Meet the winners of The Chiratae Ventures Patrick J. McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award 2020

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The Chiratae Ventures Patrick J. McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 was held on October 30, 2020, to recognise and celebrate individuals who have contributed exceptionally to building the startup ecosystem.

The Award was incorporated in 2016 to honour the legacy of Patrick J. McGovern and his commitment to the business and VC ecosystem in India. Patrick J. McGovern was the Co-Founder and Chairman, International Data Group (IDG), the leading tech-media company in the world with over 200 magazines and 460 websites. He set up IDG Technology Ventures and anchored funds in India, China, USA, Vietnam and Korea. He was one of the earliest venture capitalists to believe in emerging markets like India and was the Anchor Investor for the first three funds of Chiratae Ventures.

Significantly eminent leaders of stature and reputation of governance and excellence at scale on a sustained basis are eligible for the award. The past recipients for the award include Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons; Kris Gopalkrishnan, Founder and Former Executive Vice Chairman, Infosys; Bruno Rashcle, Non-Executive Vice Chairman, Schroder Adveq; John T. Chambers, Former Executive Chairman and CEO, CISCO Systems; Saurabh Srivastava, Entrepreneur, Policymaker and Former Chairman, NASSCOM; and Ashok Soota, Co-Founder, Mindtree and Happiest Minds Technologies.

The criteria for selection is an exceptional contribution to the Indian entrepreneurial and business ecosystem, Indian policymaking and driving risk capital investments to India. Members of the jury this year included Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman, Chiratae Ventures; Patrick McGovern, Chairperson, Jury; TCM Meenakshi Sundaram, Founder and Managing Director, Chiratae Ventures, along with the past recipients of the award.

The virtual award ceremony was hosted by Karan Mohla, Executive Director and Head of Consumer Media and Technology, Chiratae Ventures, and brought together investors and founders from across the world and multiple time zones.

Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman of Chiratae Ventures and Patrick McGovern, Trustee of the Patrick J McGovern Foundation gave a comprehensive overview of the Patrick J McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award. "Throughout his career, my father supported and inspired entrepreneurs across the globe. He was often the one to say ‘let’s try it’ when presented with a great vision for the future. He saw the world as a place without borders and believed in the potential for entrepreneurs to change the world for the better. He was energised by India's startup ecosystem," said Patrick.

In its fourth year, The Patrick J McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award India was conferred by Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman Axilor Ventures and Co-founder of Infosys to Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman, Infosys Technologies. Nandan has served as the Founding Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of Cabinet Minister. He is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan and author of internationally acclaimed books ‘Imagining India' and ‘Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations’.

Nandan shared his thoughts on entrepreneurial opportunities in a post-COVID world. "Patrick J McGovern was a great entrepreneur and IDG's Computerworld was a Bible to us. I'm a big believer in entrepreneurship and startups and when I look at the daunting challenges we face in India, I don’t see any other way of addressing it without a very thriving ecosystem of companies and startups," he said.

Amit Chandra, Executive Director, 57 Stars presented the award to the next winner - Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande. Dr. Desh is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur extraordinaire who started and scaled three companies into multi-billion-dollar public entities. He helped establish an innovation centre at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to support tech innovation and was featured on the Forbes 400 listing of Richest Americans. He was also appointed co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship by US President Barack Obama in 2010.

Dr Desh provided his perspective on how Indian entrepreneurs can build global businesses. "India is very lucky to have somebody like Patrick J McGovern play such a catalyst role in creating the ecosystem we have today for entrepreneurs," he said.

TC Meenakshisundaram, Founder and Managing Director of Chiratae Ventures delivered the closing note at the event.


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