Stories from the rise of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

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Join us for this Antler Emerging Market Series featuring India.

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Over the past 10 years India has seen rising consumption driven by favourable demographics with the growth of upper-middle income and high-income segments of the population (estimated to grow from being one in four households in 2020, to one in two households by 2030) and a steadily increasing inflow of capital into the country. Aided by government policies such as ‘Start Up India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and most recently, ‘Vocal for Local’, Indian startups have seen an increased access to debt funding, grant programs and and policies aimed at preserving and supporting local companies.

In a consumption-driven, 6% average growth economy of 1.2 billion people and 442 million smartphone users, there remain multiple avenues for improved services and more innovative products. However, while progress and innovation have been on the uptick in India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, a lot of work still remains to be done. In a recent IBM report, 64% of venture capitalists believe that India’s startups struggle to succeed because their executives do not receive adequate mentoring from experienced leaders of established companies, incubators, investors, and the like.

How do startups tackle this head on? How has the evolution of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem enabled the return of talent, a surge of FDI into capital markets, increased innovation into diverse industries and spurred more supportive Government policies? Join us as we discuss India’s entrepreneurial landscape through the lenses of two entrepreneurs who have viewed both sides of the story over the past 10 years.

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About the speakers

  • Shradha Sharma - Shradha is the founder and CEO of Bangalore based YourStory, a digital-media platform for startups and entrepreneurs that also closely interacts with seed funders, accelerators, CEOs of Indian unicorns, marquee investors and influential members of the government, to help build and expand the ecosystem they operate in. Before starting YourStory in 2008, Shradha served as an Assistant Vice President at CNBC TV-18 and also a brand advisor at The Times of India. In 2015, she was selected in the list of 500 LinkedIn Influencers across the world and later that year received the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award for Online Influence. Sharma earned a bachelor's and master's degree in history from St. Stephen’s and an MBA from MICA, Ahmedabad.

  • Rajiv Srivatsa - Rajiv is the co-founder and ex-CPTO of Urban Ladder, the #1 omni-channel brand for furniture in India and has raised 5 rounds of US$ 100m+ capital from some of India's top tier VC firms including Kalaari, Sequoia, SAIF Partners, and Steadview as well as investors such as Ratan Tata, Anand Rajaram, Venky Harinarayan, etc. Prior to his time at Urban Ladder, Rajiv was a Senior Product Manager at Yahoo!, focusing on consumer facing cutting-edge online and mobile products in emerging markets including India, LATAM and Southeast Asia. Rajiv studied at IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore (Gold Medalist) and is a Fortune 40 Under 40 and GQ’s Most Influential Young Indians honouree.

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