India’s popular English business news channel, ET Now, has announced the eighth season of ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ – India’s daily enabling platform featuring StartUps and small businesses. With the theme ‘Small To Scalable’, ‘Leaders of Tomorrow Season 8’ will build upon its pedigree to focus on empowering upcoming businesses with the most relevant information and access to the biggest experts.
With a yearlong content series, ET Now brings some of the most inspiring stories of businesses and the people behind them through topical panel discussions, interviews and feature stories. With the biggest line-up of experts, Leaders of Tomorrow’s first episode will see Nitin Gadkari, Minister for MSME and Minister, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India in an exclusive two-part sit-down interview, where he discusses the recent hit on lending by banks to small businesses and what the government is doing to help alleviate the situation. The first week of the season will also see a two-part panel discussion on the overarching theme for the new season of ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’, SMALL TO SCALABLE with Ashish Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE, Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, Samina Vaziralli, Executive Vice Chairperson, Cipla, A Velumani, Founder, Thyrocare and Roopa Kudva, MD, Omidyar Network discussing and debating on what are the biggest challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs this year.
Commenting on the announcement, Nikunj Dalmia, Managing Editor, ET Now said, “Over the course of 7 years, Leaders of Tomorrow has risen to become India’s largest entrepreneurship platform, that brought the biggest government and business stakeholders and most innovative small business on to one platform. This year we celebrate some of the most inspiring start up success stories, addressing the entire value chain of empowerment – Inspiring, Showcasing and Recognising.”
Speaking to ET Now on the launch episode of the show, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for MSME & Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Government of India, shared that he is confident that the share of MSMEs to GDP will go up to 50% from the 30% right now and his vision for Bharat Craft, an e-commerce portal exclusively for MSMEs being set up the government. He also added, “Entrepreneurs must accept the problems and convert them into opportunities. Innovation and research will play a pivotal role in the future for MSMEs.”
V. Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO, IDFC First Bank said, “Embracing digitisation is going to be crucial for growth. Also, the government’s role as a facilitator for the growth of small businesses is important.”
Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation said, “With exploding youth population and meagre job creation in India today, the Wadhani Foundation seeks to inspire a generation of entrepreneurs across India. Hence, I am extremely pleased with our association with the Season 8 of ET Now’s Leaders of Tomorrow program which provides the opportunity to evangelize and champion entrepreneurship at a national level. Additionally, we hope to leverage our global entrepreneurship knowledge and expert resources to enrich the program content that would provide SME entrepreneurs and start-ups with fitting advice and learning to help them thrive.”
For the first time ever on one platform, ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ Season 8 presents the Knowledge Council, which will act as the ‘Powerhouse’ of guidance and learning for the sector. The council of experts includes Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys, Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, Ajay Kela, President & CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, Samina Vaziralli, Executive Vice Chairperson, Cipla, Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & MD, Nestle India, Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, A Velumani, Creator & MD, Thyrocare, Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, Rasna, Anupam Pahuja, MD, PayPal India and Rahul Chari, Co-Founder & CTO, PhonePe. These experts will mentor the best entrepreneurs over the course of the season.
Empowering StartUps and small businesses, Season 8 will also introduce a nation-wide challenge where entrepreneurs stand the chance to get funded by impressing the biggest investors and venture capitalists in the business. The pitch will be made at the 4 zonal rounds and culminate at the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards.
Anchored by Sunanda Jayaseelan, the brand-new season will start airing on the 9th September 2019 at 22:30 on ET Now.