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FICCI - Power Breakfast with Women Leaders & Entrepreneurs

Hyderabad, November 30th, 2017: NITI Aayog, Govt. of Telangana; FICCI, FICCI flo & ISB, hosted a Power Breakfast with Women Leaders & Entrepreneurs -'Women First, Prosperity for All', as part of the ongoing GES Summit 2017, today at ISB, Hyderabad Campus.

Mr Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana; spoke about the travails of women in the informal sector. There are several issues to be addressed. There are lots of bottlenecks and challenges for women in the sector. Even the few who are privileged face lot of bottlenecks. While these positive bytes are very nice to reflect on, we should not shy away to address the real issues. The informal economy is puzzling to policy makers and academicians too. You would be surprised to know that 92% of Indian work force is in the informal sector. People say there are compelling reasons for owners to be in the informal sector. But several economists are of the opinion that even if one migrates from informal to formal, the burden is not much. So one needs to find a way out. For women in the informal sector it's not a level playing field, they face many challenges, they are easy prey for layoffs, easy to terminate them, definitely bear the brunt of any upheaval the industry faces. While an effort is on to formalize the economy to whatever extent possible, special protection need to be provided to women in the sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog, GOI; said, today's event is the last in the series of Road to GES 2017, but certainly not the last under the Entrepreneurship Summit, as we are serious to take it forward in a much bigger way. The GES is an US event, which they take to different cities in their country and brought the 8th Edition to India. But my experience in the last 2 to 3 months, where we organised over 50 meets under the umbrella of Road to GES, is showing that what a great change we can make. We were able to create a lot of buzz, provide a platform, bring people in touch with each other, enable various facilities for entrepreneurs to generate and develop entrepreneur skills. Niti Aayog on its part is implementing Atal Innovation Mission, which is a small part of overall scheme of things within the Government, under Startup, Mudra, Standup and various schemes. They take care of few critical aspects like credit, access, opportunities and marketing. Government wants to play a role of an enabler. incubators are being set up. We are also setting up tinkering labs, so that the initiatives come very early. Kids and parents don't want things beyond the box of being Doctors, Bureaucrats, Engineers, but they should realize there are other avenues to excel. We are also focusing on problem areas, in Artificial Intelligence and related areas we identified problem areas and are undertaking some POCs, pilot projects. We urge FICCI to have more focused areas where we can identify basic problems like the latest issues of pollution, crop burning. We can have a UBER or Ola kind of company, which can buy machinery and lease it out to farmers, as it is expensive for a farmer to go for it. Some startup can buy machines and aggregate the demand and provide the service. This way not only the startup will earn, one of the problem areas gets resolved. If we have more such problem solving startups, it will be a win-win situation for all. NITI would like to collaborate with FICCI and provide a platform where we can bring various stake holders together and enable you all to prosper.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Sanjaya Baru,Secretary General, FICCI; said, FICCI has done pioneering work over the last ten years in fostering entrepreneurship, especially amongst women through its Center for Innovation, Science and Technology Commercialization (FICCI C-Tech), provided funding, incubation capacity and business development to Indian Entrepreneurs through various programs. Our programs resulted in significant socio- economic impact in terms of economic wealth generated, number of jobs created and the number of beneficiaries at the grass root level. According to a survey conducted by Earnest and Young, one of our flagship program, DST Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Program, has generated wealth of over $800 mn and supported over 500 entrepreneurs till date, by providing them much needed capacity building and business development support. We partnered with World Class Universities including Stanford, MIT, University of Texas, Austin. Under another program Millennium Alliance we extended Rs 450 mn funding for social and economic development in over 20 Indian states. We have partnered with Google and ISB for the Digital Unlock, under which over 2000 Small and medium businesses, Start-ups ,we will teach how to leverage digital technology to enhance their business growth. We have partnered with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and University of Texas to establish a world class incubator at Tirupati called XLR8AP, which helped incubate 85 startups till date. Out of which two companies have already established operations in Tirupati and employing people locally. The Entrepreneurship ecosystem has multiple stake holders and I am delighted that the Government of Telangana and ISB are our valued partners. Over the last few years we focused on startups and new businesses and just not the big industries, which are the foundation on which FICCI was built. We have also built a very strong Women leadership and urge FICCI FLO to rebrand themselves as FICCI Women Entrepreneurs Organisation, because we are no longer just FICCI Ladies but Women Entrepreneurs. We are now entering a new era as far as start ups are concerned, Nirmala Sitaraman, the Defense Minister mentioned this at the opening of GES the other day, that next week FICCI is hosting a meeting of Startups in Defense sector, acting as a bridge between small scale enterprises and the large manufacturers, both Indian and International in the defense manufacturing space. We are widening our range going beyond traditional businesses to encourage startups and women entrepreneurs.

Dr Sangita Reddy said, FICCI women worked hard to generate female employment, pushed for ladies entrepreneurship, we worked for Ladies Entrepreneur Park, the Government of Telangana has helped to create, so we know it's a long journey, but its programs like this which help accelerate, empower, enable the speed of this journey to be enhanced. Because we are already on the road, we know where we want to go, that push needed is clearly of equal opportunity, equal representation, acceptance in the society of our unique role and unique capability, which combines the power of the home maker, the ability to bring certain divinity into the world as well as the capacity to compete in any field, whether it is science, leadership, business, medicine, entrepreneurship in any one of them and innovation. When you have a vision and a passion, the path towards it is quite clear. The single message I want to give is clearly you can do it. NITI and Government at all levels is supportive of entrepreneurship, let's find the power within us to unleash and unlock it, because we have a vision and a passion, as we want to change the world positively.

Actor Ms Manchu Lakshmi; Ms Kamini Saraf, Chairperson, FICCI FLO, Hyderabad Chapter; Prof Saumya Sindwani, ISB Hyderabad; Ms Sonali Srungaram, Managing Director, CIPHER Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. & Ms Anandi Iyer, Head, Fraunhofer-India, participated in the panel discussion.

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