Sunday, January 11, 2009

Open Coffee Club meet

Open Coffee Club (OCC) is a group which discusses on entrepreneurship. People involved in the startup companies get-together either offline or online through this club. The Chennai chapter of OCC has its online presence @ and members do meet offline once every month on the first Sunday. One of the offline meet up that I got a chance to witness was on 4 Jan'09 @ 3.00 p.m. at Ascendas in Chennai.

With my holiday plans scheduled for spending a few days at Chennai, myself with family had been staying at Chennai. A few plans were on the cards including a few purchases at Pondy Bazar in T.Nagar for the forthcoming wedding of my brother-in-law. On the day of the OCC meet up I was spending time with my wife, brother and in-laws for doing apparel purchase for my brother-in-law. Though I thought that everything will be over and I can head off to Ascendas after 2.00 p.m., time flew by and there was no chance for me to finish it off and head out to Ascendas. The time then was 3.00 p.m., so literally made the hard decision in mind to skip the event.

But at 3.30 p.m. a call from Virupa from the event, about the happenings there made me to change my plans to be bit shuffled and flied off to Ascendas of course on the Pallavan (MTC) bus. I was the last person to land up @ 5.00 pm at the casual gathering. So I had really missed some of the people who have went off by then.

The gathering happens at the Food court in the Ascendas.

In the Orange Tee is Sid, one of the visionaries behind the Chennai chapter of OCC and the brilliant youth at the extreme right is Murali who is pursuing MBA at Great Lakes institute of Management.

On the left is Virupa founder of He is co-working from Kiruba's place.

Co-working is a concept where people of different strides do share a common office space which makes them comfortable to share ideas and have a good networking which adds up value into their work life.

In the above pic, do you see a surprise of the absence of a pen, pad, projection screen, et la which you usually get to see in any meet ups !! Yup, this is the way in which networking takes place; in a casual manner, making flow of rich information across in a usually one to one way and helping each other to make a win win situation for everybody involved.

That is Kaviraj, founder of a new kinda networking website named which allows people to network with those around their geography in a localized manner, Lakshmi Parkavi founder of Thumus Web Solutions, her friend, Murali and Vasanth a software engineer.

After a pep talk with Lakshmi, I came to know that she is also co-working from Kiruba's place, but does not know that Virupa who is also co-working from Kiruba's place. A surprise to me. Though Virupa and Lakshmi got to know of each other about their startup business during the meet-up and exchanged visitng cards, they do not know that they have been co-working from the same place but at different floors. The Kiruba factor is connecting us. Virupa had left half hour back while Lakshmi came to know of the fact from me. She then checked Virupa's visiting card she had got some half hour ago to be surprised that Virupa's co-working office is in the same place as her's.

Is this the power of off line meetings !!

UPDATE (29/August/2010)
The ning group of the OCC Chennai is discontinued. The group activities of the Chennai OCC is shifted to the google group ChennaiOCC.


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