Priyanka Pani, The Hindu
Mumbai, 6 September
Going digital seems to be the mantra for some of
India Inc’s generation-next. Kavin Mittal, son of Airtel’s Sunil Bharti
Mittal; Ananyashree Birla, the eldest daughter of Kumar Mangalam Birla,
Chairman of Aditya Birla Group; Isha and Akash Ambani, scions of the
Reliance Group, are spearheading various online and digital ventures.
The new generation not only wants to carve a niche for itself by
getting into the online ventures but also plans to take on the digital
Harminder Sahni, founder of consultancy Wazir Advisory, said that “the
trend clearly shows that the new generation wants to step out of the
traditional businesses and create a separate identity for themselves.
They don’t want to get associated with business that they don’t relate
to, a trend opposite to what their parents did.”
While Isha Ambani played a pivotal role in the launch of fashion portal
Ajio.com, Akash is deeply involved in RJio telecom venture.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kavin Mittal is the founder of messaging app
Hike, which recently raised about $175 million from Chinese Internet
giant Tencent at a $1.4-billion valuation.
Ananyashree Birla is coming out with her own luxury portal, CuroCrate,
never mind that the Aditya Birla Group has a fashion portal Abof.com.
Ananyashree, who started her first venture when she was 17, has
declined to join her father’s $41-billion diversified conglomerate.
Devangshu Dutta, founder of advisory and research firm Third EyeSight,
“The new generation has grown up in the age of Internet. They
understand it better than their parents. Digital business, Internet of
Things (IoT), e-commerce are moving rapidly in India and hence it makes sense
for the GenNext to enter this space.”
But can the next generation compete with established players such as
Flipkart and Snapdeal?
Arvind Singhal of technology research firm Technopak says “digital is
the toughest segment as it has no entry barrier. Besides, even if you
have enough money and infrastructure, one can fail as in this space all
you need is agility, hunger to do something different and
in The Hindu Businessline)