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CK Prahalad Next Practice Entrepreneur Award  to Nithin Kamath

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Chennai: CK Prahalad Foundation, CSR arm of TVS Capital Funds, had organized its inaugural “next practice oration” in Chennai. The aim of the Foundation is to promote and encourage Prof CK Prahalad’s visionary idea of “next practices”.  In addition to the memorial oration, the Foundation also recognises successful next generation entrepreneurs who exemplify practising the thoughts and teachings of Prof CK Prahalad.

While welcoming the industry veterans, professionals, academic practitioners and “who’s who” of Chennai assembled, Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Capital Funds, outlined the direct mentorship and guidance he had from Prof CK Prahalad. It was Prof CKP (as he was fondly known) who prompted Gopal to empower the next generation entrepreneurs through TVS Capital Funds. He added that through the Foundation, he aims to propagate the teachings of the professor.

The oration was preceded by an introductory address on CK Prahalad by Prof M.S. Krishnan, who described CK Prahalad as not just an author, leader, and professor, but as an educational entrepreneur who had an enduring impact on the world of management.              This year’s inaugural address was delivered by Prof Gautam Ahuja, the Eleanora and George Landew Professor of Management at the SC Jonson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.  His lecture was a compendium of five critical lessons presented using the lens of an Academic Entrepreneur and connected the thoughts of Prof CK Prahalad to contemporary ideas and requirements. To quote an example, he said “Entrepreneur needs to balance fiduciary responsibility to investors and debt to society, and one wouldn’t survive without other”. The speech was followed by a fireside chat with Shri Narayan Ramachandran, board member, TCF.

The eminent jury comprising of Prof. M S Krishnan (Accenture professor of computer information system at Ross Business School, University of Michigan), Narayan Ramachandran (Ex-Head of Morgan Stanley, India), M R Rangaswamy (Founder, Indiaspora and Sand Hill Group), D Sundaram (Lead Independent Director, Infosys) and Lakshmi Narayan (Ex CEO and Vice Chairman, Cognizant)  selected Nithin Kamath as the 2023 CK Prahalad Next Practice Entrepreneur in recognition of his outstanding achievements in building Zerodha as an exemplary organization. CKP often spoke of organizations going beyond best practice to identify Next Practices which would be more futuristic and disrupt the current business practice.  The jury identified Zerodha’ s committed mission to do right by the customer by going beyond just being a trading platform, and treating all customer as the same with similar fee slabs and services levels as some of the next practices resonating with the teachings of Prof CK Prahalad. The award was presented by the industry veteran Shri R Thyagarajan, founder of Shriram group of companies.

Nithin Kamath, post receiving the award, in his conversation with Mr. Naveen Unni, Managing Partner of TVS Capital Funds, mentioned that he was honored to receive this award. He also said that he is excited by the concept of funds like TVS Capital Funds where Indian capital pools are backing India entrepreneurs, which India missed out in the last 10-15 years, and it was one of his motivations to grow Zerodha as it can help this happen at a large, democratized scale which will lead to wealth creation in this country and help with inclusive growth.

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