A power packed programme on ET NOW that showcases the motivational stories of today’s business icons and provides India’s most innovative SMEs an opportunity to compete with the best and win a Grand Prize to take off on the flight to success.
The search is on for India’s most innovative SMEs. It’s your turn to shine!
Viewers’ Choice Award You decide the winner!
60 seconds to win your vote! Each contestant in Lufthansa Runway to Success Season 4 is pitching for your vote in a special 60 second video. Who do you think is the most innovative, the most promising, the game-changer? You have the power to decide. The contestant to receive the maximum votes wins the Viewers’ Choice Award – a Lufthansa flight to Europe.
Vote now and pick your winner! Polling closes 31 July 2016.
Vikas Bagaria, a serial entrepreneur and seasoned businessman with over 17 years of experience co-founded SafetyKart.com with the aim to help individuals lead 'safer and better lives'. SafetyKart.com, a consumer packaged goods venture, is the first of its kind online platform in India that is focused primarily on the personal safety vertical. Currently the platform carries more than 4000 unique and innovative products. Along with experience in setting up start ups, Vikas is an avid quizzer and adventure junkie. He has an MCA degree from Jadavpur University.
Name: Dr. Ashvini Jakhar
Designation: Founder & CEO
An ex-naval officer and strategy consultant, Dr. Ashvini Jakhar founded Prozo, a B2B content distribution company that provides learning material to retailers, distributors, schools and libraries. During his naval career, Dr. Jakhar was honoured with the Sena Seva Medal for his contribution in post-Tsunami relief efforts. He has also been a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company. He is an alumnus of HEC Paris, Indian School of Business, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and National Defence Academy.
Name: Sandith Thandasherry
Designation: Managing Director
Passionate about boat building, Sandith Thandasherry, is CEO & MD of NavAlt, a startup building India's first 75 passenger solar ferry boat. NavAlt is a joint venture between Navgathi, also led by Sandith, and two French firms - AltEn and EVE Systems. The startup has won first prize at the Villgro Unconvention for Social Entrepreneurship as well as the Abdul Kalam Award for the Best Startup in Energy and Transport. Sandith is a naval architect from IIT, Madras and has an MBA from INSEAD, France.
Name: Chandrasekaran J
Designation: Founder & Director
Company: Watsan Environtech
An expert in Plastic Technology and National Award winner for Innovation in Healthcare, Chandrasekaran J set up Watsan Technologies to manufacture and distribute low cost, affordable and maintenance free Terafil water filters to urban slums and rural families. Watsan Environtech has been recognized as one of the hottest entrepreneurial social ventures by Business Week and has received multiple accolades for their efforts. Chandrasekaran, was previously a National Consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Naveen Khanna, along with some like-minded fellow entrepreneurs, co-founded ePaisa with the vision to change the landscape of mobile payments in emerging markets. ePaisa is a first of its kind mobile payment solution through a multi-lingual app supporting 36 languages, which has so far digitized 5000+ businesses across India. Naveen comes with over 15 years of experience in the digital agency sector specializing in mobile app engineering, digital strategy, brand strategy and integrated communications.
Ronak Dhoot, Winner of Amazon Code Ninja 2013, is Co-Founder & CTO of GeekShastra Technologies, creators of Twiddle TV. GeekShastra Technologies is a technology driven professional services firm that pioneers in offshore software and mobile applications. One such innovation is Twiddle TV, a communication medium facilitating local and hyper-local advertising. It enables brands to advertise to prospective customers around a particular location at a convenient time. Ronak, a post graduate from Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM), has previously worked with Samsung, Korea.
Name: Dr. Pragati Sawhney
Company: Chockriti Chocolates
'Saving good people from bad chocolate!' It was out of concern for the lack of nutritional regulation and use of unhealthy ingredients in 'homemade' chocolates in India that Dr. Pragati Sawhney set up Chockriti Chocolates, India's first pure 100 percent cacao artisan chocolates in world flavors. She is a Master in Public Health and a certified professional chocolatier from Ecole Chocolat. She was also awarded "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2015.
