Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Start Up Campaign Shines

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The Start-Up India scheme deservedly had the place of pride in the 71st Republic Day parade. Having created over 300,000 jobs in a short span of time; over 26,000 Start-Ups are dotting length and breadth of India. The benign eco-system nurtured by the government has indeed sent the Start-Ups on a high investment path. The valuation of the Start-Ups in India collectively is now pegged at over $35 billion.

Today, graduates emerging out of India’s premier technical and management institutions prefer Start-Ups as their career option undeniably tell the success story of the entrepreneurial talent in the country.

The Start-Up tableaux in the Republic Day parade was, thus, the prized attraction for the onlookers. The tableaux also excelled in creativity, for it vividly depicted the Start-Ups eco-system creatively. The vibrant eco-system through tax concessions and access to capital nurturing Start-Ups to become large corporations like trees was vividly depicted.

The Start-Up India scheme is still in the nascent stage, as it was launched only in 2016. Yet, its’ success is overwhelming, with a number of new ventures crossing the billion dollar valuation club, while expanding beyond borders to make their presence felt in other countries.

The statistics put out by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is indeed encouraging. Over 26,000 Start-Ups are registered with the department spanning 551 districts in 28 states and seven Union Territories. Also, it’s not that the Start-Ups are confined to the technology and food delivery applications alone. A number of Start-Ups are working in the rural parts of the country, transforming the lives of the farmers. The Start-Ups have given a fillip to the government’s ambitious target to double farmers’ income by 2023.

Investors have lapped-up the Indian Star-Ups. In 2019 alone, a whopping $14 billion investment poured into the Indian Start-Ups sector. Capital is chasing the Start-Ups very fast, with Japanese, Chinese and Americans financial giants cheerfully looking at them for better returns. Large Indian businessmen have also turned ‘angel investors’ in the Start-Ups. Thus, the Start-Ups are able to tap the management experience and avail the technical know-how to grow and scale up their operations.

Yet, critics note that some of the Start-Ups on the back of huge foreign investments have slipped into the unsustainable business practices, pushing them into spiralling losses. This is a challenge for the budding entrepreneurs. The right business practices coupled with sustainable goals must command the top priority of the entrepreneurs. Also, a number of Start Ups are catering to the insatiable appetite in the consumer services and the prospect of crowding the same space is not ruled out. It will be desirable that the Start-Ups turn their attention to nurture innovations in the laboratories of various varsities. It is indeed at the bottom of the success of the US economy, which thrives on innovations. The government is running a host of schemes to promote research and development (R&D) in technical institutions. That lab to factory path should be the culture of the Indian Start-Ups is truly desired. The large population base of the country warrants that the Start-Ups fuel high growth in large manufacturing to tap the overseas market. This should be the next goal for the Start-Ups.

The Indian Start-Up movement’s success is indeed praiseworthy, for they are just behind the US and England. That the government has also done away with ‘the angel tax’ is very encouraging. That has multiplied the tribe of big investors with all ears for the youngsters armed with viable business ideas. The banking sector has also embraced the Start-Ups with open arms, shedding the earlier hesitation. The next big step that is desired from the government could possibly be designation of at least one branch in each city to serve interests of the Start-Ups.

Script: Manish Anand, Sr. Special Correspondent, the New Indian Express

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