Over the past five years, Lufthansa has empowered 150,000 entrepreneurs through its flagship program Lufthansa Runway to Success, a platform that has grown to become India’s largest SME stage. It has been a catalyst for some of India’s most disruptive start-ups such as Chaayos, Sattviko, Find My Stay, Heads up for Tails, Prozo amongst others.
This year, the Startup Expo was co-created by Lufthansa and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) that brought investors, mentors, business experts, industry partners, government agencies, corporates and customers – all under one roof. The Expo saw 1000 investors meetings, 100 partners, 500 mentors and 250 startups at the recently launched world’s largest co-working space GoWork in Gurugram.
Talking about the role of the group, Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa said, “Entrepreneurship is the driving force of the Indian economy. We at Lufthansa feel privileged to be at the heart of this nationwide movement celebrating entrepreneurship. As an integral part of our Lufthansa Runway to Success initiative, the Startup Expo yet again brings alive our promise to be ‘More Indian Than You Think’.”
On the engagement of the airline in the Expo, Will added that, “Our promise goes more than the product and we are deeply connected to India market. For startups, we play the role of an enabler and would want the young and talented population of India to perform in terms of growth.”
He felt that there is a need to build the eco-system in a large way as, “The startup eco system is growing in India. Job creation is done by startups as many big companies are not job creators. India needs more job creation and this can only be done by startups. At this moment, India is on the verge of development and is ready to engage young and dynamic entrepreneurs.”
During the struggle one should embrace failures and be prepared for it in advance. “As entrepreneurship is not an easy journey, it requires a lot of blood sweat and tear. A right business model that gives value addition to the customer with engaging and innovative concept and new technology are a few factors important to sell the product,” adds Will.
With the Innovation Hub of Lufthansa in Berlin, Lufthansa has confirmed that digitalisation, virtual reality and augmented reality techniques in a few essential products are a few innovations adapted to provide value to the user.
Some of the innovations like a baggage tracing app to help travelers track their baggage at the airport and a concierge service have come from the start-ups that Lufthansa is working with.