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Women-led Businesses Are No. 1 Harbinger To Achieve Inclusion In Workforce: Hurun India MD Anas Junaid | Exclusive

Hurun India Rich List: According to Junaid, India had only one self-made woman entrepreneur in 2016 and over the last five years, this has grown to 12 self-made women entrepreneurs.

Published: March 29, 2022 1:34 PM IST

By Raghav Aggarwal

Women-led Businesses Are No. 1 Harbinger To Achieve Inclusion In Workforce: Hurun India MD Anas Junaid | Exclusive
Hurun India Rich List: interacted with Hurun India's MD and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid on various issues

New Delhi: interacted with Anas Rahman Junaid, Managing Director and Chief Researcher, Hurun India on a wide number of issues. Junaid talked about the inception of Hurun India, his idea of India’s growth story and the importance of women in the workforce. They also expressed their views on the start-up culture in India and the pressure from various parties while preparing rich lists. The full interview can be read below.

Q – Can you tell us a brief about you and your background? How did the idea of creating rich lists emerge in your mind?

A- It was a sheer coincidence. I did MBA focused on Private Equity and Corporate Valuation from the University of Oxford. I grabbed the first opportunity to do the first rich list because it gave me the opportunity to value so many businesses and learn about entrepreneurs. Even then, I was not “married” to the cause of the rich list.

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After completing the internship, I met Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of Hurun Global, at his family home in England over dinner, it was then that he invited me to join the Hurun team. I made a counteroffer to Rupert that I would rather be a co-founder of Hurun in India than an employee. In any which ways, in 2012, Hurun in India was an unknown brand.

Thus, in 2012, I resigned from my job at the FSA, London, relocated back to India and with me, I brought Hurun Report to India.

I believe that the next decade presents a great opportunity for India to reposition itself as the economy that moves the world. It will also be interesting to trace the opportunities that connect superpowers like the UK, China and India.

Q – What do you think about the current environment in India regarding wealth creation?

A- 10 times in 10 years is the increase in the number of entrants in IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List. The list has grown from just under 100 ten years ago to 1,007 today. At this rate, in 5 years, I expect the list to grow to 3,000 individuals.

Wealth creation has become more decentralised. Over the last decade, the number of Indian cities on the rich list jumped to 76, up from 10. At this rate, expect to see each of the government’s planned 100 smart cities have a rich list within five years.

Q – How has the Indian business environment changed for women entrepreneurs?

A – Over the last five years, the number of women featured in the Hurun India Rich List increased to 47 in 2021 from 14 in 2016. India had only one self-made woman entrepreneur in 2016 and over the last five years, this has grown to 12 self-made women entrepreneurs. As per the Kotak Hurun Leading Wealthy Women, 70% of women inheritors are also actively managing their family business. It is rather obvious that only if gender parity is achieved, can India timely register the USD 5 trillion GDP mark. Women-led businesses are the no.1 harbinger to achieve inclusion in the workforce.

Q – We have seen a boom in the number of unicorns in the country, what according to you is pushing the start-up culture?

A – India is home to more than 600 million internet users and is expected to have 900 million users by 2025. The adoption of the internet in rural areas will further complement the rise of technology start-ups. Fintech companies operating in mobile payments, insurance, blockchain, stock trading and digital lending will grow further to capitalize on the internet penetration. If you have an idea that genuinely addresses an Indian problem and is willing to hustle, this is the time to start up. India has 82 billion-dollar start-ups and 100 Future Unicorns, known as Gazelles and Cheetahs.

Q – When two individuals are at the same level in terms of income, how do you decide to put one above the other in your list?

A – If two entrepreneurs have the same wealth, we put them at the same rank.

Q – Do you feel outside pressure from anyone for including/ excluding any name in the lists?

A – My team and I have received many such requests, but we have never felt pressurised. Staying honest and demonstrating integrity at every given chance is the biggest strength of our culture. As I often tell my team, Value systems aren’t meaningful, unless tested. These “pressure” moments have been fantastic opportunities to test our value systems.

Q – How do you feel will India bounce back from Covid-19 in 2022? What is your outlook on the Indian Economy?

A – Covid-19 has been a watershed moment for the world economy. Added to that, the Russian-Ukraine war indicates a shift in geopolitical leadership. I believe that, in the post-pandemic/ war era, India, which is the world’s largest and youngest democracy, will have to play a material role – and this will have a direct impact on the Indian economy and wealth creation, driven by tech.

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