business score is 18

    What good is Rs.2500 crores kept for promoting the startup eco-system when the state’s machinery puts itself in exactly the opposite direction. The ease of doing business score of the state, is at a level which really needs to be relooked at if the government is serious about these policies. I have a had detailed look at why startups fail in Kerala, though this certainly is only, one of the problems there’s more to be looked upon beyond setting up a policy. The fact is successful companies from Kerala, eventually moves out  taking the IP and everything else away from the state.

  5. Highest deficit in India yet fiddles with  major revenue sources

    When Taxes from liquor sales ( 120% ) & tourism being major revenue source for the government machinery, one would think that they might be areas where some level of stability might be observed. Yet, in a surprising spin the ruling government has done the unthinkable, to certain voter segments. The nightmare is just beginning, from what it looks.

  6. The biggest remittances might be soon cut short: the NRI syndrome

    The recent report of remittances from middle east touching 1 lakh crore followed by oil price crisis which resulted in a recession like stage in the middle east is a time bomb ticking fast. The ‘ Money order economy’ as it is called relies too much on these foreign remittances and with instances of crisis hitting hard on the NRI community, this is a sign that it’s time to rethink about the ease at which economic policies are shaped.

  7. Model governance, UN award , Live video for Transparency yet a government trapped by scams at the highest level

    The UDF government has had the goodwill of the people, that’s the only explanation on how it managed to be in power for two consecutive terms. We have seen populist programmes like CM’s outreach program getting the UN Award  and the recent one where Kerala & Karnataka tops in the good governance index. However, towards the end of its term it seems that the machinery or people within have got a bit sloppy and have found itself between scams & corruption charges.

For now, I shall stop with this.

P.S : I have always been a pro congress voter but irrespective of who forms the next government what is important for me is that we march forward as a state and not get blinded by power greedy politicians.

Let’s not make this about politics, this state requires good people to lead the show.

[pullquote cite=”author and environmentalist Bill McKibben” type=”left, right”]Its infant mortality rate is very low, its literacy rate among the highest on Earth, and its birthrate below America’s and falling faster. Kerala’s residents live nearly as long as Americans or Europeans. Though mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out in social development; there’s truly no place like it.[/pullquote]

It’s good to see LDF side swinging in from their deep sleep with what looks like an eye for detail, their campaign communication though mostly dig on UDF have some well thought ideas of welfare for the elderly population. ( 11.2% of Keralites are age 60 )

If you are reading this, I have only one request. For once, forget your pedigree for left or right politics and ask the right questions. Ensure that the people who are going to run this state, know what it means to have such a responsibility. To start with, let me give some points to start these questions :

  1. How are we solving the highest unemployment
  2. and suicide rates.
  3. Lowest Ease of doing business score. Read more here.
  4. Freedom or Civil rights to choose one’s own lifestyle : Uncertain laws on Alcohol consumption
  5. More PPP driven infrastructure projects
  6. Better Road ( Wider ) infrastructure

The way things have been functioning, i think we have taken our tagline a bit too literally – God’s own country.

Image credits : Manish

Thanks Bhai : this Diwali lets celebrate & thank our Kochi metro workers

Kochi metro is all set to change the face of the city & all this is possible because of the 24/7 efforts of emigrant workers for whom Kochi is now their second home

Just another day with the Kitchen crew and we were working on a CSR campaign for a brand when my colleague Nitheesh Mohan came up with an idea for thanking the metro workers. He coined the idea as “thanks bhai” to thank the Kochi metro workers for their hard work and 24/7 effort in bringing the much dreamt about project of the city to Life.

And its only coincidence that all this happened just as Diwali was in the corner & ‘voila’ we had our #makesomethingnew moment just there !
Although our discussion with the particular brand is still underway, we decided to go ahead with the campaign anyway.

we are raising money & looking for partners for executing this. a website to collect the messages for workers will be live this week as well.

And so we are looking for more support in here. click on the link/image below to know more on how you get a piece of the action.

