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ASCENT Foundation plans to expand its Chennai Chapter to 140+ members by 2023

The Chennai chapter of the ASCENT Foundation, a non-profit, peer-to-peer learning platform formed by Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Ltd, has seen a 25% rise in membership.

ASCENT’s Chennai Chapter began in 2018 with 25 members and now has 103 members. Through peer learning and support, trust groups enable like-minded, growth-oriented entrepreneurs to learn and unlearn.

ASCENT recently organised an event in Chennai featuring Harsh Mariwala, Chairperson of Marico and Founder of ASCENT, Archanna Das, CEO of ASCENT, and members of its Chennai cohort.

Maarga Systems Pvt Ltd. Director Gayathri Viswanathan and PPMS Field Marketing Pvt Ltd. Managing Director Mahimm Gupta addressed the value of peer learning and assistance in developing resilient leaders of the future.

  • From 25 Chennai members in 2 trust groups in 2018, ASCENT today has 103 members from Chennai divided into 9 Trust groups.
  • 25% y-o-y Increase registered by ASCENT in entrepreneur members from Chennai
  • Increased peer learning from young entrepreneurs: ASCENT Chennai Chapter consists of 66% First Generation business owners
  • ASCENT will be hosting the 7th edition of ASCENT conclave with 1200+ entrepreneurs from across India in Mumbai on November 27, 2022
  • Success Stories of Chennai Entrepreneurs: Gayathri Viswanathan, Director, Maarga Systems Pvt Ltd., and Mahim Gupta, Managing Director, PPMS Field Marketing Pvt. Ltd. – Chennai-based leaders share their opinion on the entrepreneurship growth in Chennai and the key reasons behind it

For the past four years, ASCENT has been aggressively reaching out to growth-oriented entrepreneurs in Chennai that require peer support.

The Chennai Chapter began in 2018 with 25 members divided into two trust groups. Chennai’s entrepreneurial enthusiasm grew exponentially, with a 25% year-on-year rise in members for the Chennai Chapter.

Currently, ASCENT comprises 103 members from Chennai divided into 9 Trust groups, with 66% First Generation Entrepreneurs seeking peer support to navigate the dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The critical aspects of adapting to brand building, evolving family businesses, adapting to the emergence of technology, and t6+ need for a sounding board for clarity lead Chennai entrepreneurs to seek peer learning.

“The entrepreneurial market in Chennai has always been thriving, and with the proper mentality of entrepreneurs, the market has seen exponential expansion of existing enterprises and greater uptake of entrepreneurship among young business owners.” This is the primary reason ASCENT has focused on this ecosystem since its inception in Chennai four years ago. The state offers opportunities for entrepreneurial development not just from Chennai but other uprising markets with potential like Coimbatore, Puducherry, Theni, Salem, Mahabalipuram, Erode and Madurai, etc. with a focus on both personal and enterprise growth for entrepreneurs.”

said Harsh Mariwala, Founder, ASCENT, at the event,

Chennai makes up 16% of the total members in ASCENT, with 66% Family owned and 61% service from various industries like Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Rubber Plastic Manufacturing, Banking & Finance, Textiles, Logistics, and Technology.

Through the ASCENT Trust groups of like-minded leaders of tomorrow, Chennai entrepreneurs have received access to a pan-Indiaperspective, operational effectiveness, and a diverse network.

This has resulted in a faster acceptance of the drastic economy, increased peer support, and demonstrable business success. Consistent peer support is the key ingredient to tapping the potential of the rising entrepreneurial spirit in the Tamil Nadu market.
The Chennai entrepreneurial market is witnessing rising interest from young/first-generation entrepreneurs as well as third-generation entrepreneurs who are building the business for tomorrow or joining their family businesses.
The entrepreneurial uptake in the Tamil Nadu market has been seeking likeminded peer support to navigate through some critical challenges like:
Brand Building in a traditionally muted market: While new social networks powered by digital technology have emerged globally, Chennai has majorly developed its technology businesses in solitude.
It’s the time for businesses to also focus on their overall Brand building, which has undergone a massive transformation and has become a key ingredient in a business’s growth potential.
Traditional companies from Chennai that continue to operate on conventional processes lack proper branding for the enterprise and the entrepreneur.
To service today’s aware consumers who are extremely interconnected, one must adapt to communicating correctly.

