IIT Madras Management Faculty Author Book to help Grassroots Entrepreneurs Succeed

Releasing the book, Actor-Politician Kamal Hassan said ‘Thoduvanam Thedi’ will inspire first generation entrepreneurs raring to reach greater heights to realize their dreams

CHENNAI,  XX  December  2020 :
Indian Institute of Technology Madras faculty have authored a book to help grassroots entrepreneursenhance the success and sustainability of their businesses. Faculty Prof. A. Thillai Rajan, Prof. G. Arun Kumar, and Prof. Saji Mathew from Department of Management Studies undertook a pioneering program in 2016 to train micro and grassroots entrepreneursas a part of socially-relevant projects of the institute. It was implemented in partnership with ‘Hand in Hand India,’ a non-profit organization, with around 400 entrepreneurs in and around Kanchipuram district near Chennai having benefited.

Releasing the book at a function held on 1st December 2020, Actor Politician Mr. Kamal Hassan said, “‘Thoduvanam Thedi,’ with its easy to understand narrative, will inspire the first-generation entrepreneurs raring to reach greater heights to realize their dreams. This publication will also help business students and common man to understand the nuances of running a business.”
The objective of the IIT Madras initiative was to pioneer a social concept to enhance the creditworthiness of micro, marginal women entrepreneurs through training and development. The program had several unique features such as being conducted in Tamil, with experienced faculty members, successful entrepreneurs as mentors, and a credit facilitation processas well. In order to reach out to more grassroots entrepreneurs across Tamil  Nadu, Prof. Thillai Rajan, Prof. G. Arun Kumar, and Prof. Saji Mathew have come out with an edited with the participants in the program. The book is titled as ‘Thoduvanam Thedi’ (Tamil for ‘In Search of the Horizon’). The book is being published by Vaanavil publications.As a part of this IIT Madras initiative, participants were provided hands-on high impact training on various functions of business and management to enhance the growth and profitability of their businesses run by the entrepreneurs. This was followed by a six-month mentorship program to ensure the implementation of the program learning in their own business  practices.  This  was  followed  by  acredit  facilitation  process  for  motivated entrepreneurs from various financial institutions and banks.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. A. Thillai  Rajan  said, “The  objective  of  ‘Thoduvanam Thedi’ is to synthesize and consolidate the lectures of the entrepreneurship development program in print form so that it is easily accessible to the large number of entrepreneurs who could not participate in the program because of locational or other constraints. We believe that by publishing the contents in a book form,we will leave behind a legacy for the entrepreneur community.”

Further,  Dr.  Kalpana  Shankar,  Chairperson,  Hand  in  Hand  India,  which  was  closely involved with IIT Madras in implementing the program, said, “I have seen thousands of men and women who want to create history as entrepreneurs. ‘Thoduvanam Thedi’ will be an excellent guide to realize their dreams.  It is laudable that the book presents a path to  success  in  a  way  that  can  be  easily  consumed  by  a  micro  and  small  business entrepreneur.”

Lauding the efforts of the authors for bringing out this much-needed compilation, C. Nagarajan, IAS, Director, Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute (EDII), Government of Tamil Nadu said, “Micro and small business  entrepreneurs play a huge role in the economic growth of the country. “Thoduvanam Thedi” shares several strategies to overcome the challenges faced by medium, small and micro business entrepreneurs to lead their enterprises to success. ”Traditionally, the mention of the term ‘entrepreneur’ is associated with founders of fast-growing innovative and technology companies that have turned household names in due course of time.  However, beyond the limelight, there are nameless, faceless entrepreneurs at the bottom of the pyramid whoplay an important role in delivering the essential products and services that are used in daily lives. Much of the innumerable need-based products and services that we consume-groceries, vegetables, hairdressing, foods and snacks, pharmacy, mobile phone repairs and servicing, dairy products, courier services, bottled water distribution, tailoring, and equipment servicing, among others, are offered by the micro-entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have moved beyond viewing their enterprise as just livelihood support to bigger aspirations of generating jobs and scaling up, to create a bigger impact with their broader business outlook. ‘Thoduvanam Thedi’ makes a unique attempt at concisely presenting in a book format, relevant   business concepts applicable to this segment of the entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs into any form of trade, irrespective of their educational background and size of their enterprise can benefit from the business basics addressed in this book. Apart from  entrepreneurs,  potential entrepreneurs and business students will also find the contents useful for a clearer understanding of the concepts.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Governmentof India as an ‘Institute of National Importance.’The activities of the Institute in various fields of Science and Technology   are   carried   out   in   16   academic   departments   and   several   advanced interdisciplinary research academic centres. The Institute offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading  to  B.Tech.,  M.Sc.,  M.B.A.,  M.Tech.,  M.S.,  and  Ph.D.,  degrees in a variety  of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 580faculty and 9,500students. Students from  18  countriesare  enrolled  here.  IITM  fosters  an  active  entrepreneurial  culture  with  strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell.

IITM  has  been  ranked  No.1  in  the ‘Overall Category' for  the  second  consecutive  year in India Ranking 2020 released by National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. The Institute has also been ranked No.1 in the ‘Engineering Institutions’ category in the same Rankings for five consecutive years –2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. It was also adjudged as the ‘Top innovative Institution’ in the country in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) in  2019 and 2020. ARIIA  Ranking  was launched  by the Innovation Cell  of Ministry of Education.

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