Thanks Bhai

a Brandful Kitchen #makesomethingnew

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[blockquote cite=”Mr. Abdul Vajid KT” type=”left, center, right”]the most important part is that the agenda of bringing together people from different directions is met till date. VARIETY of the people is how this event stands different..[/blockquote]

Kitchen is a collaborative platform that connects marketers,designers,tech geeks,startups & businesses to explore projects and work together in the process create meaningful partnerships and business value for each other.

Who should attend ?

  • Businesses who are looking for strategic partners for advertising/digital/ ecommerce/social/mobile/IoT/payments/publicity/consulting domains
  • Startups who are looking for business partnerships or leads
  • Professionals who are looking to render their skills/services
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs to meet co-founder/investor/designer/tech geek etc
  • Investors or Individuals who’d like to invest in new ventures/concepts

Kitchen 2.0

June 12th, Friday was the second edition of the Kitchen hosted by Centre A Offices.There were 80+ in attendance for the event which was graced professionals , businesses & startups alike.

The event started 15 minutes late, thanks to the audio vendor getting in stuck in traffic which meant more time for people to network and exchange visiting cards.And 7 PM we started off with the panel discussion with Alex Thomas (MD,Tierra foods) ,Faraz Javeed ( Director, WildFish, Abad Fisheries ) , Vijay Nair ( MD, Taxio Radio cabs ) , Harsha ( CEO ,Masala box ).

Mr. Alex Thomas spoke about how he setup Tierra foods from scratch even with no experience in food industry and credited his success to his team who have worked passionately for the success of the company. The crowd asked him about the technicalities and support from government missionaries in setting up such a venture. What was a surprise info in this context was that he has face very little or no problems due to labour issues or the harthals or strikes which usually are known factors for anti-industry tide in Kerala.

Mr.Faraz Javeed spoke about the journey of the brand Abad and how he finally arrived at launching a premium store : Wildfish and Club wildfish for Kochilites who wants to get Fresh fish in its most hygienic form. He also walked thru the launch activities and experience in setting up such a venture.

Harsha ,Founder,Masala Box

Mr. Vijay Nair shared his journey as an NRI who had a strong passion for entrepreneurship and creating 200+  jobs for people in Kochi. He spoke passionately about how Taxio is creating a dent in the taxi cab scene in Kerala and how compared to his peers he has greater control on the quality of service of his fleet. He even pledged that he could pay back a flight fee if you missed the flight because of a delay by Taxio. He shared is expansion plans and how he wish to be the numero uno brand in Kerala in the segment.

Mrs. Harsha Thachery from Masala Box was eager to show us her expansion plans in India and as you can see from the picture, its quite an extensive one. She shared with the crowd in her enthusiastic self how she arrived at doing something like this after having the idea and complete a phase of pregnancy. After Kochi, they have recently launched in bangalore and soon coming to your city.

The panel was also joined by Nithin Rajagopal from Kitchen Treasures, the brand that which has found a special place in the minds of Kerlites within just one year of the launch.Nithin walked us through the launch and various learning curves in launching the brand. The star of journey wa their TVC created for Fish masalas which has had a huge organic growth on Youtube.

Photo 12-06-15 8 16 28 pm
Gokuldas from Voteran

So these are the businesses #madeinkerala and something we are all proud of.The next part of the event focussed on upcoming startups.
First one on this list was Voteran represented by Gokul ( Founder & CEO ) whose wife is also an entrepreneur . He shared the struggles of convincing his family on the path he had chosen and about his latest venture which is one of a kind social network for politics. He’s just got a round of angel funding for the product as well.

The next on the list is Jb Mathews who has taken a different spin of entrepreneurship by launching his sports IP called the Kerala Beach League. After the successful launch of first season JB is  scouting for partners/investors to further scale up his venture.

This was followed by a talk by Mittu Tigi on Jagriti Yatra and the ‘Pitch my Idea’ session where startups raising funds presented in 3 minutes their idea to prospective investors. We had 3 startups who presented during the event.

At 9;00 PM the speaking sessions was closed and another round of networking continued till 11;00PM.

We are now working on planning the Kitchen 3.0 , the theme of the event would be around Raising funds & marketing and is scheduled for Jul 10. Follow the event updates here.

Kitchen is made with Love by Andy and supported by Centre – A offices.





Why Startups Fail in Kerala ?

