Anand Mahindra says entrepreneurship will ‘explode’.

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Entrepreneurship in India is poised for a “virtual explosion” even as there may be talks that the startup world may be in for tough times in the near term, says industry titan Anand Mahindra. From the sidelines of the entrepreneurship event with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in their India visit, Mahindra said the country had the “highest levels of energy” both in quality and quality of entrepreneurs. “There is talk about unicorns not being unicorns but entrepreneurship will see a virtual explosion,” he said. The USD 16.9 billion Mahindra Group itself has been eager to join the startup party. It recently launched SmartShift, a technology-enabled load exchange platform that hooks up cargo owners and transporters using a mobile app. “We are very excited as this comes from a business, which is born in our automotive business,” he said, adding that large businesses such as theirs have a greater ecosystem from which they can create small startups that fulfill needs of their customers. Mahindra is quick to admit SmartShift’ss business model is intrinsically against the group’ss core business, as it would mean fewer sales of commercial vehicles (CVs). “But still, the company looks at this space as a huge opportunity.” He added that Mahindra will continue to invest in start-ups through its private equity firm Mahindra Partners, as and when it comes across ideas worth turning into businesses.


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