April 15, 2021

Ronnie Screwvala: Innovation, entrepreneurial spirit key to rebuild India say Ronnie Screwvala, CP Gurnani at ET-ILC meet

By Nikita Rana

In some ways Covid-19 has been an awesome leveller of types. Each firm, whether or not massive or small feels compelled to innovate. All the pieces on each, the demand and provide aspect has modified. Demand is unpredictable and provide poses sensible challenges on a regular basis. The main target areas and targets for each enterprise have develop into – be nimble, versatile and quick. However it’s in environments like this that serial entrepreneurs like Ronnie Screwvala and CP Gurnani know the right way to thrive. The 2 stalwarts interacted with CEOs and MDs from ET-ILC to debate how companies can reinvent themselves regardless of the present setting.

One realization that each conventional promoter-driven and new-age tech companies have had, is that digitalization can present an answer within the present setting. Nonetheless, it’s important to grasp that digitalization isn’t just about creating an app or marketing campaign. It’s about gearing your product traces to customise experiences. And this technique has successfully labored even for corporations who’ve been severely impacted by Covid-19.

Some companies from the journey sector that erstwhile bought leisure packages have now moved to offering well being and wellness packages. Well being and insurance coverage corporations are developing with services and products to supply instantaneous take a look at outcomes. All this stems from the coverage of versatile leaders who’ve been capable of steer their companies to adapt to the brand new regular.

The urban-rural divide has shrunk and there are thousands and thousands of individuals in-between, attributable to migration and reverse migration. “Small corporations are prone to have existential points whereas giant ones should revive provide after which demand,” says Ronnie Screwvala, Chairman and Co-founder, upGrad. Innovation throughout these unsure instances turns into tough when most corporations are targeted on survival, however is vital at this level. “The present uncertainty is prone to proceed for subsequent 18 to 24 months. Enterprise leaders have to be optimistic and take a look at the cup that’s half full”, he provides.


The income of entrepreneurial corporations which declined by near 70% from March to April this 12 months is now nearly again to March ranges due to measures instituted by these corporations. New enterprise fashions, new companies and taking operations world – had been among the methods adopted by companies who selected to vary their modus operandi. Within the e-commerce area, these have been applied efficiently by a couple of Indian companies specializing in area of interest classes. Client modifications and know-how modifications are interlinked. Along with placing the supply-chain again on monitor and making it extra environment friendly than earlier than, there must be a concerted effort to rebuild demand.

Each money administration and danger taking means have to be balanced and are important for progress. If there’s one management workforce the right way to hold operations going and handle the disaster there must be one other workforce that’s progress alternatives that may be capitalized. The technique of a significant FMCG main to extend their advert spend throughout the well being disaster was a calculated danger, which paid off. In money administration, the Indian IT sector has completed nicely.


CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra.

“These corporations typically hold one third of their money for dividends, one third for M&As and one third as reserve”, says CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra. Regardless of the pandemic, M&As and innovation have continued. Corporations, whereas staying near their core enterprise, must put money into individuals and their upskilling, infrastructure and a service line for the longer term. “The Indian software program trade has advanced solely as a result of they’ve stored tempo with the instances,” asserts Gurnani.

Even within the present setting each promoter-driven and tech startups have been capable of elevate capital. Nonetheless, the methods these corporations are perceived by traders and the strategies of valuation for each units of corporations are totally different. One set of traders believes that income generated is a real indicator of progress and valuation of startups is presently inflated. The opposite view is that present valuations are justified since younger entrepreneurs are redefining the trade and breaking down limitations. Cross fertilization of innovation between startups and conventional brick and mortar companies is proscribed attributable to totally different mindsets. Trade leaders consider what is required is a holistic strategy which includes know-how, labour and land legal guidelines, taxation, logistics, transportation and warehousing.

India has quite a few small entrepreneurs who’ve the potential to develop their companies and generate employment. They have to be handheld and given steerage within the areas of finance, advertising and distribution. Know-how, modernization, innovation, personalization and digital are the instruments to fight the pandemic. Indian corporations may enhance their know-how spends to be able to develop into extra globally aggressive. There are additionally alternatives within the home market in numerous sectors like provide chain and agriculture. Enterprising enterprise leaders will make the most of the liquidity accessible and take dangers for higher progress.