Tag Archives: entrepeneur

TiECon 2021 in Review

If you did not attend the TiECon 2021 from May 6th to 8th then you have missed the biggest entrepreneurial event in the world. For those of you with an affinity for innovation, drive, and solutions, we have a quick summary of what went down during the energy-filled 3 days. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. They are an organization driven by a powerful vision of assisting entrepreneurs, empowering individuals, and creating wealth in communities.

The various keynotes were power-packed, to say the least, with amazing leaders like Ratan Tata, Kanwal Rekhi, Geeta Gupta Fisker, Reed Hastings, Jillian Manus, Shereen Bhan, and many others. 

Some highlights from the event include

Leading Trends in AI/ML: A diverse panel from across life sciences, education, and arts shared the progression and possibilities of AI across these fields. The creation of AI-enabled Art, AI enabling healthcare efficiencies to reduce the burden of care of professionals, and quantification of knowledge gaps and assessments were some of the themes discussed and highlighted. 

Grand Keynote: Entertaining the World – Netflix And Its Culture Of Reinvention: This session was full of fun insights from Reed Hastings on how to manage a company at the edge of chaos for creativity while maintaining a good market sense. Monika Shergill, the VP for content for India shared how the Indian audience is one of the most heterogeneous and diverse with respect to the range of genres and types of shows they enjoy. Hence diversity is at the heart of designing the programming for every taste, mood, and desire of the Indian diaspora around the world!

Meet the Drapers: This session was a pitch session for super innovative startups looking for funding that were competing to get on the next season of Meet the Drapers reality show. 

Powering Healthcare through Data Science: In this session, Pallaw Sharma, Dr. Amita Joshi, and Dr. David Nace discussed how current technology adoption is very slow. Breakthrough will be achieved by the convergence of the physical world with the digital world, and these intersections will help unlock valuable insights. Pallaw Sharma mentioned, “We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in 1 year while underestimating what we can achieve in 10yrs.”

Unicorn Exit: Razat Gaurav shared how focusing on employees and engaging them through purpose and mission-driven culture is critical for success. Transparency builds trust with employees, board as well as investors…small things go a long way for success. 

If this has powered you up to think about your next entrepreneurial adventure then go check out the TiE website at www.tie.org

Reach out to us and let us know what entrepreneurial topics you would like to learn more about. Let us bring your areas of interest closer to you through this wonderful channel of India Currents. 

Rachna Dayal has an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from IMD. She is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion and has always felt comfortable challenging traditional norms that prohibit growth or equality. She lives in New Jersey with her family and loves music, traveling, and imagining the future.
Seema Vaidyanathan is a dynamic and multifaceted pharmaceutical executive, with broad experiences across R&D to commercial. She is a skilled alliance professional and a passionate DE&I champion. She is an engaged community organizer and on the boards of non-profits.
Shelina Ramnarine is a recognized change catalyst with proven capabilities to take innovative ideas from concept to execution. She is an effective collaborator and influencer with an aptitude to connect people and ideas. As a community cultivator, Shelina works to create spaces to foster dialogue and highlight different perspectives. Blending head and heart, Shelina aims to use her talent towards solving unmet needs. 

Entrepreneurial Mother Unlocks Kulture

Who else can know a child’s needs better than a mom. And it takes a strong woman to go beyond and fulfill the gaps, irrespective of the circumstances.

Putting aside the pandemic we are facing, it is still International Women’s Month! India Currents would like to tell the story of one such strong Indian American mother, Akruti Babaria, who recognized the importance of conveying Indian traditions and culture to her child and she knew she had to be the one to start a venture to accomplish the feat.

Kulture Khazana is an online portal that unlocks Indian cultural treasures for children using different interactive mediums. From online content, workshops, newsletters, seminars to children’s books – the portal is a one stop destination for every Indian mother who seeks to impart her culture to her kids.

Established in February 2018, the journey was not a cakewalk for the mom-entrepreneur, who had to travel halfway across the globe to find the right sources for her endeavour.

“It was when I started to speak to my 3 year old son about Indian culture, did I realize the lack of resources around us in the US. I wanted him to learn about our values and traditions and could not find any authentic source here. I had to travel all the way to India to purchase nearly 400 books, back then for the purpose. The journey and the realization paved the way to curate something that can be beneficial not just for my son but for every kid in the US,” said Akruti Babaria, who left her full-time job to pursue this venture.

Right after its establishment, the portal was well received by all Indian American parents who were eagerly in search for a repository that offers them the right resources, especially books that do not highlight any violence but convey the needed context in an appropriate way based on the aptitude of a kid. Surprisingly, even the local libraries welcomed the cultural materials and were more than happy to display the collection. 

Akruti storytelling at her local library

Though the initial acceptance helped Akruti to establish her endeavor across the community, finding feasible partners for the business was a challenging task.

“It required lots of research, meetings and effort to find genuine partners to do business with. We needed people who share the same passion for children’s literature. Though at first I used to work with distributors, now over the years I have been able to establish direct contacts with publishers and authors, which has helped the process to be more smooth and effective.” 

Not just limiting the scope to online content, Akruti understood the need to be innovative and went on to explore new avenues to spread awareness on Indian culture. A unique approach of mixing storytelling with activities and movements, she was able to find new ways to engage the kids in learning about their culture.

“I wanted to do something which is not monotonous and kids should find it interesting rather than preachy. The interactive workshops and seminars gives an all-rounded experience for kids with lots of activities and fun learning exercises. It’s been well received and many schools and organizations like children’s museums, libraries, literary communities, temples, and grocery chain stores have come forward to organize such events. Surprisingly, even the non-Indian communities have shown interest and attend these workshops in large numbers to learn more about Indian culture and global diversity,” 

Akruti using different mediums to teach culture

Currently, she has also been approached by the school district of Texas to create a cultural kit as part of the curriculum for 2020 with special focus on spreading awareness about culture and diversity for students and on how teachers should plan to include the framework within the curriculum.

Akruti also conducts professional development seminars for educators on how to interpret culture in a classroom. She feels that if the kids are knowledgeable about diversity and inclusion at such a young age, then they grow up to become open-minded individuals. Most of the organizations have workshops on inclusion as part of team building exercises and Akruti asserts that if these cultural values are taught to them right from childhood then there is no need to retrain them in future. 

The dancer cum MBA graduate is all set to enter a new phase as she plans to author a book for kids about spices. Writing poems and collating learning exercises for the weekly newsletters of her portal, she is already on the move creating new experiences for children through a mother’s lens. 

Akruti call outs to the wonderful women out there for International Women’s month, “Come what may, always follow your passion. Regain your confidence and find your girl gang, who is always there to give an hi-five, to support, advise and even criticize. You just have to step out and you will realize that there is a whole community of women out there who are always ready to support each other.”

Suchithra Pillai comes with over a decade’s experience in the field of journalism, exploring and writing about people, issues, and community stories for many leading publications in India and the United States. In her spare time, you would either find her scribbling down some thoughts in the paper trying to find a rhyme or story out of small things or expressing her love for dance on stage.

Edited by Assistant Editor, Srishti Prabha.