ASCENT Foundation, a not-for-profit, peer-to-peer learning platform for entrepreneurs, hosted its 3rd edition of the ASCENT Conclave, on November 23 at St. Regis, Mumbai. The full-day event brought together some of India’s most inspiring and recognized leaders who shared their entrepreneurial journey over the years, failure and success stories. Themed Beyond the Conversation, the Conclave hosted several insightful discussions that addressed the growing need for entrepreneurs to focus not on only on the business aspects, but also on the emphasizing the importance of physical and mental well-being aspects.
The event commenced with a welcome note by Harsh Mariwala (Founder, ASCENT Foundation and Chairman Marico Ltd.). Rajiv Bajaj (Managing Director, Bajaj Auto) was the keynote speaker. Bajaj delved on how entrepreneurs can keep reinventing themselves by keeping them constantly motivated and inspired. He also elucidated on his lessons learnt from past business challenges and how being mentally and physically fit has helped him build a world-class organisation.
PC Musthafa (iD Fresh Food Pvt. Ltd.) engaged in a compelling discussion moderated by Govindraj Ethiraj (BOOM and IndiaSpend) on the opportunities and pitfalls in the perishable mass-food products sector and PC Musthafa’s journey as an entrepreneur. The Conclave also hosted a highly riveting exchange of thoughts and ideologies by Kishore Biyani (CEO – Future Group and Managing Director – Pantaloon Retail) and Falguni Nayar (Founder & CEO – Nykaa) on the future of the Retail Sector with the advent of newer multi-dimensional avenues. This session was moderated by Menaka Doshi (Managing Editor – BloombergQuint).
The Conclave hosted two unique panel discussions, the first being on the importance of employee re-branding with the changing employee value proposition. This session was moderated by Prabir Jha (President and Global Chief People Officer – Cipla Inc.) and had Lavanya Nalli (Vice-Chairperson – Nalli Silk Sarees Pvt. Ltd.), Nicolas Dumoulin (Managing Director – Michael Page India) and Sunit Sinha (Accenture Solutions) share their approaches towards employee and talent management.
The second panel discussion shared 4 distinct stories of 4 trailblazers from different walks of life and how each story highlights a strong quality which drives them. Hosted by Tanvi Dubey (Editor, YourStory), the panel saw the participation of Gauri Sawant (Director, Sakshi Char Chowghi), Harshwardhan Zala (CEO, Aerobotics 7), Gauranga Das (Director, Govardhan Ecovillage) and Milind Soman (Director, Maximus MICE & Media Solutions) with each speaker inspiring takeaways based on their journeys.
Audiences were left inspired by the entrepreneurial growth stories of Gauri Devidayal (Food Matters India Pvt. Ltd.) and Pankit Desai (CEO, Sequretek), both members of ASCENT Foundation. Gauri discussed how collaborating with competition could prove to be advantageous for business growth while Pankit elaborated on how companies can overcome digital and cyber security related challenges.
Sangita Reddy (Joint Managing Director – Apollo Hospitals Group) gave the closing address and shared her views on approaches that can help “Bridge the Innovation Gap in Healthcare in India.
Harsh Mariwala, Founder, ASCENT Foundation and Chairman, Marico Ltd. commented: “I am thrilled to share that the ASCENT Conclave 2018 has been able to achieve the goal that we had set for ourselves – to constantly improve the learning opportunities for growth-ready entrepreneurs.”