CAMBRIDGE, MA—(Editor’s note: TiE-Boston, the second oldest and largest chapter of TiE-Global, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. On this occasion, INDIA New England News posed five questions to a few early charter members and some past presidents of TiE-Boston. Here are their responses to our fifth and final question. Their answers have been shortened and edited for clarity.)
Question: What is the one thing you wish TiE-Boston should have done differently?
Sushil Bhatia, Founding Charter Member
I wish we had recruited more charter members who brought different strength to the organization besides IT and Services only.
Ashok Boghani, Founding Charter Member
I wish TiE were less dependent on Charter Member fees for its financial viability. However, as I noted above (earlier), TiE had to evolve in response to the changing needs of its stakeholders, and the current model seems sustainable, so I cannot criticize the direction it has taken.
Puran Dang, Charter Member Emeritus
TIE-Boston should have very focused programs under the ever evolving times, take help of professors and eminent Entrepreneurs to design such programs. Those programs must be tested by the results. Once again revive the monthly meetings like the old times to generate electricity among the new generation of entrepreneurs.
Samir Desai, Founding Charter Member and Past President
I wish we had started earlier. For those of us that started our businesses in the early/mid 80s, well what help it would have been to have this amazing collective of mind, friends, and support to help us build. Second, I wish we made an effort to include more women earlier on – I know we are still working on this now – but if we had made a bigger effort in the beginning, I think TiE would be a stronger organization. And lastly, I wish we had incorporate ideas of social enterprise, philanthropy and giving into the organization sooner.
So many incredibly powerful and successful companies and people have come out of the TiE organization – what a powerful opportunity to embed in them the sense of civic responsibly from the very beginning. We can make a huge impact together both in the private and in the social sector! Even with those three bits that I wish we could have done differently, in the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t be more proud of TIE Boston and what it has become.
I want to send huge congratulations to my fellow founding charter members, to all the current and past charter members, and all the young people making this organization great.
Desh Deshpande, Founding Charter Member and Founding President and Past Chairman
I wish TiE had found a better way to attract and add value to second and third generation Indian Entrepreneurs. Second generation young entrepreneurs who grow up here are plugged into other organizations and don’t see a sustainable benefit from belonging to TiE.
Ramesh Kapoor, Founding Charter Member
Should have done monthly meetings and assigned two charter members to take ownership of the meetings.
Santhana Krishnan, Early Charter Member
I cannot think of any, but would encourage to keep the paranoia if we are providing the right value to our members as that keeps us innovating and reinventing ourselves as the entrepreneurial landscape changes. End of the day the organization should continue to make a difference to justify its existence.
Gaugarin Oliver, Charter Member and Former President
May be branding and actively promoting us. We do extremely great work and we were the pioneers in being a non-profit setup to promote entrepreneurship. Yet, we are not that well known in the wider market.
Dinesh Patel, Founding Charter Member
I have just a few questions: Are we using the available talents floating in the Indian American community or are we not? Are we using the old guards for wisdom or not? Are we at Tie-Boston doing something specific for local causes? Are we expanding our talents and vision to uplift those who needs lifting?
I am more or less retired so I am afraid I do not know much what is going on. I see there are so many sub sectors with TiE and more than likely many areas are covered.
Gautam Prakash, Former President
In retrospect, I think we may have grown too quickly in the early years which may have had an impact on the quality of our programs (monthly events, annual conference, special interest group meetings, etc).
Managing growth is critical and is something I learned the hard way at Monsoon Capital. The other thing I would say is that I think TiE-Boston could have done a better job at figuring out how to be as relevant as possible to the entrepreneurial ecosystem broadly defined and in figuring out how to engage our charter members at a deeper, more substantive level. But these are good challenges to have as it helps keep the chapter and its leadership on their toes!