Four Indians complete eFounders Fellowship of Alibaba

Four Indians complete eFounders Fellowship of Alibaba

Four Indian entrepreneurs among 38 others successfully completed the fourth edition of the eFounders Fellowship, a joint initiative by UNCTAD and Alibaba Business School.

The Fellowship aims to help bridge the digital divide and enable young entrepreneurs with the right skills for their businesses and encourages them to share their newly acquired knowledge with the communities they operate in.

The four Indian founders include Anurag Dalmia (Co-founder, Healthy Buddha), Rohit Ramasubramanian (Co-founder, Zefo),  Ronak Kumar Samantray (Co-founder, NowFloats), and  Ananda Kumar Mishra (Founder and CEO, Grozip).

The eFounders project is primarily to fulfil the pledge made by Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, in his capacity as the UNCTAD Special Adviser for Young Entrepreneurs and Small Business.

The commitment seeks to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries by creating champions for inclusive and sustainable economic development through the digital economy over the next five years.

While Healthy Buddha is an ecommerce startup aimed at enabling a healthy lifestyle for consumers by providing easy access to high quality authentic organic food at an affordable price, Zefo is an online marketplace for pre-owned furniture and appliances.

NowFloats is an India-based software as a service (SaaS) technology startup for SMBs and enterprises. Grozip is a technology-focused on-demand hyper-local delivery company facilitating doorstep delivery of groceries and other home essentials.

Commenting on the initiative, UNCTAD eFounders Fellowship programme coordinator Arlette Verploegh said the initiative amplifies many of the efforts made by the international community to support digital transformation and innovation for inclusive and sustainable development.

Alibaba Group Vice President Brian Wong, who also heads Alibaba’s Global Initiatives programme, said the eFounders Fellowship participants get exposed to company ecosystem and network of partners.

NowFloats Co-founder Ronak Kumar Samantray said the eFounders Fellowship was a great learning experience that brought to fore Alibaba’s unique ecosystem and highlighted the importance of a distributed business model, with a common vision, mission and set of values, in enabling the success of a conglomerate like Alibaba Group.

"The program not only provided us with an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from 11 countries but also gave us a chance to learn and understand the innovative solutions for country-specific problems that are being developed by start-ups across the globe," said Samantray.

Besides 11 countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, the programme also had first-time entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Singapore. As many as 38 Asian Entrepreneurs Graduate will join a cohort of 89 entrepreneurs who have graduated over the last three editions.