Launching the Summit in Ahmedabad
The entrepreneurial edge
Boosting innovation in India Inc.

Over the last few months, editions of ICICI Bank and CNBC-TV18’s ‘India Business Summit – Leaders Speak’ have been traveling to different parts of the country, exploring their unique strengths and contributions to India’s success story. These gatherings of some of the nation’s brightest – from the worlds of business, sport, academia and beyond – have proven to be hotbeds of disruptive ideas, derived out of insightful discussions and spirited debate.

The fifth edition of the Summit took place in the city that is perhaps most closely associated with entrepreneurship and business savvy – Ahmedabad. Following successful editions in Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai, this leg of the Summit had big shoes to fill – and fill, it did!

The Honey Bee Network’s Prof. Anil Gupta set the ball rolling by bringing up some of the most pertinent issues facing innovation in India. While there’s no shortage of an entrepreneurial spirit in the nation, the number of great ideas that have turned into successful businesses leaves a lot to be desired. Stressing upon the importance of incorporating culture into a company’s offerings, the Padma Shri awardee noted that merely emulating the model of the West will never result in lasting success. “Technology is like a word, institution is like grammar, and culture is the thesaurus,” he said. “We need all three for sustainable innovation.”

His enlightening speech was followed by a panel discussion that took on entrepreneurship from a number of perspectives. Featuring heavyweights like Prasanna Balachander, Head – Global Markets & Proprietary Trading Group, ICICI Bank; MAS Financial Services Founder & CMD Kamlesh Gandhi; Raju Shah, CMD, Harsha Engineers; Ashish Soparkar, MD, Meghmani Organics; and Janmejay Vyas, CMD, Dishman Group, the panel was moderated by Latha Venkatesh, Executive Editor, CNBC-TV18. In their chat, the industry veterans meditated upon what their own entrepreneurial journeys have taught them so far, and imparted invaluable advice for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs across the board.

However, the highlight of the evening was a special address by one of India’s most revered sportsmen, Kapil Dev. And while cricket and business may not appear to have a lot in common at first glance, the all-rounder’s speech showed that the basic tenets of success remain unchanged in nearly every field. Take, for instance, the two virtues he cited as being indispensable to making it in both worlds – passion and commitment. Once you have these essential ingredients, you can devise your own recipe for success. “There are a hundred ways to reach the top,” noted Kapil Dev, adding that we must all find our own paths.

These were just a few of the nuggets of wisdom that were born out of the India Business Summit’s Ahmedabad edition. These, along with the groundbreaking ideas and collaborations that the events have culminated into, are paving the way for disruptive innovations, sustainable businesses and a bright future for India and its people.

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