Startups can be the silver lining to the pandemic: Ratan Tata at YS Leadership Talk

Ratan Tata, Indian industrialist, investor, philanthropist, and Chairman of Tata Trusts, in an exclusive conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, talked about the role of the youth and startups in finding solutions to end the crisis.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts, in conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the toughest challenges that the human race has faced in recent history. It was not surprising, therefore, that Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Trusts, began the YourStory Leadership Talk by addressing the impact of the pandemic, and the role of startups in finding solutions to end the crisis.

In a conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory Media, he said,

“Our world is in the midst of many unprecedented series of events. We've had a global economic slowdown, conflicts between major countries, and Brexit, to name a few. And on top of all of that, we got hit with COVID-19. Even before we had the chance of overcoming one setback, we’re facing another.”

The scale and impact of the challenges as a result of the pandemic has brought about the largest economic, social and personal shock the world has experienced in decades. However, the challenges also presented an opportunity to solve for a new set of problems. Both in India and across the world, it’s not just the startups but also the startup mindset that is being adopted to deal with the pandemic. 

Many Indian startups are closely working with authorities at the central, state, and district levels. Several startups also came into existence during the lockdown to solve for the new normal, while others pivoted to provide services or products for it.

Even on the funding side, more early-stage companies received funding, with the number of early-stage deals rising 5.7 percent.

Watch the full conversation on YourStory Leadership Talk series here:

Mr Tata was especially gung-ho about the role of India’s youth and their power, potential, and purpose in India’s progress.

“The young people of India are a larger part of the population than the rest of the world, and I wish to see the day where India becomes an economic powerhouse driven by the creativity and ethical behaviour of its young people,” he said.

“I have always enjoyed the company of spirited and enthusiastic youth of the country. Their energy is truly infectious, and they make me feel like I haven’t aged at all. Today’s webinar with 33,000 young minds was one of the most energising conversations I have had in a while. I wish them all the very best in their own journeys and hope they contribute to making India one of the global economic powerhouses,” said Ratan Tata on his Instagram post about the interaction.

Mr Tata was also optimistic about the way forward, urging the youth to innovate and collaborate for the good of all. 

“Out of this adversity will come some very interesting and maybe revolutionary solutions. The strongest example of this is how the coronavirus vaccine is on track to be the fastest ever developed,” said Mr Tata, urging the listeners to stay positive and not lose hope.

“The bottom line is, that we should not lose hope and be desolate, but unite with those finding solutions to end this crisis. Some of the world’s best innovations tend to emerge when we're in crisis,” he added.
Edited by Kanishk Singh


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