Lufthansa’s runway to success

CHITRA NARAYANAN | Updated on January 20, 2018

Lufthansa is intensifying its involvement with Indian start-ups

“It’s sometimes great to see a brand where you least expect to see it,” says Lufthansa’s Alexander Schlaubitz, when you ask him what the airline is doing sponsoring SME events in India.

For a few years now, Lufthansa has been partnering with the India chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) in a contest for start-ups. The winner gets a free Lufthansa Business Class ticket to the US and a seat at Stanford University’s Design Thinking Boot Camp. In Season 3 of the event held last year, Lufthansa received 27,000 entries.

This year, the German carrier is scaling up its engagement with start-ups in India, and in addition to Season 4 of Runway to Success is also organising a big bang Start Up Expo on April 23 at Gurgaon. The event will bring together start-ups, investors, corporates, students and embassies.

Lufthansa’s whole engagement with start-ups here began at a time when it did not have a TV campaign for the country and wanted to do some kind of brand activation that would be of relevance to the marketplace here. Now, given the Modi government’s thrust on start-ups, the airline’s bet seems to be paying off. “It was not a borrowed intent but the idea was to create something profound and original,” says Schlaubitz. An idea that would allow Lufthansa to literally and figuratively help take Indian entrepreneurs places.

Published on March 11, 2016

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