ASCENT Foundation, personal expression of Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd. hosted the seventh edition of its flagship entrepreneurial event ASCENT Conclave at Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai on November 24, 2022.
The Conclave was joined by industry leaders and innovators like Natarajan Chandrasekaran, (Tata Group), Harsh Mariwala (ASCENT and Marico Ltd.), Boman Irani (Actor), Namita Thapar (Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd.), Peyush Bansal (Lenskart) Ajit Mohan (Former Meta India), Ananth Narayanan (Mensa Brands), Vineeta Singh (SUGAR Cosmetics), Aman Gupta (boAt), Ajith Pai (Delhivery) Meena Ganesh (Portea Medical) S.V. Nathan (Deloitte India), Ramji Raghavan (Agastya International Foundation), Sandip Singh (Ishitva Robotic Systems) and Angad Daryani (Praan).
The Conclave themed around ‘Thriving on Change’ was joined by 1200+ entrepreneurs across India for a day-long interactive conclave, exploring the nuances of thriving in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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The conclave started with a welcome note by Harsh Mariwala highlighting the belief that the $5 Trillion economic ambition will be met through the country’s entrepreneurs. He was joined by Bollywood actor Boman Irani, who shared his insights on the ‘Power of re-inventing oneself’ and how stepping out of one’s comfort zone constantly is imperative for the sustained growth of an individual. Leading with an example, Boman Irani shared candid anecdotes from his life journey to encourage the listeners to constantly challenge their content in good times and build resilience for the difficult phases.
This year’s conclave was hosted in partnership with the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism as a Global Partner aimed at fostering global market access for growth-oriented entrepreneurs of India.
Archanna Das, CEO, ASCENT, concluded the conclave with a vote of thanks. She said that “This year’s conclave has set another milestone in the successful history of ASCENT with the active participation of more than 1200 entrepreneurs. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism for associating with us as a global partner. ASCENT is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that fosters entrepreneurship. ASCENT Conclave is a testament to our efforts each year in bringing together the country’s Thought Leaders, Changemakers and Innovators to share, motivate, and celebrate their unique, entrepreneurial journeys and we aim to contribute actively to the growth story of India.”
The Conclave then proceeded to the interestingly designed panels where Ajit Mohan (Former VP and Managing Director, Meta India) explored the theme of Super Charging a Digital Future with Ananth Narayanan (Founder, Mensa Brand). The power-packed session was followed by a special session with Zaiba Sarang (Co-founder, iThink Logistics), and Divyashikha Gupta, (Managing Director and CEO, Stalwart World), who are ASCENT Members.
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Seasoned entrepreneurs and innovators disrupting their sectors Ramji Raghavan (Founder and Chairperson, Agastya International Foundation), Sandip Singh (CEO, Ishitva Robotic Systems) and Angad Daryani (Founder and CEO, Praan) shared with the larger group what really ‘goes on in an innovator’s mind’ with take-home value for the techpreneurs in the audience. This was followed by a strategically curated session with industry veterans like Meena Ganesh (Chairperson, Portea Medical), S. V. Nathan (Partner and Chief Talent officer, Deloitte India), and Ajith Pai (CEO, Delhivery) to explore the future of digital workforces. Moderated by Sunanda Jayaselean (Deputy News Editor, Times Network) unfolded the lessons of workforce management and employee satisfaction from the disruptors’ entrepreneurial journeys.
The keynote session was delivered by Natarajan Chandrasekaran (Chairperson, Tata Group) who shared his journey and insights on Leadership as a Marathon and how he has embedded a culture of customer focus, growth mind set, and innovation in his organization. Based on his personal experience explained how entrepreneurs may leapfrog to develop successful and relevant businesses by following the discipline of running their organizations like a marathon. The session was followed by a brief fireside chat between Harsh Mariwala and Natarajan Chandrasekaran which revealed that both received the best entrepreneurial advice from their respective fathers – to stay humble and learn on the job.
The last session of the conclave offered a sneak peek into the personal, candid entrepreneurial lives and beliefs of India’s Sharks – Namita Thapar (Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd.), Vineeta Singh (CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics), Aman Gupta (Co-founder and CMO, boat), and Peyush Bansal (Co-founder and CEO, Lenskart). The comradery and bond reflected in the final ‘Fun with Sharks’ session which explored the investors’ vision while investing and the qualities that new-age entrepreneurs must possess in the ever-changing business ecosystem.
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Namita Thapar, who is also an advisory board member of ASCENT concluded by rehashing the need and importance of peer learning platforms like ASCENT for emerging business leaders to bounce off ideas, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and grow through peer learning and support in a trust enabled environment.
Entrepreneurs also benefited from the unique session formats on topics such as the necessity of brand creation, scaling firms in the face of adversities, and working toward effective leadership.
ASCENT Foundation started by Harsh Mariwala (Chairman, Marico Ltd.) is a not-for-profit expression of his 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, and insights to learn from each other through self-facilitated Trust Groups and an extended network of Enablers.
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In the last 10 years, ASCENT has selected over 850 entrepreneurs as members (from more than 3000+ applications received) who are part of 74 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.