Young Indian entrepreneurs seek ‘strategic alliances’ with Saudi Arabia at G20 meet

Young Indian entrepreneurs seek ‘strategic alliances’ with Saudi Arabia at G20 meet
Young Indian entrepreneurs seek ‘strategic alliances’ with Saudi Arabia at G20 meet

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEW DELHI: Indian startups will pursue new alliances with Saudi Arabia, their representatives said on Thursday, as the Kingdom’s delegation arrived in New Delhi for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit.

The summit from July 13 to 15 will see hundreds of young entrepreneurs from the G20 member nations sharing their experiences and best practices.

It is hosted by Young Indians, a group of young businessmen who are part of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The Saudi delegation is led by Prince Fahad bin Mansour, the chair of the board of directors of the Saudi Entrepreneurship Vision and president of the Saudi G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance.

The prince also represented the Kingdom earlier this month during the summit of the Startup20 — an engagement group, which was initiated under India’s G20 presidency to help implement policies supporting the global startup ecosystem.

With about 60 delegates, the Saudi team is a key player at the Young Entrepreneurs Alliance meeting.

“Saudi is the key player,” Young Indians vice chairman Tarang Khurana told Arab News. 

 

“We have Invest Saudi, NEOM and MISA (the Saudi Ministry of Investment) who are our strategic partners for the event. And Prince Fahad is obviously a patron of the summit.”

The Saudi delegates, he said, are “heavily involved with the startup curation culture” and are likely to “take it across the borders and bring it to India as well.”

Over the last decade, the Indian startup ecosystem has grown rapidly and since the launch of the Startup India initiative in 2016, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry has recognized more than 92,600 entities as startups.

The government expects the number to grow 12 to 15 percent annually, but they also need investment and international collaborations, which they are expecting to foster during the meeting of young entrepreneurs.

“We will also exclusively ensure that there is a lot of delegate networking and potential for businesses to come through, because the focus of this summit is to build an entrepreneurial system, to engage, explore opportunities,” Khurana said. “Lots of strategic alliances are happening over here.”

Vishal Kumar Agarwalla, also a vice chairman of Young Indians, said he expects that relationship building between businesses would reach the next level and that a dedicated forum would be established for them during the summit.

“We want to find a way that a Saudi-India investment forum to be launched. That is on the policy level. On the entrepreneurship level, we want to make sure entrepreneurs from each country find partners in each other’s country, so that they can grow together,” he said.

“The trust has been built already.”

In recent months, there have been numerous exchanges between Saudi and Indian startups and in May a group of 25 young Indian entrepreneurs visited Saudi Arabia on Prince Fahad’s invitation to exchange know-how and views.

Faheem Al-Hamid, senior adviser to the Saudi G20 delegation, told Arab News he was optimistic about the future of cooperation between them.

“The potential is very huge, especially with the vast entrepreneurial culture in India,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is also leveraging the entrepreneurship culture ... We can learn from each other and our experiences.”

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