My First India!

My First India!

My first visit to India has become an unforgettable moment. It was my honor to be invited to speak at “E-Summit’19” organized by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Campus. And also, I was given two different topics for my talk.

If it was a business presentation, I’m used to it. However, what I was asked to speak is “narratives” based on my entrepreneur life. Themes given to me were “When to exit” and “Why startup?”. So I was very nervous.

However, when I visited the campus to check the venue of my speech and look around, because of the atmosphere, I felt so relaxing. The campus looks like the one of UC Berkeley.

My first session was about “When to exit”. Internet Research I talked about Macromill, Infoplant, and the locus of the Interscope launched as a co-founder, EXIT (making Interscope a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan), which was said to be the three-pronged Internet Research.

How many students come to listen to my entirely unnamed session in India? Honestly, I was anxious, but about 2/3 people from the venue with a capacity of 250 people participated.

“When to exit” was constructed as “narrative”, but its content was tailored as an objective story through the “filter of me” in the characteristics and business strategies of the three companies.

Another session,  “Why startup?” is a subheading titled “Dare to fail. Stand up stronger.” which I got from Takeda-san who lives in Berlin as English translation title of my book, and my personal I made it a story. Because of that, so many students came to listen to my story than the 1st session.

Fortunately, after my talk was over, the students gathered at the stage one after the other, and the question and “selfies” were attacked …

As I introduced it in my story, I was a boy who had a dream to be a musician, technically a guitarist even though I did not have a piece of talent. So although this was not by a piece of music, if students could feel and grab something from my talk, it is my pleasure cannot be expressed by any words.

I was bashful that some students showed their notes and asked me to sign on the memo they took from my talk.

Also, after my talk, when I was walking in the corridor, I heard the word “Why startup?”. Looking at those students, they were talking about my talk looking at the leaflet.

Even though ages, nationalities, social background are entirely different, if my talk was resonated in their mind, it was more than happy…

*He is the student sent me an email. Vedarth Choksi, Head of Marketing at E-Summit’19. He literally changed my life.

Last summer, I received one email from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, but I had no idea why such email reached out to me. I just wondered if it might be a new kind of fraud or something. So I forwarded the email to Ebihara-san, who is running a VC in Singapore and India if it’s OK to reply.

He forwarded it to his colleague in India. And the reply from his colleague was that E-Summit is a huge and a famous summit organized by IIT Bombay.

E-Summit seems to be operated by “students” from IIT Bombay. And the person, head of “marketing” seemed to look for speakers who would deliver interesting stories in terms of “Innovation & Entrepreneurship” in addition to “Big Names”.

The head of marketing, Vedarth Choksi search and understood my talks and articles in English very well.

So, I prepared my talks of “two topics” given by the staff of the summit very well, and I made practices for a change.

Just two days before the departure for my first India, I thought visiting India might need a VISA and checked on the website of Indian Embassy in Japan. And then, I realized, yes, I needed VISA!

I was almost panic and sent the message to Ebihara-san again to see if I really need VISA for India. He said, “Hiraishi-san, it’s OK. There is VISA on Arrival.”

Well, India welcomed me!

I’m sure it is not be the first and last. I’m sure I’ll be back in India!

At a guest house of IIT Bombay, January 20th, 2019 (Mumbai used to be called Bombay).

*Added some sentences after I’m back in Tokyo.

*Staffs at my second talk, “Why startup?”.

*Past speakers

*Students at the campus.