FMCG doyen and Marico Chairman Harsh Mariwala, while speaking at the 7th edition of the ASCENT Conclave in Mumbai, underscored the importance of entrepreneurs in the growth of a country.
In his keynote address, Mariwala said, “India’s $5-trillion economy vision can only be driven by entrepreneurs. The government will invest in policymaking and infrastructure. But most of the contribution will come from entrepreneurs.”
Mariwala’s not-for-profit initiative ASCENT Foundation, which is in its 10th year now, enables entrepreneurs to grow and scale up. The collective consists of 850 entrepreneur-members at present, and Mariwala wants to grow it to 5,000 in the next few years.
Talking of the genesis of ASCENT, he shared, “The model is very simple. It is based on pure learning and sharing best practices. I thought if I can help entrepreneurs scale up, I will be adding a lot of value. ASCENT was my way of giving something back to society.”
He further shared that the cumulative turnover of current ASCENT entrepreneurs is Rs 52,000 crore. “Can we go to Rs 5 lakh crore with 5,000 entrepreneurs? That’s the question we are asking,” he said.
Shedding light on the winds of change blowing over the global macroeconomic climate, especially post the pandemic and the war in Europe, Mariwala said, “Disruptions are occurring at a much faster pace than I have ever seen in my journey. The kind of technologies that are emerging are the biggest disruptor. Either you see it as a threat or you see it as an opportunity and participate in the disruption.”
Talking of Marico’s efforts in keeping up with the times, the Chairman spoke of the three D2C brands — Beardo, Just Herbs, and True Elements — the company has acquired over the years. “The emergence of D2C brands could be a threat to FMCG companies. But can we participate in this disruption?” he said, adding, “At some stage, we [Marico] will combine the strength of these products by distributing it through our traditional channels.”
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today