Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2022 Organised by ECell, IIT Kharagpur

Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, one of India’s largest student-led non-profit organization with faculty guidance, hosted their annual flagship event, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2022, in this edition, with the theme ‘Innovation for Inclusion’. This year it was held in hybrid form with a large part in online mode from March 10 to 13.

The event was opened on May 10 by Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, Hon’ble Director, IIT Kharagpur, where in his speech he emphasized the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship and reflected on its vast potential in solving the problems and socio-economic issues related to health care, water or environment etc. Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and CEO, Gupshup, and Mr. Saugata Gupta, Managing Director & CEO, Marico Ltd were guests
speakers at the opening ceremony.

The event concluded with the speech of the Hon’ble Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Roads, Government of India, which was the highlight of the event.

He appreciated the work and contribution of the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, describing it as an active non-profit organization consistently working to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth of India. The ECell, he pointed out, provides general support for business setup, training, incubation, patents and financing. More than 200 startups have been incubated at IIT Kharagpur and they are all doing well.

The Honorable Minister noted the theme of GES 2022, which is ‘Innovation for Inclusion’, and believed that this would be the approach to help India become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ or self-reliant. Using knowledge in science, technology, research and entrepreneurship for wealth creation will benefit India. He outlined the importance of such summits to promote the culture of entrepreneurship and to help understand how a small idea grows into a big business and that students, aspiring entrepreneurs, startups and industry veterans have the opportunity to
exchange notes in such meetings.

Shri Gadkari also spoke about the emerging sectors working on sustainability, such as electric vehicles, battery exchange, green hydrogen and ammonia and solar panels in addition to windmills. He insisted that stakeholders’ priorities should be aligned with the country’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions in the future. The Honorable Minister also called on entrepreneurs to work with innovative ideas for generating energy etc. from waste materials, which make India more ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and cleaner, in addition to exploring opportunities for import
replacement and export.

The opening ceremony also shared the optimism of the Honorable Minister, the speaker, Mr Sheth, said: “Entrepreneurship is about a can-do attitude, with a kind of mixture of arrogance and humility.

It’s not so much about IQ, it’s about EQ, about sharpening the ability to sell and be creative in approach.” Mr. Saugata Gupta explained why innovation is important for startups.

Another very important person graced the program that the participants looked forward to and was motivated when the Hon’ble Noble laureate, Mr. Muhammad Yunus, noted that people are born to be entrepreneurs and not just looking for degrees and jobs. . He said: “We should be job creators rather than job seekers”. The Nobel laureate emphasized the importance of social entrepreneurship as a better alternative to charities, as the money spent on charities can only be used once.

The summit featured a plethora of events over the four days, including competitions, in various segments with titles such as GES Pitchers, Intern Carnival, Co-Founder’s Meet, PhonePe’s PayHack, Business Game, Gaming Night and HP Innov-Ethos. There were many workshops including ‘Evolution of FinTech in India’ led by Mr. Srijon Biswas, Head of Engineering, PhonePe of the ‘Technology and Innovation: How it’s important for entrepreneurship’ of Mr.
Vipul Mittal, Transformation Leader at Ernst and Young Global Delivery Services. Several startups took part in the Intern Carnival, offering internships in fields as diverse as Business Development to Computer Vision to students across the country. Co-Founder’s Meet is an event where budding entrepreneurs meet like-minded people to discuss their ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration in an enterprise. Connecting the Dots, a GES initiative that helps cross-fertilize ideas among the Entrepreneurship Cells of colleges and universities across the country for symbiotic prosperity. GES had a global reach and, among others, also had international panelists from countries such as the US, Brazil, Germany and Finland.

With more than 100 renowned investors, 300+ entrepreneurs and more than 1500 students from all over the country, as well as lecturers from numerous universities, the level of involvement was remarkably high. Another large-scale entry can be seen in the Business Model Competition, ‘Empresario’ which is organized annually by the ECell and the Final is merged into GES, where the current edition saw the participation of more than 1500 teams of which 28 teams with mentoring and quality screening could compete for top honors as finalists at The Park Hotel in Kolkata on the 11th.

GES 2022 was supported by corporate sponsors and presented by Reliance Industries Limited, co-sponsored by PhonePe and powered by Acer. GES 2022 ended with a huge positive feedback from the participants, who greeted the organizing team and congratulated the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur for making a difference. In his closing speech, the Honorable Director of IIT Kharagpur, Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari, expressing his satisfaction with
ECell’s work and congratulated the officials while reminding them of the long journey for which the team had to prepare and also assuring IIT Kharagpur’s support in such worthy endeavours.

Sajal Jain
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