India Inc India Inc: Monday, 21 November 2011 11:22

Entrepreneurship as an engine

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An analysis of why entrepreneurship is the key to sustainable global economic growth as TiE UK prepares to celebrate achievements in the field.

TiE UK will be renewing its commitment to fostering entrepreneurship with an inaugural gala awards ceremony in London next month.

In spite of the convenience of quick impressions, TiE is not a club or an amorphous social group. Its burgeoning community is persistent; it is of and by entrepreneurs; it is real, it is long term and it is built on warm friendships – not just on mouse clicks!

Seeded by a few successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs from India in 1992, TiE has grown in stature and influence as the pre-eminent global community fostering entrepreneurship. It has expanded to 57 chapters – all the way from Chennai (India) to London (UK) to Boston (Massachusetts). With the recent addition of TiE UK North and TiE Desutschland to the family and another chapter incubating in Hong Kong, its goals and ambitions continue to move along apace, reinvigorated every year.

It was C.K. Prahalad, a distinguished professor at the University of Michigan's School of Business Administration and a graduate of The Harvard Business School, whose seminal position paper “The House of TiE” laid down the transformative vision for this unique organisation at the turn of the last millennium.

The growth and scale of its operations continues to confirm the focus of TiE leadership to build an enduring and lasting institution that outlasts them.
The awards [] are expected to draw upwards of 400 delegates, including a number of key note speakers drawn from the who’s who of the entrepreneurial community in the UK. A host of its own prominent charter members will be present in force as well.

While discussions abound on how to rescue battered economies around the world, as governments attempt to overcome fiscal deficits through socially traumatic job cuts and economists track escalating unemployment statistics, attention must inevitably turn to non-profit organisations (such as TiE UK), philanthropists, and private foundations to find creative ways to help with the long recovery process.

With more than 13,000 members in 14 countries spread across five continents, TiE is the world’s largest global non-profit organisation that is singularly focused on entrepreneurship as a unique vehicle for the creation of wealth.

Ever since being founded over two decades ago, TiE has welcomed members from across communities. With conscious determination it has steered clear of ethnic, race, sex, religion, geographic, and any of the other divisive classifications. If it has a bias, then it is towards developing effective entrepreneurs. With the creation of TiE UK North, the UK leadership has set itself another ambitious goal – to act as a bridge across the oft lamented North-South divide.

TiE UK was established 11 years ago and it has grown to more than 100 charter members and 450 members. Over the past three years, charter members of TiE UK have mentored over 200 entrepreneurs at different stages of development across industry sectors. With leaders like Apurv Bagri (MD Metdist Group), Asif Rangoonwala (P1 Power Boat Racing), Tom Singh (New Look), Rashmi Chandaria (Catisa, Manetti etc) and other veteran entrepreneurs and trendsetters on its management board, it’s not hard to see how that became possible.

TiE UK’s charter has never been about making the wealthy become wealthier but rather about providing the embryonic business idea, the fledgling enterprise, and the creative ability blossom to its full potential. It has now set itself an aspirational goal to make entrepreneurship a ‘profession of choice’ rather than a fall-back or filler while between jobs.

Now more than ever, it is about helping people break away from a mindset of entitlement and dependency on public institutions, to become economically self-reliant.

There are a number of organisations catering to entrepreneurial pursuits. However, TiE is unique in offering both structured enablement and business networking, along with hands-on mentoring and coaching to its community of young and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Fostering entrepreneurship in this country, or for that matter in any other country given the current economic climate, is about giving hope to those college graduates, the young men and women who we asked to reach for the stars and then curtailed their access to the skies. It’s about nurturing them, so they may continue to aspire, to bring their business ideas to fruition, to take charge of their own lives and destiny. It is the same youth to whom we must entrust running our country tomorrow.

The 2011 TiE UK Annual Gala Awards have been designed in particular to recognise the successful entrepreneurs who have been remarkable role models, along with public and business figures that devote their time to establishing policies, programs and support opportunities for nurturing entrepreneurship in the UK. The slate of what will likely become the most coveted and prestigious awards among the entrepreneurial community in this country, is the way TiE UK wants to acknowledge the significant contribution made by a few to the cause of so many.

TiE UK’s programs, its calendar of events, and scheduled networking opportunities are all aimed at its underlying value precept: don’t give people fish, teach them how to fish instead. This community flourishes because it stays rooted in perpetuating this idea and it is naturally adopted by everyone who becomes a part of it.

TiE provides vital support to its members’ community throughout their entrepreneurial journey. No wonder then that it perpetually rejuvenates itself through the virtuous circle created amongst its charter members, members, sponsors, and partners. The incredible opportunities it offers to engage with influential businessmen, and to co-brand and develop relationship networks, allows everyone in the network to collaborate towards shared goals.

TiE UK thrives on the commitment and continues to build on the broad base of support that it enjoys across its community. The charter members serve as effective role models to the hundreds of members and support a compendium of instructive activities.

Whilst they all lead busy lives, it is their continued participation in implementing the mission of enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs that makes TiE UK raise itself clear of other organisations to the next level.

On the occasion of these awards, TiE UK aims to recognise and celebrate the successful and passionate engagement of its entire family.

Dr  Sanjeev B. Ahuja is the managing director of Progressive Intelligence Pvt (UK) Ltd. He is the London-based president of TiE UK and also sits on the advisory board of Namaste Entertainment Inc.

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