Startups and entrepreneurs in India have a universe of opportunities today ranging from space to AI and quantum to semiconductors, and the government is creating policy and legal frameworks that will act as an enabler for every young Indian to translate their ideas and vision into a successful global venture, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday.
Chandrasekhar, who is the Minister of State for IT and Electronics, said the world of technology will continue to disrupt and shift, and added that constant innovation is the only real solution for longevity of ventures in an unending world of change and disruption.
Every element of tech space today is filled with entrepreneurship success stories and capabilities, the Minister pointed out. “There is no absolutely no doubt in my mind that so far as opportunities go, from space to AI (Artificial Intelligence) to quantum to semiconductors there is a huge universe of opportunities in front of our startups and we are creating legal, legislative and policy framework that is a stark contrast from what it was, many years ago.”
“We create less and less road-bumps and less and less hurdles and create a framework that makes it more and more of an enabling framework for every young Indian who has a dream, passion, idea and capability to translate that into a successful enterprise and successful global ventures,” he said addressing CII Startup Summit.
While there are never-seen-before opportunities in the tech space today, it is safe to assume that the world of technology will continue to change as “disruption is normal”, he cautioned.
“So anybody who believes that I have built a venture today and that venture will be in place for the coming years in its current form will be proved wrong,” the Minister said advising that the real solution lies in constant innovation.
The startup mindset is deeply embedded in the ambitions of young Indians, and not an outlier anymore, and at the same time entrepreneurship is no longer just confined to larger cities but is rapidly growing across smaller towns and cities as well.
The Minister noted that India with its tech prowess, policies and startup ecosystem is at an inflection point and “in the most exciting time ever” where millions of young Indians are channelising their energies into a plethora of opportunities that the nation presents today. He said the model of partnership between corporates and startups is a “wonderful idea and a powerful model”, one that will not only expand the innovation ecosystem per se but also offer a win-win for the larger enterprises as it allows them to expand and accelerate their own horizon of capabilities.
In 2014 India’s tech prowess referred to capabilities in IT/ITES and BPO, and while that still continues to be critical piece of digital goals, the tech capabilities today extend far beyond into electronics manufacturing, AI, semiconductor, consumer and non-consumer tech, blockchain, internet and high-performance computing among others. Speaking at the event, former Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan said India will continue to be among top destinations for start-ups and may even emerge as the top destination for start-ups in the world because of need for innovations and new solutions for every industry in India.
The industry veteran also had a word of advice for startup founders. “Founders should think of value creation before thinking about valuation, they need to focus on performance and serving customers, they need to focus on governance and creating long term enterprises and organisation,” he said.
They also need to ensure that not just the earliest investors but also latest investors benefit from investing in their company. Gopalakrishnan also emphasised on the need for all stakeholders to build trust in the ecosystem.
“On the investor side, they need to help build enduring enterprises, valuation follows value creation and when they think of exiting, they must remember they are exiting to somebody and make sure they also benefit from this,” he said. He said that while the Government has done a “fantastic job” with its sharp focus on startup space, there needs to be continued momentum in this journey, with dialogues on a continued basis and focus on ease of doing business, compliance load and taxation aspects.
“These companies can start a business in any part of the world, so we need to make sure they have a good reason to remain and stay in India. That is a continuous process in this competitive world,” Gopalakrishnan said.
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