Wharton India Economic Forum, 2019: A melting pot of industry leaders, professionals, academics …

… Prayank Swaroop of Accel Partners, Rajinder Balaraman of Matrix Partners, Sakshi Chopra of Sequoia Capital and Badri Pillapakkam of Omidyar …

Wharton India Economic Forum is the biggest India-focused forum discussing India’s evolution into a prominent global economic power. Its 23rd edition, held in Mumbai on 4th January, 2019, was attended by a crowd of 400 people comprising students, academics, professionals and industry leaders. The event was led and co-chaired by second-year Wharton School students Juhi Bhatnagar, Kartik Das, Swati Ganeti, Khushboo Goel and Sonal Panda. This year’s theme – ‘Innovate. Impact. Invest’ – sought to explore India’s immense economic potential and the lessons it offers to other developing economies. Renowned speakers the event ranged from backgrounds as diverse as finance, consulting, policy, economics, entrepreneurship and media & entertainment.

The panel discussions at WIEF 2019 covered several pertinent topics on the Indian economy, such as India’s energy outlook, future of mobility, investing in India, impact investing, healthcare and innovation in the film industry. The opening keynote was delivered by Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO of Invest India, who talked about the changing Indian economy and the government’s efforts in promoting investment in the country.

Fireside chats were also on the agenda. Niranjan Narayanaswamy (editor, Republic TV) discussed the growth of the National Stock Exchange with Vikram Limaye (MD & CEO, NSE), while Harbir Singh (co-director, Mack Institute for Innovation) engaged Naveen Jindal (Chairman, Jindal Steel and Power) in a conversation on the state of India’s steel industry. The day ended with a speech from Pankaj Munjal (MD, Hero Cycles) who charted the brand’s journey so far and elaborated upon its plans to bring safe, environment friendly, and efficient transportation to Indian roads.

Alongside the main event, the sixth Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC) was also organised. The opening keynote was delivered by Raj Beri (CEO, Uber Eats APAC), who spoke about the food delivery service’s outlook and future plans in India. The challenge, which has grown immensely since its first edition, received 500 entries this year. Ten finalists were given the opportunity to pitch in front of the WIEF investor panel, which included names such as Padmaja Ruparel of India Angel Network, Prayank Swaroop of Accel Partners, Rajinder Balaraman of Matrix Partners, Sakshi Chopra of Sequoia Capital and Badri Pillapakkam of Omidyar Network.

The winning startups were MyPetrolPump (an on-demand fuel delivery service) which received an award of $10K, ITILITE (business travel agent for corporates) which received an award of $6K, and Credenc (an edtech platform offering student loans) which received an award of $4K. In addition, the winners and finalists received credits and prizes from Amazon Web services, Digital Ocean, ThinQbate (a Mumbai-based startup accelerator) and LetsVenture (a platform for angel investing). Meanwhile, two masterclasses were also conducted at WISC, covering topics such as disruption (by Mr Dhiraj Rajaram – founder & CEO, MuSigma) and debt financing (by Rahul Khanna – MD, Trifecta Capital).

Wharton India Economic Forum seeks to promote constructive dialogue on the current business and economic landscape of India. And like every year, this year’s edition, too, facilitated engaging and illuminating discussions with the experts from different fields.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Wharton India Economic Forum and not by the Scroll editorial team.

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Meet The Winners Of The 6th Edition Of Wharton India Startup Challenge

WISC is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the country. MyPetrolPump, ITILITE and Credenc won the challenge. The VC panel included …

The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) hosted the sixth edition of the Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC) in Mumbai where 10 startups selected out of more than 550 applications pitched to the investors for prizes.

The Wharton India Economic Forum along with the annual Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC) aims to promote entrepreneurship in the country. Out of the top 10, three startups which won the funding are:

MyPetrolPump

Founded in: 2016

Founders: Ashish Gupta and Nabin Roy

Headquarters: Bengaluru

Winning amount: $10K

Business: MyPetrolPump is an online platform to provide doorstep delivery of diesel for generator or cars in specialised refuellers.

ITILITE

Founded in: 2017

Founders:Mayank Kukreja and Anish Khadiya

Headquarters: Bengaluru

Winning amount: $6K

Business: ITILITE is a SaaS-integrated travel desk solution for corporates and helps them reduce travel cost and improve booking experience, by incentivising employees to save on their travel expense.

