The India of my dreams is not ‘jugaadu’, says Dr R A Mashelkar

The India of my dreams is not ‘jugaadu’, says Dr R A Mashelkar

Monday October 23, 2017,

4 min Read

Startups, investors, senior Reliance leaders and other corporates gathered for the graduation of 11 tech startups from the summer batch of GenNext’s startup programme.

There will be a fundamental shift in the mindset of Indians, as we move from the missed call era of jugaad to the video call era, said Dr R A Mashelkar, Chairman, Reliance Innovation Council, at the fifth Demo Day hosted by GenNext Hub. The day saw the 11 technology startups – part of GenNext Hub Summer 2017 Startup Program – being showcased.

Dr. R. A. Mashelkar (Chairman, Reliance Innovation Council)

“I am a dangerous optimist about India. We won’t get submerged under the next big wave, we will ride it. And it is possible sooner than you think,” he said, addressing entrepreneurs who presented their rejuvenated businesses to a large audience comprising representatives from leading corporates, investors, industry thought leaders and RIL leadership.

GenNext Hub is a unique startup programme initiated by Reliance Industries to help startups scale to a minimum viable company by providing them with the critical resources they need. It offers a four-month immersive programme where startups gain access to business mentors, technical and design experts, angel and VC investors, plug-and-play office space and other resources. Microsoft supports GenNext Hub in working with entrepreneurs and helps them with technology mentoring.

“The India of my dreams is not jugaadu. We are reinventing ourselves as an innovation nation. There is this new smell in the air – where startups are becoming a tool for development and access. New and progressive policies are being framed to fuel the startup wave at the national, state and city levels – and now, the corporates . I am delighted that this is happening,” Dr Mashelkar said.

GenNext is positioning itself as a bridge between the corporate ecosystem and startups, partnering handholding and co-creating with startups. The 11 startups that graduated from the summer cohort include AuthBase, Big Phi, Bodhi Health Education, BuzzOpinion, CallAmbulance, Cutting Chai Technologies, Intello Labs, Leado, LegalDesk, Logisure, and Pensieve.

Offering expertise to startups

With the addition of these 11 startups, a total of 62 startups from a pool of over 5,000 startup applicants have participated in the startup programme at GenNext Hub over the last three years.

During the four months, GenNext Hub conducts workshops and mentoring sessions in the areas of customer development, market traction, operations, product roadmap, fundraising, and pitching. It also provides expertise in IP, legal, financial compliance, HR and specific sectorial expertise.

Along with external mentors, startups at GenNext Hub also had access to select RIL leaders for business and technology guidance.

Panel Discussion (L to R): Mr. Greg Moran (Co-Founder & CEO, Zoomcar), Mr. Sanjay Vijayakumar (Chairman,, Ms. Aditi Avasthi (Founder & CEO, Embibe) and Mr. Ravi Gururaj (Founder & CEO, QikPod)

Pranav Pai, Founding Partner, 3one4 Capital, emphasised how the cost of starting up is lower than ever.

“Even as Soft Bank, Alibaba and Tencent came to India, the number of deals closing every quarter is coming down. There's not less money, there's more money than ever – it’s being put into fewer companies, but in but bigger packets, so the median ticket size is sharply increasing. This is an important insight,” he said.

Mr. Pranav Pai (Founding Partner, 3one4 Capital)

“We intend to take head-on the stats presented in the IBM report, where they analysed a number of startups and VCs and concluded that 90 percent will die in their idea stage. I want to reduce that number, even it is by just five percent,” Pranav said.

GenNext Hub differentiates itself by doing deep technical assessment of selected startups by piloting their technologies at a large scale in a real customer environment. Those who succeed in the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) receive further options of long-term partnerships and contracts from RIL.

GenNext Hub Summer 2017 cohort, GenNext Hub Team, Mentors and RIL Business Leaders

GenNext Hub is now accepting applications for its Winter 2017 Startup Program. To apply, click here ( For more information on GenNext Hub, please visit


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