Know Your Clubs – E Cell

“Our society has enough engineers today, but it deserves enough entrepreneurs as well.” says Tabark Ulla, Chairperson of Entrepreneurship Club of MIT, Final Year Auto, in an Interview with the MIT Quill.


MIT never had a club for entrepreneurship for the longest time until E-cell was founded last year. Am I



Why is that so? Why not sooner?

Ok, let me explain. The turn of the century has been very good for all the entrepreneurs out there. Not that there were no entrepreneurs before, but we’ve got to admit that there are comparatively more number of people interested in starting up their own business now. I guess it all boils down to the attitude and mindset of the people.
Very few people would have been daring enough to take risks or the responsibility of handling their own business, say, fifty years ago. People liked playing it safe back then. There were not much initiatives and support from the government too. But that’s definitely not the case today. So, we decided that it was high time that our college had something to offer the students on this and that ultimately resulted in the founding of the E-cell.


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How did it all start?

It all started when I attended a workshop conducted in the Guindy campus and I found it very inspirational. I felt that our college ought to do something like this too! Even the staff members felt the same way and helped us out. Our team was formed sometime after this. We made it a point to recruit those with good skill set and enthusiasm. So as an initial step, we planned to promote entrepreneurship right from scratch through workshops. And I feel that it’s our team that played a great role in making the workshop a success.


Can you tell us more about the workshop?

Sure! The workshop ended up being the perfect launch pad for e-cell. We worked very hard on it. We were expecting around 120 students to turn up but in the end more than 170 students attended the workshop and, surprisingly, most of them were second years. The session was very interactive since many renowned speakers were on board. It was also the time when Demonetization was the talk of the town. So, I guess that made the workshop more interesting. In fact, a lot of students who missed out on it wanted us to conduct another session.


Are there plans to conduct any workshops again in the future?

We do intend to do more in the upcoming semesters. We’ll let everyone know when we do organize one.


What else has the club been actively participating in?

We recently conducted a small competition to test the participants’ skills at selling an idea. This was around the time when Game of Thrones season 7 was airing, if I’m not wrong. Well, anyways, we requested the participants to send in their version of how the show might proceed. And the rules allowed them to bring back one character from the dead…


Only one huh? (Laughs)

Yeah, only one… tough isn’t it? (Laughs)


Very. Moving on, you mentioned something about selling an idea?

Yes, that was the second round. We decided that it would be more interesting if we made the shortlisted participants convince a panel of judges that their story was the best. They basically had to sell their stories to us.


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That is quite an innovative way to get people’s attention indeed! Now please do tell us, what would your
reply be if anyone asks you what he/she might learn if they took part in e-cell’s events?

Apart from the workshop and other activities, we also focus on improving their skill set. We also discuss about both success and failure stories, so that the participants can analyse the different situations. I feel that this would help them a lot and ultimately contribute to making them better entrepreneurs. E-cell can also be a forum where a student can meet other people with similar aspirations and interests. Who knows, one can maybe find their future business partner here!


Let’s talk about the difficulties you’ve got to face for a change. Don’t you think clubs like these generally
have less number of people in them when compared to any other conventional club? Does the fact that you
do not cater to a wide range of interests result in this?

I would like to point out that an entrepreneur can venture into any field. It need not necessarily be something related to tech just because ours is an engineering college. That was what we tried to prove with that competition we talked about just now. That had something for the writers and the series-buffs as well. I guess it all boils down to the individual’s interest. But there are many other reasons that can prevent a person from pursuing this.


What other reasons?
Like I said earlier, we have been conditioned to play safe. We’ve been used to following the ‘route’; method. A Majority of the students aspire to secure a job during the placements and the others pursue higher studies. Very few students choose to start-up their own company or business. There are many factors influencing these decisions and, yes, it is the individual’s choice. But take a look at the entrepreneurs who changed our world! We should have been taught that taking risks is a good thing, but then again that was not what we grew up learning.


Yes, it’s sad that we didn’t… One last question before we wrap up: Is there anything that E-cell would like
to tell the students of MIT?
Our society has enough engineers today, but it deserves enough entrepreneurs as well. So, let’s aspire to create jobs rather than settle for one.



Interviewed by Akshaya Ramani, third year, Electronics and Instrumentation and Tirumalasri.V, second year, Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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