A deep dive into 15+ special focus tracks at India’s largest virtual startup-tech conference, TechSparks 2021

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Designed with the theme, “What’s Next: Reimagining the future”, YourStory will host its six-day virtual startup-tech conference TechSparks 2021 between October 25 and October 30, 2021.
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In its 13th edition, with the theme “What’s Next: Rethinking the future”, TechSparks 2021 will serve as a forum to hear directly from leaders, entrepreneurs, and pioneers who are leading the transformation in their industries and paving the way for the future.

The six-day long event, to be held between October 25 and October 30, 2021, will see 10+ main sector tracks, 15+ special focus tracks and sessions spanning 300+ hours. The conversations across key tracks will take a deep dive across sectors such as healthtech, foodtech, SaaS, D2C, spacetech, retail-tech, fintech, edtech, agritech, among others.

Apart from these, the platform will also bring entrepreneurs, innovators, and academicians who will take a deep dive across 15+ special focus tracks and themes. Here’s a peek around the key themes around which the conversations will revolve.

Special Tracks & Themes

Entrepreneur first

Today, India stands tall as the third largest startup ecosystem. With more than 60 unicorns, three decacorns, and 50K plus tech startups, Indian entrepreneurs are now standing at a juncture of phenomenal growth and opportunities ahead both in the local and global markets. The sessions under this track will deep dive into the rise of unicorns in India, challenges and growth opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs aiming for global expansion, the predicament of unserved markets in India and more.

International startup pavilion

Over the years, the Indian government has built multiple bridges with countries like the US, the UK, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, Finland, Korea, and Israel, among others. This has helped in creating global expansion opportunities for startups in these countries. It has also helped India in adopting solutions to some systemic challenges in the country. This track will focus on building a deeper understanding into leveraging available resources to help Indian startups expand and go global.

From unicorns to decacorns

The Indian startup ecosystem has added more than 30 unicorns in 2021 alone, reaching a total of 70. With this phenomenal rise, stakeholders have now moved their focus towards the decacorn count in India, which currently stands at three. This track will feature multiple discussions around the role that the Indian startup ecosystem can play in paving the path to success for Indian unicorns.

Brands of India

'Brands of India' is a YourStory initiative to power the growth of India's digital-first brand economy. This track aims to bring together direct to consumer (D2C) startups, brand-builders, investors, corporates and policymakers to accelerate the growth of India's D2C economy.

IPO corner

In 2020-21, India witnessed a significant rise in startups and established private companies joining the IPO league. The recent Global IPO trends by EY reveals that IPO volumes increased 163 percent in H1 2021, while its proceeds grew 245 percent YoY. Indian startups Zomato and Nazara Technologies have already made their debut in Indian markets while Freshworks got listed at Nasdaq this year. Unicorns Policybazaar, Nykaa and Paytm as well as LIC are the other IPOs in line. This track will seek advice and opinions of industry experts to understand the impact of IPOs on the overall startup ecosystem, analyse different routes to IPOs, navigate policy recommendations and more.

MSMEs

With the second wave of COVID-19 wreaking havoc on India’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, challenges such as supply chain disruptions, a lack of demand, and expenses are mounting. This track will focus on addressing the devastating effects of the second wave on MSMEs and bring out their stories of resilience in the face of disruptions.

Decentralised future

The potential of blockchain to disrupt industries is immense. The evolution and rising acceptance of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFT), decentralised finance (DeFi) is another catalyst driving the growth towards a decentralised future. This track will focus on analysing trends, understanding gaps and identifying opportunities Indian stakeholders should seize to stay ahead of their global counterparts.

Future of mobility

Post the disruption caused by the pandemic, the Indian mobility sector is gradually regaining its strength. Analysts expect that the sector will see growth in select segments such as two-wheelers (2W) and three-wheelers (3W), electric mobility and shared mobility in areas such as last-mile delivery, ride hailing, and rentals. With industry resetting strategies, the players are now trying to look at the mobility landscape from a different perspective. This track will foster discussions on new trends as well as understand challenges from the point of view of service providers, manufacturers, and stakeholders.

States and Future Governance

With the startup and digitisation wave storming through the past decade, the face of governance has changed aggressively. State governments have undertaken measures to simplify processes and to make the state machinery more accessible to the 'aam aadmi'. This track will focus on addressing existing gaps and challenges faced by state governments in the execution of strategies and examining the future of governance, e-governance projects, the COVID-19 impact and more.

Sustainability agenda

In the current times, most successful ventures need to adopt sustainable practices to help build brands aligned with the environment and for a better future. The question is: how? This track will focus on bringing out the current trends, gaps and challenges companies face in creating strategies aligned with sustainability, growth, and profitability.

Future of work

The future of work is flexible, distributed, and agile. With the pandemic-induced 360-degree shift in employee behaviour and working patterns, companies globally are now adapting to this change. Whether it's the hybrid model or TCS's '25 by 25' policy, companies are now looking to find a path which can converge company culture, productivity, and employee preference all into one. The sessions under this track will focus on demystifying future trends in this emerging space.

AI/ML: Future-ready tech

Globally, industries are now innovating to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have emerged as the core sector-agnostic technologies. The sessions under this track will focus on how AI/ML are helping innovators to create future-ready tech and enabling companies to engage in insightful data-driven decision-making processes.

Tech & digital inclusion

The ‘Digital India’ programme, since its launch in 2015, has transformed the digital profile of India with 125.87 crore Aadhaar card holders, 748 million smartphone users and 825.30 million internet subscribers. Aiming to ensure deeper absorption and assimilation of rural, small-town and big city demographics, stakeholders in the Indian startup ecosystem have been looking at product and technology from the perspective of digital inclusion. This track will enable discussions to understand the underlying gaps in the digital inclusion mission, the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, as well as the impact of vernacular content along with the adoption of ‘vocal for local’ strategies.

Diversity agenda

Gender diversity at the workplace has been an evolving agenda at progressive or enlightened companies for some time now. However, in the post-pandemic era, with evolving workplaces and hybrid work models replacing traditional frameworks, this discussion has shifted in an entirely new direction. The sessions under this track will focus on how organisations are adapting to this change, the evolution of workplaces, the woke work culture, the changing role of HRs, multidimensional hiring dynamics, employee engagement strategies and more.

CIO Leadership Forum

YourStory CIO Leaders Forum 2021 will be the definitive platform to showcase innovation and highlight emerging trends, developing insights and budding technology leadership through conversations, connections, and content. In its inaugural edition, the forum will provide an unparalleled opportunity for CIOs to power their people management, tech-driven innovation, and ecosystem-building skills, and lead their C-suite on a digitally-paced growth journey.

So join us on October 25-30, 2021 at TechSparks 2021 to be a part of an immersive, inspiring and unique experience with startup awards, product launches, policy discussions, masterclasses, and more.

 Register now to get your access pass to TechSparks 2021 here.

Edited by Tenzin Pema