Credenc

Founded in: 2017

Founders:Avinash Kumar and Mayank Batheja

Headquarters: Delhi

Winning amount: $4K

Business: Credenc is an educational financial services company and helps students to get study loans for their college.

The startups had to pitch to the VC panel constituting investors such as Padmaja Ruparel of India Angel Network, Prayank Swaroop of Accel Partners, Rajinder Balaraman of Matrix Partners, Sakshi Chopra of Sequoia Capital and Badri Pillapakkam of Omidyar Network.

The pitch consisted of a seven-minute presentation and a six-minute question and answer sessions by audience and judges. The winners got the funding along with prizes from Amazon, Digital Ocean, Thinqbate and exclusive mentorship from the Wharton Mentors Network.

Talking to Inc42, Juhi Bhatnagar, Wharton India Economic Forum co-chair said, “This has been a record-breaking year with unprecedented attendance and more than 500 quality startup applications. The top three finalists had incredible pitches and energy, and we are so excited about what they plan to build. We are certain that the winners are going to benefit greatly from the value addition in terms of the network, validation as well as reach that winning WISC will provide.”

The previous winners of the Wharton Startup Challenge have gone on to raise over $50 Mn (INR 349.95 Cr) in funding from more than 20 institutional investors. These success stories include Bizongo, Zoomcar, Zostel, Detect Technologies and more.

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Wharton India Economic Forum, India’s largest student-run biz conference, showcases startups in …

The panel included names like Padmaja Ruparel of India Angel Network, Prayank Swaroop of Accel Partners, Rajinder Balaraman of Matrix Partners, …

The Wharton India Startup Challenge received 500+ applications, of which top 10 finalists were chosen. The three winners earned a cash prize of $20,000 and other rewards from AWS, DigitalOcean, ThinQbate, and LetsVenture.

The 23rd edition of the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) was held in Mumbai last week. WIEF is the largest student-run, India-centric business conference hosted by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It brings together entrepreneurs, leaders, professionals, academics, and students from across the world to discuss India’s growing presence in the global economy. The event was attended by more than 400 people.

WIEF 2019 was led and co-chaired by Wharton School students Juhi Bhatnagar, Kartik Das, Swati Ganeti, Khushboo Goel and Sonal Panda.

One of the top attractions at WIEF is the Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC), which is in its sixth year now. In the past, now-successful startups like BabyChakra, Zostel, Haptik, Zoomcar, Bizongo, and Ketto have presented at the WISC. The Startup Challenge has grown 20X since it began. Past winners of the challenge have gone on to raise over $50 million from more than 20 institutional investors.

startup challenge

WISC zeroed in on 10 startups from a pool of more than 500 applications. These 10 finalists were given the opportunity to pitch in front of an investor panel at WIEF. The panel included names like Padmaja Ruparel of India Angel Network, Prayank Swaroop of Accel Partners, Rajinder Balaraman of Matrix Partners, Sakshi Chopra of Sequoia Capital and Badri Pillapakkam of Omidyar Network.

This year, the 10 finalists included GoComet, Nuo, Lifepage, CashPositive, AgroWave, Reculta, MyPetrolPump, Wink & Nod, Credenc, and ItiLite.

The startup pitches were evaluated on the basis of four parameters: strength of the founding team, product market fit, financials, and WIEF mission alignment on impact.

The winning startups were:

  1. 1st Prize: MyPetrolPump (on-demand fuel delivery service)
  2. 2rd Prize: ITILITE (a business travel agent for corporates)
  3. 3nd Prize: Credenc (edtech platform offering student loans)

Ashish Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, MyPetrolPump, said: “Participating and Winning WISC is another milestone in our long journey. WISC ‘19 has provided us with huge visibility across the startup ecosystem in India and abroad. We are looking to raise pre-series A investment to the tune of $2 million to scale up further.”

(Second from left) Ashish Gupta, Co-founder, MyPetrolPump at WIEF 2019

Mayank Kukreja, Founder, ITILITE, said: “At ITILITE, we have built a smart platform for the modern corporate traveller and WISC was a great opportunity to showcase it to a large audience. Winning the startup challenge is yet another validation that our product is the much needed technology boost to this sector stuck in old school processes. We are strengthening our presence in the top 10 cities to serve the large void in the corporate travel industry.”

