What is NASSCOM Product Conclave?
NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) is a (non profit) trade association of IT (includes BPO) companies. The Product Conclave is the annual gathering of almost all product companies in the region, brought together by NASSCOM. It would also be attended by angel investors, CIOs, academicians and business analysts. NASSCOM has more than 1500 member companies with it, a considerable chunk of which is Kolkata based.
During last years’ NASSCOM Product Conclave (NPC), Dr. Amit Mitra (Honourable Minister of IT, Finance and Industries, Government of West Bengal) had announced his help to establish NASSCOM 10000 startup warehouse in Kolkata, only second to Bangalore. Within a couple of months, it was established in Webel Building in Salt Lake Sector 5, mentoring a few of the most interesting startups in the region.
And this year, it is going to be bigger. Not just IT startups, but there would be separate sections where manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare companies could come and interact with IT leaders of the region. This does thrill me.
If you are a startup, why should you join?
To network with people. You can always join NPC and showcase your product, know people, interact and grow your circle. If you require further clarification to this, neither entrepreneurship nor NPC might be for you.
If you are a student, why should you come over?
This is the most interesting part and I’ll explain why students should come over. And when I say this, please be informed, my ideas and knowledge is extremely limited to Computer Science students.
Whatever we have had in our syllabus, is obsolete. You need to know what’s in and if that interests you, know who are working with the technologies. Connect to them, learn the specific technology or perhaps intern with them. Not only would it add to your resume, but also to your knowledge base. And if you are a value addition, then the company also develops. It is a win-win situation for both of you.
You should make it a point to listen to the speakers there. Last year, the sessions were extremely good and I learnt a lot from them. There would be many points you might not understand. You can write it down, get back home and search for it over Google.
I’ve seen many students who have their own product ideas. Last year in NPC, I met an incredible bunch of students from MSIT (Priyanjit being one of them) who had show cased their product idea. Very recently I came across a TOI article, which mentions that they have bagged the runners up prize at the prestigious Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge 2015. They have shown an extraordinary grit in their character and to me, they are successful.
If you have a product idea, this is the best place for you to showcase, meet people, discuss, generate ideas and perhaps get funded.
More importantly, YOU are the future of Kolkata/India. You need to gain knowledge and enough exposure, facilitate networking, be successful, set an example for your younger friends to follow and yes, develop the ecosystem.
Why should students study about Entrepreneurship?
It trains our mind to think beyond just the syllabus and make it more relevant. We know Java, true. But how can we use our knowledge to make a slight change in our surroundings? Entrepreneurship is all about identifying and analysing a problem, generating ideas to over come it, build a team to build the solution and make a change happen. Priyanjit adds, “It involves the finer aspects of market research, product scalability, product differentiation and a lot other avenues which helps us to be a value addition to the organisation we work for.”
It gets you connected to reality. “Reality is simple. If we do not follow our dreams, some one will hire us to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurship is a way of expressing one’s thoughts to the society. Entrepreneurship is the way forward.”
I’d been the chief coordinator of the entrepreneurship cell and I used to read as much as possible. That has shaped much of my psychology today. Yes, theory is different from practical knowledge and a few of my ideas never saw the light of the day. Those ideas are now good businesses. However, Kolkata Bloggers is making quite a buzz and with people’s support, we believe we can make it reach the heights it has a potential of. PS: I join Techshu as their Product Manager this week.
Who are the speakers this NASSCOM Product Conclave 2015?
From V V Rajasekhar, senior vice president and chief information officer of ITC group, Pallav Nadhani co-founder of Fusion Charts, Sanjay Mehta who is an angel investor to Kunal Shah who is the founder of FreeCharge. This year I am personally looking forward to the ensemble of speakers.
So are you coming?
Regard it as a personal request, if you are a start up, a professor, a student, this is something you should not miss. You’d get all your queries answered in NASSCOM Product Conclave’s website. I shall be there on 3rd July, at Hyatt Regency. Shall meet you there. God bless.