ET NOW, India's leading English Business News Channel, hosted 'Leaders of Tomorrow' (LOT) Conclave and Awards 2018 at Taj Land's End, Mumbai on 25th September, 2018. It is India's biggest platform for SMEs. LOT showcases, empowers and recognises India's most promising Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The LOT Conclave & Awards 2018 was attended by corporate leaders from various industries who led the conversation on what it takes to leapfrog SMEs to the Sensex. The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO - NITI-Aayog; theme address by Mr. V. Vaidyanathan, Founder & Chairman - Capital First and the special address on 'Right to Win' was delivered by Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Founder & Chairman - Marico India.
In his keynote address, Amitabh Kant stated clearly that the future of SMEs and MSMEs lies in digitisation. 98.3% of Indians already pay income tax online, as a result of the government shifting to digitization and technology. He emphasized that this will be a huge asset in the way MSMEs do business and for India's economy to grow at 9-10%, we need to create the right ecosystem.
The stellar line-up of speakers included Sam Subramaniam, CEO - Brand Capital; Ashish Kumar Chauhan, MD & CEO - BSE; Partha Sinha, VC & MD - McCann Worldwide; Pradeep Parameswaran, President - Uber, India & SA; Debjani Ghosh, President - NASSCOM; Vijay Karia, Chairman & MD - Ravin Group and Prabodh Thakker, Chairman - Global Insurance Brokers amongst others.
The sessions through various discourses and deliberations reflected on a range of topics including Open Innovation, Smart Marketing, Local to Global and the Digital Front amongst others.
Some excerpts from the Smart Marketing Panel Discussion.
Sam Subramaniam, CEO - Brand Capital highlighted that SMEs have much to achieve in a very short time and don't have deep pockets to use prime media to reach their consumers. Brand Capital could become their first point of leverage as it provides relevant media, helps in media strategy and in building the entrepreneur's brand story. When companies need capital, Brand Capital introduces them to private equity funds, family offices, venture funds and helps them get the capital as well.
Partha Sinha defined marketing as a combination of empathy and imagination. He said that one needs to be empathetic towards people one is serving and use imagination to serve them better. He thinks both can be and should be done by people who are at the helm of the business.
Arun Iyer shared his viewpoint stating that the biggest difference between seasoned marketers, start-ups and SMEs is the fact that seasoned marketers get second, third and fourth chances unlike a start-up or SME.
S. Swaminathan had an interesting take that Smart Marketing embedded with smart analytics is really the future. Re-imagination of data is what SMEs need to look at and that's the opportunity they should really pursue.
The Conclave was followed by an Award Ceremony to honour the true Leaders of Tomorrow. The winners were shortlisted after a month-long nomination process across nine exciting categories. Pioneers from various industries were felicitated based on the criteria including their unprecedented display of sharp business prowess, clear understanding of the market and their deep focus on innovation and driving change.
Clensta International, one of the companies which was earlier mentored at Brand Capital Scale Up, the exclusive closed-door mentorship program by Brand Capital won the 'SME of the Year Award'.
Brand Capital Scale Up connects budding entrepreneurs to industry veterans who provide mentoring in areas such as business strategy, branding, distribution, finance and funding. Since 2014, 192 companies have been mentored through this platform. To get invited to the next Brand Capital Scale Up, register here.