Right Ecosystem in Place for Startups, Hari Menon Tells CMA Meet


Kozhikode: The time is ripe for startups to grow in the country with the right eco-system in place, said Hari Menon, CEO and Co-Founder of online grocery retailer BigBasket.com, while addressing the 21st Annual Management Convention of the Calicut Management Association (CMA) in Kozhikode.

He heaped praise on the Central Government for promoting favourable conditions for start ups in the country. “There is a lot happening in terms of support from the government. I think the state governments are moving slightly slower, but it is just a matter of time that they also start picking up,” he said.

According to Hari Menon, government support, availability of talent and investments are the crucial requirements to ensure exponential growth of the economy surrounding startups. Unlike the conditions which existed in the early 2000s and later during recession, venture capitalists and private equity players in the country enjoy high rates of liquidity, enabling them to confidently support the startup sector, which is currently teeming with talent.

“The investment eco-system in the country is very good. Every sensible business gets funded in no time. All the VCs and private equity players are very well-funded themselves. The liquidity with them is extremely high. It’s just that they are really careful in choosing the investments, but if you could convince them, they will raise money,” Hari Menon added. Prof. S Balasubramaniam, Founder & CEO, Nurturing Outstanding Women, was the chief guest for the event.

Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, IT Parks Kerala, at the inaugural event, observed that startups utilising disruptive technologies will be the market ruling companies in the future. “Globally, most businesses by industry giants are disruptive. The biggest hotel chain in the world – Airbnb – does not own any hotel rooms, the biggest transportation network company – Uber – does not own any cars, the biggest retailer in the world – Alibaba – does not hold any inventory and the biggest content development firm in the world – Facebook – does not create any content. These are examples of how IT can transform business,” said Hrishikesh Nair.

The key focus of the two-day convention was fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Malabar. The inaugural session was followed by CMA Excellence Awards distribution. Management and Leadership Award was presented to business tycoon B Ravi Pillai of RP Group and the award was received on his behalf by Ashish Nair, Head – Corporate Affairs, RP Group. CMA – CK Award for Institutional Excellence went to Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal; Young Manager Award was presented to Hijaaz Ali Raza, Parisons Group; Young Entrepreneur Award to Shamil Salam, Founder, Kenzon India and Thanveer Gafoor, BMG Group; and Women Entrepreneur’s Award to Seeta Rajagopal, Founder, Ente Veedu and Anjali Chandran, Founder, Impresa.

The speakers included Parivesh Chugh, GM (R&D), GAIL (India) Ltd.; Sanjay Grover, Director, LMA (Local Management Association) Relations, All India Management Association; Venkatesh Channaraj, Chief Business Officer, HolidayIQ; Subrata Mandal, CIO Aliaxis Group of Companies; and Dr. V K S Menon, Founder President, CMA.

The key topics of discussion were ‘Marketing and brand building challengers for entrepreneurs and startups’; ‘Digital Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs’; and ‘Entrepreneurial Finance: Essential focus areas/tools in setting up, monitoring and managing the finance of startups and entrepreneurs’.

Destination Kerala business magazine was the magazine partner of the event.