Vijaykrishnan Venkatesan (Vice-chairman), Arjun M Ranga (Chairman) and Radhika Dhall (Director)
Vijaykrishnan Venkatesan (Vice-chairman), Arjun M Ranga (Chairman) and Radhika Dhall (Director)

The Confederation of Indian Industry Karnataka plans to develop a mentorship platform for business-to-business (B2B) start-ups as one of the key areas for this year’s development agenda.

CII which is predominately a manufacturing-focused association has planned to support B2B start-ups in Karnataka. At present, the State has close to 615 active members, of which 50 per cent come from the manufacturing sector.  

“We believe that start-ups are the future, and since the participation from the start-ups in CII is limited, we noticed a gap wherein many start-ups in the B2B space lack the opportunity to work with big businesses, and we can provide them with a platform for interaction,” said Arjun M Ranga, chairman, CII Karnataka and managing director, N Ranga Rao and Sons Pvt Ltd.

While the association will not be focused on the funding side of the start-up ecosystem, it plans to provide entrepreneurship development.  “Work on the proof of concept, getting the start-up up and running will be the priority,” Ranga added. CII Karnataka is looking at 25 start-ups in the area of B2B.

Other areas of development

Additionally, this year’s plan includes enhancing competitiveness and enabling growth with a key focus on sustainability for the industry. “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) engagement is another key focus area and CII Karnataka has been extensively promoting growth and development for MSMEs as well as converging on policy-related interventions,” said Ranga.

The industry association is also focusing on industry-Institute interaction, which makes up ten per cent of the association’s membership strength. Vijaykrishnan Venkatesan, Vice-chairman, CII Karnataka, said, “Industry-institute interaction has been initiated as a new engagement plan, considering the membership strength of Karnataka, the need to build greater engagement between industry and academia to equip youth with future-ready work and business skills.”

CII has been working closely with the Karnataka government in areas of ease of doing business, taxation policies, adoption of clean energy and alternative fuels, skilling and up-skilling initiatives as well as driving industrial growth beyond Bengaluru and development of tier two and three cities.