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Breaking the vicious cycle…

October 23, 05 by Bharani

Our PAEV Business plan is shaping up well. Last week we got our Executive summary of the business plan (7-8 pages) reviewed. During the process of review, the professor related our concept with ISB. ISB when it began had tough challenges in terms of attracting quality students. Who in the world would pay 10 lakhs and study in an institute that hasn’t even graduated one batch of students? What is the guarantee that students will be placed? How can ISB attract a critical mass? Only when ISB can attract critical mass can it proceed further, but inorder to proceed further it needs critical mass…You see, it’s a vicious cycle!

Fortunately, ISB did foresee so many things ahead and got many things right. First, it got in as many as 50 CEOs and chairmen of leading Indian companies on board officially. Second, it associated itself with three big names in the field of B-school education namely Wharton, Kellogg and London Business school. Third, it had visions of building amazing infrastructure, which was already underway. Fourth, it brought in faculties from top business schools across the world. Here it mainly depended on Indian diaspora, the indian professors who were willing to contribute to such a cause and in turn wanted to do something for India while earning some money. This visiting faculty model served as a good advertising tool. Fifth and final, it differentiated by positioning itself as a B-school for experienced candidates [GMAT as a criteria as against CAT]. All these factors helped ISB to gather visibility and word-of-mouth buzz. In case some disaster happens in terms of placing students, the top 50 Indian companies guaranteed to absorb 2 students per company…Thus everything was taken care of…It got its first critical mass of 120 odd students and today it has grown phenomenally to the size of 350 and is well on its way to achieve full strength of 550. Today ISB has grown to such an extent that if ISB is associated with some venture, the venture can gain credibility instantaneously!

This way of gaining visibility by bringing in reputed and well-known organizations or people on board, is one of the sure recipe for success. We were also suggested to think on those lines…

Our business plan is aimed at creating a social movement first and the issues of profitability are secondary. Even the profitability is to create a self-sustainable business model. All the profits will be ploughed back to the venture…

Another interesting aspect of the venture is that the COMPETITION is healthy for us. If more people are interested in the concept, we would gladly help them to set up their business! You see, the more proof-of-concepts we have, the faster the momentum gain…Thus we are aiming to create a negative barriers to entry and negative barriers to imitation! Something on the lines of setting up an open standard…so that others can follow that easily…The vision is grand no doubt…but we have so many other doubts lingering in mind…

I will blog about our business plan soon. After I spoke with my colleagues, we decided that it’s in the best interest of the venture to make it public…We are planning to invite suggestions, opinions on the business plan…OK…I will give an idea of what the business plan is about…It’s about a thing which is close to the hearts of millions…EDUCATION! Not a mainstream education, but a complement to the present educational system…More later.

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