My Experiences at the Mentoring Clinic of TiE Chennai

A couple of weeks back, I received an invite from the Chennai Chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) for a “Mentoring Clinic” program.  Intrigued that I was, I attended the program this morning (Sep1, 2012) at IITM Research Park, Taramani.

It was a pleasant surprise to meet an old colleague Natraj who has, along with his office, promoted a Centre for Assisted Reproduction Technologies.

The idea behind the Mentoring Clinic, I think, would have been  to make available a taste of mentoring in different areas of a business viz Finance, Sales and Marketing, Ideas validation, Technology and Legal.  The mentoring sessions for these streams were conducted in different rooms parallely and depending on one’s interest(s), one can attend one, two or more sessions.

My interest was primarily to check out the funding options for my company and our healthcare products DiaSof and DiaCel and so I headed to that panel discussion.  I was quite surprised to find none from the funding side being available as a mentor there.  I could not get, therefore, a perspective of what a VC or an Angel Investor would bring to the table.

I then sauntered to the next hall where Ideas were being validated and it was in an un-conference mode in the sense that there were a few mentors with a group of potential mentees around them.  I got excellent value for my participation in the event from this panel as I buttonholed 4 mentors and got their valuable inputs.  It was very interesting to note that each had a very unique style of delivering value.  While Gopal Shrikanth  posed some impromptu rapid fire questions on what I considered as my uniqueness, the differentiation visavis the competition etc, Mohan Narayanan shared his experiences as a health care solutions provider and asked some insightful questions.  Dorai Thodla gave a roadmap on using Social media to create awareness about our products DiaSof and DiaCel whereas Shankaran Nair of Servion gave a patient listening to my pitch and promised to make time available at a later date for a serious discussion.

It was time for me to visit the Sales and Marketing panel discussion and there I raised the marketing challenges for Diacel.  Raghunandan of Disha Strategic Foundation suggested that I understand the buyer behaviour in depth and Bala Raman of Congruent Solutions offered the case study of one of his clients where the focus was Corporate selling.  There were a couple of suggestions from the other mentees such as focussing on the patients’ family members and tying up with a complimentary product for better market reach.

What are my take-aways?

1. The first and foremost was the reinforcement of my conviction and the strategic direction of my business.  Most of the suggestions given at the sessions were areas that I have already taken action on.

2.  Some contacts that the mentors gave that were very specific and relevant to my business.

3. A social-media roadmap to promote my products amongst the various stakeholders.

Overall, I found the event quite inspiring and the arrangements well-done.  I intend to become a Member of TiE and avail of the benefits via the various events and services offered by them.



  1. N Ramesh said,

    September 1, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I am glad that you have started to take help from external sources to fuel your Entrepreneurial Dream and your Passion to become a Businessman, which I feel could have happened much earlier had you been open to receiving ideas from outside resources during the last decade !

    Anyhow, keep the Entrepreneurial fire on and keep walking until you reach the goal ! Good Luck in your Journey !

    Thus Spake the Original Mentor !

  2. Issac Johny said,

    February 14, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I have worked with Raghunanadan for 2 years. He is one of the best strategist that I have ever seen.

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