A Webinar by Mr. Deep Nishar

Before the start of a very motivating and informative webinar, the Honorable Director Dr. P.P. Chakraborty and Mr. Deep Nishar had a casual conversation about KGP in the late 80′s. At 10:25, the webinar formally started and the organizing entity, Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur thanked Dr. P.P. Chakraborty for his presence. Dr. Chakraborty then introduced Mr. Nishar as a person having an excellent and glittering career with big companies like Google, Linked-in, Softbank and said that “He is accountable for the maximum profits that Linked-in has generated!” On being asked about his Journey and Life, Mr. Nishar said that he is very thankful for being an IITian.

“I had just one hobby-Reading. There weren’t good libraries around so I convinced the 70-year old school librarian to let me in during the summer vacations when the library wasn’t open for students. I came to know about JEE and subsequently about IITs while reading in the same library. I used to have a 5 yr. plan for everything. But now, I realize that balancing Objectiveness and Open-Mindedness is really important in life. I have been in a lot of seminars and speeches and have been bored quite often; so let’s start the Q&A!”

Q: Where are the Tech Companies Leading to? What is the ‘next’ of Google and Linked-in?
A: I would say it will be defined by three platform shifts. Firstly, a shift in the curve of AI and Deep Learning. Secondly, a shift of communication platform and thirdly, the fascinating amalgamation of Computation and Biology. Studies say that the Genomic Testing curve is more steeper than a curve adhering to Moore’s Law!

Q: Indians have done better while working for someone else and we haven’t seen enough leaders who started something of their own and took it to a global scale. Your views?
A: I partially agree with your statement. I compare Indian and U.S. entrepreneurs head to head. I don’t agree that Indians do better when they work for someone else.

Q: What is the basis on which Softbank invests?
A: There are three parameters which we look into. We look for the biggest possible markets available. The management team is another very important aspect and the Mission, something which is essential for a company in the long run, should be resonating with the Big Picture.

Q: Are Foreign Investors a threat to the Indian Investors?
A: It has to be seen with a different perspective. When we consider the global context, we should be welcoming foreign investment.

Q: What are the hardships which you have faced as an Entrepreneur?
A: Firstly I’d like to say that Entrepreneurship is not a fair weather sport. There are three things which you need to fixate in your mind. Work hard, no matter what! You’re always selling, keep that in mind. And finally, the first 50 people that you hire will define the culture of the organization.

Q: What is the role of KGP in your success?
A: One should always remember the roots. Knowledge, Network and Ambition are the most important things that KGP has given to me. A network isn’t something fancy; the guy you’re running next to in the gym, your wingmates, your co-organizers of SF etc. is the network I’m talking about. Whenever I come to Bangalore, I meet my wingmates and all of us have dinner together. The friendships made in KGP will stand the test of time!

Q: IITs have a rank far below than that of MIT, Stanford etc. What do you think is the reason and how can it be improved?
A: You need to know one thing. Rankings are bullshit.The only thing I care about is whether you are harnessing your fullest possible potential. Consider that a KGPian utilizes 80% of the opportunities and realizes 100% potential and a Stanford grad utilizes 25% of the opportunities and realizes 50% of the potential. Who do you think is better?

Q: What would be your message to the non-IITians who have the zeal to do something entrepreneurial in their lives?
A: If you have it in you then just do it! According to me, IIT is a privilege and an opportunity, not a guarantee.

Q: I think life is all about maximizing the chances of success and minimizing the chances of failure. Any advice on how to accomplish this? Are success and failure two sides of the same coin?
A: It can be done by minimizing the circumstances that lead to failures. And yes, indeed they are! We should encourage small failures and encourage the learning out of it even more. We should pause and reflect. One way to do it is ‘Celebrating Failure’. It means sharing the failures which we have experienced and it is possible only if the leader comes forward and says, “Hey! I made so and so mistake.” It should be a light discussion and people will start learning from their mistakes instead of being guilty.

After the Q&A session, Dr. P.P. Chakraborty thanked Mr. Nishar for doing the webinar and for being a person who gets back to his Alma Mater in just one mail!

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