Pune: Lufthansa Group has undertaken the task of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in India with an aim to have a better connection with Indians and to give back to the Indian society. During a visit to the city, Lufthansa Group General Manager (Sales) Paurus Nekoo shared insights about the mentorship camps under the banner ‘Lufthansa Runway to Success’.
Since when has Lufthansa Group been conducting the mentorship camps and what is the motive behind these camps?
The mentorship camps have been in place for a couple of years. This is the first time that we are conducting such a camp in Pune. Through these camps, we provide a platform to young budding entrepreneurs to meet mentors, who can give them proper guidance. A young entrepreneur is looking for ideas, guidance and finance. We provide them with a networking platform, where they can meet established business leaders and icons to get guidance or seek funds from investors.
What is the outcome of these mentorship camps?
We have camps in nine cities, which culminate in Delhi with a ‘Start Up Expo’. Along with the mentorship, one will have an opportunity of having a one-on-one with prospective investors at the expo. Each participant is given a booth to showcase his/her product. Last year, we had around 5,000 start-ups showcasing their ideas and products at the expo from across sectors. We had 100 mentors and investors, who attended the event.
Have you seen any success stories from this initiative?
We have indeed seen success stories from the mentorship camps. People have been able to bag large investments for their ideas. For example, Rashi Sanon Narang, Founder & CEO, Heads Up For Tails is the grand prize winner of Lufthansa Runway to Success Season 4. She raised $ 2 million in a pre-series-A round from a group of high net worth individuals (HNIs). Likewise, Raghav Verma, Co-Founder and Head - Marketing and Business Dev, Chaayos was a Lufthansa Runway to Success Season 3 finalist, who raised $5 million in funding from Tiger Global.
Post-funding, the NCR-based tea outlet chain has put together a strong team to work on its in-house software to link everything from its tea collection to outlets, connect with the data inflow from its user app, build a strong technology backbone, reduce turnaround time and ensure a standardised ‘Chaayos experience’ at every store.