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I am going to keep this post short and crisp. I returned from my trip today and I am extremely tired. but as I have committed to one post a day, I am trying to pass a nice website that one of my colleagues, Roshan, shared with me today. Personally, I enjoyed going through the page and I hope you would like it too 🙂 Some of the posters are really very sarcastic and one should be careful of using them.

http://www.pdffun.com/

Enjoy 🙂

Disclaimer: The link provided above is just for fun and I have no responsibility of developing or in relationship with anyone reproducing the same in the office premises.

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How many times have you ever participated in 100m or 50m races during your school days? How many times in your life you have dreamed of getting something – may be an admit into a top-notch program, cracking IIT-JEE, CAT, getting a promotion at office or getting the dream girl of your life? I am sure you would have definitely gone through all or some or at-least one of the above circumstances.

Sometimes, we go into our own cocoon and sit inside like a safe baby just like one of my friends, Roshan, always mentions himself. Some others, in fact a lot including me to some extent, say that why to risk so much. But isn’t life is about taking risks. Let me bring a small analogy.

Compare our upbringing to the upbringing of an animal child, such as a bird. We are always around our parents. As we grow, we always tend to come back. When we fall, they comfort us. When we make mistakes, they us. On the other hand, the first thing a bird learns is how to fly. Once she knows how to fly, she is of her own – to explore the world, to fly high into the sky, touch the sun.

Now, one might we also do that but wait, we used to do so as kids, as small children. We used to try to imagine a lion of may be blue color. I remember that as a small kid, I once asked my mother why the sky is blue or the grass is green. She could not answer. The question haunted me so much that I explored a lot of books in my school library till I found my answer. But to find one answer, I had to go through atleast of 30 books in the General Knowledge section. sometimes when I lie down and think about it, I think am I the same Deepak that I used to be.

The bottom line is we try to hide behind lame excuses and go back to sit behind in the pouch of our own Kangaroo. I vow to break my habit this year and I urge all of you to do the same. Fight for your DREAMS and don’t give them up so easily. If you ever wanted to play cricket, go get up, pad up and hot the ground. If you ever dreamed to be a writer, its time to get your pen and finish your book. If you ever wanted to be an actor, go get up and who knows you might be the next Shahrukh Khan. I am going to fight for my dreams and try all means to make it happen. Come and join me and chase your dream with utmost sincerity.

To be honest, I always wanted to be an Entrepreneur. This year I have taken a major step towards it and making a small move this month. With GOD’s grace and if certain other things work out since I am expecting few things to come through soon, I am going to chase my dream with sincerity. No more safe zones, no more lame excuses, MBA or not MBA does not matter – I just want o to live my dreams.

Let me caution you about the people around you. They will try all means to dampen your spirit. But don’t let them win. Its time for us and our dreams to win. As the source article from which this post is inspired, such people are monkeys who have give up their hope of living their dreams. So, don’t get bugged down ans tighten your seat belts. What are waiting?/ Are you ready to GET, SET and GO….. Trigger has been fired

Inspired from article from my favorite, John Maxwell – http://johnmaxwellonleadership.com/2011/01/03/fight-for-your-dreams-in-2011/

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Last Sunday, I visited to participate in “The Art of Elevator Pitch” Panel Discussion at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The discussion was very informative. Honestly speaking, I did not know what is an Elevator Pitch before I decided to participate in the contest when I received an email from my Toastmasters International District. But I knew I am going to participate. So, I immediately replied to the email and got the preliminary round of questions. I am attaching the file with the answers here. Please do feel free to comment whatever you feel like.

DeepakPanigrahy_Oracle

What did I get out of the Contest?