As much as a pessimistic the title looks, my presentation at the inauguration function of Young chamber of commerce was not about pouring in the negative vibe around the ” emerging” kerala. It was more of a asking to the corporate Kerala to be active in the startup eco system & a reminder that government alone cannot do much. We need realistic policies & a strong a watch dog agency to ensure the policies are in effect.

The recent policy on technology startups is simply a example of how we are so eager to simply copy a “silicon valley” than to create a policy thats meant for the reality.

I am not against anything, i love my homeland and i want to see effective change rather than hollow policies , coffee book table on companies from Kerala or a bunch kids of sponsored full expense paid trip to silicon valley.

I am a 100% #builtinkerala, i failed twice , i sold my company to French but ensured that it’s heart remains in Kochi. I have no political alignments , i am not a new theory salesman, i mean no disrespect to any personnel or organisations but i am simply a believer in the fact that we can do better & i’l like to add my 5 cents to that.

Let me know what you think about my presentation.

10 reasons why Alcohol ban in Kerala will damage the state

Kerala which claims to be the most literate state in the country suddenly puts a big question mark in that feat. The recent move of shutting down bars in the state and move of banning alcohol, ” The Gujarat ” model  is one that will go down in the books of the state’ s history as one of the most ill thought move.

Though the topic is highly inflammable in given conditions, i just want to list down 10 reasons why i think this move will be recalled in less than 3 years.

  1. No more freedom of choice : Prohibition of this scale overtly limits freedom of choice and is not a democratic or people friendly move. Soon we will have the youth of the state wanting to leave the state simply because ‘restrictions’ that erode their freedom of choice.
  2. No Realistic Gain : Soon after this was announced Tamil Nadu announced that it will open outlets across TN-Kerala broeder especially to serve customers from Kerala. Ban on alcohol does not really ensure a complete ban when the neighbouring states now offer “special” care for the home population.And according to a study by the World Health Organisation, the association between prohibition and low levels of alcohol use was mixed. “For men there was no statistically significant evidence of an association,” it found, “but for women, it appeared that prohibition did reduce consumption.
  3. Rise of unregulated Liquor : By now business plans will be drafted and in place on how to provide a black market route for customers. As from early experience of ban on alcohol in Haryana & Andhra Pradesh we have seen the illegal hooch makers and distributors gain from the peoples’ misery. Social and addictive habits are deep-rooted and it is near impossible to change them through legal bans. There is always someone who is willing to be a supplier at a price.
  4. Loss of Revenue : For a state whose  22 per cent revenue comes alcohol excise, this looks a total bad move.One of the worst phases of liquor-ban was seen in Haryana in 1996, when the Haryana Vikas Party came to power. The state government had increased the bus fares, electricity charges and fuel sales taxes to bridge the financial deficit. The tourism industry had crashed; hooch tragedies became rampant; and spurious liquor cases piled up during the time. After 19 months, the state withdrew the ban. As Shashi Tharoor stated ” “Kerala will not drink less, but the excise duty will go to Tamil Nadu instead.”
  5. Tourism Dampened : The 24% of revenue for the state comes from tourism & the majority of tourist that visit God’s own country does not really go for the 5 star accommodation. Most of them are backpackers  who wants a chilled beer on a hot day, the three-star hotel resident who seeks a glass of wine with her meal.
  6. Investor trust dampened : After tourism, what’s left here is a little of IT &  companies contemplating moving to the clean, green, tech-friendly environment available in Kerala, say the fact that their employees might not easily be able to enjoy a drink after work has given them a pause.
  7. Local Business Dampened : When the bar hotels will be closed after September 12, the survival for majority of those in the  business will be minimal. Those hotels which are on the highways and major towns could be able to manage with the restaurants and rooms.There are around 100 bars in the state which could start other business as they are located in towns.The sale of these hotels will also be a Herculean task as nobody would be interested to invest here in the present circumstances.
  8. NPA Days for Financial Institutions : the bar owners owe `760 crore to the state run, Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC). This is apart from the Rs 3,000 crore taken as loan from various other banks in the State.The bar hotel business is a chain of activities including restaurant, rooms and selling liquor. Only this combination will enable the investor to make profit and running a restaurant alone will lead to a huge loss. So much for loan recovery !
  9. End of MICE Tourism @ Kerala : The state has been a growing destinations for the off-site team dinner & events lately and with this new law , MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) based tourism is the biggest casualty as such gatherings end with dinner where wine and beer are served.
  10. Social services & Brand Kerala looks dim :Now that we are losing 22% of of our revenue., Kerala will have to cut on its social services which have given it a high social development standing in India. And to recover this money, the state will have to soon increases taxes or public debt.

