The jury has awarded grit in its selection in several categories. RazorPay, the startup of the year, has demonstrated its prowess as a fintech with the ability to go global. Falguni Nayar, CEO of the year, has shown determination to maintain control of Nykaa in a cash-strapped company. Accel partner Shekhar Kirani’s staunch belief in Software as a Service and influential exit at Freshworks also play into this theme. Cloud phone solution Exotel is this year’s comeback story after facing funding issues. Smart wearables brand Noise, Bootstrap Champ, has posted impressive numbers despite global supply chain disruption. Improving learning outcomes during a stressful time for schools, Smita Deorah’s Lead, edtech project won the Woman Ahead award. Eyestem’s efforts to lower the cost of cell therapy to reduce senile blindness, Banyan Nation’s approach to plastic recycling, and Solinas Integrity’s robotic cleaning solution deserve recognition for bringing technological solutions to intractable problems.
The award was hard fought for, demonstrating a path of innovation and enterprise that is constantly improving the productivity of the economy and contributing to social development. New age entrepreneurs are navigating an uncertain business environment. These lessons will filter through the startup world and strengthen it.