IAMAI launches ‘Circle Program’, a peer to peer mentoring program for startups


The Internet and Mobile Association of India launched the Circle Program – peer to peer mentoring of founders of start-ups. The program has been designed for founders who aspire very high but need guidance and handholding from established founders to achieve their vision.

At the core of the program is a) matching each mentor-founder with two founders and building a lifetime relationship, b) a strict selection process satisfying both sides, and c) confidentiality of the interaction between the parties. Through this program, founders can take informed decisions around funding, investments, technology adoption and any other matter related to realization of their aspirations.

Eminent and established founders such as Dinesh Agarwal [IndiaMart], Nitin Kamath [Zerodha], Rajesh Jain [Netcore], Adhil Shetty [Bankbazaar], Vivek Bhargava [Dentsu and Profitwheel] will be the mentors to the Circle Program. In addition, Ameera Shah [Metropolis], Rajesh Magow [MakeMyTrip], Nigel Morris [Ad-mix], PK Gulati [Optimistix Ventures] and Tarana Lalwani [InnoVen Capital] are also other mentors of the first program.

Image-Dinesh-Agarwal-Founder-CEO-IndiaMART.com-mediabrief.jpgDinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com, said, “Start-ups hold the potential to become the growth engines of our economy and they are our future. They have shown exemplary performance over the years.

“Our endeavour is to support the Indian start-up ecosystem – which can set an example for the rest of the world. We are confident that the Circle Program would provide a major boost to the start-up ecosystem, helping start-ups to strategize their business plans and achieve growth,” Agarwal said.

Image-Vivek-Bhargava-Chairman-IAMAI-Start-up-Committee-Co-Founder-ProfitWheel-and-Head-Dentsu-Performance-Group-mediabrief.jpgVivek Bhargava, Chairman, IAMAI Start-up Committee, Co-Founder, ProfitWheel and Head Dentsu Performance Group, said, “The Circle Program is addressing the challenges of entrepreneurs who usually have a lonely journey and may not know what to do and whom to reach out to when they come across either challenges or opportunities.”

Founders can enrol themselves for the program from today. India has the third largest technology start-up ecosystem in the world. It is witnessing YoY growth of 12-15%. At present, 38 start-ups are valued at over $1 billion, or what is known as unicorns. Despite the disruption to the economy by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the country minted around 12 such unicorns. The Circle Program is an initiative to curate many more success stories.