Civic body of Gurgaon and YourStory work to open up possibilities for the millennium city
On the Saturday of the Independence Day weekend, at least one place in Gurgaon was buzzing with people who had more besides weekend plans in mind. YourStory, in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), organised Gurgaon Innovation Summit, at the city’s Epicentre complex, a summit unique for both its backers and the passion it brought forth from participants.
MCG Deputy Commissioner TL Satyaprakash laid down the marker for the day during his welcome address, pointing out that while the city has its share of challenges, he strongly believed that the best solutions could come only from a joint effort between the authorities and an active citizenry, besides the many startups and firms operating out of the city now. Building on the theme was noted management consultant Arun Maira, who stressed on the fact that solutions would have to be built around frugal innovations and on site, through innovation centres in Gurgaon itself, as its problems were unique, and were fast acquiring an urgency of their own.
The summit went on to host discussions around the ‘Gurgaon Story’ with participation from city-based entrepreneurs best placed to share their experiences. The panel included Sameer Dhar, Founder, and owner of Nowhere Brewpub Terrace, Harsh Mishra, Founder and Professor at Indian School of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, Neela Kaushik, who runs the extremely popular Gurgaon Moms organisation, and Viraj Malik, Founder and CEO, PK Online Ventures. The panelists also brought in their own perspectives to make Gurgaon a better place, as well as to ensure it continues to grow. From highlighting its unique psychographic profile, thanks to the 100s of Fortune 500 firms operating here, to the amazingly fast diffusion of good ideas and support for them, the panel was in no doubt that the city’s residents were more than willing to contribute to making it better. They noted the need for creating the right channels and structures to ensure that transfer of ideas moved seamlessly.
Healthcare and biotech as the next big opportunity was a key theme for the event, and a special investor session followed on the same, led by investors Arpit Agarwal of Blume Ventures, and Dheeraj Jain of Redcliffe Capital.
Keeping the theme close to startups was Rajiv Bansal, CEO, NIXI, and Joint Secretary, DeITY. Bansal showcased the government’s own efforts to support the ecosystem. In a comprehensive presentation that took the audience through the Startup India initiative and its many highlights, he highlighted key issues, like the fact that 87 percent of all technology startups were in the IT domain. Challenges like a higher lending rate, a regulatory regime that was still being simplified as compared to countries like China, Israel and others also came up.
Founders of three startups (Kunal Kishore from Navia Life Care, Hitesh Ganjoo, Buzz4health, and Sushant Sharma, Imedisecure) stepped onto the stage to showcase their businesses, and get valuable feedback and insights from the investors present, besides Dr. Mishra from iSeed, Ambar Srivastava, Founder and CEO, Wrig Nanosystems, and other experts in the audience. As it turned out, they would have got some brilliant insights from Prabuddha Kundu, Co-founder, Premas Biotech, a pioneering firm in the protein therapeutics business, who lit up the second half with his fascinating journey as an entrepreneur and key learnings along the way.
Wrapping up with his own learnings as a career bureaucrat was Sanjeev Kaushik, Deputy Managing Director, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited. He shared his own anecdotes from his career to demonstrate that the value of key qualities to be a successful entrepreneur work equally well, whenever you want to make an impact, or a difference.
The summit was powered by Keystone SEZ, the largest and newest project from Mayar Group in Gurgaon, a project that offers multiple facilities including incubation, R&D and more. HSIIDC was the industry partner for the event. Suburb was the magazine partner.