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Hyderabad Global Entrepreneurship Summit line-up raises question: Where are Muslim entrepreneurs?

The line up of speakers for Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)-2017 includes a host of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders from India.

Published: 27th November 2017 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2017 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The line up of speakers for Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES)-2017 includes a host of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders from India. However, there is a conspicuous absence of Muslim entrepreneurs or corporate leaders from the country in the list.

In fact, in the entire list of speakers uploaded on the GES website there is just one Muslim woman entrepreneur from Afghanistan, Roya Mahboob. In the tentative list of ‘Breakout’ and ‘Master Class’ sessions, the only Muslim name from India is that of Tennis player, Sania Mirza.

When contacted, Dr Shariq Nisar, an expert in development of financial products and services and Islamic Banking, said, “The level of entrepreneurship in Muslim community is low. For a community, majority of which is facing insecurity over employment and literacy, entrepreneurship does not come easily.

Moreover, the system of incubators, startups and entrepreneurship is such that it benefits privileged people the most. As can be seen, it is not just Muslims who are lagging but also in the Hindu community there are not many entrepreneurs from Scheduled Caste communities.

The exposure that disadvantaged groups get is limited. As a result, in hyped-up events like the GES, those who do not get a chance of representation are often those from the disadvantaged groups. Only some popular figure from a disadvantaged community is brought in as symbolic gesture.”

Faisal Farooqui, Founder and CEO of Mouthshut.com, one of the successful Muslim entrepreneurs in India says, “There is a need for Muslim community to wake up and utilise available opportunities. If a person has a really good technology, develops a good product, it will be recognised.

It is true that the Muslim community is weighed down by the issues of poverty, low literacy and high drop out rates but the community should allow people to have a role model to emulate. Unfortunately, the community tries to find perfection in setting a role model and ends up finding faults with everyone. No one is perfect.”

None expressed support for government’s plans of  separate IT SEZ for Muslims. Dr Nisar said, “Having a separate SEZ for Muslims is ghettoisation. Why cannot Muslims be given space in the existing system?”



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