The Coalition | Festival of creativity in Delhi

The Coalition - Talkatora Stadium
The Coalition – Talkatora Stadium

Things I learnt at The Coalition, festival of creativity.

After an endless blitz of Food Festivals in Delhi, thank god we had The Coalition – the festival of creativity. Organized by Only Much Louder (OML), this was the third edition of the 3-day long festival. With over 300 speakers across 11 creative disciplines including Food & Beverages, Content Creation, Comedy, Journalism, Music and Fashion, I picked up truckloads of lessons and learning.

I chose the Food & Beverages stream, which was held at Flyp @MTV Cafe on day 1. The session was so good that I decided to attend other sessions scheduled for the next two days, as well.

The most fascinating aspect was the youthful energy that ran throughout the show. For young aspiring entrepreneurs, there can be nothing more inspiring than listening to young achievers. From F&B, listening to industry champs like Pooja Dhingra, Garima Arora, Riyaaz Amlani, Thomas Fenn, Pablo Naranjo Agular, Kainaz Contractor, Arjun Sagar Gupta, Saransh Goila Vikrant Mishra and Anoothi Vishal was most inspiring. I really enjoyed the session ‘Women in F&B’ where Naina De Bois-Jusan of La Bistro Du Parc and Kainaz from Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu candidly confessed to some industry practices, which I have witnessed first hand, as a chef in a Pastry Kitchen.

Meeting Mohit Balachandran from Sodabottleopenerwala was another highlight of attending this session. I have been following his blog Chowder Singh, where he talks about Street food in India.

What was of most significance is that I learnt that your journey is unique. You will build your business your way and learn technicalities as you cruise along. The anecdotes shared by the learned panellists were quite illuminating and I’ve stored them for times when I’d need some inspiration.

Here are few precious gems of learning that I’d like to share with you guys:

On Day 1 – Flyp @MTV Cafe

There were talks about Dining in the 21st Century, Inside the World’s Best Restaurants, Finger-Clicking Good, So do you want to start a Restaurant?, Women in F&B, Chef’s Journey and On the Rocks. The sessions covered diverse aspects of Food industry and each one of them was equally insightful.

Learning:

You won’t know how to open/run a restaurant, until you open one. Have you got an idea, you are truly passionate about? Don’t just talk! Do it and learn along the way. You can seek guidance but no two journeys are the same. Learn yourself.

Local is global. We’ve got to put out what we know best and going back to your roots always pays off.

On Day 2 – Talkatora Stadium

Back to the Future, The Storytellers, Profit with Purpose and On Air with AIB: Breaking Bollywood were the most rousing sessions. However, one session that struck a chord with me and summed up everything was ‘Mom-Dad I want to be an Artist by Abish Mathew’.

Learning:

Find who you are and be true to yourself. Do not mistake your identity with what your parents want you to be, with what you actually want to be.

It’s nice if your parents understand your choice of profession, but if they don’t, that’s okay too.

Substantiate your choices with your actions. Do not become complacent with your freedom or your struggle either.

Day -3 Talkatora Stadium

The day comprised of workshops on various aspects of running a business, from Art of Selling Your Idea, Crowdfunding, Crisis Management, Storytelling and PR for Startups to even understanding Taxes. Sessions by Florian Klaas of Red Bull and On Air with AIB: Unicorns really got everyone pumped up!

Learning:

Florian Kalaas (Red Bull): Time + Balls – It implies that if the purpose of your work is clear, you need to invest time in it, without getting frustrated or impatient. And, in order to succeed and make it big, you should have courage and determination, to face all kinds of odds.

Vijay Shekhar (PayTM): Although, the opportunities are endless today, but you need to be pragmatic. Also, if you intend to challenge the established players, come up with unique ideas and solutions. Most importantly, only deeply passionate people will survive, as they will be able to stand the test of time.


 In a nutshell:

  • Find your passion.
  • Don’t be afraid to execute your idea. Have more than 1 and try everything till you find your focus.
  • Learn what it takes to build your idea into business.
  • Don’t sit with your idea for too long. Don’t think and just do it.
  • Collaborate with people who’re like-minded and forge mutually beneficial collaborations. Choosing wrong people to work with you can kill your idea and passion.
  • Don’t rush into making big overnight.
  • Produce content and don’t just wait for funding. If you create unique content, it will find its financers as well as consumers.

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