Tell me what do you think about this ? Do you think the law will be lifted or roll backed soon ? How do you think this is going to effect the young minds in the state ?


Proof of why Kerala is a happy place to be

Recently i read two articles both by international media houses on certain aspects of Kerala & its people. Not everyday is your faith restored in your homeland as it was for me.

Even with the strikes and harthaals i’ve always considered my homeland as a place to be not just cos of my love for my city or state but a lot of reasons. My work has taken me places & shown me enough of what the world has to offer and honestly i am quite content that my believe was more than my sheer love for my homeland.

I see most of the human talent to be away from kerala, though its been doing well for the city in terms of inwards remittances it is also a sizable brain drain. Event start-up companies which have set roots from Kerala mostly move to bangalore or elsewhere citing infra or technical aspects.

I been an entrepreneur all my life  & i love my city and i feel that the people of the great city/state should work together and work for taking the state to greater heights. As to lead by example i have ensured that my company( which is a part of a French group) stays in Kochi and keeps attracting talent to kochi and not the other way around. i know things are not perfect but its a fight worth the effort and wish you all do the same. To cement your thought here’s the abstract from the article was referring to:

Kerala’s GDP per capita is decent by Indian standards, but not spectacular. But its superior education and health outcomes push it well up the human development ranking. It boasts the highest HDI of any Indian state. If it were a country, Kerala would rank 77th in the world – ahead of countries with much higher GDP per capita, such as Turkey, South Africa and Peru.

Productivity in some of Kerala’s smaller workshops is pre-industrial, but that’s still better than doing nothing, which is the fate of tens of millions of dispossessed workers elsewhere in India. Kerala’s government has strongly resisted the corporatization of agriculture, and this has helped it achieve the lowest rural poverty in India. Again, the contrast with the rest of the country – 200,000 desperate farmers have committed suicide in the past decade – is jarring.

Kerala’s investments in its people have, perhaps ironically, made its people one of the state’s most lucrative exports: About two million Keralans work in the Persian Gulf countries (many as doctors, nurses and engineers), sending back billions of dollars worth of remittances each year. But there is also a growing high-tech sector in Kerala itself, centred around a technology park where 25,000 people are employed in the state capital. The complex is owned by the state government but operated in partnership with global IT corporations. This funny co-existence of capitalism and socialism is called “flexible communism” by the locals.

Business owners bemoan the hassle and lost productivity resulting from the strikes and protests that are a regular feature of daily life in highly politicized Kerala. On the other hand, it’s precisely because they feel empowered to fight for their interests that Keralans have managed to win the highest standard of living in their vast, diverse country. Other parts of India lose very little work time to strikes, yet their people are demonstrably worse off.”

Read more here

Honored to deliver a talk to an awesome audience @TEDxMEC #cochin

I had this very special opportunity to be a speaker at @TEDxMEC here at Model Engineering College,the event was a part of Excel 2011 an inter-college event. TEDxMEC 2010 had the theme “The Path Less Trodden”. It focuses on people who have chosen occupations that are less than popular, and striven hard to be successful. Being different is not an easy path, yet it is variety that encourages growth and progress in the society.

Other speakers were Sabriye Temberken and Paul Kronenberg. Blind by the age of 12, Sabriye did not let that stop her from making a difference. Together with Paul, she invented a Braille language for Tibetians, and established Braille Schools in Tibet.They also established Braille without Borders in Trivandrum.
Also Mr. Soorya Krishnamoorthy, the founder of Soorya Festival, Asia’s longest Arts festival. Other speakers include Vinod Kumar, innovative designer in the industry.

It was an amazing experience first in talking with a very awesome audience and second listening to the talk by other personals. A very progressive experience that’s kind of made me want more !