Know all about India’s journey towards self-reliance at Wharton India Economic Forum 2020-21
The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is one of the largest and most prestigious India-centric business conferences, bringing together business and political leaders, professionals, academics, and students from around the world to discuss India’s evolution into a prominent global economic power.
The world has welcomed 2021 as a year of hope, new beginnings, and unbridled optimism. It has left behind a year of unprecedented challenges that was faced with stoicism, empathy and out-of-the-box approaches.
A large part of this innovative approach to problem solving was fuelled by startups across the world. From the countless innovations in the battle against COVID-19, to helping provide continuity in education and business operations, startups have risen to the myriad number of challenges. They have collaborated with governments across the world to leverage technology in new and exciting ways, and in the process, exponentially accelerated the digital transformation of key sectors.
In India, startups have also played a key role as an economic powerhouse, and in developing home-grown solutions to ensure the country’s self-reliance. This faith in the ability of startups to change our world for the better is reflected in recent funding news. Indian startups raised a total disclosed funding of $8.4 billion between January 2020 and mid-November 2020. In terms of the number of deals, they registered a total of 765 deals in the period between January 2020 and November 15, 2020. Also, 11 Indian startups achieved the coveted unicorns status in a pandemic-hit year, which has inspired a new generation of Indian entrepreneurs.
The path towards self-reliance
Central to the successful spread of innovative solutions by startups is the support from the other stakeholders of the ecosystem. Apart from funding by investors, startups also require guidance and mentorship from industry leaders, the right technical expertise to power their offerings for maximum impact, and a policy framework that supports their growth in a sustainable manner.
The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is one of the largest and most prestigious India-centric business conferences that brings together business and political leaders, professionals, academics, and students from around the world to discuss India’s evolution into a prominent global economic power.
The theme of the Wharton India Economic Forum 2020-21 is ‘India: Self-Reliant. Resilient. Reignited.’ It aims to discuss the resilience shown by India during the COVID-19 pandemic, its quest to increase self-reliance in different business sectors, and what it will take to reignite the country's growth engine.
What to expect
A key highlight of the event is the Annual Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC). Past winners such as Ketto, Zostel, and BabyChakra have gone on to raise over $50 million in funding from 20+ institutional investors. This year's prize money, at $20,000, is double the prize money when compared to previous years.
At the WISC, attendees can witness 10 of the most innovative startups pitch to a panel of Indian VCs and entrepreneurs on January 9, 2021 from 2:00 PM-4:30PM IST. Apart from this, every year, WIEF features renowned speakers who are at the forefront of India’s economic and business growth. The conference will have an exciting line-up of panel discussions, keynote speakers and fireside chats covering a variety of pertinent topics including the the global role of India pharmaceuticals, the interplay of public and private investments needed to sustain a thriving sports industry, and the role of Tech for Bharat.
WIEF will also include panel discussions featuring Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Union Cabinet Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, Ajit Mohan, VP and MD, Facebook India; Nisa Godrej (Chairperson, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd); Sunil Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise; Vidit Aatrey, Founder, Meesho, among other leaders on January 15 and 16. Past speakers include: Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Economist & Indian Civil Servant; NR Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder, Infosys; Mukesh Ambani Chairman, Reliance Industries; Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder & Chairperson, Biocon, Henry Paulson Former CEO, Goldman Sachs, among others.
This is a unique opportunity to get key insights from industry leaders and prominent stakeholders of India’s startup ecosystem. YourStory readers get a 50 percent discount by typing in the promo code ‘yourstorywisc’.