Dream Chasers – Open Hall Discussion – MMA Hall

Dream Chasers – Open Hall Discussion – MMA Hall – Feb 28th 2017

Its been over 2 years since I went out for a social event.  The wrath of Chennai Floods Turned the face of MediaMetrics and it took a while to recover, when demonetisation and Vardha again came to tell, in Chennai days of normalcy is far away.  But while keeping the challenges of running the enterprise it was a bit difficult to attend these networking and discussion events.  The icebreaker came when Mr. Vijay posted this veryuseful event in FB.  I have also heard of this book where many of my friends were featured as successful achievers of the “South of Vindhyas”



The event took place on 28th February 2017 at MMA Hall. The dignatories or the Successful Dream Chasers along with the Author MS. Shobha Warrier in Open Hall Discussion were

  1.  Mr. Arun Jain – Founder of Polaris (he is having new venture to incubate startups / also owns trust which is into educating kids in very big time)
  2. Mr. Kalpathy Suresh – Entrepreneur – Founder AGS Cinemas (Founder of SSI, then moved to real estate, now working on predictive outcome analysis for movies)
  3. MS. Saundarya Rajesh – Founder – Avatar(very dedicated entrepreneur and social worker for women empowerment)
  4. Mr. Karthikeyan – Founder – twenty19.com (young achiever and founder of trust “deepam” which educates needy kids (Government schools) in IT and modern technology)

Moderated by MS. Shobha Warrior (Author of DreamChasers Book)

As expected the Event was absolutely mindblowing becauase we were sitting infront of Billions of dollars worth Balancsheets.  Several times more than that in Experience, wisdom, entrepreneorial knowledge.


Key TakeAways from the Discussion

  1.  Mr. Arun Jain (Polaris):
    1. Start Early – as early as possible the better.  Entrepreneurship is all about passion and dreaming the solution.  Logic and economical value comes next.
    2. Its better to include people whom you trust rather than doing it alone.  Employees and other directors are very much part of the decisions and hence they should be part of the benefits that comes along the success
    3. When you make a vision try to make a vision taking into factors where passion and achievement is equally evaluated.  Yet passion and committment determines the long run success (Note – Polaris was the first one to buy land and build IT office in OMR in late 90’s and during that time they had to depend on Generators for continuous power for nearing an year.  Their logic was to give that quality of output and to get such quality clients, innovative thinking to get qualititative equivalence is Important)
    4. Very early they started pooling money as a voluntary contribution (when Days of CSR where not there) and start investing the same in education of the kids.  Very interesting story of Dream Diary of people of Age 14 maintained and if that dream is captured success story of those startups are high
    5. Delegation is the key to success. In this regard, He has a very unique 75 email policy.  If he gets more than 75 mails a day he will review the same every six months and make sure he delegates the responsibility to correct person.
  2. Mr. Kalpathy Suresh (SSI, AGS Cinemas)
    1. Have a vision which best describes you and your corporate goal.  Do not bring in operational and tactical details in Vision.  E.G – goal of SSI Limited at any point was to be No.1 – so whatever NIIT and APTECH were doing they just had a vision that they should do more and establish the days of pre eminence.
    2. Assess the market both in macro and micro perspective.  E.g – when NIIT and APTECH where in prominent position and any other equal level player is out of discussion, they entered to bring an alternative for both.  They had both macro ambition and the micro detailing worked.
    3. Having relevant industry experience is not always the way forward.  When They entered into Real Estate, they did not have any background.  They also did not start small.  Their first project itself was a huge township with more than 2000+ apartments.  They planned it in a way that the risks are reduced by properly allocating
    4. When they ventured into the space which is considered to be the dream home of luck and Risk.  They ventured to get in going a research where they are trying to predict the success of the movie.  “Yes, its a tough task but we are almost there” – He said quoting the recent success example of Tamil Movie – “Thani Oruvan”
    5. His interests in Marathon, fitness keeps him in the run always both on and off business roads.
    6. He also spoke about how he planned his personal life knowing that entrepreneurial journey needs him to be away most of the time.  While when he got a break in between businesses he sure made sure fullest us used to spend with his family watching his kids grow.
  3. Dr Saundarya Rajesh (Avatar Group)
    1. Founder of Avatar which works in an economically profitable model yet for a social cause. She explained how this combination is possible and how they at Avatar has mastered it to make sure very many women got benefited through their service
    2. She explained how she along with her Co-Founder Mr. Uma Shankar found it very difficult to even convince corporates on the model of her business. From there to now she feels that she was able to make a huge difference, even though many are working in this effort alongside her too.
    3. For any entrepreneurial success – starting young, specifically for college students she said that the best is to have viable economic model for any business idea that is being generated.
    4. While talking about struggles that any women entrepreneur has, she rightfully pointed out that the worklife balance plays a major role, much much more than what the word even means for any men in the entrepreneurial journey.
    5. When it comes to women, Family and their support also plays a vital role in longevity of the enterprise and flexibility of house members to do some work at home will increase the possibility of success too.
    6. According to her there is nothing seperation of office and home.  It cannot be mutually exclusive, it should be supplementary where office should move to Home or Home should move to office in varied proportion without crossing that imaginary limit making sure that both are managed properly.
  4. Mr. Karthikeyan (twenty19.com)
    1. If its there in you, it will come out for sure – thats his oneliner for Entrepreneurship
    2. Coming from CBE he said being in business is something which he was determined from first.
    3. His father is huge inspiration, and he is second generation entrepreneur.  That give much needed grooming about business and its needed mentality from childhood
    4. He narrated his story when being a regular Marathoner one day when he and his friend were running in the morning, they saw a government school and the discussion went to the point where they were wondering how those kids will have chance to put their hand to train on IT and computer systems.  Thus they formed the Trust “Deepam” and started training kids in Government Schools.
    5. His venture twenty19 took the market of unstructured internship in India and took it to a level where more than a million students are connected to the corporates for internship through twenty19.com
    6. His version of Entrepreneurship is that “Failures are a daily event” it comes and goes on, we should just move on and keep our head high to look above to see what purpose we started and doing the entrepreneurial journey.
  5. MS Shobha Warrier – Moderator for this Open Hall and also Author of Dream Chasers
    1. Most of the entrepreneurs whom she met and wrote the story had a common trend of dreaming big, dreaming with clarity and making sure there is adequate need and opportunity for the same.
    2. During the course of Discussion she brought the important work life balance and also if there needs to be time off for Entrepreneurs.


It was a real dream chaser discussion, where we could see every minute of the 1.30 hours we could gather and garner such a huge experience bits.


Thanks to MMA and Mr. Vijay for organising the event.  Its a great way to meet people / network / but also hear to such accomplished Dream Chasers.



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Sathish Sampath