The Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab has partnered with Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) to launch a program to encourage and enable entrepreneurship in Ludhiana. ‘Xcelerator’ is a 6 month long curated small business accelerator program to support promising growth enterprises in improving their productivity, efficiency and profitability. The program is co-designed and led by key stakeholders ranging from industry experts to financial institutions in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.The ‘Xcelerator Ludhiana’ will be led by a collaborative Taskforce with Mr. Sachit Jain (Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Vardhman Special Steels Ltd.) as the chair along with Mr. Upkar Singh Ahuja (President, Chamber of Industrial & Commercial Undertakings) and other key stakeholders from the government, banks, academic institutes and media. The Taskforce will be advised by a Steering Committee that includes Mr. Ravi Venkatesan (Founder, GAME) and Dr. Gyanendra Badgaiyan (Former IAS & Punjab State Advisory Council Member), among others. Vini Mahajan, Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab expressed that the MSMEs in Punjab have always been crucial to creating jobs. The Government understands and appreciates the entrepreneurial grit of the citizens of Punjab and by fostering this talent and innovation, MSMEs will pave clear paths for the growth of the state economy. The promotion of successful growth enterprises will nurture an ecosystem of smaller supporting MSMEs which will in turn enhance the employment potential of the state, thus creating a virtuous cycle of growth and prosperity. The Government of Punjab is committed to supporting GAME in this initiative and building a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurial growth in Punjab .
Alok Shekhar, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce added that the commitment of the Government to boost MSMEs in the state of Punjab has resulted in reforms at multiple levels - policy, processes, infrastructure and well as incentivisation. In order to now ace the next frontier, the Department is collaborating with GAME to incubate and spread the culture of Mass Entrepreneurship (ME) in Punjab. This program will unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the state by giving the right tools to MSMEs. Xcelerator will slowly transform Punjab by ingraining entrepreneurship into its very fabric.The program which is being launched in Ludhiana will have 2 cohorts with up to 20 firms each. The program will eventually be scaled across Punjab and will create a resilient and sustainable local ecosystem conducive to MSME growth and job creation. It will support the growth of mass entrepreneurship and encourage and build aspirations for youth to start new enterprises.Speaking on this partnership, Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, Founder, GAME said that Punjab has more than 2.59 lakh registered MSMEs which clearly demonstrates its strong entrepreneurial DNA. Yet, many MSMEs are unable to scale, stuck in unproductive business cycles and dated operations. To overcome such challenges, Mr. Venkatesan said, the selected enterprises will be taken through a quick growth journey through specific interventions over six months. Ludhiana serves as a perfect starting point because of its resources, promising enterprises and responsive ecosystem.The program applications are now open. The launch of the first cohort will be in December 2020. The program invites profitable, non-IT businesses to apply. Profitable businesses with annual revenue of INR 2 crore to INR 10 crore in the service industry, and INR 10 crore to INR 50 crore in manufacturing, trade or export businesses are eligible to apply. Women-owned businesses (majority equity owned by women) with annual revenue in the range of INR 2 crore to INR 50 crore are also encouraged to apply.