I attended TiECon Chennai today. This is the big annual event organized by TiE Chennai for the entrepreneur community here. I'll put down my detailed experience notes elsewhere, in this post I want to talk about the TiE Chennai Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
TiE gives these awards to entrepreneurs every year in a variety of categories - social entrepreneur, start up, family entrepreneur and so on.
This time I had a chance to check out the award winners for the last three years, and to say I was completely disappointed is an understatement.
The entrepreneur awards were all given to huge, well established companies. Most of these people had been running their companies for 15 years or more. Some over 25 years. I can understand giving them an award when they were in the startup phase, but 20 years after they established their company? And we are talking companies that have hundreds of crores in revenue. Many of these are publicly listed companies. See the previous award winners here.
How the heck can you call these startups? Why is TiE giving Entrepreneur of the Year awards to them? Will we see Narayana Murthy and Mukesh Ambani being awarded next year?
There is no way that entrepreneurs in the audience are going to relate to these companies. Far from being an inspiration, it is extremely deflating that a forward thinking organization like TiE chose to ignore actual startups and instead promote the big, well established names :(