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IAMAI launches ‘Circle Program’ to mentor aspiring founders

Madhushree Chakrabarty April 22, 2021
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“Circle Program”, a peer-to-peer mentoring of founders of start-ups, was launched today by The Internet and Mobile Association of India, IAMAI. The course has been designed for aspiring founders needing guidance and handholding from proven and established founders. The program matches each mentor with two founders to build a lifetime relationship and goes through a strict selection process satisfying both sides. The platform also ensures the confidentiality of the interaction between the parties. The program revolves around decision-making process around funding, investments, technology adoption and other allied topic required for the realization of the founder’s aspirations.

Eminent and established founders such as Dinesh Agarwal [IndiaMart], Nitin Kamath [Zerodha], Rajesh Jain [Netcore], Adhil Shetty [Bankbazaar], Vivek Bhargava [Dentsu and Profitwheel] will be the mentors to the Circle Program. In addition, Ameera Shah [Metropolis], Rajesh Magow [MakeMyTrip], Nigel Morris [Ad-mix], PK Gulati [Optimistix Ventures] and Tarana Lalwani [InnoVen Capital] are also other mentors of the first program.

Commenting on the importance of the program, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com, said: “Start-ups hold the potential to become the growth engines of our economy and they are our future. They have shown exemplary performance over the years. Our endeavour is to support the Indian start-up ecosystem – which can set an example for the rest of the world. We are confident that the Circle Program would provide a major boost to the start-up ecosystem, helping start-ups to strategize their business plans and achieve growth.”

Vivek Bhargava, Chairman, IAMAI Start-up Committee, Co-Founder, ProfitWheel and Head Dentsu Performance Group, said: “The Circle Program is addressing the challenges of entrepreneurs who usually have a lonely journey and may not know what to do and whom to reach out to when they come across either challenges or opportunities.

Founders can enrol themselves for the program from today. India has the third largest technology start-up ecosystem in the world. It is witnessing YoY growth of 12-15%. At present, 38 start-ups are valued at over $1 billion, or what is known as unicorns. Despite the disruption to the economy by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the country minted around 12 such unicorns. The Circle Program is an initiative to curate many more success stories.

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