Hyderabad-based entrepreneurs recommend ASCENT Foundation to cope business challenges for growth-oriented Founders
- ASCENT Foundation is a not-for-profit, peer-to-peer learning platform founded by Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd - Trust-group led peer learning to ensure city’s budding entrepreneurs are at par with Tier-1 Business modules - Case studies from Hyderabad-based leaders around peer support helping them cope from Pandemic and grow business in the new normal
Hyderabad : ASCENT Foundation, a not-for-profit, peer-to-peer learning platform founded by Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd has registered over 18% members from Hyderabad based founders and leaders in its All-India Chapter. The Foundation is aimed at ensuring entrepreneurial ecosystem in India upscaling towards growth while adapting to the drastic changes of the business economy. ASCENT Foundation supported peer learning method has gained traction amongst city budding entrepreneurs to help them cope with unique business challenges arising of the Kolkata market while learning from a diverse set of entrepreneurs from across India.
At ASCENT, the composition of members is quite diverse with a 46:54 split between Manufacturing and Services Industries; 44% Family Businesses; 8% Women Entrepreneurs and in all about 65+ diverse industries represented. The aggregate annual turnover of the ASCENT members is more than Rs. 53,000 crores with individual member turnover ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2500+ crores. In the last 9 years, ASCENT has selected over 700 entrepreneurs as members (from more than 2500 applications received) who are part of 62 operational Trust Groups in Mumbai, Chennai and All-India Chapters.
The pandemic had left many entrepreneurs in troubled waters. In such times, instead of looking for support from their immediate advisors, entrepreneurs looked towards learning from their fellow peers & their experiences of adapting to unprecedented changes. With the pandemic-induced covid push and subsequent adoption of technology, ASCENT Foundation launched its All-India chapter extending peer learning through 62 operational Trust Groups spread across various cities like Kolkata, Varanasi, Udupi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Dharwad, Indore, Raipur, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Sonipat, Cochin and Mirzapur. These “Trust Groups” are ‘unique, powerful and self-facilitated peer-to-peer groups’ that leverage the “power of the collective” enabling entrepreneurs to share and exchange experiences, ideas, insights and learn from each other in a healthy and non-competing ecosystem.
A former Marine Engineer Officer Class I (UK), Mr. Jairaj Kumar is the Chairman and Managing Director, Ocean Sparkle Ltd. He is responsible for the overall business development of the company as well as exploring new projects for its growth. Despite being a part of other entrepreneurial clubs, he ensures to take out time for ASCENT as he believes, “being part of the much diverse group could be a great learning experience. Additionally, I can also impart my knowledge and experience to the like-minded entrepreneurs!”
Having had the advantage of coming from a business-oriented family, Tanzeel Sayani joined his family business in the healthcare industry at a very young age. Currently associated with Dr Sayani’s as its Executive Director, Tanzeel helms a lot of major decisions at the firm. However, joining the management of a well-established family business was not an easy task. “I had been looking for Indian business-centric information because what you see online is rarely relevant in India. Finding Indian entrepreneurs and their experiences are very difficult. Ascent was exactly what I was looking for, Indian business centric and practical information rather than theories.” He adds, “I am the youngest entrepreneur in my Trust Group and my challenges are multiplied by a few folds given my age. Being surrounded by successful business owners and entrepreneurs, coming from diverse backgrounds has been incredibly valuable – it helps you make better and more confident decisions, helps you find solutions to your problems and because of confidentiality clauses, it allows us to have a deeper insight on everyone else’s thoughts, opinions and experiences”.
The foundation has also been extremely relevant in connecting with fellow entrepreneurs, not only from within the city of Hyderabad but also across India. “Being a CEO, whether you are an SME or a multinational, you are lonely at the top. You cannot confide in your employees. ASCENT gives you a platform to talk to your peers – be it about business, family or personal. The entire platform works on confidentiality that allows you to make yourself most vulnerable. It is a group that does not give you advice but shares their own similar experience. In Hyderabad, there are many tech enterprises that have flourished with solutions and services that I don’t understand since I come from an old-school group but learning from the younger generation entrepreneurs has been extremely helpful. I would say that in my city, there are many entrepreneurs who can benefit from this experience!” comments Jairaj.