Accelerating Entrepreneurship In ‘BHARAT’
Below article was recently released in the BW Business World By Naina Sood
With a mammoth of enthusiasm created in India for start-ups and entrepreneurs, it is yet not truly Indian. While the big cities enjoy their access to capital and support, the entrepreneurs in the remote pockets of the country are struggling to tear down the barriers of the small town.
However, there is one such entrepreneur who not only broke down the stereotype but is now inspiring and breeding the talents in the ‘not so popular’ parts of the country with his journey from Jamshedpur to Silicon Valley. Always good with networking, Atul Kumar, founded Bharat Entrepreneurship Network last year, with an aim of seeding, curating and investing in entrepreneurial Ventures and talents with roots in the smaller pockets of the country including AP, Meghalaya, Assam, Jharkhand. Today it is all set for its global launch.
Atul is an Entrepreneur by day, a social activist by night and aspiring author, keynote speaker by weekend. He is also Co-Founder and Curator of A++ Ventures, Healthy2050, BEN (Bihar Entrepreneur Network), JEN (Jharkhand Entrepreneur Network) besides having rich corporate experience with GE Capital, Genpact, Infosys and Virtusa. Bharat Entrepreneur Network (BEN) is, therefore, an expanded version of Atul’s already established entities in Bihar and Jharkhand, where he had a successful opening.
Starting operation last December, BEN, a not for profit institution and a single window service, from advisory to fundraising support, is all set to announce its global launch on Feb 11 in association with IIFT, New Delhi. Rather than having mega hubs in metros, Atul plans to create local chapters in 100 plus locations in India. BEN as a network will support entrepreneurs in terms of providing capital, funding, talent, linking them with investors, and providing other resources needed to push start-ups forward.
“Start-ups in tier-2 cities need more awareness about methods for scaling their business. Places like Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya have extreme talent but no access to capital and guidance. At BEN we want to focus on 1st generation entrepreneurs and help them scale up and experiment with many brilliant ideas and founders settle down after reaching modest turnover numbers,” Atul observes.
Mentoring and exposure will change aspirations to scale-up and knowledge to achieve growth, he adds. Atul also propagates how India doesn’t need to create global copycats and bud local community and entrepreneurs with local problem solving solutions turning into a business.
“We believe that entrepreneurship is the key to solving most problems and networks are central to the idea of entrepreneurship. We feel that Bharat had a very thriving culture of entrepreneurship and had some distinct values than the western styles or models of entrepreneurship”.
As a founder of Bihar and Jharkhand Entrepreneur Network as well, Atul began his task at hand with first recreating the branding of the states, “It is easy to get the excitement created as not everyone is able to reach the central markets. We organised Patna marathon which was the first step in creating the buzz and also inviting investors”.
Having spent years in the US, Atul draws a comparison between the start-up ecosystems in both the nations, “One of the major advantages of US is the large size of the economies as compared to India where the ticket size needs to be very large in order to be profitable. That is where right mentorship plays its role”. With an aim of accelerating entrepreneurship, Atul wants India to reclaim & assert its position as “A Nation of Billion Entrepreneurs”.