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SAP, TV9 Network join hands to empower & celebrate India’s SMEs

Dare2Dream Awards and Mentors of Global Bharat series launched.

After the stupendous success of Leaders of Global Bharat series that aimed at empowering Indian SMEs hit hard by pandemic induced lockdowns last year, TV9 Network and SAP India have again joined hands to forge two pioneering initiatives to help homegrown businesses rise and shine in enabling an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

With the objective to engage our business heroes from SMEs in more meaningful pursuits to inspire a whole new generation to take on the mantle of entrepreneurship and also acknowledge their contribution to India’s growth, SAP India and TV9 Network announced the launch of Mentors of Global Bharat series and Dare2Dream Awards 2021.

These two ambitious programmes were announced at Enabling Atmanirbhar Bharat forum, which saw participation from technology thought leaders, eminent policymakers and business stalwarts.

Stating that TV9 Network is happy to be associated with SAP in this exciting journey, Mr Raktim Das, Chief Growth Officer (Television & Digital), TV9 Network, said: “SME Sector is indeed the growth locomotive of Indian business & economy. They provide the critical depth to the manufacturing and service sectors, foster entrepreneurship and generate substantial employment. Enabling and empowering them to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat is an imperative”

“While Mentors of Global Bharat will be a platform where aspiring entrepreneurs will meet business icons and get to learn from their success stories and business best practices; Dare2Dream Awards will look at recognizing business leaders who had the resilience to not only tide over the pandemic induced crisis but also come out stronger by resetting their business models”, added Mr. Raktim Das.

Commenting on the programme, Paul Marriott, President, SAP, Asia Pacific Japan, said: “We have seen unprecedented adverse impact of the pandemic on business and economy - with supply chains being disrupted and demand drying up. There is no playbook or prescription that can guide businesses to emerge from such impact and resurrect themselves rapidly.

“In the many interactions that we have had with our SME customers we realised that many entrepreneurs felt the need to interact with mentors who have successfully traversed the same path before. Peer to peer learning and recognition of digital led innovation are both very important in these times and any platform that facilitates these, is a step in the right direction.”

On SAP’s constant endeavour to empower homegrown businesses, Kulmeet Bawa, President and MD, SAP Indian subcontinent, said: “Our Global Bharat program was introduced to support MSMEs last year. Taking this program forward, we are today launching these two pioneering initiatives.”

“While the Mentors of Global Bharat programme is designed to help SME entrepreneurs to learn and get inspired by industry leaders and peers who have successfully navigated the new normal, the Dare2Dream Awards series was established to recognize visionaries in the SME sector who have demonstrated innovation and digital mindset and create business impact in adverse times,” Bawa added.

Terming it one of the most required programmes aimed at helping entrepreneurs, Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan, Vice President, Midmarket, SAP India, said: “Whether one is just starting out or looking to improve their SME’s quality and turnover, it can be hard to know what direction to go next and it’s completely normal. No business owner knows everything at the start. That’s part of the reason why being mentored as a business owner is such a brilliant idea.”

The series was launched in Enabling Atmanirbhar Bharat forum which saw participation from eminent policymakers NK Singh, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission; Dr Arvind Virmani, noted economist and former chief economic advisor; and SIDBI Chairman Sivasubramanian Ramann.

Speaking on the role of MSMEs in enabling an Atmanirbhar Bharat, Singh said: “It’s a force multiplier. India’s quest for becoming a $5 tn economy and more rests majorly on the SME sector. The quest for generating gainful employment is also primarily dependent on how we provide fillip to the small and medium businesses. I regard our homegrown businesses central to India’s quest for increasing productivity and efficiency and also emerge as a leading global player.”

Former chief economic advisor Dr Arvind Virmani said: “We must ensure that there is a level playing for our SMEs. The taxation reforms for new manufacturing enterprises is a welcome step. SMEs are critical to India’s inclusive growth and to ensure that as a country we sustain a growth momentum for the next 30 years. Corporations like SAP will drive productivity to make SMEs successful.”

Mentors of Global Bharat got a shot in the arm with Sanjay Aggarwal, Chairman and CEO, Paramount Cables and Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director Insecticides (India) Ltd who joined as mentors for the initiative. They also lauded the objective behind the mentorship programme. More industry leaders will be joining as Mentors of Global Bharat in the coming weeks.

(We got this information in a press release).