Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s working president K T Rama Rao, fondly called KTR, was at his oratory best, proving again that even after a year of shedding the role of IT and Industries Minister, he still holds charm and popularity among the entrepreneurial community in Hyderabad. Addressing a massive gathering of entrepreneurs, businessmen and startups, KTR spoke at length about the initiatives spearheaded by the government to improve the ecosystem which include T-Hub, WE-Hub, TWorks, RICH and TSIC. In addition, he also gave a glimpse of his personal journey as a politician and what are the challenges/troubles a politician faces in the age of social media.
Speaking at the book launch of Made in Hyderabad, which showcases 25 top entrepreneurs from Hyderabad – KTR opined that Hyderabad is shaping up to a vibrant startup ecosystem and as being an entrepreneur is tough, it is important that other institutions like government, industry, academia come together.
“When we started five years ago, we questioned ourselves on what does it take to be an entrepreneur and we realised that grit, patience and perseverance are key. Recently when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked about what can be done to make India better; I told him that we need 3Is – Innovation, Inclusive growth and Infrastructure of all kinds. Apart from this, we need Indigenisation of offerings. We need to get out of the colonial mindset and develop recipes for our own people,” he said.
The former IT and Industries Minister who is known to be the face of the startup ecosystem in Telangana, spoke about how the day is not far when Hyderabad will have a unicorn of its own and with T-Hub phase 2, the startup ecosystem in the city will grow by leaps and bounds. He also informed that TWorks will be open for entrepreneurs in the next three months.
On being a politician
In a fireside chat, the Minister spoke about how social media is both a boon and a bane for politicians of today. But he also added that people of Hyderabad and Telangana have been way too kind and have showered him with more love than hate. In a candid conversation, the second generation politician admitted that while coming from a political family can make your political career easy but “it can only get you to a certain point. After that it all depends on what you make of the situation,” he said.
Claiming to be a sensitive and compassionate human being and politician, KTR said, “I have very low tolerance to negative comments. And I think it is good to be sensitive and people who are not compassionate cannot be a politician.” He also admitted that the trust of people on politicians and bureaucrats is diminishing and they are subjected to constant scrutiny. “But it is important that we take it in our stride and make it part of our territory,” he admitted.
When asked about the things he is proud of when he was the Minister, he laughed and said, “My innings is still not over yet. However, one thing which makes me really proud is that in a span of just few years, we were able to make Telangana’s presence felt not only on India map but also the global map. A lot of people are upbeat about the State but we still have miles to go before we sleep.”
Book on 25 Hyderabad entrepreneurs launched
Hyderabad is home to not just technology-based startups but offers a bouquet of services and/or products. And this was proven at the book launch of Made in Hyderabad which showcases the journey of 25 startup companies from the city of pearls. Ranging from pure tech startups like Hug Innovations, CtrlS, Imaginate to service companies like Centro, The Chocolate Room, GrabOn, the book covers the real-life stories and struggles of these founders.
The 140 page book which is an initiative by a team of entrepreneurs and professionals to showcase the Entrepreneurial Spirit of Hyderabad brings out the perseverance and hard work that have gone in to bring their dreams to fruition. Each of these startup founders was felicitated and the book was unveiled by the TRS Working President K T Rama Rao. Incidentally Rao penned the foreword for the book.
The launch took place amidst a sea of entrepreneurs including the founders of the 25 featured startups, professionals and wannabe entrepreneurs. This was probably the largest congregation of startup entrepreneurs in Telangana. Telangana IT, Electronics and Communications department principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan said that the ecosystem in Hyderabad and Telangana is growing and recently Niti Aayog has called TS the model for startup ecosystem.
Raj N Phani a serial entrepreneur and the publisher of the book said, “I witnessed the trials and tribulations, successes and failures, joys and sorrows of the local entrepreneur community. And wanted the stories to be heard and thus felt that bringing a book on their experiences will inspire more people to join the entrepreneurial community.”