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Ethics are a brilliant long term investment. New entrepreneurs, take a cue

Sometimes in life, especially at work, one needs to take a pause, to travel the distance. It may mean letting go of the small temptation of the low hanging fruit to eventually get the prize catch. This is what sets a straight jacketed entrepreneur apart from his ‘loose ethics’ mates.

‘Ethics’ in businesses have gained a lot of importance, almost as much the lack of it has. Ethics is the propeller for any successful entrepreneurship activity. Any venture, new or otherwise is like a rudderless boat, which goes haywire in the face of crisis. Without the correct ethics, one just fails to see the lighthouse.

While the concept of ethics has witnessed a change from the earlier days, the ground reality remains. Ethics are the broad guidelines of what is acceptable in society, in the business sense, the acceptable ways of conducting business. Any entrepreneur worth his mettle cannot go far without the strong base of ethics to back him up, or rather catch him, were he to succumb to the unkind winds of business cycles. As Mr Parag Shah, the chief mentor of MIDAS says, ‘ Ethics are a brilliant long term investment”- they are what carry you through when the going gets rough.

So what are Ethics? This seemingly complicated concept is in fact easy to understand, if followed to the letter. Ethics which are the cornerstone of any winning initiative rest on the strong pillars of respect, honour, customer focus, passion for work, integrity and persistence. Of course these are not sacrosanct. These building blocks could differ from one organization to another, in different measures and grades. But the broad framework, may it be a global entrepreneurship initiative or a family managed business, remains the same. Here’s how they work.

Respect:

Respect yourself and respect the people you work with. While respecting oneself is the backbone of ethics, giving others their worth by displaying equal measures of respect is of prime importance. One needs to build a team which respects each others’ differences with the same gumption as their similarities.

Honour:

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love to have a badge of honour? Or better still, flaunt it? Honouring team members who have contributed to your success, is what a good entrepreneur should do. While it’s easy to chide a team member for a faux pas, it is more meaningful to give him a pat on the back when he deserves it. Privately or publicly, he deserves the accolade. That’s what an honour is all about.

Customer Focus:

While customer focus is always is the mantra of a good business, some companies are getting it all wrong. A sound entrepreneur is one who gives the customer what he needs. There is no point in producing a product that customer never wanted, but since it’s on the production line anyway, to give an aspiration aura to it. It is only ethical to satisfy customer needs, and to do it in the best way possible.

Passion for Work and Persistence:

Without passion, there is no drive. All entrepreneurs know it, even before they knew they were “entrepreneurs”. Relentless passion and persistence is what brings fruits to labour, without the tumult. Any new initiative stems from the passion of doing something different, going on the path less trodden and the grit to follow through. Ask any entrepreneur, he has been there and done it. Not the pay check but the excitement drives them to deliver.

Integrity:

How is your spine? Erect or bent over? An entrepreneur should not only have righteous integrity but of the customer, how you fight like a valiant gladiator even when the going is rough, it’s what keeps any business, size not withstanding stand erect when adversity comes knocking. You got Integrity with the business, you almost got it all.

This quick round up of ethics will be analysed in detail in the Midas Entrepreneurship Programme. All waiting in the wings entrepreneurs, are your ethics on the right side? Lets discover more!

Entrepreneurs’ Junction -Life at MIDAS

People with gumption and bravado thrive on opportunities to progress, explore and push the envelope. These Entrepreneurs who aspire to reach the stars feel completely at home at MIDAS. They have every reason to! At MIDAS, the entrepreneurship spirit is nurtured and tended to.

At MIDAS, entrepreneurship is not taught, it is lived in every essence, by every aspect, and in all facets. Holistic development, hands-on approach and going beyond the realms of books are the pillars of entrepreneurial development.

Walk in the MIDAS hallways on any given day and one can be a witness to an action-packed day. A junction of all things practical and energy packed, MIDAS is the epitome of a hands-on teaching- learning pedagogy. Chief Mentor Prof. Parag Shah and Director Academics Mr Avinash Bhavri set the stage for the upcoming weeks by infusing the right amounts of motivation and call to action. The pedagogy is explained and every nuance of the course is unfolded to the participants. The journey towards being a successful entrepreneur is imbued with an amalgamation of classroom teaching, interacting with stalwarts and going beyond the classroom walls, to places where the actual work and process happen.

