Ravi Ranjan's incredible journey from a Naxal-affected childhood to becoming a key startup ecosystem enabler
Like the startup ecosystem that he works closely with, Ravi Rajan’s own inspiring growth story is one of resilience, ingenuity, and determination to succeed in the midst of really tough odds.
However, despite the ups and downs, the young and brilliant boy from Jharkhand, India’s tribal heartland went on to build a reputation for himself in the startup world – receiving numerous awards in the process.
Ravi’s childhood was punctuated by numerous challenges. For one, Japla, the village where he hails from in Jharkhand's Palamu district, was one of the country's most Naxal-affected areas. Violence, terrorism and challenges arising thereof, disrupted Ranjan's childhood.
He studied in a government school which was often closed due to Naxal activity leading him to seek private coaching to pass the exams. On clearing his exams, Ravi relocated to Chandigarh and a brief meeting with a News Anchormarked a turning point for him and enabled him to pursue his career in journalism.
Ranjan pivoted from his media career in 2010 and leveraged his experience in media and event management to take up a job as the event manager for an angel investment firm. His enthusiasm for the job at the investment firm saw him being offered the opportunity to run a startup incubation centre by the corporation.
Over the years, Ranjan further honed his skills further by developing a keen passion for the world of entrepreneurship and studied the growth playbooks of well-known organisations such as, , and . He then went on to work exclusively in the sector of entrepreneurship, honing his skills in business incubation. In his role, he acted as an advisory guide and mentor to young business leaders, assisting them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.
Having progressed through the ranks, Ranjan is now a well-known figure in the startup world. On behalf of Venture Catalysts Group, he helped curate Shark Tank India, which proved an instant hit with the general public.
Additionally, he has helped manage key startup programmes for NASSCOM 10,000 Startups, Indian Angel Network, Indian Chamber of Commerce, and other Indian state governments to encourage young people to start businesses.
Ranjan is also a well-known TedX speaker, government advisor, and startup specialist. Under the supervision and aegis of the Seed Group, he will be working towards building a robust India-Middle East economic expansion corridor.
Recently, the Seed Group, a company of the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, has appointed Ravi Ranjan as Director of Strategic Partnerships to head its India operations.
The Seed Group has closed multiple multi-million dollar agreements and handled billion-dollar investments around the world under the skilled leadership of CEO Hisham Al Gurg. The group serves as a launching pad for new and established businesses and startups looking to expand their footprint in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA), while taking advantage of Dubai's stable economy, convenient time zone, supportive government policies, burgeoning business ecosystem, lucrative subsidies, and easy access to new markets.
As part of its strategic expansion plans, the Dubai-headquartered Seed Group will be opening its official representative office in the south Indian city of Bangalore with an investment of $1.4 billion. This opportunity will help a very large community of Indians that contribute to the UAE’s economy as business owners and entrepreneurs. This effort will also help bridge trade gaps between the two countries and make it seamless for people to bring their business to Dubai or to trade between nations.
Ravi Ranjan is one of the few handpicked rising leaders from India to be part of the famous IVLP programme by the US government, with over a decade of expertise coaching commercial and government actors in the subtleties of business and entrepreneurship.