The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today called for greater focus on nurturing entrepreneurship in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities of India. He was delivering the Keynote Address at the 3rd Meeting of National Startup Advisory Council virtually today.
It may be noted that 45% startups in India are from Tier 2 and 3 cities and 623 districts have at least 1 recognized startup. From 2018-21, almost 5.9L Jobs have been created by startups. In 2021 alone, almost 1.9L jobs have been created.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had constituted the National Startup Advisory Council to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
Besides the ex-officio members, the council has several non-official members, representing various stakeholders such as founders of successful startups, veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India, persons capable of representing interests of investors, incubators and accelerators into startups, representatives of associations of stakeholders of startups and representatives of industry associations.
The Minister said that 25th December, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, is being celebrated as Good Governance Day in India. He expressed the hope that a robust Startup ecosystem would help formalize the economy and help in improving the Ease of Living and the Ease of Doing Business and in turn help promote the ideals of Good Governance. He observed that ‘Startup India’ movement had brought a ‘change in mindset’ from ‘can do’ to ‘will do’ and helped us move past traditional notions of entrepreneurship.
The Minister said that our startups turned COVID-19 crises into an opportunity and made 2021 the Year of unicorns with 79 Unicorns now thriving. Underscoring that India is now home to the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Shri Goyal said that he believed in the power of ideas. Simple solutions can make an extraordinary impact, he added.
Quoting Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Goyal said that the priority of the Government can be expressed in four words, “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” and called for minimum Government interventions in the lives of citizens. He said that our vision is to build a New India committed to the economic progress and well-being of 135 crore Indians, especially those who have been left behind.
The Minister assured that the Government, as an enabler, is committed to develop a robust startup ecosystem by providing exceptional benefits such as 80% rebate in patent filing and 50% on trademark filing, relaxation in public procurement norms, Self-Certification under Labour and Environment Laws, Funds of Funds for startups of Rs. 10,000 Crore, Income Tax exemption for 3 out of 10 years, Seed Fund Scheme of Rs. 945 Cr and creating Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which will create new opportunities and remove some monopolistic tendencies in certain spheres.
Shri Goyal said that apart from mass jobs creation, our startups have the potential to catalyse India’s integration in Global Value Chains and increase our footprint in global markets. He urged successful entrepreneurs, especially unicorns to share their experiences with students and youth in order to inculcate startup culture and entrepreneurial spirit at grassroot levels, especially in regions like the North East of India. He asked academia, government and industry to work hand in hand to promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.
Urging the youth to take risks in entrepreneurship, the Minister said that you never know until you try, therefore, making mistakes should be normalised and failures should not be seen as the end of entrepreneurial journey. We must learn to celebrate failure too, he added.
Shri Goyal called upon startups to explore the unexplored areas like rural tourism in terms of agri-stays, hotels and homestays that would help create additional income for farmers. Shri Goyal opined that the youngsters of the nation must be encouraged to visit villages, experience rural life and come up with solutions to rural problems. He also asked successful startups to focus on rural economy and work on solutions such as drip irrigation, natural farming etc. to improve the lives of farmers.
Speaking of the need to augment Seed Capital, Shri Goyal said that we must encourage the flow of domestic capital in our startups. He added that there was a need to make ‘Startup India’ a symbol of Self Reliance and Self Confidence. The Minister called for a participative approach from all stakeholders to achieve such an ambitious target.
Six national programmes were presented to the Minister as part of the third National Startup Advisory Council meeting to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the country. The key interventions discussed were National Capacity Building Programme for Incubators, providing thrust to the startups engaged in manufacturing sector, empowering the larger pool of Family Offices and High Networth Individuals (HNIs) to invest in startups, accelerating Deep-tech Startups which would act as a catalyst in empowering pioneers, establishing an international platform and a gateway for Indian startups to go global, propelling participation of women in the startups and a holistic programme which aims at enabling global mentorship, market access, international opportunities and B2B connects.
The video conference was attended by several Startup leaders, investors, banks, senior government officials representing various ministries/departments and key stakeholders of the startup ecosystem.