Succour for Startups @ IAMAI-Google Summit

If there was a device to measure energy levels in a crowded room, the reading would’ve shot way past the normal. On Saturday morning, some 200 mostly young Puneites congregated at the Westin to understand what the future of Indian economy is and how they can move forward their brilliant ideas. The occasion: the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was hosting the Startup Summit Pune in association with search-to-almost-everything major Google.

The opening address was delivered by Vineeta Dixit (Public Policy and Government Relations, Google India) followed by a session by Vivek Bhargava (CEO, iProspect). Getting straight to the point, Bhargava addressed the main issue of the Summit. “The startup economy in India is going to be the best in the world,” he said, adding: “The number of startups in India are very high but the challenge they face is of mentorship, learning, education, investment and initiatives such as the one taken by IAMAI which will go a long way in promoting the startup ecosystem in India.” Speaking about more critical and relevant topics, M S Ananth (Head Regulatory, Nishith Desai Associates) made the audience aware of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its impact on startup business. The event was anchored by Chennai-based digital media evangelist and blogger Kiruba Shankar. There were many questions from the audience posed to all speakers including two successful startup entrepreneurs- Abhimanyu Bhosale (Co-founder and CEO, Livehealth) and AnuravRane (Founder and CEO, PlanMyMedicalTrip) who drew examples from personal experience on how to solve startup challenges by hiring a strong, dependable team and never losing confidence about your product despite the criticism you face.

Another interesting topic covered was- Women Entrepreneurs: Breaking the Prejudice of Traditional Businesses. The presence of only a handful women entrepreneurs at the event highlighted the need for such a discussion. The focus being why there are such few women startup aspirants, the panel consisting of imminent successful women entrepreneurs such as Vishakha Singh (Founder, Red Polka) and social activist Anjusha Chaughule resulted in a solution-based discussion. Said Ankita Shroff (CEO and Director, SAV Chemicals and Associate Director Shroff Group):“The mindset of women coming to the forefront and being able to achieve their goals is positively changing, they just need to be made more aware of the opportunities.” Agreeing to this, Tanya Munshi (Founder/Editor, The Lifestyle Portal) added, “The industry environment needs to become more women friendly. Male counterparts must be equally supportive and encouraging and introduction of services such as a crèche should be there.”

In order to encourage smart and viable ideas, IAMAI chose five startups of over a 100 applicants who presented their products onstage. Speaking to Pune365, Surmayee Dorle, an aspiring entrepreneur said: “The summit has proved to be extremely motivating and helpful especially for women entrepreneurs. They had a selective panel and the sessions were very interactive adding more value to it.” By the end of the Summit, Ankith GL, an aspiring entrepreneur from Mysore, felt that “Pune’s eco-system will be favourable to set up a startup.”

Underscoring IAMAI’s efforts of promoting startups, Kalyan Biswas, Associate Vice President (IAMAI) said: “After this event we will identify the top three pain points and discuss it with the companies involved, media as well as the government to acquire best results.”

Zeenat Tinwala

Zeenat Tinwala

She’s our Employee #1 and is often the first to come in and last to leave office. And she’s an accomplished kickboxer. Stay clear!
Zeenat Tinwala