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Dragons Den

Right before our Christmas break we had the amazing chance to really try our skills and our present our venture idea to the panel of judges as a mock Dragon’s Den. Our group Team Zacshi along our product got an insight from the judges on we should we operate and the know how’s of a business. Indian Londoner being our product helped the to identify the Indians in UK and act as a guide to them for the whereabouts and act as an info guide for the Indian students living in the UK. We pitched our idea and got a lot of both positive and negative feedback for it recognising our shortcomings to the upcoming and final presentation.

The presentation was of just 5 min followed question and answers session where the judges will ask us the questions about our business venture and our functioning of the business. 5 min doesn’t sound a lot but frankly the efforts put in by the team were a lot rather than just being another presentation we hoped to be a better people and act collectively rather than individually. With all the time it just kept us getting anxious but nothing more. We started to work on it just a week before collectively and individually but actually it wasn’t enough and kept getting us nervous throughout. However we discussed and keeping in mind we reshaped our initial idea to solve the shortcomings to best of our efforts. We received feedbacks on the basis of our implementation of digital media and promotions which helped us a lot and allowed us with an opening of ideas. This was really helpful and allowed us to know our mistakes early on rather than later with a different outlook to the idea.

It was really great to see all the teams compete with each with there innovative and constructive ideas as there was always something new and creative for everyone out there including the judges. We realised that by not referring to the notes it would be better and give us more confidence to be more than what we are and how to work for an idea beforehand. All the teams presentation was really perfect and up to the mark as it showed us and we as a team also learned a lot from one another than just being there.

Overall, this mock Dragon’s Den was really inspirational and helpful as I allowed us to recognise our individual strengths and weaknesses and as a team as well and be more better next time. It was a really great experience and got to learn a lot!

 

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Eden Walk Trade Fair – Saturday 23rd February 2019

On the morning of Saturday 23rd February 2019 at the Eden Walk in Kingston Upon Thames a trade fair was organised by our university for the students of Design Thing for Start-Up. As we were the fifth to arrive we were able to choose our table and we choose the spot where we had the broadest opening to our customers. We had to spread out the small merchandises that we had brought along with ourselves along with the magazine copes. The stall was set to reflect with very minimalistic look of the magazine as it was geared to the students and more to the content rather then the presentation. We felt it gave our stall a good and subtle look as it was the objective for it.

In the first 2 hrs. we had an average response from the walk-in customers but soon we picked by the pace as the time passed by. By showing our initial draft of the magazine we realised our shortcoming and tried to improve it for the up coming presentations. As Eden Walk not being our market segment we didn’t not get the desired change in the subscribers list but did see a change and a lot of feedback was collected by us given by the potential customers what visited our stall. As the feedbacks kept flowing I kept going around the stall and started taking to people around and started collecting feedback and other information given by them to us. However we did see much change but it did help us a lot and with the judges input we had more that what we had hoped for as a team.

Me along with my team consisting of Puneet, Manas and Shruti kept answering the questions of the people and kept talking to people around the stores as well. This really allowed us a lot more as a team than an individual. We were really short on visiting cards so we had to really try more hard to talk to people and persuader them for their info for the subscribers list. People were interested but not much was reflective as we faced a lot of differences with each hour passing by.

Overall we noticed that the Trade Fair is not really our market segment and people such as Students which is our target audience wont come out on a Saturday morning for much of the evening to as they tend to rest rest in the weekends. To end a draining, full-day trade fair we were absolutely informed by our shortcoming and the opening up to the customers as well which was not as reflective before.

Importance of Design Thinking and Start-Up

The initial phase of selecting a product was very hectic as we had to change our product multiple times due to lack of actual markets for the product. This process taught us the importance of market research and development of the product.

Throughout the development of the product and with the implementation of Design Thinking for Start-Up gave and has improved upon our communication, collaborative and team skills. Although we have defined separate roles in the team, very frequently we have to assume multiple roles according to the situational requirements. Although the product development started in November, due to various setbacks we were unable to complete the deliverables by the deadline. This entire process has taught us the importance of agility and flexibility while planning and creating the product and the time management.

We have learnt how to collaborate with different organisations and the technicalities of running a business. Along with this, we have learnt from the mistakes we made during the development of the product and setting up of the business. We all have acquired new skills which were required for the development of the business and the product. The importance of team management, team-cohesion and with effective communication within the team was an important highlight during the tenure of the project.

Keeping in mind the decline of paper industry, we came up with an idea of a digital magazine which comes with an objective of generating revenue through advertisements and promotions. We have developed the website for the magazine in-house and sourced content for the magazine from volunteers. Hence we have been able to keep the expenses to the minimum.

After meeting with a few organisations, we are currently in talks with the organisations.

We are currently negotiating with these companies

  • Stylopay
  • London Property Guru
  • SGM IT Solutions OPC Pvt LTD
  • Career Craft Consultants
  • Masti Bar and Restaurant

 

Importance of Theory in Practice

To put theory in practice we introduced a new product, where we have conducted a lot of research and understood that students who ever are coming to UK require some tips and guidelines relating to studying, accommodation, travel, shopping and general living.  The magazine is available on a digital platform. Primarily we had to source content and relevant articles for the magazine. We developed and designed the layout of the magazine and later on developed the actual website. After extensive research we narrowed down upon the final layout including our articles, blog posts and stories by Indian students and contributors. We developed a physical prototype of the magazine and got feedback from various sources such as class presentations, YE Trade Fair and personal interactions. The feedback gave us a better sight and way to improve our magazine. Our magazine makes it easier for the Indian Students to connect with other students across London. 

