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The Economic Times Entrepreneurship Summit : A Complete Round-Up

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Entrepreneurship is indeed a journey, where everyone goes through a little bit differently. Some move through the process fast, knowing the right points to pitch and stumble into success in a matter of time. Others struggle all their way through, trying to churn out the right idea, looking for capital or getting visibility.

If you look closely, no one ever gets perfect as an entrepreneur. At some point of time, you need to grow, and find that point where you disrupt your own business. To address these issues faced by rising entrepreneurs and by entrepreneurs seeking a way to disrupt their business, The Economic Times managed to bring aboard the top business brains on one platform in a single afternoon. Yes, we are talking about the India Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by The Economic Times to roll a discussion on todays’ Indian entrepreneurship scenario and the future possibilities for the same.

A lovely summer afternoon and a keynote address by Dr. Anup K. Pujari, Secretary, MSME Ministry, Govt. of India, instigated the serious discussion on how far we Indians have come as entrepreneurs, what all difficulties we have faced all the way through, and future possibilities for feasible business.

The first panel discussion directed by moderator Mr. Mritunjay Kapur, Partner and Head of Risk Consulting at KPMG, welcomed Mrs. Padmaja Ruparel, President & Co-founder at Indian Angel Network, Mr. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & Managing Director at Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Mr. Vikas Bahl, Filmmaker & co-founder at Phantom Films, and Mr. Navin Raheja, Chairman & MD at Raheja Developers.

Each one of above is very well acquainted with the domain of their business and this expertise is what brought them to this table. The agenda that was under discussion in this panel was ease of doing business in India. While some agreed that it has become significantly easy to do a business in India under the new government, others argued on the dilemma still being faced by startups to get to the next level.

Padmaja notes that Entrepreneurship has become first choice of career lately, but still only 10% of the companies move to next stage. While rest 90% wind up in the first stage itself, reason being the high cash burn rates. New companies hardly make any profit at early stage, while they still have to pay taxes for the revenue they generate. This results to cash crisis for the company, and a lock down comes way sooner.

Despite of easing of policies and business guidelines, startups still strive to run their business and secure some credit for future operations. On this discussion, Mritunjay reminded us of the new business guidelines which will be implemented by govt. in January or February next year. New policies might make it a bit easy for startups to cash in efficiently.

Second Panel discussion brought on table Mr. Ashish Kashyap, CEO & Founder at Ibibo Group, Mr. Alok Bansal, Co-founder & CFO at Policy Bazaar, Mr. Greg Moran, Co-founder & CEO at Zoomcar, Mr. Manish Mandhana, MD at Mandhana Industries Ltd. & Being Human, and Mr. Vikram Vora, CEO and Founding Partner at Mydentist.

Launched in 2010, Ibibo was not the very first platform in travels and hotel booking space, because makemytrip already ruled the market. Ashish shed some light on how he struggled to get desired attention to Ibibo and put a significant competition to makemytrip. He noted how he feels the need of disrupting his own business every now and then to maintain the validity of his platform.

He ended up adding more features to the platform, or conceiving a new platform like RedBus altogether. At a time when offline world is getting inefficient, maintaining the validity of online world becomes necessary.

Ashish did give a very good example on inefficiency in offline world. Let me rephrase, an offline cab driver will have a passenger to travel to point A to B, but not while returning. On the other hand, an Uber or Ola driver has passenger both the side of the trip. This is the significant difference that online world has brought to the efficiency of businesses.

Manish Mandhana, MD at Mandhana Industries Ltd. and Being Human, had a complete different story. He said Being Human title was enough in itself. It brought people’s sentiments together and fitted in everywhere. Moreover, fast Fashion and quality kept his business going.

Under the Being Human brand, Manish plans to launch boys category in February next year. He also plans to tap into fitness category and launch active wear products like sports shoes, gym clothes, and other accessories.

It is a fact to be noted that we have a very scant number of women entrepreneurs in India. There are several reasons that aggregate to this fact, and third panel discussion was entirely based on this. This issue was addressed by Falguni Nayar, Founder and CEO at Nykaa, Dilafrose Qazi, Chairperson at SSM College of Engineering, Shradha Sharma, Founder & CEO at, and Nina Lekhi, Founder at Baggit.

Shradha plans to raise more fund from Ratan Tata to scale up her media venture and cover a lot more stories for Indian entrepreneurs. On the other hand, Nina has plans to launch a whole new range of products and categories by next year.

Senior Writer

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