Name: Praneet Singh Sahai
Designation: Co-Founder & Director
Praneet Singh Sahai is an engineer with a passion for art! With his co-founder Puneet Gupta, he created PosterGuy - a crowd sourced design house for unique made to order products. The vision of the company is to provide a platform to artists with innovative designs where they can showcase and sell their designs for profit. Today the company has 500+ unique designers on board with over 5000+ unique designs on 15 different products. A gadget enthusiast, Praneet has an Engineering degree from Amity University.
Name: Radhika Manghat Menon
Company: The Village Fair
What began as a Facebook page to sell clay and cast iron cookware, made by order, has now grown into The Village Fair, providing healthy cooking options through pre-seasoned natural cookware. Radhika M. Menon founded The Village Fair to bring together meaningful efforts of many to make a difference in people's lives. It now engages 14 women who season the ready to use ware. They support 'mental health for all' and contribute 5% of all sales to Mehac Foundation that provides mental healthcare to the marginalized.
Name: Rashi Sanon Narang
Designation: Founder & CEO
Company: Heads Up For Tails
A celebration of amazing animals who give so much and ask for so little! Rashi Sanon Narang set up Heads Up For Tails, India's exclusive brand for luxury and premium pet merchandise, when she could not find quality merchandise for her beloved pet dog Sarah. The product range includes customized dog beds, chic collars, leashes, fashionable dog apparel and pet accessories. Rashi is a graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science.
A passionate edupreneur committed to transforming academic standards. Bala Bhaskar is Managing Director of Genius Edulabs, a social enterprise that creates new teaching tools to empower schools and inspire teachers to change the face of education in the country. This powerhouse of energy has hobbies ranging from mentoring start-ups and offering leadership classes to the rural youth to a good game of cricket or badminton in his spare time.
Kashish Bhagia, along with her husband Lalit, aim to change the world of talent acquisition and recruitments with MyRefers.com! MyRefers.com is a unique referral based job community marketplace powered by an AI platform. It is the first human recommendation engine for jobs, job seekers and companies. Kashish is extremely passionate about the company's proposition and is pivotal in the origins of MyRefers.com. She is a Commerce Graduate with an MBA in Finance from IMT Ghaziabad.
Siddharth Singh founded CupShup out of his fascination for channelizing discussions over tea cups. CupShup helps businesses gain access to their customers in their cubicles and classrooms, by advertising on recyclable tea cups. Although it started as a college project, CupShup now has branded tea stalls, marketing merchandise and a network of over 1000 offices, 500+ colleges, 2500 retail tea vendors across 7 key cities. Siddharth is an Engineer from Cochin University and an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai.
Name: Vivek Iyer
Designation: Co-Founder & CEO
Vivek Iyer has set out to transform how household laundry is done in India with OneClickWash. OneClickWash is a Gurgaon-based laundry services startup that provides tech-enabled, end to end, affordable laundry services via a mobile app. Through a monthly subscription, users can avail integrated washing, drying and steam iron services along with doorstep delivery. Prior to OneClickWash, this IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Bombay alumnus has worked with DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Name: Gautam Shewakramani
Designation: Founder & CEO
Company: Audio Compass
Angel investor, ex-strategy consultant, family man and passionate traveler all rolled into one, Gautam Shewakramani, founded AudioCompass with the aim to change how travelers see the world! AudioCompass recognized as the official tour app by Incredible India, is a mobile app that turns your smartphone into a personal guide by providing do-it-yourself, audio guided experiences to you when you travel.
Name: Anurag Mishra
Designation: Co-Founder & Director
Company: My Greens
An avid traveler and keen fitness enthusiast himself, Anurag Mishra co-founded MyGreens to inspire people to make the best health choices. MyGreens is a lifestyle brand committed to providing health enthusiasts with a super-fuel mix of juices from fruits and vegetables, cold pressed to give the right balance of nutrients. An IIT Delhi, IIM Calcutta alumnus, Anurag has worked with global strategy clients like Boston Consulting Group and Monitor Deloitte before this entrepreneurial journey.
