Anand Sri Ganesh, COO, NSRCEL – IIMB

NSRCEL―the incubation arm of IIM Bangalore (IIMB) successfully hosted its 2-day Women Entrepreneurship Summit on 10-11 December 2021. The one-of-its-kind initiative provided a platform for knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to budding women founders with reputed entrepreneurs and NSRCELs- expert mentors. It hosted thought-provoking sessions where renowned speakers talked and discussed with participants about scaling businesses, being first-time founders, building a brand, and raising a family while being an entrepreneur. In a conversation with CXO Outlook, Anand Sri Ganesh, COO, NSRCEL – IIMB, talks about the growth of women entrepreneurs in India, the idea behind Summit Up organised by NSRCEL, and much more.

 

Despite facing several challenges of breaking into the formal business sector, women entrepreneurs in India have marked their identity across domains and industries. How has been the growth of women entrepreneurs within the Indian ecosystem?

There have been many celebrated women entrepreneurship success stories recently. They definitely serve as a role model for others. At NSRCEL we are seized with the polarity amongst women entrepreneurs. Many innovators face biases and societal hurdles in staying the course as entrepreneurs and scaling their ventures. As ecosystem enablers, we have to keep chipping away at these hurdles. Policy interventions that make resources more easily available to women entrepreneurs also help.

How is NSRCEL – IIMB supporting aspiring women entrepreneurs?

The conference has brought together the government, policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and academia together to grapple with how we can structurally and systemically overcome barriers to creating and scaling women entrepreneurs. It has provided a great platform for women founders and aspiring entrepreneurs to share their experiences and learn from one another. I feel the event has also catalyzed to create collective energy to break through barriers and achieve big things.

Tell us about the vision and mission strategy of the idea behind Summit Up organised by NSRCEL.

NSRCEL is deeply committed to the women entrepreneurship space, through our early-stage and scale-up stage programs. We wish to bring together government & policy makers, industry, and academia together to celebrate the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the country while highlighting significant hurdles that women entrepreneurs face today in bringing their ideas to life.

What is the goal NSRCEL targets to achieve through Summit Up?

Women entrepreneurs have had some storied successes recently. But the systemic biases and societal hurdles women entrepreneurs face are significant, and often stifle innovative ideas and passionate founders. Summit Up is a platform for the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem to come together to find ways to dissolve these barriers.

What changes have you witnessed in the entrepreneurship sector that have inspired more women now than ever to become an entrepreneur than opting for a 9 to 5 job?

We are definitely in a positive trajectory in women with great ideas and entrepreneurial hunger crossing over from corporate lives to venture founders. There is greater societal acceptance of women as innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Policy impetus to women entrepreneurs and focussed products and services from banks and funding agencies are helping Industry bodies.

How are you planning to operate in the post-pandemic world? Tell us about your immediate plans and long-term vision for NSRCEL.

We’re probably still in the midst of the pandemic, none of us really know how the workplace of the future will look. At NSRCEL we have shifted all of out entrepreneurial interventions to digital platforms. We have accelerated our investments in on-demand content and engagement platforms. I do imagine NSRCEL will follow a hybrid model of digital interventions interspersed with intense physical bootcamps. What digital platforms enable in reach also takes away from the ability to network and create serendipitous moments of value that take place though physical interactions. We are experimenting with different operating models to see what may work.

Through these, NSRCEL aims to be the destination of choice for aspirants to transform to entrepreneurs and sustain their journeys. We play a leading role in catalysing the ecosystem in emerging and underserved areas where the downstream economic and societal impact is significant.

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