  1. Networking: I feel very good to network with some of the amazing people in the industry. Having entrepreneurial pursuits myself, it was just an amazing platform for meeting future business leaders (students of IIM Bangalore), Venture Capitalists such as Griffin David, Balaji and Ian Faria, Private Equity Players such as Samir Inamdar and many more. And of course, not to forget very enthusiastic Toastmasters. In fact, I got an invitation to speak over the IIM Alumni Toastmaster chapter and I plan to do so for some of my Advanced Communicator Bronze level, Speeches by Management Category.
  2. Special: The session became special in personal term also. After a very very long time, I had a crush on someone there. Let me tell you that I am not the one who can fall for anyone any time. Someone needs to be very special to match my frequency and vibrancy and I felt the same with someone there. It is a different case that I did not do anything at that moment of time, though I wanted to with all good intentions. Somehow I decided to hold back for some more time and if future will permit, I will do the necessary. No doubt, the girl is special and I could feel that. I call the girl as Miss AC. So, Miss AC, hope to meet you soon but in a different fashion
  3. Elevator Pitch: Well, this is the instant take away from the session. And I am going to discuss more in details on this with my version of the elevator pitch with the final case study.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Elevator Pitch is a short speech of about 2 minutes, generally given by entrepreneurs to the VCs or angel investors. It derives its name from the fact that it takes exactly 2 minutes to go from the lobby to the top level where the VC has his office. And one gets just two minutes to leave the VC with the curiosity and quest. In my view, an elevator pitch is successful if you can get the business card out of the VC.

What kind Elevator Pitches can be?

I feel elevator pitches can be anything. It can be about yourself, a product, a service, a group, an organization and often related to marketing campaigns, branding and public relation activities. Why is it important? Generally, we don’t know with whom am I going to sit next to in my flight. We don’t get any clue with whom I am going to go in an elevator. So, suppose I bump into a potential VC all of a sudden and what I get is just 2 minutes to generate interest into me and my idea. In my view, it generates a lot of interest in the field of consultancy also. What do you feel how much time a CEO has when you are on a consulting project with the that CEO’s firm? Talk to the management consultants and I can bet most of them will say that they get the time to pitch their ideas and solutions exactly equal to the time one takes to walk from CEO office to his car. And trust me when I say that its not only your firm’s reputation that is at stake but also your own reputation and credibility too.

What constitutes a good elevator pitch?

  1. First and foremost, you must understand that elevator pitch is not your business plan rather it is the door to getting the funding for your plan by getting the business card of the VC or scheduling a meeting with the VC.
  2. Try to connect emotionally both at the personal and professional level. What I mean here is you should be able to relate your idea with the person and at the same time, take his curiosity level to such an extent that he makes the next attempt to reach to you. One very good example that I would like to cite here is taken from the real life experience of Griffin David, discussed during the panel discussion at IIMB.  Griffin David is a Venture Capitalist and an Entrepreneur in himself, who has traveled a journey from SemiConductor Chips to Potato Chips today. He is currently the CEO of Bread Basket Pvt Ltd, having founded it. He cited an incident where his team was pitching a business plan in front of potential investors. They somehow manage to connect with them prior to the meeting and went for an excursion to SONA in Europe. SONA seem to be known for a beach but a special beach-nude beach. They all went, enjoyed, in fact went to give a television interview also with only their heads showing up. But the effect of the trip was seen when his team was given 45 minutes for the presentation while others were given only 15 minutes. Did you see the difference what an emotional connect can make? In yet another incident mentioned by one of the panelist (sorry, I don’t remember who was it exactly), he mentioned that once in an attempt to raise money from a bank, he was facing lot of issues. One of his friend’s wife discussed the problem with the wife of the banker. The banker’s wife went and told his husband that the person in question is like a son to her and you must approve his loan. Ultimately, the loan passed. The panelist came to know about the incident much later in one of the parties. Can you guys relate now? Can you guys make what I am thinking? EQ is one of the biggest weapon and i fused properly, can do wonders in your not only personal but professional life also. We are all human beings and an angel investor or a VC is no exception. Our daily lives are full of emotions and almost 90% of the time, our decisions are based on our emotions and feelings.
  3. Understand your audience. This hold true in case of any speech. Each person is different. Understanding your audience will help in pitching your idea in the most effective way. How can you do that? Thats where your networking connections are going to work for you.
  4. As like an speech, according to me, an elevator pitch also has a certain format and guidelines: Be crisp and ensure brevity because at the day, you only have 2 minutes. Your introduction is your selling point. If you cannot connect with your opening statement, forget it. It is same as the FIRST impression is the LAST impression. So be very careful how are you going to begin. Be prepared with your best 3 points to support your statement. A lot of my management consultant friends tell me that the the RULE OF THREE is an accepted norm of making your points in a business setup. So, these three points should be your best selling points and should generate curiosity in the minds of the VC. At the end, end it with a strong conclusion. I feel the conclusion should not only be persuasive but also leave the VC thinking, thus, prompting him to give away his business card and seeking to get an appointment for a detailed discussion.
  5. Of course, do look out for your body language and voice modularity. Nothing can substitute an appropriate body language with good command over the voice modulation. This is where Toastmasters is going to help you the most.

