The Asian Connection: Strengthening entrepreneurship ecosystem across Asia

GEN Asia Executive Committee represented by Taiwan, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Koea, Thailand and India with President of GEN Global Jonathan Ortmans

“It’s not magic, It’s talent & sweat”, a popular quote by a sitcom immortalising it’s namesake culture in Silicon Valley pretty much sums up the core truth almost every entrepreneur anywhere in the world will tell you. What it also tells you is that the crux of any business, pan geography or demography pretty much remains the same.

I have spent many years as an entrepreneur , an insider, an outsider but more importantly as a student of the ecosystem in trying to understand the answer to this. While I may not have all the possible solutions, I definitely have arrived at one succinct piece of the puzzle- Ecosystem Support. While this is a vast concept it comes from a very simple saying “It takes a village to raise a child”, similarly to create sustainable, successful & impactful businesses we need to work towards creating a supportive ecosystem that enables it.

The biggest dream of any entrepreneur is always to make it big and its only possible when your innovation, idea, enterprise or disruption makes a dent in all parts of the world. Over the last few years, entrepreneurship did take a center stage around the world, specially from the time governments started working closely with some real disrupters, the change makers, the doers or simply call them “motivators”. They work behind the scene, are often unheard of, and are usually seen hiding away focussed on their cause. I have been fortunate to be one of them.

From America to Europe, Africa to Asia, every government and every young entrepreneur now is working actively towards common goals such as peace building , improving technology and creating livelihood. It was October of 2013 when I met my real tribe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where Global Entrepreneurship Summit was being held with entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders from over 100 countries. A very interesting group came together to discuss about their respective startup initiatives. From Startup America, to Canada, Britain, Chile, Australia, there were ecosystem builders and policy makers discussing how should we support and create more entrepreneurs. A missing link was key representation from India, which I managed to fulfil as the only ecosystem builder present at that moment.

Over the years, we moved forward as a common voice of entrepreneurs to bring in almost every stakeholder under a common shelter and that gave birth to the second generation of GEN which managed to gather stakeholders from over 170 countries.

Countries progressed so did the governments in supporting the trouble makers who challenged the status quo for just one cause of helping, supporting and growing entrepreneurs

Several gatherings, discussions, coffee table conversations, conferences and other activities led to evolution and development of one entrepreneurial ecosystem. After successful execution of GES 2016 in Silicon Valley, GES 2017 in Hyderabad, GEC 2017 Johannesburg, GEC 2018 Istanbul and formation of GEN Asia in Thailand last year, we managed to build deeper connections, collaborations and cooperation in the continent.

Last month at GEC+ Taipei, there was a major decision taken to involve more nations for Asian cooperation in order to ensure bigger markets and quicker access to these markets for entrepreneurs. In order to do so, I was given the mandate to lead this vision for GEN Asia

I feel honoured to announce my appointment as Chairman of GEN Asia in order to take my work beyond India and support 47 other Asian nations in building and strengthening their entrepreneurship ecosystems. While this surely would remain as a memorable milestone this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am thrilled & excited to work with some wonderful partners, zealous entrepreneurs & institutions to make this vision a reality.

I will be posting shortly about my experience in leading gAsia Group at Startup Nations Policy Hack 2018 which took place last week in Surabaya, Indonesia. Stay tuned.

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