A mentor is someone who looks at the business and gives objective inputs: Prof Ramesh Loganathan, IIIT-H

Good Mentor doesn’t give answers but challenges Mentee: Prof Ramesh Loganathan, Guest Speaker

93 per cent of startups admit mentorship is instrumental to success: Ms Usharani Manne, Chairperson, FLO Hyderabad.

FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) unveiled its ambitious initiative FMC-FLO Mentorship Cell here in the city in a Webinar on Monday evening.

The Mentorship Cell of FLO provides support to existing and new entrepreneurs, to establish a new business or enhance existing ones shared Ms Bindu Sastry, National Head, FMC speaking immediately after launching the initiative. It is a PAN India initiative being introduced across 17 Chapters all over India.

The vision of FMC is to be a self-reliant entrepreneurial ecosystem for FLO members by FLO members, shared Ms Bindu Sastry.

Addressing the online gathering, Guest Speaker Prof. Ramesh Loganathan, the veteran in this space shared his wisdom. He covered areas such as women representation in startup space, an overview of mentorship, what it takes to be a good mentor, mentor overload etc.

A good mentor shouldn’t give answers. Instead, he or she must challenge mentee. The Mentor shouldn’t share opinions, Mr Ramesh Loganathan, Professor Co-Innovation/ Outreach at IIIT-Hyderabad said.

Make sure the need of the community or society is understood well and served. Your solution should be a differentiator. The customers must be able to derive value from your solution, said Mr Ramesh, former HYSEA President

There is more to pivoting than many entrepreneurs understand. Pivoting in the startup space means shifting to a new strategy as marketing conditions, corporate environment, a pandemic like the current one may force. Sometimes it entails to drastically change the whole company and its plans, strategies. The mentor can bring in his experience in such scenario and help the best way to pivot, he shared.

Speaking about Mentor Overload, the Professor who heads Innovation at IIIT-H said in your entrepreneurial journey some of you may encounter Mentor Overload. In such a scenario, stay cool even if you get conflicting views and make an informed choice.

Concluding his talk, he observed that a mentor is someone who looks at the business and gives objective inputs

He also answered many questions facilitated by Ms Pooja Mitra asked by the participants and answered them and clarified their doubts.

According to Ms Bindu, FMC is a 1-on-1 Mentorship program, lasts for 3 to 6 months. It will facilitate Workshops in Entrepreneurial Areas. It is a voluntary based initiative. It will have two levels both at Chapter and National level. Mentors who volunteer will be trained formally and Certification will be provided. We will have useful collaborations and programs with premier organizations both national and international level.

The Mentorship cell will be a facilitation platform, connecting women entrepreneurs to experts who can guide, mentor and assist them in taking their business to the next level, added Ms Bindu.

Adding further she stated that this initiative is only for FLO women-women with an idea wanting to convert it into a business, existing women entrepreneurs wanting to grow their business, women who have been thrown into business due to unforeseen circumstances.

Welcoming the virtual gathering, Ms Usharani Manne Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad Chapter said we didn’t have such a luxury of Mentorship when I first ventured into my business 25 years ago. Today it is different. Mentorship is an organized service available on tap for entrepreneurs at every stage of their lifecycle.

And I have no hesitation in accepting, Ms. Usharani added that any degree of success one achieved during those times was through trial and error and sheer persistence.

Research and surveys prove that while growth matters, over 70% of startups fail because of premature scaling. Mentored startups grow 3.5 times faster and raise 7 times more money. 80 per cent of successful CEOs said that they had relied on some form of mentorship. In another research by Sage, 93 per cent of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success, the FLO Hyderabad Chairperson shared.

The FMC Hyderabad Chapter is comprised of three members -Ms. Nanda Rao, Uma Chigurupati and Pooja Mitra. Sharing the plan to take the initiative forward Ms. Nanda Rao said it will cover areas such as Marketing, Branding, Sales, Legal, Cyber Security, Finance, Digitization etc others. Several Biz Talks related to the subjects will be organized such as this one every month first Wednesday, she shared.


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