“Chennai has a lot of quiet entrepreneurs and seems to be very subdued where entrepreneurs do not talk about their organization, size, growth, and development, especially in B2B business where building a brand is not the area of focus. The peer learning groups help in reiterating the need to focus on brand building with a solution-oriented approach to its execution,”

said Gayathri Viswanathan, Director, Maarga Systems Pvt Ltd.
Evolving Family Business: Traditional family businesses operating profitably for more than 30- 40 years also feel the brunt of adapting to the significantly transitioning economy and way of doing business.
To ensure business’ radical evolution, third-generation entrepreneurs and the young business owners joining the family business need to go through a rigorous process of learning and unlearning with like-minded entrepreneurs across India to build resilient and future-proof companies.
Adapting to emergence of technology: Chennai had a homogenous technology ecosystem of mainly IT services and BPO companies leveraging the market’s domain and technology talent. Long and thriving financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail heritage has helped Chennai steal a march on the other IT hubs and has attracted some of the top 10 IT services companies’ operations in the city.

“With a strong drive towards digitization and tech integration into all nature of businesses, entrepreneurs need to quickly learn how they can incorporate technology into their operations and be relevant for the future. Peer experiences, coming from a small group or a wider national network, can help guide entrepreneurs in evaluating solutions/partners, avoiding pitfalls by integrating technology in their businesses at a lower cost and with higher efficiency.”

Mahimm Gupta, Managing Director, PPMS Field Marketing Pvt. Ltd added,

Sounding board for clarity:

Lastly, for entrepreneurs running organizations with various hierarchies, it can get lonely at the top, especially for the ones emerging from markets that have traditionally operated in silos.
With the growth of entrepreneurial interest from young doers, peer learning platforms like ASCENT become all the more important to act as a sounding board for entrepreneurs to allow free sharing of knowledge, success, and failures in a trusted, open and transparent environment.

“We have, in fact witnessed peer learning requirements from entrepreneurs across India with more and more queries from emerging markets like Chennai, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, etc. To create this All-India access, we launched our All-India chapter in 2020 to act as a platform that can connect tomorrow’s leaders without geography’s restrictions. Chennai and the neighboring cities like Coimbatore, Madurai, and Mahaballipuram continues to be a focus area for us. With a dedicated chapter well established here, we believe in the potential of the market to produce growth-oriented business owners, leaders, and peers.”

concluded Archanna Das, CEO, ASCENT

About ASCENT Foundation:

ASCENT was founded by Harsh Mariwala (Chairman, Marico Ltd.) as a non-profit manifestation of his enthusiasm for identifying and assisting high-potential growth-stage entrepreneurs in their path to grow both as Entrepreneurs and their Businesses.
ASCENT establishes a tight-knit Trust Group of non-competing entrepreneurs who believe in Learning from Doers. ASCENT is a peer-to-peer platform that taps into the “power of the collective.”
It helps entrepreneurs to learn from one another by allowing them to share their experiences, ideas, and insights through self-facilitated Trust Groups and an extended network of Enablers.
Over the previous ten years, ASCENT has chosen over 850 entrepreneurs from over 3000 applications to be members of 73 active Trust Groups in Mumbai, Chennai, and All India Chapters. These members’ backgrounds are fairly diverse.
Having a 46:54 balance between manufacturing and services industries, 44% family businesses, 7% female entrepreneurs, and 65+ different industries represented. ASCENT members’ combined yearly turnover exceeds Rs. 53,000 crores, with individual member turnover ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2500 crores.
This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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