This blog was written by and was originally posted on Mint in March 2023.
Despite the global headwinds pummeling Indian markets, the capital efficiency of all the startups in India has become significantly healthier in the last 12 months, according to founders and entrepreneurs attending the Startup ICON Summit & Awards, the prestigious honour for entrepreneurial greatness and innovation. Mint organized the second edition of its Startup ICON Summit & Awards on March 24, 2023, in New Delhi; supported by partners like HPE, which is driving the next wave of intelligent edge and cloud choices; and Intel, which is providing businesses to improve productivity and streamline operations to work faster and smarter.
This year’s theme “India Racing Towards 250 Unicorns" welcomed entrepreneurs, investors, founders, and leaders across industries to the event space to connect and consider new insights on the best practices for startup growth. Numerous existing hot-button topics like ‘Building Resilience: A Retention-first Approach from Day Zero’; ‘Indian Start-ups-Is Funding Winter a Reality or Myth?’ were discussed; also followed by similar tracks, learning sessions, and awards ceremonies.
At the elite gathering of over 170+ guests from across the country’s vibrant business community, Mint presented awards to 14 winners in 12 categories. “We voluntarily got 300+ nominations. Based on four parameters- 1. Performance metrics 2. Team and board 3. Business scalability 4. Competitive differentiator, the honorable jury picked up the winners of the Mint ICON Awards 2023.", said Shalil Gupta, Business Head, Mosaic Digital.
Starting with the breakthrough category, tech-enabled platform University Living and green startup ECOIL earned the accolade because of their strength in technology with the potential to take their businesses to a new height. The title for the best D2C went to Noise, a smart wearables brand for maintaining its position as India’s No.1 Smartwatch Brand for 10 quarters. While the prize for travel and mobility went to BluSmart Mobility, India's first all-electric shared smart mobility platform.
Groww became one of the most valued fintech that registered 2.5x growth in its net profit for FY22. With rapidly growing users and transactions with a total of 130 bn+ total portfolio spends and 2.9 bn+ transactions analyzed; the leading Big Data & AI company Crayon Data became the top SaaS company.
Changing the game for the silk industry using technology like AI and IoT, Reshamandi bagged the best new startup award. Fast-growing digital tax compliance and regulatory reporting start-up Zenwork achieved the best late-stage startup title whereas new-age b2b commerce and fintech OfBusiness secured the award for the best high-value start-Up. The best customer retention title was presented to the digital-first house of brands for food, Curefoods. The EdTech PhysicsWallah, the 101st Unicorn company in India; and B2B pharmacy e-commerce platform, Saveo also joined a distinguished list of winners.
This year’s winners for the best founders/ CEO were Vaibhav Raghuwanshi and Suditi Sharma from Vlado Sky Enterprise Private Limited (Himalayan Organics). Chaitsi Ahuja won the best woman entrepreneur for having started the sustainable e-commerce platform Brown Living, offering eco-friendly products—from clothes to cleaning supplies.
The grand success of the second edition of the Mint Startup ICON 2023 ensures that the event will be back next year with more such unique discussions between the leaders of the business community.