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Published on : Thursday, August 11, 2016
Rashi Sanon Narang, Founder & CEO, Heads up for Tails outclassed 50,000 most innovative budding ventures and emerged as the new face of the Indian entrepreneur by winning the Lufthansa Runway to Success season 4. At a live finale event held on August 6, 2016, Rashi by a display of sheer brilliance, innovativeness and passion won the grand prize to a seat at the prestigious Design Thinking Boot Camp at Stanford University sponsored by Kalaari Capital, a Lufthansa Business Class ticket to any destination in the US and mentorship from TiE.
The event was attended by eminent personalities including Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP); Venktesh Shukla, Chairman at TiE Global & General Partner Monta Vista Capital; Yogesh Bansal, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor; Harish Mamtani, vice chairman at TiE and Co-Founder SEED Schools; Dr. Anjlee Prakash, CEO of Learning Links Foundation to name a few.
In its fourth consecutive season, Lufthansa Runway to Success has grown exponentially to be amongst India’s most popular platform for start-ups & SMEs. This season had many first to its credit which added a unique aspect to the platform. The year began with ‘The Start-up Expo’, an event co-created by Lufthansa, that brought together 10,000 participants and led to over 50,000 applicants for the TV series, a 100 per cent increase over last season. The Start-up Expo was preceded with free mentorship camps that were for the first time taken to non-metro cities in the country.
“Seven years ago we took the first step towards building a platform for start-ups and SMEs with the wisdom, support and guidance of our knowledge partners – TiE. The depth of this collaboration reaffirms our commitment to this great country, a reflection of the Indian heart within our German soul, a promise that we are and will always strive to be ‘More Indian than you think’. It has been an absolute privilege for Lufthansa to be an enabler in India’s entrepreneurial revolution”, said Wolfgang Will, Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines.
“This season has proven yet again that Lufthansa Runaway to Success is India’s biggest SME stage. A season where we not only had the largest number of contestants but also the widest variety of business ideas, which affirms that young entrepreneurs in India are ready to lead the way. On behalf of Lufthansa, I extend my heartiest congratulation to Rashi, for a well-deserved victory. I would also like to express our appreciation to all our partners, contestants and business leaders whose contribution has made this our biggest season ever”, added Wolfgang.
From the vast array of contenders, 21 most innovative ventures were shortlisted by TiE experts to compete in the 10-episode television series. The Lufthansa Runway to Success TV series featured leading icons who inspired, motivated, mentored and selected three finalists to compete in the grand finale, which was telecasted live across the country.
Alexander Schlaubitz, VP Global Marketing, Lufthansa German Airlines shared, “For Lufthansa, Runway to Success is a very important initiative as it brings alive our philosophy of Nonstop You – our nonstop commitment of empathy with our customers and our communities, our nonstop focus on the hopes and aspirations of India’s young entrepreneurs. Over the years, the spirit of entrepreneurship that we have witnessed on Lufthansa Runway to Success has been nothing short of remarkable. These budding entrepreneurs are the rising stars on India’s business horizon and we are confident that they will soon soar the global skies too.”
The winner was adjudged by a five-member jury made up of eminent business personalities including Saurabh Srivastava, Founder & Ex Chairman Nasscom and Chairman – Emeritus, TiE Delhi NCR; Alok Mittal, Co-Founder & CEO, Indifi; Mandar Dandekar, Vice President, Kalaari Capital; Alexander Schlaubitz, VP Global Marketing, Lufthansa German Airlines and Wolfgang Will, Director, South Asia, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines. The three finalists were presented with a common case study for individual business solutions, on which they were probed by the jury members. Rashi Sanon Narang, Founder & CEO, Heads up for Tails was declared as a unanimous winner.
On winning the title, Rashi Sanon Narang, Founder & CEO, Heads up for Tails said, “Lufthansa Runway to Success has been an enriching experience and will continue to inspire me on the journey of my entrepreneurial dream. I would like to thank Lufthansa for providing me an opportunity to share my vision, business ideologies on a nationwide platform, with leading icons that has further inspired me to persevere in my journey. I would also like to express my gratitude to the jury members for having chosen me as one of the most promising entrepreneur of the year.”
As another first for the initiative, Praneet Singh Sahai, Co-Founder & Director, PosterGuy was announced as the winner of “Viewer’s Choice” award and won a Lufthansa flight to Europe. The “Viewer’s Choice” awards were held concurrently on social media. The winner was chosen through an online voting based on elevator pitch videos by the contestants.