With over 20 years of experience, Madhu Bajpai, industry veteran and founder of RIMUS Technologies, aims to offer the best of services in Information Security, Networking, Network Management and Telecom. Rimus Technologies is focused on customer and employee satisfaction, and offers a wide range of services, including software development, testing, technical writing and translation. Well known for expertise in the Information Security and Network Management domains, Madhu has bagged many awards for her work.
Name: Shipra Sharma
Designation: Co-Founder & Director
Company: Tattva Spa
Shipra Sharma, a marketing enthusiast co-founded Tattva Spa, with an aim to revitalize people's lives through luxury spa & salon services. Tattva is a leading spa brand with 35 spa centers across 15+ locations in India and tie ups with some of the leading hotel chains. Tattva Spa has been awarded the "National Spa Chain of the Year-2016" and is among the top 5 wellness services brands in India today.
Karan Tibrawalla, Founder of Fresh Brew Co. is a man of varied interests - from wildlife photography to scuba diving and more. But it was his passion for good coffee and his inability to get affordable, good quality single serve coffee capsules in India that led to the birth of the Fresh Brew Co., a one stop for fresh single serve artisan coffee!
Name: Himanshu Mishra
Designation: Co-Founder & Product Lead
Company: SustainEarth Energy Solutions
Himanshu Mishra is the CTO and Co-Founder of SustainEarth Energy Solutions and is committed to rebrand Biogas and deliver it to rural households as a clean, affordable and reliable cooking fuel option. The company also aims to provide employment to the rural youth and women in subsequent generations of employees. Himanshu is environmentally conscious and feels strongly about providing safer and cleaner cooking and heating options to rural communities. He has a Masters Degree in Product Design from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Name: Ankeeta Deb
Company: Rivir Shoes
The artsy Ankeeta Deb with her lifelong passion for redesigning footwear co-founded Rivir Shoes with a wish to create out of the box products! Rivir Shoes brings an array of choices to the casual footwear category with customized and painted canvas shoes that are a rage amongst the youth! The company is also developing technology to optimize inventory and reduce online purchase returns. Ankeeta is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA in from Mudra Institute of Communications.
Starting 4 June 2016, every Saturday 6:30 pm Repeat telecast - Monday 5:30 pm
Runway to Success is a multi-staged initiative that celebrates the spirit of Indian entrepreneurship. Conceived and developed by Lufthansa in partnership with the business experts at TiE and India’s premier business TV channel ET NOW.
Runway to Success TV series
A power packed programme on ET NOW that showcases the motivational stories of today’s business icons and provides India’s most innovative SMEs an opportunity to compete with the best and win a Grand Prize to take off on the flight to success. Registration is open!
The Grand Prize
A seat at Stanford University’s prestigious Design Thinking Boot Camp
A free Lufthansa Business Class ticket to the US
A coveted TiE mentorship.
All the remaining episodic winners too fly away with a Lufthansa Business Class ticket to Europe!
The Startup Expo
The first ever initiative in India, that was organized in Delhi/NCR on 23 April 2016, to bring together an ecosystem of facilitators that provided startups all the support they needed to succeed. The unique and special event included entrepreneurial workshops, guru sessions, expert talks, mentoring zones, networking zones, investor zones, partner lounges as well as a Startup Showcase, with a special focus on food entrepreneurs.
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 56 chapters across 13 countries. TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing our next generation of entrepreneurs.
Kalaari Capital is an early-stage, technology-focused venture capital firm with $650 million in assets under management. Since 2006, we have empowered visionary entrepreneurs building unique solutions that reshape the way Indians live, work, consume and transact. Along with capital, we focus on a long-term partnership with entrepreneurs to help unlock large value through disruptive innovation.
