It isn’t often that you get a chance to listen to the likes of Alok Mittal and Pramod Bhasin and TiEcon is one of those very few platforms that offers you a chance to not only listen but also to interact with successful entrepreneurs and connect with them.
On 18th and 19th of September I attended my first TiEcon at Delhi’s Taj Palace. Being a first time attendee I wasn’t really sure of what to expect from the event which looks as serious(boring?) to a 26 year old as it can be but thankfully I gave it a try, for it was well worth it.
Five minutes into the registration I happened to bump into Amit Agnihotri (Director-Exchange4media) and there was no stopping to meeting new and interesting people. As mentioned in my previous post I was invited to the conference as a blogger and as it turned out we were to register(and enjoy some privileges) as press which included reserved seats in the second row, dedicated room with continuous beverage supply etc.
Day 1 had quite a few interesting and relevant panel discussions on
- Starting Up – Is there ever a right time?
- Biggest “Marketing” Bang for the Buck
- Smart Innovation
It helped that the panel members were experienced entrepreneurs and professionals from big brands like Pepsi, Samsung and Microsoft. The session on Smart Innovation led by Prof Anil Gupta was particularly interesting. It was wonderful to learn about various innovations happening in the country at the grass root level.
In parallel to the main sessions/panel discussions there were small ‘Guru Sessions’ happening in another hall. These sessions had 2-4 VC’s or Successful entrepreneurs answering questions to a small bunch of 25-30 people. These session due to their small size were more personal and gave the attendees a very good chance of networking with the speakers.
If you thought the event was all about successful people sharing entrepreneurship gyan with young entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs, you couldn’t be more wrong. While learning a thing or two from seasoned entrepreneurs would definitely be on the agenda the real deal was NETWORKING. Acting on the feedback from last TiEcon the TiE folks had smartly booked a separate hall(or two?) for just networking and there were other small sessions happening in parallel to the main panel discussions. So sitting through a session which you aren’t finding interesting for whatever reason is not mandatory and there are about 5 other halls where you can go and randomly bump into someone and get talking.
In just a matter of minutes you can sense the fact that TiEcon 2009 was designed to facilitate networking and to be honest it did the trick. A look around any hall will confirm the same, you could see numerous 2-5 people groups scattered across the Taj Palace(even in the Lobby) interacting and/or exchanging business cards. I too tried a bit to meet some new people and ended up collecting some 40 odd business cards(gave lesser cards than that).
The exchange of follow up mails has begun, let’s see where things reach eventually.
All in all TiEcon Delhi 2009 was worth every bit of energy and effort spent. Shall look forward to the next years conference.