KOCHI: Kerala, with its 33.3 million population has established itself as the most responsive and resilient state from its phenomenal response to the once-in-a-century flood it faced recently, said S D Shibulal, co-founder, former CEO and MD, Infosys.
He was inaugurating the seventh edition of Kerala’s largest conference on entrepreneurship ‘TiEcon Kerala 2018’ at Le Meridian Convention Centre here on Friday.
The mega event spanning two days is being organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the largest not-for-profit global organisation fostering entrepreneurship.
“The amazing pace at which society, especially the youth reflected and matured in the wake of calamity is the clear sign of Kerala’s inherently high entrepreneurial spirit. We just need to build a business and industrial ecosystem. Also, channelise and tap the huge potential of the GenY in order to rebuild the state by turning the catastrophe into an opportunity," he said.
M S A Kumar, president, TiE Kerala, detailed the objectives of the seventh edition of the conference.
"After the rescue and immediate relief, the focus has now shifted to rehabilitation. We have to rebuild homes, restore livelihood, reconstruct infrastructure and restore normalcy. This is an area where the entrepreneur’s congress can contribute more. ‘Rebuild Kerala: Leveraging Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technologies is the theme of this year's conference," he said.
"The primary effort is to enable public-private participation. The industrial leaders and entrepreneurs will sit together and chalk out action plans to achieve up-gradation of technologies, affordable and durable innovative methods to rebuild infrastructure, roads, houses, communication systems, and weather or disaster warning systems," he said.
"The startups in Kerala have worked along with the government in order to ensure that the rescue operations were carried out efficiently. This included mapping all places where people are stranded," said Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission.
Outlining the startup opportunities in rebuilding Kerala, he said Post Disaster Need Assessments done by International Agencies suggest the state’s requirement for rebuilding is Rs 30,000 crore.
"Putting a very conservative multiplier of 10, we have an opportunity of Rs 3 lakh crore required to be invested in the state in a short span of time. The entrepreneurial opportunity has to be grabbed in order to realise the vision of TiE to have an Entrepreneur in Every home," he said.
TiE Kerala senior vice-president Ajit A Moopan, former president Rajesh Nair, South Indian Bank MD V G Mathew, and Tie Kerala vice-president Harikrishnan Nair also addressed the inaugural session.