Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a venture requires a whole new skill set, training and ecosystem which the present education system and startup ecosystem in India lacks. Starting up also requires a lot of consultancy in legal, financial, market analytics, go-to-market strategies, business planning, investment & funding, valuations, branding, mediations for mergers, collaborations and exit. Foreseeing this predicament which leaves a huge space and demand for consultancy in niche startup management, Zen SkillProc Pvt. Ltd., an organization co-founded by Ashok Atluri, (CMD of Zen Technologies Ltd) & Dr. Nandita Sethi in 2011 started to train people in skills that were required for manufacturing industries. “We felt a serious gap in the skill availability and the need for training,” says Ashok.
TEZ fully caters to developing entrepreneurs and guiding startups through specialized consulting, funding assistance, hand-holding, mentoring, training and incubation
The skills being incorporated in the organization were - IT, Mechanical, Simulation and Entrepreneurship. The ‘entrepreneurship’ skill-development & consulting wing was later made into a separate unit under the brand name of ‘The Entrepreneur Zone’ (TEZ) in April 2014, which is headed by Dr. Nandita Sethi (Managing Director) and co-founded by Anubhav Tiwari (COO). Today, this unit only and fully caters to developing entrepreneurs and guiding startups through specialized consulting, funding assistance, hand-holding, mentoring, training and incubation.
Breaking the Stereotype
“Atop the private organizations, people preferred ITIs & Polytechnics to earn the skills that the industry entailed. But the fact was that even after being trained in these vocational training centres, they were very inadequate in their skills,” elucidates Dr. Nandita. Even though it was difficult to break the stereotype, the company penetrated in and diversified itself into a hardcore entrepreneurship training/incubation provider and equipped the entrepreneurship-savvy candidates with ‘practical’ skills to self-employ themselves first and maybe start a venture next.
The company played the incubator role for, but not limited to, Knots & Boots, Nitty-Gritty Software Solutions, G4buy.com, IKVOX, Hearitage Weaves and MahiRuham, to name a few.
TEZ offers incubation/acceleration services for startups, and consultancy in various individual aspects such as company registration, patent filing, name/logo trade marking, website creation, technology integration, market strategy, business plans, branding, digital marketing, fund facilitation and much more. TEZ strongly believes in “The way is in Training (Miyamoto Musashi) ” Training is processed in six modules covering important subjects ranging from making breakthrough products, patenting & IPRs, designing the organization, go-to-market strategies, startup finances, fund sourcing, innovation integration, leadership, networking and business plans.
Been recognized as one of the five help centres for training in entrepreneurship development in Hyderabad, Telangana, the company encourages its employees to become members of organizations which encourage entrepreneurship such as TiE, BYST, COWE, FICCI, NASSCOM and CII, and network with them. The workforce is also sent to attend many startup events, B-Plan pitches, and hackathons to keep abreast with the startup trends around the world. Reading is also thoroughly encouraged in the organization to keep the consultants ready for the cutting-edge consulting services.
The Bright Future
In the near future, TEZ wants to become the providers of Entrepreneurship Training & Startup Management, right from school to University level. Training would cover practical all aspects of starting up and would be complemented by all associated consultancy/support services, where startups can seek help for any individual service. “If the mindset can be molded towards entrepreneurship at that stage, then it's half the battle won,” concludes Dr. Nandita. TEZ is setting the plot to become a one-stop-shop for startups, where they can walk in with an idea, incubate with TEZ, and walk out as a venture.