What are the other potential areas where elevator pitches can be useful?

Well, when I sat and thought about it, I never knew I could relate it to so many circumstances. Some of the areas where I feel an elevator pitch can help you are DATING, JOB INTERVIEW, PROMOTIONS in jobs and PROPOSALS (e.g an author pitching his book to the publishers or a story writer pitching his story for a movie to a producer). The most interesting among the list is DATING. Imagine you are standing alongside a beautiful girl (say Katrina Kaif) and you have got one shot at her before she disappears in the world of invisible strangers again. Your 2 min shot can give you the mobile number or a date. On the other side, a bad pitch may land you in prison, labeling you as a stalker. In other words, 2 minutes can decide whether she is going to be your life partner. Similarly, each one of knows, the way one walks and introduces himself is the 75% success of the interview. Imagine yourself in an elevator with CEO of your company and you know your skills are not well utilized by your current boss and you get only 2 minutes to showcase what you got and you can do for the organization if given the right opportunity. Finally, here is my version of the elevator pitch that I wrote for the case-study presented at IIMB for the finalists:

Case Study: ElevatorPitch_Stage2_CaseStudy

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My Elevator Pitch: Would you like your girlfriend/wife to look like Katrina Kaif or Toon Toon? If given a free hand, wouldn’t you wake up early in the morning and go to gym with your wife to keep her in shape more than yourself? One will walk with broad chest and full prestige if your girlfriend/wife is good looking and smart. So, wouldn’t you like her to look good in her office too? I am sure you will.

I am Rita and I propose to bring an exclusive line of garments for women for office wear. From college to an office, from home to a boardroom, I present to you an elegant and exclusive design of apparel for Indian women. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that women spend more than men on looking good and beautiful. The most prominent proofs are endless research on spending habits of men and women and the time a woman spends on dressing up. And of course, not to ignore your own wallet and the savings you barely manage to make at the end of the month. No more sarees or executive shirts and skirts from Allen Solley or so, Rita & Co. will bring a premium line of designs exclusively designed to the taste of Indian women. Recent feedbacks from the students of IIM Bangalore, who have already taken the designs to their summer internships have felt more comfortable and confident filled with positive energy after wearing my designs.

So, what are you waiting for? Tighten your seat belts as we, together, can bring a sea wave of changes with Rita brands flaunting in offices and board rooms and change the image of a working Indian women to a more confident, elegant and stylist business women.

