From Google challenge to Q&A with govt officials: What to expect in PM Modi's startup push - Firstpost
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From Google challenge to Q&A with govt officials: What to expect in PM Modi's startup push


In a bid to transform India to a country of job creators from job seekers, Prime minister Narendra Modi is planning to make his big startup push on 16 January.

According to a PTI report, the government will on that day hold a day-long session on start-ups in which around 2,000 new age ventures, 40 CEOs, and venture capitalists would participate.

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"The Prime Minister will unveil the action plan of the Startup India. About 40 leading CEOs, venture capitalist, angel investors from Silicon Valley will come down," DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant has been quoted as saying in the report.

Here are the key details about the Startup India programme, which will be inaugurated by finance minister Arun Jaitley at 'Vigyan Bhawan' in New Delhi:

Getting inputs

According to the PTI report, about 40 leading business leaders, venture capitalists and around 2,000 start-ups would offer key inputs to the action plan to be launched by the PM.

In the run-up to the event, the commerce and industry ministry is also meeting the India Inc to discuss various issues related to the manufacturing sector and improving ease of doing business on January 7.

At the meeting to be chaired by minister Nirmala Sitharaman, senior government officials will on Make in India, Start-Up India and Ease of Doing business, an official has told the PTI.

The event

DIPP is organising the event along with Invest India and Start-up ecosystem players iSpirt, YourStory, NASSCOM, SheThePeople.tv and Kairos Society and youth wings of FICCI and CII. It is a non-stop day-long global workshop on start-up entrepreneurship. It will highlight initiatives and schemes being undertaken by the government to address various aspects relating to developing a conducive start-up ecosystem in the country, Kant has said.

There will be panel discussions on topics such as 'Unleashing Entrepreneurship and Innovation: What do Indian Startups Need to Grow and Prosper'; 'Celebrating Women: Stories of Innovative Women Entrepreneurs', 'How digitisation will change India's future'; 'Making Indian Healthcare Leapfrog' and 'Financial inclusion is within reach'.

The panel discussion on 'Show Me the Money: How do we Capitalize Entrepreneurship?' shall be chaired by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha. A virtual exhibition is also being organised as part of the event to showcase some of the unique and innovative work done by Start-ups in the country. The event will be telecast live in IITs, IIMs, NITs, IIITs and Central Universities and to youth groups in over 350 districts of India.

Silicon Valley biggies to take part

According to Kant, the event will feature interactive talks with global leaders such as Founder and CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son; Founder of WeWork Adam Nuemann and Uber Founder Travis Kalanick.

Google will be conducting an innovative session titled 'Laucnhpad Accelerator' which will involve live pitches being made by early state start-ups to potential investors. The entrepreneur who is able to get into the 'Launchpad Accelerator' will get $50,000 from Google as equity funding. Nikesh Arora, President & Chief Operating Officer, SoftBank, shall be interacting with participants on aspects relating to Start-up funding.

Q&A with govt officials

A question and answer session titled 'Face-to-face with Policy makers' is also being organised. In this Secretaries of key departments will answer questions on how the government will be creating an enabling ecosystem for start-ups.

This is aimed at reinforcing the commitment of the government towards creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups, says Kant. The panel shall comprise of Secretaries from departments including Revenue, Human Resources and Development, Corporate Affairs and Financial Services, Economic Affairs besides representatives from Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

The action plan and its challenges

According to Kant, the action plan to be unveiled by the PM would help the sector penetrate tier-2 and tier-3 cities in sectors such as manufacturing and healthcare. However, experts are keenly awaiting to see whether there will be any concrete action from the government to address the challenges startups face on the ground.

Care Ratings in a recent report listed two important problem areas that the government's Startup India programme needs to address urgently. The first is the ease of doing business. "The ease of doing business must be relaxed with simple online forms being made available for registration of these units and granting approvals in a time bound manner. This will cut down the time taken to commence operations as well as reduce the human-interface making the system more efficient," it said.

The second one is funding. Here the agency has sought for FDI with an upper limit. It has also highlilghted the need for the government to play a role at all levels - central, state and district/municipal layers. "This has to be through a system of incentives and subsidies," it has said. In short, as the hype around the Startup India programme builds up, the pertinent question is will the government make any announcements to address these issues. As of now, it is a wait and watch.

With PTI