The first Dragons Den was an excellent experience to gain valuable feedback for our business development. The judges enlightened us with their insightful opinions regarding our product which helped us to make relevant modifications to our magazine and business plan. We were advised about the necessary changes to be made to our product to make it more appealing according to the current market scenario. They provided an important suggestion to change the magazine from paper-based to digital format. 

The YE Trade fair gave us the opportunity to interact with potential clients and learn about the actual process of making a sale. This event also helped us to get first-hand feedback about our magazine. We were able to gain personal and relevant feedback regarding the market appeal of our magazine. Many students suggested us to include more verticals which they felt could add more appeal to the magazine. 

The Importance of Team Work

Having a beautiful team like ours it had lot of advantages as we all come from the same country but different parts which means we come from different cultural backgrounds as well with our own set of skills and expertise along with us to the team. to summarise it in simple words I  Journalist and a digital marketer and have worked with one the biggest publishing company in India BW Businessworld India. I am passionate about my field and wants to have a future in a publishing company which leads me to work and pursue the magazine as its one of my goals. Puneet on the other hand is a creative designer and aspires to have a startup of his own in the field of interactive media post his masters degree. Manas as the Editor In-Chief and with a certified computer engineer currently studying International Business Management. Manas wants to pursue innovation and strategy post his masters degree. Shruti is currently studying Innovation Management and plans to explore options in this field with prior working experience in recruitment and having a MBA degree in London prior to the current masters degree. 

This made me understand more of my team that what I really thought of prior to know them overall. It opened my eyes to the world of possibilities as we did not know each other before this course and once we formed we instantly knew who we are and what are we capable of individually and as a team. Initially when we had formed the group we had our own set of ideas and set of priorities towards the module but once we realised our shortcoming we worked together as a team and set to achieve the goal collectively not individually as nothing was planned and we were 4 random people working and studying the same module. It was the end result which brought us together and nothing more for the drive to achieve a common goal is what we sleeked from the goal but nothing more.

Idea of product or need in the market

Our generation of the idea was thru intensive research that we had conducted over time doing the course and also to not most importantly with the need in the market. Indian Londoner is an initiative by students to create a bi-monthly magazine which is available in digital form.

It is a magazine for prospective and current Indian students residing in UK. The magazine contains articles which providing insights on student life in the UK for Indian Students. Along with general living and educational tips, there will be an interactive section. The magazine serves as a platform for students to connect and exchange ideas. There are going to be blogs and stories rich with content inclusive of student experiences, reviews about subjects ranging from shopping discounts to budget restaurants. Inside you will also find information related to travel and places to visit updated in each issue. The interactive section will also provide content that will tickle your brain. The best part going to be that the magazine is that all the information you get is from students themselves. We designed to make the magazine for the students and by the students which act as a platform where all the students serve as important platform for the upcoming generation. We as a team stand together but individually come from a different platforms which makes us the ideal candidates of our respectable fields.

Our primary and secondary market research helped us to identify our target market as students coming from different cultural and geographic environment to start their university life in the UK. We identified the need for our product by interacting and taking feedback from overseas students in Universities along with various Indian societies. Feedback from these students helped us to make changes and improvements in our magazine. We also rely of positive word of mouth to promote the magazine. People were interested in our magazine as the articles were by the students and more relatable. In addition to this, we have agreements with interested organisations who have their advertisements in our magazine to promote the magazine. We are promoting the magazine via social media platforms and tie-ups with cultural societies in various universities.

Dragons Den ‘Final D-Day’

With the day starting of 14thFeb 2019, the day right before the Dragons Den we had one final meeting along with all the team members at the Business School we had one final rehearsal as a mock and by then we were still not up to the mark and not confident enough but by each and every practice put into it we slowly started to see the result of what we were working on and what will be the out comings of the result. We as a team had a lengthy discussion on our individual presentations with proper brain storming and generation of new ideas we came to the outcome of dealing with the individual issues as a team to overcome the fear of not getting the desired result.

We kept trying and rehearsing our parts and also talked to each other on how valuable to be there for each-other as a team and our business. We Role-played the whole pitch with the magazine and the dummy follow up questions to prepare ourselves and to enhance the presentation. Also by deciding our parts and cues that would help us to remember our parts for avoiding confutation during the presentation.

On the morning of 15thApril 2019 referred as the D-Day people of design thinking module were here and there. Seeing each and every group practicing every time they made a small mistake made us more nervous but by making one final mock presentation. The final presentation went well with all the judges having their own point of view and with valid concerns about the magazine which we had all the answers to as we had been asking each-other while practicing throughout.

We were pleased with the presentation and how we had finally managed to perform with each other and I was really inspired by the turnaround that only a few interventions had made on the team.

Seeing all the teams present we saw that we could have been a lil better for more efforts had to put and more time has to be invested in the business idea. Discussing our shortcoming with a small meeting after the presentation and work on the points which were made during the presentation by the judges. We parted on 15thwith the motive and the idea to make the magazine even more better than before and work harder on the idea than even we did before. We were all happy with the conclusions and with hope in everyone’s eyes to see it big one day.