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What is IE20 and who is it for?

Last Friday I had the opportunity of attending an event in Zone Startups at BSE Mumbai hosted by London and Partners to promote India Emerging 20 (IE20), a programme for start-ups that are looking to expand their business at a global level.

If the first question that comes to your mind is “Why London?” here is what Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal had to say:

“UK has a large pool of entrepreneurs from all sectors and stages. The support mechanism has not only to do with the finance but extends to the people and the network they bring with it”.

Ideal applicants would be start-ups that have ambitions to scale up or have a product or service that can cater to the international market. Applications to this program end on December 16th 2016. I will not delve into the standard details since everything about their programme, its schedule and deadlines is up on their website.

Instead I will tell you about some interesting points that came up in the panel discussion that hosted Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal, UK Government Dealmaker Alpesh Patel and three winners from last year’s IE20 program Rohil Sharma- CEO and partner Perpetuuiti Technosoft, Neetu Bhatia -Co founder, CEO and Chairman of Kyazoonga and Priyaj Jain- Founder and CEO at Diamond Factory.

The program focuses more on growing the business internationally in terms of scale than just monetarily. As with any other good business, when the scale happens profit is bound to follow.

Neetu out of her own experience of building Kyazoonga says “India was a perfect ground for product market fit exercise – solve for scale, complexity and all problems you run into”.

The UK being a matured market for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, it is important that a business attain certain scale in the Indian market and have profits to show before taking it to an international level.

Rohil had some good advice for prospective applicants “If you have a business here in India in which you’ve overcome certain challenges then it makes sense for you to apply and take it to a global level” he added.

When asked about the challenges he faced during the programme, Priyaj who said “Coming from a Marwari business family, change in outlook towards looking at my business as a profitable business to a growth business was a big challenge I had to overcome”.


Panel discussion. L to R: Rajesh Agrawal, Alpesh Patel, Neetu Bhatia, Rohil Sharma, Priyaj Jain

Alpesh who closely works with Department of International Trade said his role was to look for outstanding technology from India, China and South East Asia and candidly admitted that he always finds the best talent in India. “Not Malaysia or Singapore but always in India”.

He said the best way to launch internationally is to scale up your business in India, start making profits and make the ground ready to then go global. London and Partners are instrumental in helping start-ups launch their business in the UK market. Neetu agrees “They provide a one-stop opportunity to be able to leverage your businesses and get in there. It ensures that any friction associated with entering a new market is lightened”.
This could be a good opportunity for Rodinhooders who are looking to enter international markets specifically the UK.


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