Friday, May 15, 2015

Josh Talks - Inspiration Guaranteed

Bangalore Startups Connect was how I got to know about Josh Talks. With their discount coupon, the cost for the event consisting of 12 inspirational talks came to Rs 250. Josh talks started about a year back in Delhi and this was the first event in Bangalore - and what a phenomenal one it turned out to be.

We were given 2 PM start on Saturday (9 May 2015), but given the large attendees they had allocated an hour just for registration and seating. To pass time, we had options to have Snacks/tea/coffee, funny head gears to take photo with and a poster to write what one wants to do before dying (which had a mixed bag of funny and serious captions) With such a large audience, it seemed to take minutes just to walk a few feet.

The twinkling stars and moon themed stage was impressive but became a little irritating background when the speakers came on. As Murphy's law would have it, presentation slide controller didn't work at the start and the timer had to be reset for the first speaker. Click the names to get more info on them. Videos are not yet uploaded on Josh Talks website, but previous videos are available.

  1. Tushar Vashisht - MIT graduate, experimented living on Rs 100/day and then on Rs 32/day poverty line. Experience put into HealthifyMe app. His composed song was nice to hear. I liked his quote that went something like "Achieving the 1% odds is only possible when you play the game a hundred times"
  2.  Shreena Thakore - 'No Country for Women' campaign. Very provoking thoughts on societal behavior and the very definition of Rape
  3. Malathi Krishnamurthi - fastest female Indian athlete on a wheelchair. She has won like 400+ medals in National/International competitions! Living example of accepting and overcoming life's quirky odds. She has launched Mathru Foundation to help the physically challenged
  4. Shishir Belvi - Athlete manager at GoSports Foundation, took us through wonderful work done by GoSports to help Indian Athlete at Olympic and other competitions. The last speaker for the day is supported by them
  5. Dr Benny Prasad - overcame suicidal tendency and health issues to hold world record for fastest to visit all 245 countries (he showed his pretty thick passport and told some interesting anecdotes), invented two guitars! He played one of them - bongo guitar and ended with playing a very difficult to play flute. He has also opened a cafe for student development
  6. Akkai Padmashali - gender discrimination couldn't have been worse for this trans-gender. With determination, has established feminine identity for herself, got driver's license, has addressed on sexual minority in Tokyo. Rendered a beautiful and sad song on her life.
  7. Sijo Kuruvilla George -  founding CEO of Startup Village, took us through his experience of entrepreneurship in Kerala. His first venture MobME got the NASSCOM most innovative IT startup award. During his college days, he could bunk 20% for basketball (during which his entrepreneurship skills were honed) - now he has enabled students for 20% attendance off for entrepreneurship!
  8. Revanna Umadevi - typist at Horticulture department in Bangalore since 1989, she took a liking to Billiards at the age of 29 and went on to win the World championship at age of 47! What a phenomenal story of perseverance and hard work, not to forget the jeers a woman sports-person gets in our country
  9. Vineeth Vincent -  a beat boxer, he took us through how he took ordinary sounds and words to play his amazing sounds - here is a sample
  10. Madan Padaki - Co-founder and CEO at Head Held High, introduced us to Rubanomics. His anecdotes were pretty interesting - a carpenter (wood works in general) delivers his product to the customer on a open tractor through a circuitous path and a person distributing pamphlets! a saleswoman employing Whatsapp to share pictures from city shop with her rural customers
  11. Shradha Sharma - she started Yourstory, from her personal belief of powerful transformation that stories are capable of. She delivered her own small story from childhood and every one of us were moved by the end of her speech. Her philosophy 'Give/Help whatever the situation, you will receive more in return' will stay a lifetime
  12. Niranjan Mukundan - born with "Spina bifida and with clubbed feet" underwent 16 surgeries, took to swimming as strengthening exercise and turned out as a champion. He is one of trainees with GoSports. Hope he brings us a medal from the 2016 Paralympics Games at Rio.

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