Classroom sessions, the quintessential building block of any lifelong learning is full of action and new horizons to explore. Ranging from Theatre to Entrepreneurial Strategy Development, all the dimensions of Entrepreneurship development are deliberated. The day commences with theatre workshops by Prof Prasad Vanarase. Theatre unlocks the mind and instills a surreal sense of freedom to let the mind wander and touch the depths of creativity.

Critical thinking, the cornerstone of this course is expertly facilitated by Chief Mentor Dr Parag Shah. Through a unique method called “Effectuation”, new approaches of doing business are imparted. Participants are prodded to share their thoughts, overcome fears and draw a mental map of their envisioned life. Dr Shirsa Sathe through the essential principals of Psychology takes all on a journey of self discovery and analyzing one’s strengths and weaknesses. Veterans like Dr Komal Deshpande, Prof Darshan Doshi and Dr Thorat walk the talk with the participants , may it be accountancy or mind boggling economics. Tete a tete over a morning stroll, or rendezvous around a bonfire also become a “classroom” of sorts. Learning at MIDAS is not limited by four walls.

Unique pedagogy like Rhetoric and Critical writing by Prof Jeffrey Sichel is used deftly to sharpen the business writing skills of students while fluency in English as a language of Business Communication is instilled under the expert guidance of Prof Pramod Dhume. Stalwarts from different walks of life may it be industry, medicine or the academia fire the imagination of the participants, enabling them to have a wholesome view of the business world.

Walking the walk is an equally critical part of the curriculum at MIDAS. Participants are taken on industry visits to have a real time experience of manufacturing and business processes. This gives them a deep and lasting understanding of critical and agile technology, the genesis of consumed products and services and the guiding philosophy of every business.

Every participant meets an undiscovered and unexplored side of himself at Adventure Camp. The rigours of rafting, trekking, cycling and mountaineering give each a reality check and fathom one’s potentials. It teaches a wise lesson that one’s potential is only limited by one’s mind. Where the mind dares, the fear is conquered. The scenic backdrop of these adventure camps enables one to take stock of learning done and frees the mind of self imposed barriers.

At MIDAS, the journey begins with the first step and learning at every step. Be it in classroom or beyond, the entrepreneur is given a 360 degree view of what entails to be an entrepreneur. At the Entrepreneurs’ Junction, the entrepreneur in MIDAS unleashes his full potential; comes a full circle.

Chase your dream in 2015 with MIDAS.

If you have a dream, now is the best time to chase it. All successful entrepreneurs have a dream, and the bravado to chase it.
Dreams stem from the innate urge to do something different, to not follow the same path. Getting off the bandwagon and treading on your own created path is what an entrepreneur does best. But it all begins with a dream, a string of imagination with wings of abandon to fly with.

Come 2015, and it’s time for you to make your dreams come true. With MIDAS, your dreams will get direction and momentum to propel ahead.

All dreams which come to fruition need to be like well laid plans. At MIDAS, we help to articulate your dreams into a systematic process so that you are that much close to make it true.

The biggest enemy of dreams coming true is FEAR. So many entrepreneurs’ dreams never saw day because the dreamer didn’t face his fear. All entrepreneurs have fears, but only the visionaries quell them and move on the path which will make their dreams come true. At MIDAS, through innovative approaches like critical thinking and fundamental psychology, nouveau entrepreneurs are nudged to talk about their anxieties and inhibitions. Strategies to mitigate these fears and quell them to have a clear focus are then evolved. This sets the entrepreneur to see his path clearly. Fear, once conquered sets you free to follow your dream.

PRIORITIZING tasks to achieve your dreams should be the focus of 2015 for all entrepreneurs. When one is on a mission to chase dreams, one is vulnerable to many things coming on the plate. One needs to prioritize and not procrastinate. Procrastination is the thief of time. Entrepreneurs cannot be procrastinators but instead be adept at prioritizing their tasks. In chasing your dreams, it’s very easy to deviate from the main goal by getting sucked up in resolving mundane issues. Time management, prioritization and task management, the foundation of any business initiative are set in perspective at MIDAS.

All dreamers need a sounding board, someone who would lend them an ear without being judgemental. Yet they also need an anchor to support them and help them see the gaping holes in their dreams. This 2015, find that elusive someone who can be the wind beneath your entrepreneurial dreams. A good MENTOR is sacrosanct to a successful business venture. In realizing your dream, a mentor plays an important role. He guides you, listens to your ideas, help you sort and sieve through them and raises the red flag, should you embark on an impulsive decision making trip. At MIDAS, there is a stellar panel of mentors who bring in rich experience from myriad fields. These mentors guide you through the thick of things and help blaze the trail of entrepreneur dreams.

