U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and White House National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients Host Entrepreneurship Roundtable with the Government of India and Leading Entrepreneurs

Discussion focused on the importance of supporting our countries’ entrepreneurs; the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be hosted in India; and prospects for launching an Indian Entrepreneurship Ambassadors program


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On August 29, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and White House National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients co-hosted a roundtable discussion in New Delhi with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to discuss the current state of innovation and entrepreneurship in India and existing policies and programs designed to help Indian entrepreneurs, with a focus on how the U.S. and India can work together to strengthen bilateral ties in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship. The event was held on the sidelines of the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) and the outputs of the discussion will be reflected in the S&CD proceedings.

The roundtable also provided a forum to exchange ideas between the U.S. and Indian governments on how to deliver tangible results from India’s hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and build momentum and private sector interest in the 2017 GES.

Finally, the roundtable provided an opportunity for Secretary Pritzker to present the highly successful U.S. Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative (www.commerce.gov/PAGE), which deploys some of the United States’ most dynamic business leaders to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs around the world and provides tools to help new businesses succeed in the U.S. A similar Indian Entrepreneurship Ambassadors program customized to meet needs identified by the Government of India would advance Prime Minister Modi’s “Start-Up India” initiative and facilitate closer ties between Indian and American entrepreneurs.

Secretary Pritzker stated that, “We are thrilled that the next Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) will be held here in India. Since its inception in 2010, the GES has helped more than 17,000 global entrepreneurs and innovators connect with one another, share ideas, access capital, find mentors, and start new ventures.

"In both the United States and India, we know that a culture and laws that support innovation is critical to economic growth and job creation. The 2017 GES will be a significant opportunity to highlight how our governments can serve as a partner to entrepreneurs by promoting and enacting policies and programs that help our innovators thrive.

"Finally, as chair of the United States' Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship initiative, I am particularly excited that India will be creating a similar program modeled after our own.

This type of effort will create opportunities for India's most successful entrepreneurs to mentor and inspire a younger generation, leading to more creativity, innovation, job creation, and economic growth."

Referring to the prospects of developing an Indian Entrepreneurship Ambassadors program modeled on the U.S. PAGE Program, NEC Director Zients said, "Supporting entrepreneurship and innovation is vital to both our economies and it's an area where policy makers in both the United States and India are making changes to support creativity and job creation. We're excited to work with the Government of India on GES 2017 and find new opportunities to ensure entrepreneurs have the tools, skills, networks, and policy ecosystems that allow them to start and scale their ventures."

The entrepreneurs participating in the roundtable represented the diversity of Indian business in terms of age, gender, sector, and geography, and have an interest in mentoring young entrepreneurs and helping India to achieve the goals of the “Start-Up India” initiative. Among others, participants included Kunal Bahl, one of the founders of Snapdeal, as well as women entrepreneurs like Chetna Gala Sinha, Chairperson of Mann Deshi Bank, which provides financial empowerment to women in rural villages, and Richa Bajpai, Co-Founder of NextGen, India’s first and only Venture Capital funded company in the CSR space. Other participants included Milind Kamble, Founder and Chairman of the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was honored in 2013 with a Padma Shri for his contributions in the field of trade and industry; Greg Moran, a U.S.-born expatriate who has carved out a successful niche business in India with his Bengaluru-based company Zoomcar; and Samar Singla, the 30 year old serial entrepreneur who launched the rickshaw aggregation business Jugnoo.

List of Participants: 

Government of India

  • Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog
  • Dr. Y.S. Malik, Special Secretary, NITI Aayog
  • Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology
  • Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology
  • Dr. K.K. Jalan, Secretary, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises

U.S. Government

  • Ms. Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce
  • Mr. Jeff Zients, Director of the National Economic Council, White House
  • Mr. Richard Verma, U.S. Ambassador to India
  • Mr. Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Mr. Ziad Haider, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Private Sector

  • Mr. Greg Moran, Co-founder, Zoomcar
  • Ms. Radhika Aggarwal, Co-founder, ShopClues
  • Mr. Shashank ND, Founder, Practo Technologies
  • Mr. Naren Gupta, Founder, Nexus Ventures
  • Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha, Chairperson, Mann Deshi Bank
  • Mr. Samar Singla, CEO, Jugnoo
  • Mr. Milind Kamble, Founder Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DICCI)
  • Ms. Richa Bajpai, Co-founder, NextGen
  • Mr. Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder, Naukri.com
  • Mr. Jose Dominic, CEO, CGH Earth Group
  • Mr. Jawed Habib, Founder, Jawed Habib Hair & Beauty Ltd.   
  • Mr. Kunal Bahl, Co-founder, Snapdeal


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Last updated: 2016-08-30 15:17

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