Bio: Amit Grover, founder of Nurture Talent Academy, is an individual with a passion for entrepreneurship. He is an IIT Delhi and IIM Indore alumnus and has previously worked with Infosys, Asian Paints and Onida. He is also associated with Mumbai Angels, and has led over 20 early stage investments in last 3 years.
We had an email interview with Amit:
Q 1. How you got the idea of starting Nurture Talent Academy?
I have been a part of Mumbai Angels, a group of angel investors since the start. As a part of the group, I did mentoring, consulting, questioning business models, helping entrepreneurs with investment or business related queries etc. However, I realized I was doing a lot on an informal basis, which was good but not good enough. Majority of entrepreneurs I met were good in 1-2 aspects of business, for instance, good at finance but bad at marketing, or had general lack of business planning skills, which are very important at an initial stage of a business. They were all brilliant entrepreneurs, and a little support can make a huge difference. I realised it is time for me to provide that support, which led to formation of Nurture Talent Academy, India’s 1st Institute for training entrepreneurs.
Q 2. Why start-ups need the training that you intend to provide?
Startups need training not to get an idea about what to do, but how to do it! Training also gives them the confidence about various aspects of business, learn ways to avoid mistakes at an early stage and take informed decisions related to operations. For example, in my previous workshops, we have answered questions like which structure is good or bad startups (proprietorship, partnership or private limited), how much cash is required to start, debt vs equity options etc.
Q 3. How exactly do you deliver your training program?
Currently, we are conducting weekend workshops of 2-3 hour duration for a batch of 15-20 people each. The workshops topics are related to entrepreneurship, for example, we did a program on “Finance for Entrepreneurs” at Bangalore last week, and “Marketing for
Entrepreneurs” at Mumbai last month. The program includes a presentation, an excel workbook, interaction with experts (mix of investors and entrepreneurs) and question and answers sessions.
Q 4. What have been the results with your clients?
95% of participants in the workshops till date have given excellent or good rating to the programs they have attended. We expect participants to start their ventures, grow their revenues, receive funding, hire winning teams etc. as a result of the programs, but it is to early for that to happen.
Q 5. What core areas do you focus in your training that start-ups need?
We focus on practical aspects of business related to how to form a company, finance, marketing, sales, human resources, legal, taxation, how to make a business plan and pitch to investors.
Q 6. What are your future plans with this venture?
Till date, we have conducted our workshops at Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Future plan is to go to other cities like Chennai (24th April), Delhi (1st May), Gurgaon (2nd May) and serve the entrepreneurs there. Later on, we plan to conduct the program at Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad and intend to reach other cities with our online offering. In 1 year time period, we aim to conduct moreÂ focused and longer duration programs for 10 cities.
Q 7. What is the most vital thing for the success of a start-up?
The most vital thing for success of a startup is the team behind it.
Q 8. Do you believe that these types of training courses can be included in business schoolsâ€™ curriculum?
It is not a question of “can be included”, it definitely should be included. Already, there is lots of interest among student community about entrepreneurship, with e-cells, business plan events, incubation centers supporting the same. However, there is lot more that can and should be done. Training courses is a must step in that direction, which will also need support from professors, industry etc.
I am doing a small part myself by conducting workshops at colleges like IIT Bombay, NMIMS, Atharva College etc.
Q 9. Is there any hard lesson that you learned in life as a student of prestigious colleges IIT/IIM and also as an entrepreneur?
Life teaches lots of lessons. As a student, I learned that at IIT/IIM, there are lots of opportunities in terms of academics, sports etc. and it all depends on an individual’s enthusiasm to go ahead and do it. There is nobody who is going to invite you to do something, or stop you from doing anything. What matters is that you have to execute, without fear of failure. As an entrepreneur, I will like to call myself a “baby entrepreneur”, as I am learning and growing each day. Also, what I have learned is that you have to give your customers what they want, not what you have – so you have to be flexible.
Q 10. Any general advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take care of your family (at least inform them before starting!), be sure about your talent and do not let challenges bother you. Think about what can go wrong or right, plan for it, prepare for it – but do not worry when it happens. Get down and start up – the toughest part for an entrepreneur is to start!