Business ventures need money, but more than the moolah, success in the fiercely competitive world of business lies in the mind.
To scout for the best of ideas — that can change the future of India Inc — from budding managers, the entrepreneurship cell of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) is organising i2I (ideas to implementation). Billed as the “biggest business plan competition in Asia”, the event is expected to draw around 600 teams, with a maximum of four members in each, from premier academic institutions and leading corporate houses in the country.
Not only prizes, the winners will get support from Indiaco, a private equity investment holding company, to develop the ideas. “Incubation of these ideas is the most important part of this competition. Indiaco will incubate the top three ideas,” said Anant Khirbat, president, entrepreneurship cell, IIMC.
An annual event on the Joka campus since 2000, the B-plan competition this time is a little bit different as the organisers have decided to put mind ahead of money. To encourage the teams to build on their ideas and not just aim for the pot of gold, the prize money has been pegged at Rs 3 lakh, while earmarking Rs 9 lakh for incubation of the projects.
The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has also been roped in by the premier B-school. The state government’s nodal industrial agency has pledged its support to promote and finance ideas that can boost business in Bengal. And ITC, the main sponsor of the event, will reserve the right to fund any of the ideas.
To be completed in four months, the competition will involve three phases. In the first phase, the participating teams will send executive summaries on their proposed projects. The short-listed teams will then have to submit detailed business plans — with assistance from mentors — along with financial viability of the projects and out of these, eight teams will make it to the finals where they will present their plans to a panel of judges in December.
The list of judges include Arjun Malhotra of Techspan, Roopen Roy of PricewaterhouseCoopers and industrialist G.P. Goenka.
In yet another deviation from the earlier B-plan contests, the organisers have decided not to go global this year and restrict the competition to the Indian shores. “We are not sending the invitations to universities abroad as we had done earlier,” clarified Khirbat.