On the second day of India Global Forum’s Annual Summit themed ‘The New India Inc.’, Manoj Ladwa, Founder and Chairman, India Global Forum, in the presence of Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, announced an ‘Investors Network’ with the most pioneering founders and entrepreneurs as mentors as well as a dedicated Fund for 75 Women Entrepreneurs, marking 75 years of India’s Independence.
Speaking on the occasion, Nirmala Sitharaman, Government of India, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs said, “The next 25 years are essential for India’s development as we celebrate our 75th year of independence; consequently, we wanted this year’s Budget to stimulate the power of youth and entrepreneurs. We could still manage 40-45 unicorns as a country during the pandemic. This demonstrates the power of youth, which we recognize.”
Commenting on the announcements, Manoj Ladwa, Founder and Chairman, India Global Forum said, “Through India Global Forum, we are announcing today, an Investors Network that will come together and support through mentorship, money and networks, 75 women entrepreneurs to go global.”
Members of the ‘Investor Network’ include Anmol Nayyar, Partner, DMI Finance; Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital; Nikhil Kamath, Co-Founder, Zerodha and True Beacon; Prashant Pitti, Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip; Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel; Ramakant Sharma, Co-Founder & COO, Livspace; Ruchi Deepak, Co-Founder, ACKO; Sujeet Kumar, Co-Founder, Udaan; Umang Bedi, Co-Founder, VerSe Innovation (Dailyhunt & Josh) and Kunal Shah, Founder, CRED.
The event also witnessed insights from eminent leaders of tech-driven disruption and those who have joined the ‘unicorn club’ along with senior cabinet ministers, policymakers and global trendsetters.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Electronics and IT, said, “The next two to three years will see a deeper and wider expansion of the innovation ecosystem in India.”
Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Culture, highlighted the increasing need for diplomatic intervention to support businesses on day one and said – “These are changing times for business diplomacy. The global change agreement, the regional trade agreement and the bilateral change agreement are paving the way forward. The future will be dominated by diversification of not just the markets but diversification of supply chain mechanism as well. Therefore, it makes business sense along with political and human sense to diversify as much as possible to avoid unification which creates an extremely difficult situation when disruption happens at large scale. Since democracies have prices to pay, they must work together to support and benefit people from each other in terms of technology, science and development.”
Sharing thoughts on her inspirational journey, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon said, “For a woman, access to capital, talent and technology are one of the most formidable challenges even today. In the venture capital world, the line for questions for a woman seeking funding and a man seeking funding is extremely unfair”
Speaking on sustaining and growing a unicorn, Ananth Narayanan, Founder, Mensa Brands said, “Focus 90% of the time in building a great business and 10% on fund raise and all the rest.”
Commenting on charting a new course in uncertain times, Nikhil Kamath, Co-Founder, Zerodha said, “Indian markets are large by volume but in terms of participation they aren’t. Out of 1.4 billion people only 2% have direct or indirect equity exposure.”
Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder & Director, BYJU’s said, “With the pandemic, there could be a disproportionate impact of the gender gap in education. Studies show that 67% of girls did not attend online school. The gender gap is in the number of years of education that girls & boys receive which widens with progressive years, which we have to improve.”
Vineeta Singh, CEO & Founder, Velvette Lifestyle said, “The shift that’s happening in younger women making their own decisions is helping brands which obsess with them, create products that work better. I am very optimistic about the fact that the next decade is going to belong to women entrepreneurs.”