In conversation with Amit Mookim, President Tie-Mumbai

Monday September 20, 2021 at 10:35 am

Amit Mookim is the President of TiE Mumbai. His experience in digital health has extended to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in India. He is an advisor to the NHA on innovation and a mentor to health startups. He has varied corporate experience across the Private Equity and Strategy business and the Healthcare Practice. He worked across 11 countries across India and the Asia Pacific. Amit has done his Bachelor in Economics from the University of Kolkata and his MBA from FMS, Delhi. Amit believes that spirituality and fitness are the key aspects of personality development. Amit is an amateur marathon runner and also coaches entrepreneurs on managing stress while being centered on spirituality.

Here is an excerpt from a small chit-chat session with him.

India’s GDP decline was the worst of the major economies during the pandemic. How do we anticipate the Indian economy to perform in the year 2022?

We saw one of the largest shrinkages in the global economy including India in 2020, post the great depression. Two things that are playing out-

1) We are seeing a quick bounce back which is also a base effect that is taking place.  If we look at the numbers, they are all in high double digits and that is because of the base effect kicking in.

2) If you look at the entire global economy and the dynamics playing out in terms of financing, listings, and the growth in tech and other sectors, India is well poised to take advantage of some of these. So I am bullish about 2022 because a huge amount of private capital, close to $ 40 B has flown into the Startup ecosystem in India and that is going to create jobs and drive growth.

If you look at the growth in hiring numbers, it is an indication of the growth that is happening especially in the sectors related to technology where you will have earnings coming from global markets to service some of these large contracts.

With respect to consumer behavior, some segments have got impacted that are directly related to this pandemic. But we also know that there is going to be a bounce-back on buying by some of these consumers that are going to push the economy forward. India being a large domestic economy, I do think that 2022, unless we are hit by significant pandemic waves, will see good growth.

Please share the main objectives and emphasis areas of TiE for the next year especially in the health sector?

What we do in TiE Mumbai and some of the other global chapters is that we have Special Interest Groups (SIG) which are basically communities and programs that we drive for Startups, investors, and their fraternity on Industries and segments of interest. Eg in Mumbai we have a SIG for Fintech, Healthcare, Food & Retail etc. Globally we have a SIG for Healthcare spread across a few countries where we are seeing a lot of Startup activities in Health. We will continue to build our focus on this and in fact, we are working with our global TiE Colleagues and the interest groups on the Healthcare front.

We want to drive a few things- We want to make sure we leverage the opportunities that are coming in from the National Digital Health Mission to integrate digital health Startups into the mainstream Ayushman Bharat. I think TiE can play a huge role in bringing those Startups forward, supporting them and curating them. We have created  partnerships with leading Industry groups like NatHealth & others to facilitate the dialogue between Startups and Industry.

We have increased our focus to bring In a lot more mentoring as well as seed-stage investing for some of these Startups in Healthcare.  Healthcare being a unique subject needs the right amount of capital and the right backers for that capital who understand this space.

We are also tying up with institutions that foster innovation whether they are the IITs or IIMs. We are doing a program with the alumni of IIMA, to foster entrepreneurship in this Healthcare space.

For us Healthcare is one of the top interest groups and we will continue to maintain that momentum. We want to bring in more and more collaboration between Indian & global health Startups

COVID-19 has a devastating effect on start-ups and small companies. How do you see these companies surviving the pandemic and demand, disruption & challenges? As a follow-up to the above question, how TIE has helped these startups?

It’s been a mixed bag and we have seen both sides of the story. COVID 19 has been a very tough situation for Startups, especially Startups that had taken off the ground and who were in the process of actually building their business. They faced challenges on cash flow, customers, and keeping their employees together. On the other hand, there were Startups who pivoted their model to ride and take advantage of the new demand that was coming in. We saw Startups that were in the instrumentation space who moved into Healthcare and took on some of the other things. There were companies who switched their models into cloud kitchens and drove demand there. So both sides have played out.

TiE Mumbai made several efforts to assist the Startups through these times. We have had sessions with the Startup fraternity on how to manage cash flows, we had sessions on mental and emotional wellbeing for Startups, we have pushed the agenda of financing and funding and getting more and more interactions of these Startups with the VC and angel community to make sure that they get the right access and funding with the right partners.