In the pursuit of dreams, what takes precedence is MARKET SENSE. Many entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams lose touch with the real world. Dreams then remain just that, flights of fancy which don’t take off as astute market study and real time data was not captured. Agility, research, brainstorming, leaning in and adaptability are the safety nets of any dream. These are the pegs on which your dreams can touch the sky. MIDAS covers this base effectively by ensuring the nuts and bolts of your dream jet are not askew. By sharpening the financial accounting, business analytics, critical and strategic thinking aspects of business, and your dreams are now just round the corner to be achieved.

This 2015 make your dreams come true with MIDAS … the world is waiting!

‘For me, entrepreneurship is freedom’, – Sara, Fetch Company, Spain

Those who visited our campus in the past month know that the campus was studded with many young entrepreneurs from Europe. Most of them had come down from Spain while a few hailed from Netherlands to pursue an entrepreneurial exchange program in India. These student-entrepreneurs study a course affiliated to the Mondragon University in Spain just like our Indian students.

We had the privilege to talk to a few and indulge in a healthy exchange of views on entrepreneurship. We asked them what entrepreneurship means to each one of them and at a drop of a hat, Sara a young Spanish lady exclaimed, ‘For me, entrepreneurship is freedom!’.

Entrepreneurship is freedom

Sara got us hooked to her statement but moreover, it was the exuberance and unadulterated conviction with which she expressed her idea that took us by storm.

‘For me, entrepreneurship is freedom. It is an opportunity to live your dream, go wherever you want to, do what pleases you and still earn money, faith and fame,’ she continued in her Spanish accent.

When we further asked this under-grad student (now in her second last year) what was that one thing that made her choose entrepreneurship at such a young age over security and stability that a job would offer she instantly replied, ‘I have always been my own hero. I was never inclined towards working under someone. I am experimenting with two or three business ideas right now and I have different partners with whom I get along very well, but that’s because we are doing our own thing, experimenting, stumbling and succeeding. The high entrepreneurship gives you is unmatchable!’ grinned Sara and we grinned back at her with admiration.

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Sara, in the MIDAS’ incubation centre as she talks to us.

She also thanked MIDAS for being her mediator and incubator in India and also for being a successful institute in honing the skills of her new Indian friends on the campus. She said she would like to urge more and more people to join such unique courses especially with Mondragon University who gives shape and direction to one’s burning desire to soar high.

If you think like Sara, you think like an entrepreneur

Sara’s spirit and thought process is an indication that she’s a true blue entrepreneur. Her faith in her ideas, in herself and her co-workers is immense. If you see even a tiny bit of yourself in her or if this inspires you and gets you itchy to follow your heart on your dream journey, let us tell you, you too belong to the true blue entrepreneur league.

All you have to do is, take that leap of faith, bestow your belief in us and we will walk hand-in-hand with you till you launch your own business (not to forget the VC funding and lifetime mentorship) and soar like a vibrant kite.

Admissions for our 11-month intensive ‘Master’s in Open Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship Program’ are now open. Course commences from 3rd August 2015. To know more click here.

The making of an entrepreneur goes best with a mentor

Starting your own company is one of the hardest things you can do, so it’s invaluable to get advice from other people who have done it, too. You can spend years scraping and scouring the internet hunting for the world’s top entrepreneurs so you could harvest their secrets. You want to hear their stories. How they started. How they grew. How the big hitting innovators, inventors or business people have made millions, found fame and are building their empires right now. Finding the right mentor to help you along the path to success therefore is indispensable.

Mentoring is a tricky thing: as an aspiring entrepreneur you want it, but don’t know how to get it. Well, you don’t need a special genetic code for entrepreneurship; you need mentorship. Maybe, simply put, you can’t teach someone to be passionate about entrepreneurship. On the other hand, people can definitely discover their passion for entrepreneurship in the classroom. The need for a mentor is obvious, yet seeking one out can be quite difficult and daunting.

