After studying in the US for four years, Abhinandan De was interested in a global entrepreneurship program across three continents, giving him the opportunity to travel and build a global network. Having graduated from the Global Entrepreneurship Program in 2013, Abhinandan returned to India to develop his family business running educational institutions, with the program giving him a greater awareness of what it takes to run a successful business. He is now applying his entrepreneurial knowledge to the early stages of a new startup bringing dynamic carpooling to Asia.
We caught up with Abhinandan to see how his entrepreneurial ventures have developed over the past few years, how the Global Entrepreneurship Program prepared him for life after the program and what he would tell those interested in joining the program…
Abhinandan, why did you choose the Global Entrepreneurship Program?
One of the prime reasons that I was drawn to the Global Entrepreneurship Program in the first place was because of its focus spending 12 months surrounded by like-minded people from all across the globe. I have always wanted to start my own venture and the entrepreneurship program provided the perfect platform to hone those skills and to learn the workings of the investor/VC world. The Global Entrepreneurship Program also provided a one-of-a-kind global networking opportunity with renowned entrepreneurs around the world through the World Entrepreneurship Forum, as well as the opportunity to interact with some very experienced guest faculties.
What have you been working on since graduating from the program in 2013?
The startup I am currently working on is aimed at bringing dynamic carpooling to Asia and other parts of the world. We are currently at the Phase 1 stage of product development and hope to launch within the next 3 months. I have also been developing my family business which has been running educational institutions across India for the last 25 years.
How did the Global Entrepreneurship Program develop you as an entrepreneur?
I can clearly say that the experience I gained over the 12 months made me a better person and helped me interact with people from all parts of the world and all walks of life. The presentations and real-life pitches have come in very handy as I developed my own startup in the transport tech industry (which started as my final thesis) and in my pitches to investors. The guidance I received from the faculty at EMLYON even after graduation has been immense and truly resonates with the EMLYON Forever spirit.
The friends I made, the business plans developed and the entrepreneurial knowledge gained have all come in handy whether I have been involved in the family business in the education sector in India or as a global entrepreneur developing my start-up. It’s good to know I have resources to fall back on and to know that I am well equipped to dream big and make it happen.
What advice would you give to students interested in joining the Global Entrepreneurship Program?
The Global Entrepreneurship Program is an entirely entrepreneurship focused program aimed at those who want to start their own ventures or want to join the exciting world of start-ups and intrapreneurship i.e. create new innovations within existing organisations. Within this entrepreneurship graduate program, you learn how to start a business, you realise that you’re not the only one starting a business and you also realise what kind of ideas you need to grow a business, how to make a business plan and how to present that to possible investors.
I can assure you that this program spread over multiple continents is going to be one heck of an exciting and eye-opening journey, whose benefits far outreach its academic potential.
We wish Abhinandan luck with his future entrepreneurial ventures!
Watch Abhinandan’s talk about his experience of the Global Entrepreneurship Program!