Is it worth attending the Young India Challenge 2016 at IIT Delhi?

Is it worth attending the Young India Challenge 2016 at IIT Delhi? by Wioleta Burdzy Seth

Answer by Wioleta Burdzy Seth:

Aditya Bhansali,

Thank you for taking your time and to write a review about Young India Challenge | organized by Human Circle . Glad that it comes from someone who attended the event, makes us take your words seriously and work on improvements. I also appreciate that you have chosen to not write this anonymously.

Below I will try to cover all the flows and comments that you have mentioned.

1) Yes, 2 days event. First two editions were longer – 3 days, but after receiving feedback that 3 days is too long (some students cant leave classes on Friday) we have decided to keep it to 2 days and weekends only. Recently we have updated the website so you can find even more information organized into sections.

2) We do not mention or promote anywhere that after 2 days of attending YIC your life will change as rapidly as after taking a single pill to lose 20 kgs. If you were there in the audience you must have heard that it is a beginning of the journey. Same as after the first visit to the gym, your body will not have 6 packs. But you are able to get the feeling of it, find people who could guide you, keep you motivated.

3) “Motivational lectures by eminent personalities who sidelined stereotypical careers” – I do not agree. Have you missed the discussion between 2 mentors on the second day about conventional and non-conventional career paths (Amrita and Onkar)? Speaker from BCG (Nikhil) – what is non conventional about that? I just simply can’t agree.

4) Selection process – Receiving an email invitation for the interview is not equal to being selected. There are a lot of people in India who do not write fluently in English and for that their answers may sound stereotypical. We do not discriminate on that. And again I can’t agree with your conclusion that we “throw selection letter to most”. Many applicants do not receive the invitation for the interview call. Many who receive do not book their interview slot for different reasons – it’s a natural selection (we receive emails talking about financial constrains or parents not allowing them).

5) Event is not for free – It is a natural tendency that if you do not pay for something you do not value it. Maybe that is why you have never appeared on Reunions, Meetups, Life coaching and other initiatives that we offer to the YIC community for FREE before and after YIC event.

Another reason is that we want this event to be self-sustainable. We do not depend of sponsors, government or any other aid. We do not wait for that money to start making something for the world and will not quit only because some institution will not fund it anymore. We want to continue our work no matter what. Money is needed to pay for the food, stationaries, equipment, logistics, manpower and many other things. Those things are not for free. And if you think that this kind of events makes a lot of money? You should do your market research.

6) “Plagiarism of Steve Jobs” – This word indicates that e.g. Steve Jobs is quoted without mentioning him as an author/speaker. That did not happen so again – I can’t agree. Definitely Steve Jobs couldn’t have patented the words “follow your passion” or “Do what you love” – there were more before him, thinking the same way and there will be many after. It is like saying “they told me to exercise and eat breakfast because it is healthy, what a plagiarism”. If you have already read all these books you would have noticed that many them are not innovative in a big way. All are sharing the same wisdom that people forget – of listening to the inner voice and leaving the ego behind. Its just that people read these books and do nothing with it. Laziness and procrastination? Huh?

7) Question from the girl who heard that she should google it? Do you remember the question? It is important in this context. I do not remember such moment. If it was an informative question and if the speaker thought that answering a certain question will take a lot of agenda time, and would not bring much value to the rest of the people, who are waiting and listening – that could be the motivation behind. But again – you gave example without context so difficult to say. We do not wish to promote a culture of spoon-feeding.

8) Challenge

– “Too little time, done in a hurry” – from the time you know the challenge to the deadline you have 14 h. (including sleep). It is up to you how do you use this time. Would you start thinking and researching about it straight away or wait till the next morning to 11 am to start doing something about it?

– If you were there you must have heard that YIC is not a Startup event. It is an event that helps you to experiment, work in a team, focus on solutions and not just criticize only showing the problem, and most important on acting NOW and not waiting for the grand ideas till there are perfect. Btw, how are your “ 4-5 kickass business ideas” since the last year? What’s the progress?

– “You cant force your mind to come with fascinating ideas in a short span of time “ – here you have described only your reality and seems like you are talking about yourself. I don’t agree with that and I know many people who, when put under pressure come up with amazing solutions. Is this why you had to be scolded by a professor?