A Lifetime of Mentoring

At MIDAS, we ensure mentoring has a profound impact on you. The eleven-month Entrepreneurship at MIDAS school which has the spirit of mentoring embedded in it gives you the real privilege to enhance your ability to be entrepreneurs. We believe that the learning process is unending and evolving. That’s why we don’t just shake your hand at the end of the course and wave goodbye, we help you take action on your imperfect “good plans” and give you that extra confidence to move forward without hesitation at any stage of your entrepreneurial process.

Mentors: ‘Secret Weapons’ of Successful Startups

Time after time many successful startups attribute their success to great mentors who with the right inputs at the right time have steered the direction of many startups towards success. Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction and Mr. Parag Shah, the Founder Chairman and Chief Mentor of MIDAS is not just a mentor but an awakener. He ignites the fire within the dreamers, the believers, and the courageous with his light of understanding and the essence of encouragement.

Most first generation entrepreneurs or second and third generation entrepreneurs from family managed businesses can do absolutely awe-inspiring things. But sometimes they just need a little nudge and an impetus that relights their flame when times are tough. At MIDAS, these path breaking entrepreneurs are blessed to find people who help them sketch and execute the vision they have. Mentors in this school of dreams exemplify the highest levels of excellence in the pursuit of the entrepreneurial mission to develop and move entrepreneurs to fulfill their goals.

Don’t wait. Don’t look for that perfect moment to land in your lap. Find your confidant, your mentor at MIDAS who will act like a buoy that keeps you afloat through the numerous highs and lows in the early years and through all the phases of your startup endeavor.Enter the campus doors and reward yourself an inestimable mentorship for a lifetime!

Admissions for our 11-month intensive ‘Master’s in Open Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship Program’ are now open. Course commences from 3rd August 2015. Click here to know more.

The women entrepreneurs of the world: what drives them?

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“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me?”

said Ayn Rand. And the inner voice of many strong women battling to make their mark in the world of business probably whispered the same words. When skeptics around were busy wondering how will women manage to maintain a work-life balance, this rare breed of women entrepreneurs ploughed on to turn their ideas into money-making realities. They proved that they were more than able to not just bring up babies at home but also nurture their ideas, their other babies, into lucrative businesses.

They did not let anyone or anything stop them.

Who are these superwomen who love to mind their own business? What drives them to take on the world and become a force to reckon with?

‘For me, entrepreneurship is freedom!’ says Sara, a student of the entrepreneurship program run by MIDAS. The yearning to be your own boss is definitely a propeller for all successful entrepreneurs, and more so, for womentrepreneurs.

But something definitely unique happens with women and entrepreneurship

These womentrepreneurs have the hunger to push their boundaries and break the stereotypes. They have the grit and gumption to take risks. In fact, some thrive in ambiguous situations! They are attracted toward simplifying complex situations. Where some people seize up and go back to doing what they know, these unusual women enjoy tackling challenging situations and being creative problem solvers. Their high emotional intelligence and innate leadership qualities help them go on every day ‘believing’ that they will succeed. They know that failure needs to be enjoyed as well, and that things are rarely sunshine and rainbows when you are building a business block-by-block. The idea of making money not just for yourself but creating work opportunities for scores of people is another propelling force for many womentrepreneurs.

After all, proving the naysayers wrong and going against all odds to make a mark in the world of business must be a definite high!

Moreover, the advent of many entrepreneurship programs, like the one by MIDAS, has made entrepreneurship a reality for many. The program at MIDAS lends you the perfect kind of hand holding that you can ever desire to make a success out of your business ideas. After all, MIDAS believes in discovering the womentreprenuer in you and helping you strap on the wings to fly.

So, can anything really stop you from dreaming big and making it bigger?

Like Dr. Seuss says, “If you have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

Click here to know more about our 11-month intensive ‘Master’s in Open Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship Program.’ The course commences from 3rd August 2015.

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Be Your Own Hero

“But darling… in the end, you’ve got to be your own hero…”

Said some wise soul. And budding entrepreneurs around the world, need to keep repeating this phrase to themselves, every single day.

You ask why? Because entrepreneurship is not a fancy forbidden fruit like it’s portrayed to be. It’s a journey of a thousand miles, and a tough one at that.

You start out with an entrepreneurial dream and your one winning idea. You put the resources in place and start working toward your goals. You even hire one or two people who can walk with you in your entrepreneurial journey. You work with them, with a shared dream of success, to ensure that your idea sees the light of the day.

