India’s telecom association on Thursday launched a peer-to-peer mentorship program for budding entrepreneurs in the country, with an aim to guide them on making informed decisions.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said that the Circle Program would help founders to make decisions on funding, investments, technology adoption, and any other matter related to their startups.
The program’s mentors include established founders like Dinesh Agarwal of IndiaMart, Nitin Kamath of Zerodha, Rajesh Jain of Netcore, and Ameera Shah of Metropolis.
“Startups hold the potential to become the growth engines of our economy and they are our future,” said Agarwal, CEO of IndiaMart.
“They have shown exemplary performance over the years. Our endeavor is to support the Indian startup ecosystem, which can set an example for the rest of the world,” he added.
India has the third-largest tech startup ecosystem in the world, with a year-on-year growth of 12-15%. Currently, there are 38 unicorns — private companies valued at $1 billion or more.
“Despite the disruption to the economy by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the country minted around 12 such unicorns. The Circle Program is an initiative to curate many more success stories,” IAMAI said in a statement.
IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body that was started in 2004 with a mandate to expand and enhance online and mobile value-added services sectors.