Empresario …The Biggest Entrepreneurship Festival

Empresario was first launched in 2012 and has since emerged as one of the largest entrepreneurship fests celebrated in India. Held over two days, every February- March, the fest witnesses thousands of participants from across the country. It is primarily managed by students of EDII’s PG programmes under the supervision of faculty. The event has helped several start-ups turn their ideas into viable businesses. The focus this year was on fostering the start-up ecosystem even amidst crisis but this year owing to the COVID 19 pandemic, it could not be organised like the previous years.


This year EDII hosted the ‘Empresario Virtual Start-up Summit’.


In collaboration with UNICEF, SDG, IIC, MHRD Innovation Cell and SSIP, this year’s Empresario was about ‘National Vision for Sustainable Development.’ The Chief Guest of the event was Dr Vallabh Kathiria, Chairman, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog Government of India. Also present on the occasion was Smt. Laxmi Bhawani, Chief, UNICEF Gujarat.


The inaugural session of the virtual summit commenced with keynote address by Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director General, EDII . Dr. Shukla appreciated the zeal of the students even in times of the pandemic.  He said, “This fest brings all start-ups, budding entrepreneurs, innovators investors under one platform and allows them to showcase their products and exchange their views. In view of challenging times, the entrepreneurs need to be optimistic and creative to find opportunities as every situation unfolds opportunities. All that we require is to develop an eye for opportunity.”


Dr. Vallabh Kathiria discussed the topic ‘Opportunities and Scope for Developing Cow Based Economy in India’. He said, “The country needs to find economically viable ventures in the times of crises and difficult situations and these, he said, can be vastly found in cow-based enterprises. These remain unexplored. The various opportunities in enhancing cow based enterprises would help in boosting the Indian economy.” He also discussed the various measures taken by the government to boost cow-based entrepreneurship.


Smt. Laxmi Bhawani discussed extensively on ‘Role of Young Leaders to Uplift Sustainable Development Goals during Global Crisis’. She said, “The coved-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has brought about a jolt in the socio-economic structures across the world. The disruptions in healthcare, education, nutrition and several other sectors have to be dealt with, with innovative thinking. The youth are the change-makers and they are actively participating to fight against the pandemic situation. Innovative solutions are being brought up by them which will help them to become the torchbearers of the SDG goals.”


The interactive summit included a range of webinars that enabled start-ups to grow and recognise new markets and sustainable strategies post lockdown. The various sessions over two days of the Summit focussed on the problems which were likely to haunt businesses, especially MSMEs, as a result of this pandemic, and the solutions that entrepreneurs could focus on to bail themselves out of this situation. There were also sessions on strategic thinking and the need to maintain one’s spirit to persevere.


Mr. Snehal Desai, Vice-President, Adani Group discussed the topic, ‘Creative Destruction Strategy for Start-ups’. He said, “The Covid-19 lockdown will bring the need for adopting creative destruction strategy for hard-hit start-ups. It is an apt time to adopt creative destruction strategy to move ahead in business.” Explaining the strategy, he talked about economic innovation and adoption of a novel approach to renew the business cycle. The examples cited by him further established his points. 


Mr. Sanjay Raval, Noted Motivational Speaker and Revolutionary Educationist, addressed the participants on ‘Strength of Resilience for Start-ups to Come out of Lockdown Hibernation’. He said, “Life has no structured syllabus. The course of action that one takes defines the path of life. Use this lockdown time to work hard and learn new things to be able to continue in the race of life. There are always alternatives. Life never stops giving options. We just fail to notice.” He discussed about some start-ups facing problems and how they could look at alternatives to bounce back. 


Mr. Jay Vasavada, a noted writer, orator and columnist addressed the event on ‘Mythological Strategies for Modern Start-ups’. He said, “The strategies used in Indian Mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata to win against their enemies provide a relevant base to the enterprises in the present times. These have inherent messages and must be understood as a deeper understanding infuses the understanding and confidence to fight adverse situations.”


The event proved beneficial to all stakeholders and budding entrepreneurs. They felt charged up and enlightened to fight hardships arisen as a result of COVID 19 situation.   The Summit was successful in creating knowledge and positive attitude among all business enthusiasts.