But what do you do when the initial people you hire, do not feel as passionately as you do about your idea? What do you do when they quit and walk away? What do you do when you run out of money? When your investors demand a return on investment, while your business is just in the teething stage? You are scrambling just to hold one. Little by little, your self belief is slipping away. Bit-by-bit, you do the unthinkable: you start doubting your dream.

That’s exactly when you need to remember the above-mentioned quote. You need to look within and find your own hero.

Look at William Nobrega of CQS International. In early 2014, the American entrepreneur was broke and living in a small, windowless room in Hong Kong after personal catastrophes and the failure of his start up. He had a new business idea, but no funding to go forward. That however didn’t stop Nobrega from persevering and working toward his dream. As a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, I lived by the motto, ‘Failure is not an option, says Nobrega. Against all odds, he created CQS international, already valued at more than $170 million (Read more at: forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle).

That’s the difference between all the successful entrepreneurs and the not-so-successful ones. The successful ones go on even when it looks like the whole world is conspiring against them to bring them down. When all hope is lost and nothing inspires them, they simply look within and find their strength, their hidden heros, who come out only during absolute unexplainable hopelessness.

“New hires have quit? No qualms; I can work alone and save up on some salaries! Investors are pulling out? No issues. I will use my gift of gab to find new ones; until then, I will make my plans and visual profit theory even stronger. My passion is running out? No harm done; I will look within and simply find my hero.” This is how winners think.

So, however easy it is for us to say this, do not give up; especially when the world stops believing in your business ideas and entrepreneurial dream. Get up, brush off the shame of failure and hopelessness and ride on your inner strength, your hero.

Moreover, in this uber competitive age, you are hardly alone. Gone is the day when you had to do everything alone to nurture your ideas and build a business. We at MIDAS are here, precisely to see you through your entrepreneurial journey. We may not spoon-feed you the success formulas, but we’ll hold your hand through the long road of your entrepreneurial journey. We will teach you to trust your judgments, hone you to build a strong leader within, and patiently mentor you forever. Moreover, we will definitely not give up on you, when the world calls your ideas hairbrained.

We will gently prod you to find the hero within you, who will help you become a successful entrepreneur.

Click here to know more about our 11-month intensive ‘Master’s in Open Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship Program.’ The course commences on 3rd August 2015

Five not-so-pretty things most start-up entrepreneurs need to do

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When asked an enthusiastic to-be entrepreneur, what entrepreneurship would be all about on a day-to-day basis, he said “Entrepreneurship is… about dreaming big and coming up with path-breaking ideas. It’s about going the extra mile, and taking your ideas forward.. with grit and gumption.” Entrepreneurship is definitely all of that. But you if you thought that its ‘only’ about all the jazzy and inspiring things, let me break your bubble and list three not-so-exciting tasks that most start-up entrepreneurs need to be prepared to do:

Cleaning your own office:

Yes, when you invest big money in a new venture, or have other people investing in your dream venture, you need to be frugal and save every single penny; that means, you need to pick up the broom and double up as the office cleaner as well. Don’t worry, this will only make you a more humble leader and a disciplined one at that.

Brewing your tea and doing the dishes:

If you have a lot of money to splurge, after taking care of your technology needs, hiring a few employees, and managing all the other office essentials, you can afford to have someone deliver tea for you at work. But if you want to be the frugal and shrewd entrepreneur, it is more likely that you have to brew your own tea and do your own dishes at your make-shift work table and pantry.

Playing the role of a handy man, receptionist, HR personnel, operations manager, copier, and CEO at one go:

Some people are lucky to get enough initial seeding money to have a full-fledged office team. And you would get there too, but until you do, you need to be the receptionist directing prospective consumers and interviewees to your office; you need to be the HR deciding the salaries of new hires and the operations personal deciding the processes and plans of work; you might also need to be a handyman sometimes or the office help printing photocopies and filing papers. Doing all this will only make you a well-rounded hands-on entrepreneur.

It’s these small things that make businesses tick and the petty jobs that make big achievements more worthwhile. And that’s exactly what the mentors at MIDAS, an institute for entrepreneurship development, propagate. The experiential learning method of the entrepreneurship development program at MIDAS makes you ready to deal with all the ‘small’ and not-so-small endeavors of entrepreneurship. It’s such a well-rounded youth entrepreneurship program that you will be trained to take on the world of entrepreneurship with a smile and tons of resourcefulness.

Click here to know more about our 11-month intensive ‘Master’s in Open Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship Program.’ The course commences on 3rd August 2015.