Dialog with NICE Friends on Feb 17th 2021

Chitra Aiyer 21 February, 2021

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We hosted a dialog with NICE Friends on Feb 17th, Wednesday – our second one. We had hosted the first one in October 2020. Much has happened since and it was time again to meet with our friends and share our progress. 

We had over 40 of our friends join us at 4 pm. A BIG Thank You from Team NICE to all who joined us – for taking the time and for being on this journey with us. 

Hari Kiran Vadlamani, founder, and Sanjay Anandaram, co-founder of NICE, briefly introduced the organization and the people behind it. 

NICE Aarohana Program

Sanjay updated everybody about the successful completion of the NICE Aarohana program – a 3-month long series of free, online sessions, designed and delivered by experts, entrepreneurs and practitioners.

Aarohana Stats

We are grateful to all the speakers who made this program possible – many of whom are NICE Friends. Very many thanks!

All the sessions are available on the NICE Aarohana playlist on our Youtube channel.

Business Plan Competition

The NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition (BPC), launched in early Jan, is in its final stages now. This is India’s first and only such competition for cultural enterprises! We received more than 100 applications! Abhishek Mukherjee from Team NICE is leading these efforts and summarised the activities at the meet. 

20 finalists have been shortlisted by an expert Selection Committee:

  • 10 Early Stage enterprises (up to Rs 50 Lakh revenue/annum)
  • 10 Growth Stage enterprises (more than Rs 50 Lakh revenue/annum)

All the finalists are currently being coached and mentored by Sanjay Anandaram and Bala Girisaballa for the final pitch. The finals are on Feb 26th and 27th, where the finalists will each pitch to an eminent panel of jury members. We are excited and looking forward to the finals. 

Winners will be announced at the end of the month.

We are thankful to all jury members – many of them are NICE Friends – both in the selection committee and on the final panels for taking time off from their schedules to be part of the NICE Aarohana Business Plan competition! 

It was wonderful to see entrepreneurs from the NICE Aarohana program and some of the BPC finalists among our friends at the meet.

Dialog and Conversation

It was an engaging conversation with many suggestions and questions from our friends – everyone was eager to contribute to the NICE ecosystem, an ecosystem to foster cultural entrepreneurship and strengthen Brand India. 

To be part of the NICE community, join us. 

The discussion and the Q & A are summarised below:

Collaboration

The cultural entrepreneurs at the meet were keen to collaborate with each other and with others in the industry. This indeed is our vision – to connect entrepreneurs with investors, mentors, industry experts, service providers, other entrepreneurs, and partners. We make this happen by creating different forums and events for entrepreneurs to share and collaborate with different parties.

Our first program, NICE Aarohana, achieved this apart from the primary purpose of accelerating learning for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Join our group on LinkedIn to connect with others in our ecosystem.

A wonderful suggestion also came from Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, IIMB. He spoke about the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship program whose Fellows, spread across many districts in India, have established connections with artisans and craftsmen in different districts. It would be great for NICE Entrepreneurs to work with these Fellows and collaborate with artisans and craftsmen. NICE will reach out to Prof Bhagavatula to explore this possibility.

Mentoring

One of the primary asks from the cultural entrepreneurs at the meet was for mentorship. Our mentor groups will be a crowdsourced effort. We seek people with mentoring experience to engage with our entrepreneurs and assist in their growth.

We will be publishing the process for mentoring on the website. Please email us if you are interested in mentoring – namaste@niceorg.in

We will NOT curate entrepreneurs – there is NO selection process. If you are a cultural entrepreneur, tell us about your business. Let us know what help you are seeking, what you are looking for and we will help make the right connection. Write to us.

NICE Chapters

The mission of building Brand India through cultural entrepreneurship needs the involvement of all across the country. Much like organizations such as the Rotary, Lions Club, TiE, Nasscom and many others that have city or regional groups across the country guided by common goals, values and governance, NICE too plans to grow by having city chapters led by passionate local leadership. If you are interested to take the lead in making this happen, please write in with your suggestions and ideas.

Indian diaspora across the world

A valuable suggestion was to initiate connections with the Indian diaspora across the world through the major diaspora cultural organizations in some key countries. For example, TANA – Telugu Association of North America. 

Such cultural organizations could have valuable insights into market expansion. This can be a good starting point to enable products and services from Indian cultural enterprises in going global.

If you are connected to such organizations and are keen to initiate these engagements, write to us.

Contribute Towards NICE Efforts

As a non-profit company, NICE is always in need of volunteers. If you want to contribute towards any of the activities – strategic marketing, social media marketing, content, visuals, communication, mentoring, or anything else you can think of – please write to us – namaste@niceorg.in

Write for Our Blog

We are inviting articles for our blog. Please write short articles with advice, insights, tips from your areas of expertise that are relevant and beneficial to cultural entrepreneurs. We will be happy to publish with due credits. Email them to chitra@niceorg.in

 

Thank you all very much for coming to the meet. Thank you for your time. We look forward to more such dialogs and conversations.

Thanks also to many others who have written in with suggestions and recommendations. We will reach out to you all. Please do keep all of these coming.

You are a part of NICE. Together, let’s strengthen Brand India.

 

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Email – namaste@niceorg.in

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Feature image Pixabay

author
Chitra Aiyer