18 Oct Our First Quest As An Enterprise Fellow
Beginning of a Journey
On the 24th of September, we walked in to the Enterprise Space fully aware of the 9 month long commitment we had given to be a part of The Enterprise Fellowship. When I entered the space, there were 18 aspiring entrepreneurs equally scared of the commitment they had given to the fellowship programme. Soon we received an instruction manual on the do’s and dont’s of the Enterprise Space and our very own Enterprise Partner visiting cards! For the first time in my life, I had my own office space, my own visiting cards and an office that I could access anytime using my fingerprints! What was also exciting was that for the first time i was part of an educational programme that had fellows from law, business, engineering, design, commerce, liberal arts and even working professionals!
On the first day the enterprise team wanted us to experience the real value of #karo. This meant taking up a task that we were procrastinating since a lot of time. Someone took up writing a blog, drawing a Mandala, cleaning the space and exercising then and there itself. I took up the idea of exercising and did it by going for a short run for half an hour.
We had an activity to make a quilt and a puzzle which made us practice two mindsets – entrepreneurial thinking and managerial thinking. In managerial thinking or puzzle thinking, as we call it, we made a puzzle, where the end goal was clear and we had the resources to complete the puzzle. On the other hand, we practised entrepreneurial thinking or quilt thinking by starting to make a quilt with the resources we had and we modified the quilt as our resources increased.
In the next session on Thursday, the Enterprise Team announced that we will have a catapult fest with fully operational life sized catapults and catapult toys to sell in the next 10 days. This sounded a little impossible. We never thought we could actually do it. However, we set short deadlines for ourselves and targeted to present the prototype within 3 days! We quickly divided ourselves in teams and started planning our respective prototypes. Two teams were making toy prototypes and two teams were making the big catapult prototypes.
Initially we doubted ourselves and thought we wouldn’t be able to get our prototype ready, but when we started getting into action, things slowly fell into place and we got the prototypes ready! It was a proud moment when all four teams got the prototypes ready, made from scratch and with very less knowledge of how a catapult works.
Then came the BIG challenge which was to make the life-sized catapults, manufacture the toys and start selling the toys for the fest.
On Monday we had a group discussion of how to go about the fest. The enterprise team introduced the work breakdown structure technique and in half an hour we had planned responsibilities, deadlines and who is going to do what using WBS.
As far as my team (toy team) was concerned 95% of the toy was ready but the 5% that was left was delaying the whole toy project, which is why we could not go ahead with the manufacturing. We took 2 days to fix the 5% and fine tune the product to get it ready to sell. It was very frustrating because we couldn’t see what was going wrong. But after completion when we gave an order for 40 pieces, we could not have been happier.
The Giant Catapults
After giving the toys for manufacturing our team did not have much to do until our toys came so we started helping the big catapult team. Working with the big catapults was equally exciting but it had their own problems which were similar. Their structure was ready in a day but their launcher took 3 days. But when the structure was ready, 1 kg coconuts went as far as 100m. We could also alter the distance by changing angles of the launcher.
Sometimes we get the most joy from doing those things that we did not want to do.
On Thursday we had our first lighthouse was with Barclays bank CFO Mr Bobby Abraham. We got a chance to ask him questions about his life, work and other activities that he is involved in. It was surprising to see how grounded he was even after having so many accomplishments at such a young age. Some of our takeaways from this meet were – the person sitting in front of us has equal amount of fears as us, be a problem solver, be in touch with your spiritual side and many more. After the meet we were all energized and ready to get back to the fest.
The Final Day
In no time the final day of the fest was here and it was a long day, we were all and set with our responsibilities of the fest. The music, the catapults, the food stalls and toy stall, all fell into place. The fest started with the big catapults breaking a big cardboard box wall with coconuts. Later we had games that our guests would play with the big catapults.
We had our small toys for the children in the fest. They could play or buy the toys we made. Somewhere in the fest we realized that we had sold only 2 toys and more than half the fest was over,this was very demotivating. So our team changed our focus and we started to focus on selling of the toys and all of them were sold at the end of the day. Not only did we sell all but the proud moment was when we got an order for more 50 toys.
Finally the fest was over and we were tired and happy about what we had done. It was not easy to set up the fest in 6 days but we did it somehow.