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Corporates open to partner with startups

Corporates open to partner with startups
Highlights

Corporates are more open to work with startups, say senior representatives from corporate bigwigs such as GE, PwC, Mahindra, etc.

Hyderabad: Corporates are more open to work with startups, say senior representatives from corporate bigwigs such as GE, PwC, Mahindra, etc. Dispelling general perception that corporate majors don’t encourage startups, senior officials from the industry said conglomerates, in fact, were looking for budding entrepreneurs, who could work on products, services in customising solutions to their clientele.

Speakers from industry majors and several startups who spoke at a conclave, organised as part of ‘Road to GES’ by NITI Aayog at Hitex on Sunday, said the future of startups was bright as corporates were open to work with young techies with bright ideas.

Indian corporate majors and multinational companies (MNCs) are on same page to express their future plans to work with startups as these are fast and agile to take decision in a jiffy, they felt. Kicking off a panel discussion on 'Can a big company innovate?', Rama Iyer of T-Hub asked participants to respond on it.

Prakash Bodla from United Technologies in his response said that large companies could innovate. "We can’t change the course of a major corporate group so quickly. But If every corporate group is like a mother ship, then it needs fast boats for innovation,” he explained.

Supporting this, Rama said: “What mostly required is core competency. Based on this, any company can innovate.” Sowjanya Chalamkuri from GE (General Electric) explained about GE's exclusive platform called eventures.com for converting ideas into business startups. “We go beyond capital investment. "Innovation and execution of ideas to reach out to target customers are more important. GE is completely driving open innovation strategy. We’re keen to partner with startups,” she said.

Further elaborating the discussion, Rohit Pandharkar from Mahindra Group, said that decades-old Mahindra group is world’s largest maker of tractors. "Despite our size of operations, Mahindra launched rent-a-tractor and it’s successful now. Our smartship is another example of innovation.

Despite experience and huge scale of operations, Mahindra Group is also undergoing transformation as it’s focusing on electric vehicles (EV) now. Adopting new business models with changing technology applications is a must for any company.”

Ruling out apprehensions among startups that their ideas could be stolen by corporates, the panel assured that major companies would always want to work with young startups. Prakash assured: “Don’t worry, big companies don’t steal your ideas, but partner with startups.”

Corporates are always exploring startups to find a good fit for their clientele. If they found startups ideal for possible synergies for some in-house innovation, then it’s a win-win situation, said participants.

By Sreenivasa Rao Dasari

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