Mayank Kukreja, Founder, ITILITE

Avinash Kumar, Co-founder, Credenc, said: “The WISC journey through the different stages helped us improve our pitch and see ourselves more objectively. To be one of the winners for this year is a great feeling, and beyond the cash prize, it gives us further validation and steam to keep pushing the boundaries. Our ambition is to open up a very large lending segment which is currently ignored, enabling students across India to pursue education and careers of their choice by removing the financial barrier.”

Avinash Kumar & Mayank Batheja, Co-founders, Credenc

Wharton India also roped in several partners to aid the winning startups.

The top three earned cash prizes of $10,000, $6,000 and $4,000, respectively. They also got $10,000 in Amazon Web Services and DigitalOcean credits. Additionally, the three winners received prizes from ThinQbate(a Mumbai-based startup accelerator) and LetsVenture (a platform for angel investing).

Juhi Bhatnagar, Co-Chair of WIEF, said: This has been a record-breaking year with unprecedented attendance and more than 500 quality startup applications. The top three had incredible pitches and energy, and we are so excited for what they plan to build. We are certain that the winners are going to benefit greatly from the value addition in terms of the network, validation as well as reach that winning WISC will provide.Some pitchers have already started getting inbound interest from investors.”

Kartik Das, Co-Chair of WIEF, said: “This year WISC witnessed a diverse range of startups and the organising team worked hard to collaborate with the nation’s top VCs to narrow down the list of applications to the top 10 finalists. In addition, we have also launched the WISEMENTORS initiative for startup mentorship, and an inspiring podcasts series capturing insights from leading business professionals.”

VCs gathered at WISC weighed in as well.

Commenting on the evolution of India’s overall startup landscape, India Angel Network’s Padmaja said, 

“When we started out as investors, we only saw services being offered. There were no product startups. That was where we were. That has changed now.”

Rajinder of Matrix Partners concurred. He said, “India has always had outstanding entrepreneurs. Finally, we have a market that is right.” Prayank of Accel Partners added, “The big change is the speed at which startups are beginning to scale now. I hope the perception will change, and there will be a global deep tech company out of India.”


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More investments will make TN India’s innovation hub, knowledge capital : OPS

development, financial technology, would help in achieving late leader. J Jayalalithaa’s goal of making Tamil Nadu, India’s innovation hub and

Chennai, Nov 10 (UNI) Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday

said more investments in value added service industries, research and

development, financial technology, would help in achieving late leader

J Jayalalithaa’s goal of making Tamil Nadu, India’s innovation hub and

knowledge capital.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the World Islamic Economic Forum

and United Economic Forum (WIEF-UEF) Chennai Roundtable 2018 here,

he said both the UEF and WIEF were working closely together on attracting

more investments to Tamil Nadu.

He said it was commendable, that they have set a target, of attracting,

one per cent of all Sovereign Wealth Fund Investments, into the State.

This would amount to USD 33 billion, he said, adding, such investments,

would immensely benefit the State and society, at large.

Observing that if any State was ready to receive ground investments

of such a large volume, it was Tamil Nadu, Mr Panneerselvam said the

State Government has already identified over 200 Infrastructure projects,

requiring investment of about USD 250 billion.

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AIFC seeks WIEF boost

This would be the second WIEF event to be held, here, after the first in July 2011. The 14th WIEF will focus primarily on Islamic finance and banking, as well as current economic issues such as digital economy and financial technology. Musa said interest in Islamic finance and banking from developed …

ASTANA: The upcoming 14th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), here, will help promote Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) as the regional hub for Islamic finance in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

Chairman of the WIEF Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam said Kazakhstan had shown keen interest to develop its own Islamic finance and banking sector.

He said the country Kazakhstan was now in a new phase of development, in which it was diversifying the economy from relying heavily on natural resources to become an internationally renowned financial services market.

“We have seen the developments in Kazakhstan. We are here at the invitation of the AIFC and its governor Kairat Kelimbetov.

“We have also been invited to be part of a bigger celebration in Kazakhstan in July.

“We are happy to collaborate with them (AIFC) to host the 14th WIEF in Astana.

“We were here many years ago. we had been here. As an organisation, we know Astana and they know us and they have been our strong supporters,” he Musa told NST Business.

Musa was here to sign the agreement between WIEF Foundation and AIFC to host the event on July 4.

Also present was the secretary general Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak.

This would be the second WIEF event to be held, here, after the first in July 2011.

The 14th WIEF will focus primarily on Islamic finance and banking, as well as current economic issues such as digital economy and financial technology.

Musa said interest in Islamic finance and banking from developed and developing countries worldwide had been on the rise.

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