Liz Mohn, vice-chairwoman of Bertelsmann Stiftung today launched and inaugurated the German Indian Start-Up Exchange Program (GINSEP). The event was also attended by Dirk Wiese, the parliamentary state secretary in Germany's Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy; German Ambassador to India, Dr Martin Ney; Deepak Bagla, managing director and CEO of Invest India; and, India Today's group editorial director Raj Chengappa. Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu made a surprise appearance at the event.
Bertelsmann Stiftung is one of the largest private foundations in Germany and its activities are directly philanthropic. It also owns one of the world's largest media, publishing and services empires--Bertelsmann-which operates in over 50 countries. It aims to strengthen society and help individuals reach their full potential. It works in areas such as international cultural exchange, youth, arts, public education, career training, democracy and government.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Mohn said, "We are all ambassadors. Government and PM Modi have taken initiatives to promote youth. We have to take up the challenge." She said when startups are being built their culture is important. "It's important for people to feel involved. Trust plays a decisive role. They have to be allowed to change things, make mistakes. Otherwise, you are not entrepreneurs."
Dirk Wiese, the parliamentary state secretary in Germany's Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy said,"India is growing at a rapid pace. It's very impressive by German standards. There is no country with more young people. There's a great deal German startups can learn from Indian Unicorns. Indian startups are good at developing cost-effective solutions. This is a great opportunity for Indo-German cooperation."
German Ambassador to India, Dr Martin Ney, expressed his appreciation of Ms Mohn's appreciation and passion for Indo-German relationship. "PM Modi says India and Germany are natural partners. We both believe and democracy, human rights, free press and share values. We also prefer a rules based international order. The number of countries who share such values are reducing."
Deepak Bagla, the managing director and CEO of Invest India made an impassioned pitch for investing in India saying, "The scale, size and pace of transformation taking place in India is unprecedented." He said India had attracted $194 billion in the past 36 months, over 90 pc of that has required no government approval. He said India is the world's No.1 open economy.
India Today's group editorial director Raj Chengappa said, "What we are witnessing in India is a revolution in entrepreneurship which touches everyone."
"The time has come when we can be anywhere and work. I am excited by this idea-an Idea to make this partnership work will make sure startups will become reality," says commerce minister Suresh Prabhu who made a surprise appearance at the event.