Seed funding support needed for women entrepreneurs: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Seed funding support needed for women entrepreneurs: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Submitted by Subeditor on Thu, 2016-02-04 21:15 Bengaluru: Seed funding support is the key requirement of women entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into the commercial market, said Biocon Ltd CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw pointing out that financing business enterprises was a major challenge. Addressing a session on ``Promoting Women Entrepreneurship’’ at the second day of the State’s ambitious global investors’ meet, Invest Karnataka 2016, at the Bangalore Palace Grounds, the Biocon chief cited her own example to drive home the point drawing a parallel with the experience of the co-founder and Emeritus Chairman of Infosys, who had said at the inaugural session that his company would not have materialized but for the support from the State Government and the sanction of Rs 50 lakh loan by State-owned KSSIIDC and KSFC in 1983 after multi-national banks had refused to lend. ``When I started my most memorable and exciting journey of starting a bio-technology company in 1978, it was KSFC which provided the first financial loan.  The enterprising spirit and manpower talent base of Bangalore as well as the pro-active attitude and policies of the State Government were main reasons for the emergence of Biocon Ltd as Asia’s largestbio-technology company,’’ she said. The seminar, ably anchored by Karnataka’s two of the dynamic and result-oriented women bureaucrats – K Ratna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary and Commerce and Industry Department, and Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Backward Classes Department – with other leading women entrepreneurs, outlined the challenges, opportunities and facilities available to women in the industry sector. Karnataka’s Additional Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha set the tone for the session by pointing out that she ensured, that a separate session with eminent speakers from among successful women entrepreneurs as well as their pro-active male counterparts. Earlier, an exclusive Mahila Udyamavani Cell (Women Entrepreneurs Guidance Cell) was launched to lend support, motivate, encourage and empower women entrepreneurs. She also explained the key initiatives in the State’s Industry Policy for the years 2014-19, with specific provisions for women and incentives. Two exclusive Women Tech Parks are being planned at Harohalli in Ramanagara district and at Hubballi in Dharwad district, the first of which is proposed to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah next month. Dr Shalini Rajneesh, in her opening remarks, said women formed 60 �f entrepreneurs all over the world. Though women produced 50 �f the food and had 10 �f income, they barely possessed 1 �f the property. Karnataka ranked number 3 in India in the percentage of women owned enterprises among small and medium enterprises. As many as 5 lakh persons were employed by women owned enterprises, she said. The highlight of the session was the exchange of the Letter of Intent for the Sister City Initiative of between India’s knowledge capital of Bengaluru and San Francisco, the Silicon Valley of US, between Ratna Prabha from Karnataka and Dr Nandini Tandon and Priya Tandon, both Board Member and Co-chair Sister City Initiatives, SF India. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Sister City Initiative was signed between the Mayors of Bengaluru and San Francisco during the roadshow conducted by Karnataka’s Large and Medium Industries Minister R V Deshpande. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw felt the attitude of condensation towards women entrepreneurs must change and mentioned that in the 1980s women were clubbed with physically handicapped persons and backward classes.  ``We are very capable. But we need to have the ability and capacity to take our business ideas to the market, scale them up and source necessary technical and talent support. Some of the women entrepreneurs may need mentoring and have access to critical financing,’’ she said emphasizing the need to be gender neutral to be truly successful. Wal-Mart CEO and President Kris Iyer said doubling the global business turnover of the company in the next five years from the present US $ 50 billion and increasing the sourcing from women owned companies besides diversification and inclusion and providing training to 1 million women as part of the strategy to empower them were the main goals. The German retail trade giant, which signed an MoU with the State Government for opening 10 cash and carry stores in the State, is planning to roll out women entrepreneurship programmes and souring both merchandise and services from women owned enterprises through the tie-up with the WeConnect International India, he said. IKEA CEO Juvencio Maeztu said the company provided priority to procurement from women owned enterprises, who accounted for 52 �f the total procurement. He said Karnataka was among the four prioritized states for IKEA for its activities in India and the company would be starting a web-based tool shortly and setting up for stores in Karnataka for which MoU has been signed. Srikant Rao, Chair, WeConnect International India and Managing Director, Procurement Asia Pacific, said a business opportunity of US $ 1 trillion was available globally, of which US $ 500 million should be captured by WeConnect network, which has already tied up with IDM, Cisco, Intel, Wal-Mart and other companies. Jitendra Chaddah, Director Intel, said the IT giant with a total global turnover of US $ 54 billion planned to increase the supply base from women owned enterprises to US $ 1 billion by 2020. The company would be encourage and develop women enterprises with US $ 125 million fund and also provide technical and innovative solutions. Monica Lakhmana, Chairperson, Monica Lakhmana Foundation, Sunita Rebecca Cherian, Vice President, Human Resource and Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion, Wipro Ltd, Shekhar Vishwanathan, R K Tiwari, BHEL Executive Director, Dr Nandini Tandon and Priya Tandon were among the other key speakers.