Entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India

Shiva Subramanian is a cultural entrepreneur. He has a business degree, which he doesn’t use, he says: ”That’s why it works”. His view is that businesses put up so many barriers, so finally you can’t be human.

He has set up a row of different small companies and run different ideas and initiatives. His idea is to just get going, build on a social network and ”no paperwork!” He owns the Sona Towers on Millers Road in Bangalore, and has put up a space on the fifth floor for other entrepreneurs such as internetradio, an architect, a lawyer, graphic designer. What is the key factor for success we ask? The informal setup, his social network and culture.

”This wouldn’t work if it wasn’t within the art.”

Indian Institute of Management, along Bannerghatta Road within a green garden domain, would love an entrepreneur like the ones on fifth floor. On the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning the idea is to work within three areas: Research, teaching and training entrepreneurs, and incubator. In the incubator they look for unique and scalable ideas and a passionate team. During ”punchwhole meetings” they judge and try to punchwhole the idea and see how the entrepreneur respond to this. One challenge is to get the person focussed on the idea; a start-up work seventy percent with other things and not with the idea.

Alternative Law Forum is a collective of lawyers starting in 2000 with the idea that there is a need for an alternative practice of law concerning social and economic injustice. They have run several campaigns for sexual, women and civil rights and questions like: How do minorities get access to their rights?. The eleven laywers connected to ALF cover a large variety of issues, do research, campaigns and publish articles.

Running a perfume business these days is hard. Globalization has changed the market completely, and being a smaller business you just can’t compete with the large ones. The international connection is asked for by customers who would like to order a new perfume, and for a small business it’s just not possible. They have instead accepted to be in the second layer, Mr Vijayakumar explains, when he with love for his profession explains how it works.

The perfumery is one part of what they do at Vijayakumar Farm. The farm is named after the family name, where they have over the past few years planted over 250 species of plants and trees; endangered species, the sainted trees, spices and other things. One part is the breeding of a rare cow, which we are told, is both intelligent and has feelings. We also get to see a wonderful dance performance by Raadha Kalpa and the story behind traditional dance.

One sentence stay in your mind, said by one of the entrepreneurs: ”In India if you don’t succeed you die.”

The visit is part of the exchange program Linking Initiatives, an initiative between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka in India. Read more under tag ”Bangalore” or category ”India”.

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One Response to “Entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India”

  1. I agree. Entrepreneurship is all about thinking about chicoes all the time in the head, but it’s not a choice itself.It’s a type of personality, a way of life. An entrepreneur can’t work very long for as an employee, because he/she sees all the mistakes of the enterprise, and see potential in other chicoes and other possibilities.If you could work for a company all your life, and be happy with it, you’re not an entrepreneur.An entrepreneur is the one that lives on the edge of faith and reality. That’s the person that believes so much in his/her own perception of reality that he/she is always willing to risk and achieve something new, even if it is a common product in a different way in the market, or a innovative product or service.

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