mentor of the month
12 February, 2015
This month, Cathay Pacific Airways' Innovation Centre Manager Bidyut Dumra receives the honour of Mentor of the Month. A vocal and passionate advocate of blueprint, Bidyut recently held marathon 'office hours' to provide candid advice to blueprint accelerator startups.
We stole an extra five minutes to interview the man behind the glasses:
What do you do when you are not mentoring startups?
Professionally, it's the Innovation Centre @CathayPacific by day and working on one of my own business ventures by night. My film business is fairly active throughout the year but I am currently excited about my latest involvement with a new brand of baby clothes.
What does that really mean you do all day?
I like to think that I hover over my various teams and sprinkle fairy dust on them! I actually do spend most of my time talking to people and trying to re-imagine how things could be done differently. I am either solving a problem or inadvertently creating one.
And in your downtime?
In between all of these things, I try and squeeze in my sport of choice, which right now is Ultimate Frisbee. Lately, I have also been hacking my way through Grand Theft Auto 5 on the Playstation.
What skills do you bring to the blueprint tech community?
A passion for entrepreneurial-ship and some experience (and scars) to boot. It's a buzz being involved in something you believe in and while the startups are vested in their particular businesses, I am equally sold on the concept of blueprint and what it stands for.
What do you believe are the critical factors of success in a startup?
Five come to mind:
1. Knowing that people are your biggest assets
2. Having a blend of tenacity and suppleness, e.g. being open and knowing when to change tact but also having the resolve to be truly convicted to the choices you are making
3. Research, prototyping and testing repeatedly. Yourself if possible. I have seen many people develop solutions for themselves rather than understanding the actual users/marketplace
4. Really understanding and defining what their measures of success are, so they know what to aim toward (even if it is short term and likely to change)
5. Not being afraid to bite of more than you think you can chew
Have you ever invested, angel or otherwise?
Yes and yes. Unlike the casino, the house doesn’t always win…. but it's (usually) always fun!
Do you have a Bitcoin account? Why?
No. I didn’t really geek out on Bitcoins, however, the concept of micro-currencies, shareable economies and barter systems do interest me.
Which blueprint team/s have a standout concept in your opinion?
To be fair I haven’t had a chance to cover all of the teams in depth just yet, so I will ‘take the fifth’ on this one!