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Hey, please feel free to comment your views on the elevator pitch. I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Well, I have been traveling a lot last couple of weeks. Started from Bangalore on 26th April and Returned back yesterday.
There were a lot of train journeys, in fact all of them were quite tiring.
I started off from Bangalore by Rajdhani Express to Delhi for a friend’s marriage, which was on 28th April. I caught the train with just few minutes in hand. Due to my crunch timing, I got asthma attack and unfortunately with no medicine, I had to bear it throughout my train journey. It took around 34 hrs to reach Delhi by Bangalore by the fastest running long distance train of the country.
Even though I had my side upper berth confirmed, I had to exchange it for an old man to take up a still higher berth in the AC 3-tier coach.
I reached Delhi on 28th morning and then, straightaway head to Modi Nagar, some 30 odd kms from Meerut. The arrangements were good but I needed good sleep so that I could stay awake in the night. After some initial ceremonies, I straight away came to the hotel and collapsed. After a sound sleep of 5 hrs, I started for the marriage. The hotel arrangement was really good and very relaxing and of course, I needed it the most especially after the tiring train journey.
Garg, as I call him, and often known as Mr. Bean of our class was not ready at all. I have seen so many marriages where the groom used to be the limelight much before the marriage but it was really calm and quiet here. He took just about 20 min to get ready and I helped him out there and we were ready for the pooja before proceeding ahead.
After the finish of the rituals, we started to the temple on the horse. Each time cracker burnt, the horse gets disturbed and so does our Bean. To some extent, I felt he got scared that he asked me not to light the crackers.
Well, after seeking the blessings, we started off to the marriage place, which was about 1 km from the home. After so many dances along the road by the friends and relatives, we reached the marriage venue at about 9pm in the night. Everything was good here except the band walking with us. He was pathetic with the choice of the songs. Additionally, I did not like the idea of flaunting money every now and then while dancing (this is a personal opinion). Every time money was flaunted, some street children used to compete with the badn people to take that 10 rupee note.
Well, the marriage venue was a farm house and Sonam’s family was too huge but at the same time kind heart ed and great to hold the marriage so lavishly. The food items were in plenty and everything from pizzas to rice, dal, juices, fruits, everything was available in plenty. I stayed close to Garg as he was almost alone after we reached there. It was almost around 12 am when the JayMala happened and I can tell you, it was one of the best I have seen till date. Revolving Platform added to the charm.
After a flurry of photographs, the dinner happened around 1.30 am.
The marriage ceremony started at around 2.30 am but by then, almost everyone had left the arena except close people like us and families. Now, though I like dancing, I could not make much out of the occassion basically I was down before I reached there, as mentioned earlier but I must say that I missed some golden chance to flirt with the sisters of Sonam (Sorry Bhabhi, did not mean to be -ve) but honestly, all of them were equally beautiful and smart. But I promise I will make the most next time on my visit.
The ceremony ended at around 6am and we came back to home. After grahapravesh, I came back to the hotel and took off in an hour. I planned to start with Garg’s Mausi as they were also about to come to New Delhi to catch the train, though we had a time difference of around 4 hrs. Now, that was the toughest period for me. I will keep this marriage close to my hear due to two reasons: Uncle’s love and kindness to make me a part of their family each time cousins are called upon for every ritual and also Aunty’s lunch and gift during return time.
My toughest time was in the station as not having slept and passing around 5 hrs, was a very tough task. I really struggled for those 5 hrs. I skipped the lunch so that it does not worsen my situation. The moment I boarded the train. ate my lunch and just slept. In fact, the TTE woke me up to verify the ticket and he immediately saw me off seeing my RED eyes probably.
Anyways, this journey from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar, I just slept and slept like a hell. The next day I reached home.
Now, here is the second part of the story. I got my tooth operated on Saturday and had to live on liquid for 2 days then.
The pain is still there but it was an important one. So, now I am without my wisdom tooth on both sides but I hope my wisdom does not leave me at least for couple of years so that I can get the thing I want badly in my life.
Well, I am back now to Bangalore and joined office. Have some work to do and catch on my pending tasks soon so as not to lose the momentum. All in all, I end this post wishing the newly wed couple Abhinav and Sonam a very great happy married life. And Sonam, feel free to touch base me for anything about Abhinav. I know almost everything.

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