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Nov 15, 2013

Sona Group bets big on entrepreneurship in India

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New Delhi:  Recognising the potential of the Indian entrepreneurial spirit and to provide a thrust to same; the Sona Group, India’s leading automotive components manufacturers, has launched ‘Masterpreneur India’ season one with CNBC Awaaz.

This annual series is a five year property and will search for budding entrepreneurs across the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India to challenge them to come and drive innovative thinking into their businesses. Supported by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Trade India.com the entrepreneurial business growth partner, Masterpreneur has received a total of 830 entries at the initial round.

Any business ranging between Rs. 25 lakh to Rs. 10 crore with at least two years in existence and a business model that is innovative, scalable and not easy to replicate have qualified to present their case in this reality business show.

Sunjay Kapur, Vice Chairman and Managing Director Sona Koyo commented, “Masterpreneur is a platform to recognize the spirit of entrepreneurship in you. As often seen, inadequate finance, limitations in resources and even the right counsel can be a hindrance to pursuing one’s business ambition. We strongly believe that with the support of our partners, we can provide a fillip to deserving entrepreneurs. I am extremely excited and overwhelmed by the response we have received; the quality of entries made it extremely challenging for us to shortlist them. This is going to be exciting”.

MSMEs in India play a significant role in the growth story of the nation. With about 3.6 crore such enterprises in the market today, it contributes over 8% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides for employment opportunities to over 8 crore people.

However, only 34% of these have access to banks and financial institutions, while the rest raise money through informal channels. With a debt demand in the market of Rs. 32 lakh crore today, only 6 lakh crore is financed through the formal sector, chiefly by Public Sector Banks. In addition to this, lack of proper knowledge and skill development, advisory support and little or no access to adequate technologies and an uncertain market make it difficult to survive or even venture out for some of these entrepreneurs. The sector has been witnessing a slow growth with its share of exports falling from 40 per cent to 36 per cent lately as per news reports.

Masterpreneur will be one such platform where these shortlisted candidates will get an opportunity to be mentored by industry luminaries. They will also get a life time opportunity to be trained by experts as well as meet with venture capitalists and angel investors. This would help to provide them with a holistic perspective and guidance on how their business case can be strengthened.

While the semifinal rounds for Masterpreneur scheduled for November 15th to November 16th, 2013 in New Delhi, the show is expected to be aired on 30th November with the North-West regional rounds and then progress into the other regional rounds. Three semi-finalists from each region will be selected from each region that will be flown to Delhi where they will undergo the mentorship programme. Subsequently, four contestants will be shortlisted for the national finals which will be held in New Delhi.

The show will culminate with the awards night on 29th November’2013, a gala evening that will also see the release the dossier containing the 48 shortlisted cases from each region for the season. This will be circulated to select members among the business community from among venture capitalists, angel investors, business houses and other members of the business community.

As the name suggests, this reality show promises to be exciting and will be a significant step in bringing together India’s best and aspiring talent and encourage them to present their business acumen in front of established business luminaries. This is a small yet critical initiative from Sona to encourage Indian entrepreneurship and help drive inclusive economic growth.


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