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BW Businessworld

YEA: India’s Future Ready Entrepreneurs

In its sixth edition, BW Businessworld’s Young Entrepreneur Awards sharpened its lens to find young entrepreneurs whose business ideas are creating future fit solutions, and awarded 42 companies that deliver on this premise

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


AT a time when ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has become an important element of India’s vision for the future, the role of the Indian startup industry has come under the scanner as well. The concerns of a world struck by a pandemic, the challenges of an expected recession, the acceleration of digital adoption and a stronger drive from the Indian government not only towards self-reliance but also in augmenting the Indian digital economy, have all laid down the groundwork for India to become home to global entrepreneurs.

In the sixth edition of the BW Businessworld Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA), this served as the backdrop in identifying the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs whose mindsets, business ideas and approach show promise towards the formation of sustainable business model and clutter breaking solutions.

An endeavour of BW Disrupt, part of the BW Businessworld Group, YEA is an annual initiative conceptualised to recognise India’s most enterprising young minds. In 2020, over 42 companies joined the BW Businessworld YEA club for exhibiting resilience and future readiness in their business propositions.

YEA Methodology

In line with previous editions, in 2020 companies could submit their nominations for one of their founding member or CXOs under two categories – companies with 0-3 years of experience and companies with 3–7 years of experience. Other requirements for filing nominations was a minimum capital of Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 25,00,000 respectively for the two categories, and 80 per cent revenue being generated from domestic operations. Applications received were then subjected to a multi-tier evaluation process.

Following the screening process, a team of experts evaluated the eligible nominations on parameters such as business idea and model, long term potential, social impact, leadership team, role of the entrepreneur, source of funding and year-on-year profit and growth, to arrive at a shortlist.

This shortlisted set of entrepreneurs was called to present their cases to a 13-member jury board that comprised a panel of industry experts. The panel evaluated these entrepreneurs on parameters such as key milestones of the company, the market opportunity, the financial performance and the entrepreneurial journey highlights.

The Jury Board was led by Jury Chair Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Surge & Sequoia Capital India. Hemant Kanoria, Trustee, Kanoria Foundation & Chairman Srei Infrastructure Finance was the Co-Chair of the Jury.

The winners were awarded in an online ceremony on September 9, 2020. The awards were preceded by a day-long summit, where industry captains tabled growth triggers, issues and related topics that assist young entrepreneurs today in their everyday decision making and in charting long term plans.

Apart from keynote speakers such as Karan Bajaj, Founder & CEO, Whitehat Jr and Dr A. Velumani, Creator, Thyrocare, more than 50 high-profile leaders joined on the day to celebrate India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. The thoughts exchanged on the day reiterated that for India to grow, and deliver on its targets, it was critical for this part of the industry to contribute not only to India’s economy but take advantage of global paradigm shifts and begin playing a more important role in the global economy.