"Entrepreneur is a bit of a gambler"
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Observing that the Indian students are grappled with the fear of failure that prevents them to start their entrepreneurial journey, ad guru Prahlad Kakar has finally launched his own school of branding and entrepreneurship after dreaming it for 20 years.
Why does Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship (PKSBE) get associated with Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods International?
Subhash Ghai is a true entrepreneur and risk taker and the Whistling Woods is truly of international standard. Ghai believes that the curriculum and academia is cutting-edge with the intensity to make sure that students understand the rules of engagement backwards so that they can rewrite them.
PKSBE’s tagline reads ‘Beyond Fear.’ What is the philosophy behind it?
The institute is one of its kind that will inculcate an extraordinary concept of education that will go by the tagline of ‘Beyond Fear’. The school is aimed at all those young dreamers who wanted to follow their dreams but are scared to even articulate them. Most potential entrepreneurs are risk averse because they are paralyzed by not only the fear of failing but also by the fear of fear itself.
At last you came up with a school after waiting for 20 years. Your comment?
For the past 20 years, I was happy not to do it, but my wife was keen to start the entrepreneurial school. Originally, the idea is supported by three decades of experimental experience of running highly successful organization called Genesis, which has provided some of the best professionals in the country.
And I believe one day everybody likes to take his learnings and teachings to the bigger platform.
How are you planning to overcome the fear among students to create successful entrepreneurs?
To overcome their greatest fears and perform better, we provide students the opportunities and experiences through the path-breaking and rigorous activities like scuba diving, sky diving, mountaineering, global community programs, horse riding, golf and boot
Being the largest curriculum in the world, it mainly focuses on two courses: Ad Film-Making and Branding, and Fellowship in Business and Entrepreneurship. The ad filmmaking program focuses on creating free thinkers - individuals who are ferociously independent in their thinking, loyalty and commitment. In the Fellowship in Business and Entrepreneurship program, students will go through hugely demanding academic curriculum honing their capacities for entrepreneurship, decision making, crisis management, crisis prevention and believing implicitly in Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
What is your criterion of selecting students?
I want to have students with hunger, dream and vision to be entrepreneurs. The students should be able to take risks. Entrepreneur is a bit of a gambler.
What is your vision with the institute?
My vision is to take the Genesis experience right to the doors of academia, catalyze concepts into applied science, convert students into professionals, breach the barrier of fear that inhibits creativity and growth, leap across the chasm of gentle learning to aggressive achievement and produce winners and
Where do you want to see your institute in near future?
In the five years down the line, we might start another branch in Australia, but we will not go online.
Are you providing scholarship for the needy?
We have both scholarship and sponsorship. We are getting lots of people from different industries to sponsor students who are deserving but cannot afford it.
How many investors and mentors do you have on board?
Right now, we have some investors on board they will be able to invest around Rs 25-30 lakh in each student. Also we have around 30 -40 mentors on board that include prominent names like Subhash Ghai, Diwan Arun Nanda, Piyush Pandey, Capt. Gopinath and Lina Ashar. As we grow, we will bring in more investors.
What is your view of global education of entrepreneurship?
The cultural and economic environment of the country determine what kind of entrepreneurship that you are going to develop. One size doesn’t fit all and that is the best part of entrepreneurship. Globalization in my opinion failed because it’s a lowest dumbest denominator, so if you want a quality product, you cannot have the lowest denominator.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (April 2016 Issue).