The inaugural session of YES 2017 was followed by technical sessions in which noted industrialists and entrepreneurs shared their experiences.
The sessions saw serious discussions on the various facets of entrepreneurship in sectors such as Agro -Food Processing, Sustainable Technologies, Biotechnology/Bio Medical, and Future Technologies. Successful entrepreneurs from outside the state, venture capitalists and industry leaders will interact with the young innovators in the state.
The sessions started off with a talk by Arokiaswamy Velumani, Managing Director, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd. Velumani shared his experiences in building up Thyrocare from his humble origins. He emphasised the ability to take quick decisions and being frugal.
In the next session, Nagaraja Prakasam, Partner, Acumen Fund shared his experiences in building up
entrepreneurship in non-metros. The session on Agri Food Processing was chaired by Dr Shivdas B Menon, MD, Sterling Group of Companies. Rema Subramanian, Managing Partner, Ankur Capital , Navas Meeran, Chairman,
Eastern Group of Companies, Jagannathan, Founding Member, Nallakeerai and S S Salumon, CEO, Neighborhood Agribusiness Solutions took part in the session. The participants said that value addition is key to getting economic prosperity from agriculture that provides sustenance to a large section of the country’s population. Building brands in agri-food products are also essential.
Credibility and trust and very essential to building a successful brand. Narasimhan Santhanam, Co-Founder, Energy Alternatives India (EAI) chaired the session on Sustainable Technologies. Sanjay Kulkarni, Partner, 7-Capital Ventures, Mumbai Angels, M.R. Narayanan, Chairman, Adtech Systems Ltd, Varun Sridharan, Founder, Greenvironment India and Sandith Thandasherry, CEO, NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats participated in the session. The speakers said that it is necessary for the technologies to be economical to be sustainable. Entrepreneurs should not rely on subsidies and other external factors for the profitability of their businesses especially in emerging technologies such as cleantech that are currently subsidised.
The session on Start Up India initiatives and schemes saw senior officials from the Start Up India team – Vivek Sonny, Assistant Vice President, Invest India, Uday Munjal, Assistant Vice President, Invest India and Khushbu, Invest India – elaborate on Start Up India initiatives and schemes. Startup India hub is a one stop platform for the entrepreneurs. The team interacted with the young entrepreneurs during the session.
Dr. Achuthsankar , Head, Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Kerala chaired the session on Biotechnology. Mahesh Pratapneni, MD, Emerge Ventures, C. Balagopal, Promoter, Terumo Penpol Ltd, Vibin Joseph, ED, BiOZEEN and Aardra Chandra Mouli, MD, Aeka Biochemicals spoke at the session. The speakers emphasised the need for quality in the field of Biotechnology. Entreprises can grow big only if their products meet the highest international standards. Entry barriers to the sector are low today as regulations are lax. But regulations are getting tougher by the day and hence enterprises will have to meet them in the near future.
The session on Future Technologies was chaired by Sanjay Kaul, Secretary, Industries Department, GOK. M Madhavan Nambiar, N R Panicker, Head, Accel Group, Afsal Salu, National Business Head – Express Business, BigBasket.com and Aronin, CEO and CO-founder Sastra Robotics participated in the session. The speakers elaborated on the schemes that the government has introduced to help sectors such as electronics to grow. Even though technologies are available, entrepreneurs should study the market readiness of the products before working on their ideas. This is especially true in the Indian context.
Speaking at the valedictory function, Dr. Christy Fernandez, Chairman, KSIDC said that YES is just the starting point and the momentum has to be carried forward. Dr. M. Beena, MD, KSIDC in her concluding remarks said that the biggest takeaway of the event was that start-ups are not just in the IT sector. There is huge potential for start-ups in other sectors and they can change people’s lives for the better. The exhibition held as part of the Summit was also a big success with the huge range of innovative products from robots to coconut climbers on display.
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