About ET Now
ET NOW, India’s No.1 Business News channel, helps you make money every day, by providing breaking news that impacts the market, trading strategies, cutting edge analysis and in-depth interviews. ET NOW is supported by the unmatched resources and expertise of The Economic Times, India’s leading business daily. Over the last year ET NOW has comprehensively broken the domination of a 13 year old incumbent in the English business news space and has clearly established itself as India’s No.1 Business news channel. In a matter of just 4 years since its inception, ET NOW has broken all bastions of business news supremacy and established itself as the definitive choice of its viewers. ET NOW ,with its sister publication - The Economic Times, can be said as India’s first truly integrated channel with a common vision and passion for business and economic news, views and analysis. ET NOW engages with viewers in 16 countries across the globe. It is available across all Cable and Satellite, Digital and Mobile platforms.
CEO, Jubilant FoodWorks
Ajay Kaul is CEO at Jubilant FoodWorks, an Indian company which holds the master franchise for Domino’s Pizza in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and also for
Dunkin’ Donuts in India. It is India’s largest and fastest growing food service company with a list of 1004 Domino’s Pizza restaurants across 230 cities. The company is the market leader in the organized pizza market with a 72% market share in India. The company launched Dunkin’ Donuts in India in April 2012. The company has 70 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in India.
As CEO, Ajay Kaul roots for a unique work culture where there is no boss-employee hierarchy and aims at creating a shared goal that his employees will help him in achieving. He believes that the face of Domino’s Pizza is the delivery boy who has to meet the 30 minute guarantee requirement while driving safe and beating the heat, cold or rain.
Kaul is a B.Tech graduate from IIT Delhi and completed his MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. In his career spanning 16 years, he has previously worked with American Express, Modiluft and TNT India.
CEO & Cofounder, Games2win
Alok Kejriwal is CEO & Cofounder, Games2win.
One of the fastest growing online gaming companies in the world, Games2win has fuelled gaming virality among the Indian gamers. It is one of the top 20 online gaming businesses in the world.
Kejriwal first curated the Mobile-VAS industry and then moved on to master the virtual world. A serial entrepreneur, Kejriwal founded Games2Win following several previous ventures such as Contest2Win, Mobile2Win and Media2Win. His first two companies, Contest2win and Mobile2win handled SMS contests for TV shows. Mobile2win was later acquired by the Walt Disney Co. The third venture, Media2win was in the business of providing famous songs as ringtones. He has also founded an online community for emerging entrepreneurs called ‘The Rodinhoods’.
He holds a master's degree in commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai.
C P Gurnani,
CEO & MD, Tech Mahindra
C P Gurnani is CEO & MD, Tech Mahindra.
Tech Mahindra is an Indian multinational provider of information technology, networking technology solutions and Business Process Outsourcing to the telecommunications industry. It is a specialist in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering solutions.
C.P. Gurnani has played a pivotal role in the transformational journey of Mahindra Satyam and spearheaded the company’s eventual merger with Tech Mahindra. Under his leadership, the company consistently strives to achieve top quartile growth by contributing to the customers' success, by enabling employees to realize their potential and by creating value for all their stakeholders.
With path-breaking ventures like Saral Rozgar and MoboMoney, he has proved his exceptional captainship in the digital world.
Gurnani is also the chairman of NASSCOM and also been a recipient of various awards like the Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award and Business Standard’s ‘CEO of the Year’. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela.
Founder, DC Design
Dilip Chhabria is Founder, DC Design.
DC Designs was founded with the aim of redesigning and modifying mass market cars to create automotive beauties for its connoisseurs as well as offering design and prototyping services to the OEM automotive sector. It is the largest automobile accessory manufacturing company in the country and has to its credit India’s first super car, DC Avanti. The company has provided design and prototyping services to the likes of Aston Martin, Renault and GM.
From designing cars, buses and scooters to aircraft interiors, Dilip Chhabria has done it all. He has designed a limited edition scooter for Kinetic Engineering, the concept car for Coca Cola’s energy drink ‘Burn’, Shah Rukh Khan’s vanity van etc.
