Tamil Nadu’s Additional Chief Secretary Hans Raj Verma on Tuesday said that it is imperative for Indian youth to take up entrepreneurship to create more jobs to cater to the burgeoning young population and to meet their growing aspirations. 

Verma, who is also the Chairman & Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC), was delivering the chief guest address at the 10th edition of CII SR Business Entrepreneurship Awards 2022. 

Listing out various partnerships signed by TIIC to promote entrepreneurship and to support MSMEs in the State, Verma said, India is poised to become a major economy in the world and Tamil Nadu is rightly positioned to be a major growth engine of the country.

In his special address, CK Ranganathan, Chairman, CII Southern Region and CMD of CavinKare, said, two decades ago parents thought it was a risky idea or a gamble to allow their kids to start a venture but today that kind of notion is waning.

“India has the third highest number of start-ups after the US and China. We have over 60,000 start-ups, which is growing at a rate of 12-15% every year,”  Ranganathan said. 

Solutions for rural India

He, however, added that the number of startups is still abysmally low for a country with a population of 1.3 billion people. Noting that 75 per cent of India’s population still live in rural areas, Ranganathan urged start-ups to build solutions for the betterment of people in rural India.

Kamal Bali, President & MD, Volvo Group India, used an automotive analogy to explain that India is riding on a two-speed engine. “On one side, challenges like inequitable economic growth, climate crisis etc are pulling us down and on the other side, rapid urbanisation, artificial intelligence and demographic dividend of the young population offer immense opportunities.” 

Bali added that entrepreneurship with purpose and technology are the factors that will help converge these two engines to work together and resolve problems.  

Raghuvir Srinivasan, Editor, The Hindu BusinessLine also delivered a special address at the event. 

Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson, CII SR Business Entrepreneurship Awards & Managing Director Chandra Group of Companies delivered the welcome address.

Scope widened

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Southern Region has been hosting Emerging Entrepreneur Awards every year. This year, the awards were renamed to ‘CII Business Entrepreneurship Awards’ to widen its scope to include more categories such as Start-up of the year, Emerging Entrepreneur of the year and Business Person of the year.

Healthplix Technologies, Uzhavarbumi Agro Products, Bon Fresh Foods (Chai Kings), Huwel Lifesciences and Biomoneta Research are the winners under ‘Start-up of the year’ category.

D Arulmany, Managing Director & CEO of Veritas Finance, Nishanth Chandran, Founder & CEO of TenderCuts; and N Rathnakumar and Guardian George, Co-founders of Kaar Technologies were conferred with ‘Emerging Entrepreneur awards.’ This year’s ‘Business Person of the Year’ award was bagged by V Noushad, MD, Walkaroo International and N Sugumar, Executive Director of Top Anil Marketing Company.

TIE, The Chennai Angels, T Hub and Native Lead were the association partners for this initiative of CII. Grant Thornton was the technical partner while The Hindu BusinessLine was the media partner for the event.