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Published on : Friday, May 29, 2015
Conceived and produced in association with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), Lufthansa Runway to Success has grown exponentially over the years into a nationwide campaign, drawing an unprecedented 27,000 entries from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) this season. The unique initiative celebrates India’s spirit of entrepreneurship by discovering, mentoring and rewarding India’s most innovative young entrepreneurs to nurture potential leaders of tomorrow.
Mr. Wolfgang Will, Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, said, “We are completely overwhelmed by the response to our initiative. What started as a television programme and an earnest attempt to partner the success of Indian business has evolved into an important nationwide initiative that helps nurture future business leaders. Expert mentorship and advice is a crucial link in the lifecycle of a successful business. Runway to Success provides young entrepreneurs access to top business experts absolutely free and we have been very fortunate to get support from our esteemed jury members, Nandini Vaidyanathan, Founder & Mentor, CarmaConnect and Sanjeev Agarwal, Senior Managing Director, Helion Advisors. Their presence, success stories and advice go a long way in inspiring young entrepreneurs.”
Added Sangeeta Sharma, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, “The success of Runway to Success has surpassed our expectations. In just three seasons it has become the largest SME stage on television in India and the kind of talent we see emerging from diverse corners of the country is simply spectacular. From technology to healthcare to sports, the programme has attracted exciting enterprises from all walks of life. This year, the initiative also went viral on social media and we believe that this helped us scale-up to a completely different level and reach out to a wider base of entrepreneurs. We are very excited and look forward to making the third season another huge success.”
The success of the Runway to Success initiative lies in its structured approach and methodology, managed by TiE. Over hundred Runway to Success Mentorship Camps were organized at major metropolitan hubs like Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad and Chennai. Sessions at Mentorship Camps included ‘Guru Sessions’ with celebrated entrepreneurs, along with individual and group mentoring sessions. This year over 27,500 entries were received from all over the country and were pruned down by professional assessment to 21 who competed across 7 episodes to win the coveted Grand Prize including a seat at Stanford University’s prestigious Design Thinking Boot Camp sponsored by Helion Advisors, mentorship by TiE and a Business Class ticket to any one of Lufthansa Group’s destinations in US.
According to Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE, “We are very pleased to partner with Lufthansa for the third season of Runway to Success. This unparalleled initiative taps into the driving force of the economy – the entrepreneurs- and provides them the right platform to connect with the top business leaders in the country for their advice and counsel. We are overwhelmed by the kind of response we have received for the past two seasons and now for the third season as well. This year, we are witnessing a more diverse portfolio of entrepreneurs participating in the initiative and this is merely a reflection of the energy that is buzzing in the SME and entrepreneurial space. We believe the unique approach of the campaign, including extensive on ground activities such as mentorship camps across the country, has struck the right chord and has made the initiative a big hit with the entrepreneurs.”