Passionate about cars since childhood, Dilip Chhabria efficiently straddles being a car designer and the CEO of DC Designs. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and then went on to study in the Art Centre College of Design, US.
Internationally renowned celebrity chef, cook show host, author of best selling cookbooks and restaurant consultant and winner of several culinary awards – Sanjeev Kapoor has many feathers in his cap. The celebrated face of Indian food, he has bought the art of Indian cooking to the forefront of the international palette.
Kapoor has hosted a show called ‘Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi’ and has also been a celebrity judge on ‘Master Chef India 3’. His TV show Khana Khazana, is the longest running show of its kind in Asia and, in 2011, he launched his own food channel named ‘Food Food’. His restaurant chains named ‘The Yellow Chilli’ and ‘Khazana’ which has his self stylised recipes in the menu are present in various big cities in India. He was conferred with ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India and is on the panel of Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, made to specifically document Indian Cuisine and release an authentic version of it for Indians to follow and the rest of the world to understand Indian Cuisine in the right perspective.
Kapoor started out in the hospitality industry in 1984 with a diploma in Hotel Management from Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology Applied Nutrition, Pusa Road, New Delhi. He started his career in ITDC under their kitchen management program where he graduated there.
Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa,
Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation
Sri. Madhu Pandit Dasa is Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation and President of ISKCON Bangalore. He initiated the Akshaya Patra program in the year 2000 by feeding 1500 children in 5 government schools. It now reaches over 1.5 million school children in 24 locations across 10 states in the country. In recognition of his efforts, he has been honoured with a Padma Shri by the Government of India.
The efficiency and of the Akshaya Patra program led to it being showcased in a Harvard Business School case study. It received the CNBC India Business Leader Award-2008 under the category ‘society enterprise of the year’ for its practices of corporate governance. It has been conferred the ‘ICAI Gold Shield award for excellence in financial reporting in the NGO sector’ conferred by the Institute of chartered accountants of India for five consecutive years for its transparency and accountability.
With nearly three decades of selfless work behind him, Sri. Madhu Pandit Dasa has been instrumental in conceiving and implementing many social initiatives that impact millions of people, helping them improve their quality of life.
A passionate student of science, Madhu Pandit Dasa is a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Mumbai.
Dr. Mahesh Gupta,
President, PHD Chamber Chairman & Managing Director, Kent RO Systems
Mahesh Gupta, a first generation entrepreneur, is known worldwide for revolutionizing the water purification industry in India. He is the Founder-Chairman of Kent RO Systems Ltd., India’s leading water Purifier Company. An IIT graduate from Kanpur in Mechanical Engineering and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, Gupta began his early career in 1978 with prestigious IOCL. In 1988 he bid goodbye to the oil sector giant and with a minimal seed capital at his disposal, ventured into the business of manufacturing instruments for oil testing and checking its pilferage. He went commercial under the brand name KENT OIL METERS which went on to be a successful business.
In 1998, Gupta entered the health care segment and launched the first domestic RO water purifier. He started the company from scratch and competing with the leading national & international brands, Kent RO Systems Ltd. is today the leading and most dynamic water purifier company in India, commanding a market share of about 40% in RO water purifier segment. In recognition of his contribution to the water purification industry, he is known as the PURE WATER MAN of India. He has also been conferred upon by an Honorary Doctorate degree by Sri Sri University Orissa, for his contribution in providing safe and healthy drinking water in Rural and Urban areas.
Gupta has more than half a dozen patent technologies to his credit, a manifestation to his passion for technological quest and an innovative bent of mind. With ambitious growth plan, innovative marketing strategies and state-of-the-art technology, Gupta is today a man on fast track. Yet, he also takes out time to guide young minds and channelize their energy in right direction, through guest lectures at several MBA institutes and entrepreneurship development programs. He has also opted to be a mentor under the IIT Alumni Association.
