In September, I was invited to speak at the TEDx event organised by the nice people at Symbiosis Institute Of Telecom Management (SITM), Pune. I love TEDx events for one simple reason – they’re great for networking. The connections you can make at these events are level-10. The speaker line-up at the TEDxSITM was top-notch and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to know and connect with these speakers – Dr. Pavan Agrawal (Mumbai Dabawala), Preeti Shenoy (Author), Ranjan Malik (Innovation Facilitator), Vipul Goyal (stand-up comedian), Sanjay Kaul (CEO, Gujarat Tourism), Prof. Kautubh Dhargalkar (entrepreneur-turned-academician), Sanjay & Shravan Kumaran (Youngest founders of app development company), Uddhab Bharali (Serial Innovator).
Where else in the world would you see all these people coming together? I must congratulate MJ Manoj (organiser) for putting up an impressive list of speakers and making sure everything was in place. After the initial hiccups with my plane tickets, the team left me with nothing to complain. Not that I have high demands, but most of the organisers mess up just exactly where they shouldn’t. TEDxSITM team was more professional than most of the organisers I’ve encountered.
The SITM campus is uber-cool. I wish my college had such a beautiful campus. I’d never graduate! Of course, when you charge students 4 lakh+ per year; you ought to offer all the facilities. I was told that the movie ‘Bodyguard’ was shot in the campus. The auditorium is pretty with an exception of below freezing point temperatures. I won’t complain though. Average Indian loves to set the A/C temperatures to the level that makes people like me uncomfortable. I’m used to it now. The electronic empire in the front of the stage was well set and that was a big relief. I had my slides developed in OSX ‘Keynote’ software (it’s 10x better than power point, trust me) and the folks in charge of the empire had even arranged for a MacBook with a connector – thank you so much, folks! I had a stand-by PPT in case Macs didn’t work; but setting up my slide-deck was a cakewalk.
My talk was second-last and it was a long wait before I grabbed the stage. Choosing topics for TED talks is an exercise. I tend to choose the topics depending on the audience. For TEDxSITM, I decided to talk on the topic “Why Motivational Talks Don’t Work?”. For some unknown reasons, the organisers haven’t released the videos of the talks yet. I’m soon going to make a ‘DOs’ and ‘DONTs’ for the TEDx event organisers which should make the things easier.
My celebrity moment ticked when I spotted the following in SITM campus. Sorry for the poor photo quality, just compressed the photo too much.