Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, one of India’s largest student-run faculty-mentored non-profit organization, conducted their annual flagship event, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2022, with a theme ‘Innovation for Inclusion’ in this edition. That was held from 10th to 13th March in a hybrid format with a large part in online mode, this year.

The event was inaugurated by Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, Hon’ble Director, IIT Kharagpur on 10th, where in his speech he stressed on the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship and reflected on its enormous possibilities in solving the problems and socio-economic issues involving healthcare, water or environment etc. Mr. Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and CEO, Gupshup, and Mr. Saugata Gupta, Managing Director & CEO, Marico Ltd were the guest speakers at the opening ceremony.

GES-2022 (Photo: E-Cell, IIT)

The event closed with the address by the Hon’ble Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, which was the high point of the event.

He appreciated the work put up and the contribution of the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, describing it as an active not-for-profit organization consistently working to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth of India. The ECell, he pointed out, is providing all-around support to set up business, training, incubation, patents and funding. Over 200 startups were incubated at IIT Kharagpur and all are doing well.

The Hon’ble Minister noted the theme of GES 2022, which is, ‘Innovation for Inclusion’ and held that it would be the approach helping India to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ or Self-reliant. The use of Science, Technology, Research and Entrepreneurship knowledge for wealth creation will benefit India. He delineated the importance of such summits in promoting the culture of Entrepreneurship and in helping to understand as to how a small idea grows into a big business and that students, budding entrepreneurs, startups and industry veterans get an opportunity to exchange notes in such meetings.

Shri Gadkari also talked about the emerging sectors, working towards sustainability, such as electric vehicles, battery swapping, green hydrogen and ammonia and solar panels alongside windmills. He urged that the priorities of the stakeholders need to be aligned with the country’s commitment to net-zero carbon emission in the future. The Hon’ble Minister also called upon entrepreneurs to work with innovative ideas for generating energy etc. from waste material, that will make India more ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and clean, besides exploring opportunities for import substitution and export.

The opening ceremony also shared the optimism of the Hon’ble Minister, the speaker, Mr. Sheth held “Entrepreneurship is about can-do attitude, with a kind of mixture of arrogance and humility.

It’s not really so much about IQ, it is rather about EQ, to hone the ability to sell and be creative in approach” Mr. Saugata Gupta explained why innovation is important for startups.

Another very important person graced the programme which was looked forward to by the participants and drew motivation when Hon’ble Noble laureate, Mr. Muhammad Yunus remarked that Humans are born to be entrepreneurs and not just run after degrees and jobs. He said “We need to be job creators rather than job seekers”. The Nobel laureate emphasised on the importance of social entrepreneurship as a better alternative to charities as the money used in charities can be used only once.

The summit had a plethora of events over the four days, including competitions, in various segments with titles like GES Pitchers, Intern Carnival, Co-Founder’s meet, PhonePe’s PayHack, Business Game, Gaming Night, and HP Innov-Ethos. There were many workshops, including ‘Evolution of FinTech in India’ conducted by Mr. Srijon Biswas, Head of Engineering, PhonePe or the ‘Technology and Innovation: How it’s important for entrepreneurship’ by Mr. Vipul Mittal, Transformation Leader at Ernst and Young Global Delivery Services. Various startups participated in the Intern Carnival, where they offered internship positions in fields as diverse as Business Development to Computer Vision, to students across the country.

Co-Founder’s Meet is an event where budding entrepreneurs meet like-minded people to discuss their ideas and explore possibilities of partnering in a venture. Connecting the Dots, an initiative at GES, that helps in idea cross-pollination among the Entrepreneurship Cells of the colleges and Universities across the country for symbiotic prosperity. GES had a global outreach and also had international panellists from countries like USA, Brazil, Germany, Finland besides others.

With over 100 renowned investors, 300+ entrepreneurs, and over 1500 college students from across the country, as well as faculty members from numerous universities, the level of involvement was remarkably high. Another large-scale participation is witnessed in the Business Model Competition, ‘Empresario’ organised annually by the ECell and the Finale is merged in GES, where the current edition saw the participation of more than 1500 teams from which with mentoring and quality screening 28 teams could be vying for the top honours as finalists at The Park Hotel in Kolkata on the 11th.

GES 2022 gained the support of corporate sponsors and was presented by Reliance Industries Limited, co-sponsored by PhonePe and powered by Acer. GES 2022 ended with a huge positive feedback from the participants, who hailed the organising team and congratulated the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur for making a difference. In his concluding speech the Hon’ble Director of IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, expressed his satisfaction on the work done by the ECell and congratulated the functionaries, while reminding them about the long journey that the team should be braced up for and also assuring about the support of IIT Kharagpur in such worthy endeavours.

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