He spearheads PHD Chamber of Commerce as its President. PHD is a proactive and dynamic organization working at the grass-root level and with strong national and international linkages and playing a role as a catalyst in the promotion of industry, trade and entrepreneurship.
Vice President, Kalaari Capital
Mandar Dandekar is a Vice President at Kalaari Capital.
Kalaari Capital is an early stage, technology focused venture capital firm with an AUM of $650 million. At Kalaari, Mandar is involved in the entire life cycle of the investment process. He actively sources new investment opportunities and evaluates them through a variety of lenses. Post investment, he works very closely with the portfolio companies and helps them in strategy formulation, operational efficiencies, business development and fund raising.
Prior to Kalaari, Mandar was a part of a US$ 60 million sector agnostic venture capital fund managed by Tata Capital Limited. At Tata Capital, he was a key member of the founding team responsible for raising the fund and making multiple investments globally across different sectors.
Mandar has also worked in technology consulting at Cognizant Technology Solutions where he led numerous projects which received accolades from clients and Cognizant management. He began his career with Tata Power (Strategic Electronics Division) where he built complex real time software applications for the Indian defense.
Mandar holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta, USA and Bachelor in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai.
Co-founder & CEO, Indifi
Alok is co-founder and CEO of Indifi, a platform to expand access to debt financing for Indian SMEs. A successful first generation entrepreneur based in India, Alok is also a founding member of Indian Angel Network, which is a forum for making angel investments.
He last led India operations of Canaan Partners, a premier US based venture capital firm. Earlier, he cofounded JobsAhead.com in 1999. JobsAhead.com is the leading e-recruitment business focussed on the Indian market, and was acquired by Monster.com recently. Before founding JobsAhead, Alok worked with Hughes software in telecom and internet technologies. Alok is a computer science graduate from IIT Delhi, and completed his MS and Management of Technology programs from UC Berkeley.
Alok is passionate about creating value through startups! He is also keenly interested in entrepreneurship development in India. He has organised a venture community blog at http://www.venturewoods.org/.
Founder & Ex-Chairman, NASSCOM
Chairman Emeritus, TiE Delhi-NCR
Dr. Saurabh Srivastava is one of India's most respected IT industry leaders and is recognized as one of the architects of the Indian software industry. He has held senior executive positions with leading international companies such as IBM and Unisys, before becoming an entrepreneur and then a VC .He founded one of India's most successful and trend setting software companies, IIS Infotech Ltd. Saurabh was Executive Chairman of Xansa India and served on the Xansa plc. board. He has currently retired from both positions. He has since helped found several start ups in the IT, Entertainment and many other fields. He is a cofounder and past Chairman of NASSCOM, past Chairman of the Indian government's Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, has chaired the IT Committee of FICCI and is currently on its Executive Committee. He has also been on the National Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). He has served on several government committees / task forces / boards such as the Indo EU Round Table, PM's Working Group on Innovation, IT Ministry's Committee on software exports, Screening Committee of OTCEI, Planning Commission and SEBI Committees on Venture Capital, UP and Bihar Task Forces, Media Lab Asia and PICUP, National Advisory Committee on Science and Technology, Railway Expert Committee, etc.
He is very active in promoting entrepreneurship in India, chairs the Indian Venture Capital and Asia Pac Venture Capital Associations, is Chairman Emeritus of TIE Delhi (and served on TIE's global board), is Co-Founder and Director of the Indian Angel Network and Chaired Infinity Ventures, India's first and most successful early stage Venture Fund. He is on the Advisory Board of Imperial College Business School, London, an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship of IIT Mumbai, on the Entrepreneurship / Incubation board of IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur, and on the Advisory board of Uttarakhand University. He has a Masters from Harvard University and a B Tech from IIT Kanpur. Awards include "Distinguished Alumnus" from IITK, Honorary Doctorate in Technology from the University of Wolverhampton, UK and Lifetime Achievement award from the IT Industry in India.