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    Piyush Goyal, Chandrasekhar to Grace Awards


    Union Cabinet minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the guests of honour at a dazzling ceremony to celebrate the winners of The Economic Times Startup Awards on Saturday, October 7.

    Piyush Goyal, Chandrasekhar to Grace Awards
    Union Cabinet minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be the guests of honour at a dazzling ceremony to celebrate the winners of The Economic Times Startup Awards on Saturday, October 7.

    The star-studded event in Bengaluru is set to host a galaxy of business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers — marking the ninth edition of the country’s most coveted awards for entrepreneurial excellence.

    Goyal, Union minister for commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food & public distribution and textiles, will join Chandrasekhar, minister of state for entrepreneurship, skill development, electronics & technology, to engage with a select gathering of the country’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders.

    The government has emerged as a key enabler for the technology and startup sectors that are poised to play a pivotal role in India’s goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025.

    Startup founders as well as investors attending the exclusive event can also expect key updates on important upcoming legislations, including the ecommerce policy as well as the recently enacted personal data protection law. These regulations have a direct bearing on business operations of scores of homegrown startups, in addition to larger internet and telecom companies. Goyal’s interaction with industry leaders at the ceremony is expected to provide insights into the government’s push to further support the ecosystem.

    This is amid a global downturn in the investment scenario for technology and new economy sectors. The minister had recently noted that Indian startups have recorded remarkable growth — rising from 450 startups in 2016 to over one lakh today, making this the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem.

    The Economic Times Startup Awards, launched in 2015, have chronicled this remarkable surge in entrepreneurial activity and recognised a slew of winners, ranging from ride-hailing app Ola to food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy, enterprise software maker Freshworks, hotel room aggregator Oyo and logistics provider Delhivery, as well as fintech majors such as Zerodha and Razorpay in past editions.

    This time, OfBusiness, a Gurgaon-based business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce platform, won top honours as the Startup of the Year, while Jishnu Bhattacharjee, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners, won the Midas Touch Award for Best Investor this year.

    The award for the Bootstrap Champ went to online gaming company Gameberry Labs, and the prize for Top Innovator was bagged by biotech startup String Bio. ZopSmart, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform servicing companies in the retail sector, won the Comeback Kid award, and FIA Global, a company helping people in some of the most remote areas of the country avail of formal financial services, won in the Social Enterprise category.

    Digantara Research & Technologies, a space situational awareness company – started on a campus – was adjudged Best on Campus. Building a Rs 200-crore company in the pet care and supplies industry gave Heads Up for Tails founder Rashi Narang an edge, winning her the Woman Ahead prize.

    Winners of the latest edition of these elite awards for startup excellence were chosen at a virtual meeting — chaired by Kotak Mahindra Bank founder and director Uday Kotak — which lasted for more than two hours on September 12.

    Joining Kotak on the jury were Ranjan Pai, chairman of Manipal Hospital; Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel; Supam Maheshwari, cofounder and chief executive of FirstCry; Deepinder Goyal, cofounder and CEO of Zomato; Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Flipkart Group; Renuka Ramnath, founder of Multiples PE; Harshil Mathur, cofounder and CEO of Razorpay; Roshni Nadar Malhotra, chairperson of HCLTech; Satyan Gajwani, vice-chairman at Times Internet; and Arjun Sethi, cofounder of Silicon Valley-based Tribe Capital.

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