– “Not everyone wanna be entrepreneur” – During the event we say “think like an entrepreneur” we do not say, “become an entrepreneur”. Event if you are working in a job, you should be aware with what is happening with the service/product that your company is offering to the market. We promote careers where you understand your ecosystem of the area that you work in, not only sitting in your cubicle and do what your boss tells you to do. There were examples of Speakers and Mentors who are doing exactly that – being intrapreneurs in their own company. You think they were talking like Steve Jobs? He was working for a company too that he founded… even got fired. Read his story. Its very interesting.

– “No one knows what happened to their B Plan” – I would like to remind you that YIC is not a startup competition. We do not invite investors (not mentioned on our website or anywhere else) and Human Circle is not an accelerator (again no mention on the website). We promote a movement of people who by this simple exercise of coming up with solutions to a problem (that you call rotten – how rude…) they start thinking about solving problems after the event. The best organizations and institutions in the world consider ‘problem solving’ skills as one of the top criteria for them to recruit. It is our fault that we do not showcase all such stories, rather being busy with organizing events. But thanks for the comment, now I will make it a priority. 🙂

Taking this opportunity I would like to mention a couple of names of people who have attended YIC in the past and have been doing amazing things since then: Aarti, Ishani, Waseem, Saadat, Dhruv, Harman, Mahadevan, Annirudh, Nikhil and many many many (!!!) more.

– “Jury decides on their presentation skills and not on the idea”– It doesn’t matter how great ideas you have. If you are not able to convince anyone on it – means you will not be able to implement it. What is the point of this exercise? You need to show your passion and commitment. What we have observed over the last years is that many people feel unhappy about the fact that their team did not win. Often blaming team members, calling them stupid. Failure? Everybody remembers your favourite “Steve Jobs” and not many remember the one who invented computer…

9) “They play with the fear” – I cant “play” with the fear. It is a reality that I went through myself. I realized that there are a lot of people out there unhappy in the job like I was. And it is not about 9-5 jobs; it is all about doing the not the right kind of jobs. If you do not believe that it is possible to do what you love –and you should suffer like your parents – it is fine. I will not “scold you”. It is your choice. We are driving the #DoWhatYouLove movement for people who believe that it is possible to combine passion, career and lifestyle, that there is no need to do the same mistake like our parents did.

10) Following your passion is not “chilling and singing songs all day” like I had once heard. It is a hard work that involves risk taking, sometimes working hard 16 hrs per day, taking critiques on your shoulders – AND as a reward at the end of the that there is a satisfaction that our work makes a difference, is necessary for people, that it improves the lives of people. Should we do it all for free? Then people will not take responsibilities to be there, like you never came for the events we organize for free. Its simple.

11) “In the nation where people are in so much fear and depressed” –Our solution is that we make them happy and less depressed by giving them a support system to make their life more meaningful and not follow their parents/ancestors story if they don’t want to. What is your solution and action for that?

12) “After event strangers again” – YIC is an event for people who are open to meeting new people and staying connected after as well. It doesn’t happen when there is no will from both sides. For the third time I have to repeat that I have never seen you being active after the event (during? I am not sure; I was very busy talking to a lot of people who came to me to talk. Did you come to speak with me too?). You can’t expect people to come to your home and drag you or scold you 😉 to stay in touch. Maybe that is why you did not come across “the other delegate” before? It needs proactivity. Not laziness and procrastination.

13) “Most innovative delegates”. We have stopped that concept. We have noticed that there is a group of people very unhappy that only one person gets that reward. The person you have mentioned, made the most efforts to stay connected with others, work with mentors after the event, getting hundreds of likes for fb posts, even if she stays outside Delhi and cant meet people so often. She is a young social influencer, no matter how annoying you perceive that.

Once again thank you for your review. It gives us some feedback about where we should improve our work, where we should explain our focus so that the message of what we are doing is clear and not misunderstood that we are trying to do another startup event. YIC is not a startup event. This will help us to select the right kind of people.

All the best to you, good luck with your business ideas. Hope you will get amazing teachers and mentors who will motive you the way you work best.

The 8th Young India Challenge will be organized at IIT Delhi on 4-5 March 2017. Its going to be an ‘Impact Edition’ focused on UN’s sustainable development goals. #DoWhatYouLove Young India Challenge |

Is it worth attending the Young India Challenge 2016 at IIT Delhi?

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