ASCENT Foundation extends peer entrepreneurial support to Gujarat market with All India chapter

  • 39% increase in peer learning applications witnessed from Gujarat based entrepreneurs since 2020
  • Gujarat entrepreneurs currently comprises 10% of the All India peer learning cohort of ASCENT Foundation
  • First Generation business owners are emerging from the Gujarat market due to access to risk capital, peer support, better networking opportunities and closer global connect
  • ASCENT Foundation will be hosting 7th edition of ASCENT conclave with 1200+ entrepreneurs from across India in Mumbai on November 27, 2022
  • Success Stories of Gurajati Entrepreneurs: Nirav Raval (Managing Partner, KiwiQA Services), Jaymeen Thakkar (Director at JD Merchandise Pvt Ltd)– the Ahmedabad-based leaders share their opinion on the entrepreneurship growth in Gujarat and the key reasons behind it

Ahmedabad, September 23: ASCENT Foundation, a not-for-profit, peer-to-peer learning platform founded by Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd has registered over 39% increase in applications for All India chapter from Gujarat. In a recent event hosted by ASCENT Foundation in Ahmedabad, its cohort members shared insights on how the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Gujarat has grown post the pandemic due to positive contributing factors like access to risk capital, peer support, better networking opportunities and closer global connect.

ASCENT Foundation has been reaching out to growth oriented entrepreneurs from Gujarat requiring peer support, all India networking opportunities and the need of a sounding board to support the rise of entrepreneurial spirit of the city. The 10% Ahmedabad based entrepreneurs added to the All India cohort belong to various industries like Chemical / Pharmaceutical, Rubber Plastic Manufacturing, Banking & Finance, Textiles, Logistics, Technology. Through the ASCENT Trust groups of like minded leaders of tomorrow, Gujarati entrepreneurs have received access to a pan India viewpoint, operational efficiency, and a diverse network. This has enabled a sense of quicker adoption of the drastic economy, higher peer support and tangible growth in business. Consistent peer support is the key ingredient to tap the potential of the rising entrepreneurial spirit in the Gujarat market.

The Gujarat entrepreneurial market is witnessing rising interest from young/ first generation entrepreneurs as well as third generation entrepreneurs who are building the business for tomorrow or joining their family businesses. The entrepreneurial uptake in the Gujarat market has been factored due to:

Access to Interest: With initiatives like Make in India and Skill India, and Student Startup and Innovation Policy (SSIP), the Gujarat market has benefited from the government’s unfettered interest in its entrepreneurial talent which is playing a catalyst role in promoting the young innovators and entrepreneurs from the state. Jaymeen Thakkar, Director at JD Merchandise Pvt Ltd shares, “ The Government has done its bit, they have worked on the policies, they have created a pipeline. Now is the time for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to make avail this interest and convert it to opportunity with sheer hard work and grit”

Realising the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the market, the education systems were empowered with various programs and schemes to promote and nurture the growing culture of entrepreneurship and create meaningful opportunities. All major universities such as Ahmedabad University, IIM-A, MICA, NID, NIFT have incorporated focused entrepreneurial learning and skilling to their curriculum. “Today, the youth are provided with the right guidance and infrastructure to set up their own venture. Entrepreneurship spirit is at an all time high at the moment in the state due to various initiatives. With all the right things, the state is shifting its focus from traditional to new age business models.” says Nirav Raval, Managing Partner, KiwiQA Services

Access to Technology and International Markets: Government’s initiative of setting up a GIFT City is an important gateway to become a financial superpower and build strong global competition against giant financial hubs like Hong Kong, Singapore or London. Gujarat’s market has also emerged as a key market for high-tech industries that have the potential to compete globally- further opening opportunities for the Gujarat based entrepreneurs. Acknowledging the leverage of the same, Nirav Raval, Managing Partner, KiwiQA Services commented, “From being a business state, Gujarat is becoming a startup state. Ahmedabad, in particular, has become a hub for high-tech industry startups, which is a direct reflection of the facilities and efforts the government has invested into the state. Gujarat has already established itself as a crucial player in providing backhand support to the country’s new generation Internet-of-Things (IoT) segment.”

Access to Risk Capital: The emergence of an appropriate ecosystem that is not just growing manifolds but also attracting government’s support. This has resulted in greater interest by VC’s and angel investors both domestically and internationally, making Gujarat the ripe market for entrepreneurial growth. “Entrepreneurs are currently looking into new avenues for funding the establishment or growth of their businesses. A culture of fund-raising that was exclusive to Bangalore or Mumbai five years ago has now spread to Gujarat. Gujarat’s investor community is playing an active role in assisting the state’s creative ideas on their path to success.”Nirav Raval, Managing Partner, KiwiQA Services commented.

Access to Networking: The Gujarat market has been renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and business sense since time immemorial. But the market has been rather muted in sharing its entrepreneurial success stories with the world, the major reason behind this has been limited networking opportunities and resistance to share. The market has however been introduced to change – with newer generations seeking expert views, incubator programmes running and seeing success, peer learning platforms establishing relevance. Summarising with the need to seek peer support, Archanna Das, CEO, ASCENT Foundation quoted “Entrepreneurs from Gujarat have always been thriving on change. Every generation of entrepreneurs has developed their enterprises to meet demands and trends. They are also fast realising the need of the modern world where entrepreneurs need peer support networks to learn and unlearn the nuances of businesses to boost their development and become the leaders. ASCENT’s All India Chapter aims to provide just that with greater learnings, trust-enabled discussions and having a sounding board with perspectives from organisations and entrepreneurs from across India.”


About ASCENT Foundation: ASCENT Foundation started by Harsh Mariwala (Chairman, Marico Ltd.) is a not-for-profit expression of his personal passion to identify and enable high-potential growth-stage entrepreneurs in their journey to grow both as Entrepreneurs and their Enterprises. ASCENT creates a close-knit Trust Group of non-competing entrepreneurs who believe in Learning from Doers. Designed as a peer-to-peer platform, ASCENT leverages the “power of the collective” and enables entrepreneurs to share experiences, ideas, insights to learn from each other through self-facilitated Trust Groups and an extended network of Enablers. In the last 10 years, ASCENT has selected over 850 entrepreneurs as members (from more than 3000+ applications received) who are part of 73 operational Trust Groups in Mumbai, Chennai and All India Chapters. The composition of these members is quite diverse with a 46:54 split between Manufacturing and Services Industries; 44% Family Businesses; 7% Women Entrepreneurs and in all about 65+ diverse industries represented. The aggregate annual turnover of the ASCENT members is more than Rs. 53,000 crores with individual member turnover ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2500+ crores.

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