The Doha Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has organised a two-day ‘Startup Summit’ held virtually.
The online event gathered specialists from globally-celebrated brands and institutions, who shared stories on the fundamental aspects of running a business, including ease of doing business, innovation, technology, leadership, and risk management.
The event was attended by more than 150 members and dignitaries, including those who watched the discussions live on YouTube.
The event started with a welcome address of the chapter chairperson Nirlep Bhatt, who introduced chief guest Dr Deepak Mittal, ambassador of India to the State of Qatar, and guest of honour, ICAI president Nihar N Jambusaria.
In his address, Mittal lauded the positive ecosystem for startups in India and the growing interest and investment in Indian startups by renowned Qatari enterprises by citing relevant projects.
Jambusaria explained how the financial and tax literacy of MSMEs startups are important for its growth.
He said startups can spur growth, foster innovation, and generate employment.
The keynote address was given by Sheikh Ahmed Abdulla al-Thani, Director of Sharaka Holding, who was introduced by the chapter secretary Vignesh Kalyanraman.
Sheikh Ahmed lauded the ease of doing business in the State of Qatar.
He further elaborated on the investment and financial activities happening at the Qatar Free Trade Zone and Qatar Financial Centre.
Sheikh Ahmed also highlighted the role of Qatar Development Bank in providing seed funding, mentoring, and consultancy to startups.
Day one of the virtual summit included a session by Flipkart vice president and group head – Internal Audit, Rajiv Gupta, on how startups can leverage technological advancements.
Gupta presented the concepts of virtual offices and virtual financial services, of which startups and micro-SMEs can take advantage of.
Sheji Valiyakath, managing partner at Kreston SVP Chartered Accountants, gave insights on doing business and establishing startups in Qatar by stating key facts, figures, and legal framework of the country’s economy.
Day two saw a marathon of sessions that focused on varied aspects of best practices, success stories, innovation, and nurturing stronger startup ecosystems.
Varun Sridhar, CEO Paytm Money, shared a success story to inspire the professionals and his own experiences about how to achieve exponential growth.
Ghanim al-Sulaiti, founder and CEO of Enbat Holdings Qatar, spoke on how the diversification of various business and innovative thinking would lead to the success of enterprises.
Anirudh Damani, founder and managing partner of Artha Venture Fund, conducted a technical session on wealth creation by investing in startups, and presented relevant industry researches, key statistics, and risk factors about investing in startups.
A special panel discussion on the ‘trilogy of startup success – finance, leadership and governance’ was moderated by Ravi Shankar, finance director at Qatar Rail.
The panel included c-suite executives, angel investors, startup mentors, and professionals, including CAs Siddarth Pai and Anurag Mittal, as well as Anirudh Damani and Samir Inamdar.
Chapter treasurer Kamlesh Tibrewal conducted the Q&A session, while the vote of thanks was led by chapter vice chairperson Ankit Agarwal.
The summit painted a holistic picture on propelling startup success in the new normal.
Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India residing in Qatar seeking chapter membership may contact Nirlep Bhatt at 55578173 or Ankit Agarwal at 77549707.