Press Release

Kotak Mahindra Bank and NSRCEL-IIMB host valedictory ceremony of the 4th cohort of the Women Startup Program

Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (“KMBL/ “Kotak”), and NSRCEL- the startup hub at IIMB celebrated the valedictory ceremony for the fourth cohort of the Women Startup Program in Bangalore. The event brought together eminent dignitaries like Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIMB; Shanti Ekambaram -Whole-time Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Meenakshi Arora – Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India; Disha Singh – CEO of Zouk, and other notable dignitaries. The program, launched under KMBL’s CSR commitment towards Education & Livelihood, aims to support ambitious and innovative women entrepreneurs by enabling them to transform their ideas into successful business ventures.

The Women Startup Program has served as a catalyst for over 23,053 women helping them develop entrepreneurial and managerial skills. The program’s entrepreneurs are from a diverse range of over 20 sectors, encompassing fields such as technology, social impact, agriculture, retail, healthcare, energy and environment, textile, apparel, and many others. Before progressing to the incubation stage, the selected entrepreneurs completed both the Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) and pre-incubation phases.. In the final phase, 267 shortlisted women entrepreneurs were selected for incubation for 12 months by NSRCEL based on their prototypes and pitches to the screening committee. The participants received guidance from NSRCEL mentors and successful entrepreneurs from its previous cohorts, shaping their ideas and developing robust business plans. The business mentoring, in collaboration with 12 esteemed institutions such as IIMs, IITs, other incubation centers, and universities, amplified the program’s impact nationwide.

Shanti Ekambaram, Whole-time Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “We are happy to be associated with NSRCEL-IIMB to empower and support entrepreneurship in women. By combining our resources and expertise, we aim to provide aspiring women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.”

Addressing the occasion, Anand Sri Ganesh, CEO, NSRCEL said, “The program has not only empowered countless aspiring entrepreneurs but has also catalysed a powerful spirit of women entrepreneurship across India. The entrepreneurs are not just building businesses; they are shaping the future of our nation’s economy. We at NSRCEL, with the support of our esteemed partner, Kotak Mahindra Bank, remain committed to fostering an environment where women thrive, innovate, and lead. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued success and growth of these remarkable entrepreneurs.”

The event ceremoniously acknowledged and celebrated the achievements of 15 startups elated to receive the 3rd phase of grants, representing a significant milestone within the program. Each venture was granted ₹ 5 lakh, while an additional ₹ 5 lakh was granted to six special category founders in recognition of their overall progress since the beginning of the program. In total, the funds disbursed by the program amounted to ₹2.75 Crore, reflecting its substantial impact and dedication to driving innovation and economic growth. In addition the entrepreneurs from the program have successfully secured external funding totaling ₹ 1.8 crore.

The event featured panel discussions on key topics like ‘Local to Global: Strategies for Global Expansion of Women-Led Startups’, ‘Building a Legacy: Women Leading in Business and Beyond’, and ‘Balancing Act: Navigating Work-Life Integration as a Woman’.