Startup India: Solve regulatory hurdles to give a leg-up to small start-ups, says Practo's Shashank

By Shashank ND
Startup India: Solve regulatory hurdles to give a leg-up to small start-ups, says Practos Shashank

Entrepreneurship was a word unheard in my childhood. Until I was in the second year of college, I never knew of this concept. This cannot happen today if India has to participate in the global start-up race. The government could even consider including entrepreneurship in the school curriculum to make kids familiar with the concept at an early stage.

Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo

ND Shashank, Founder & CEO, Practo

There is hope surrounding Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's Start Up India Stand Up India initiative as this can offer the much needed impetus to local entrepreneurs. But, the catch here is the bureaucratic and regulatory red tape that slow down the process. The government should address this issue to make it easier for small businessmen to set up businesses.

The very fact that PM has accommodated the idea of start-ups among the top priorities of the NDA-government is a significant psychological booster for small entrepreneurs, enabling the segment attract fresh talent to the start-up world. India has the benefit of demographic dividend and is best known for its talented, hard-working human resources. We do not only have success stories in the Silicon Valley but there are many such in the country itself. In the evolving scenario, there are more Indians now willing to stay back in India and contribute to the local start up industry.

In simple words, Practo acts as a bridge between patients and healthcare centers. Practo literally means Practice Online.We want doctors to bring their practice online. This is a reality because of widespread usage of mobile phones and internet connectivity in the country. Since our inception in 2008, on an annual basis Practo is serving close to 5 crore people. The whole idea is to bring healthcare into the digital era.

To enable people make better healthcare decisions, we’ve built Practo Ray - our cloud-based clinic management software that helps doctors manage millions of patients every month. Another product, Practo Search, helps patients easily find the right doctors .

Red tapes still a worry

For the start-up industry to gain momentum, the government should urgently address certain issues. For instance, in case if a business doesn't work for an entrepreneur in India, it is very difficult for him to shut his business and try something afresh, mainly because the regulatory system is laborious. If this issue is solved with easier processes, the same entrepreneur will be able to start-up more.

Secondly, availing bank funding is a key challenge. Banks are still averse to offer finance to start-ups. On the other hand, it is still difficult for smaller start-ups to access private capital for obvious reasons. One of the reasons why banks' doors are closed to start ups is the collateral requirement, which a company in its nascent stage will find it difficult to comply.

Even the infrastructure bottlenecks in the country is severe. For instance, Bengaluru is touted as the start-up capital in the country, but on a closer look, one can see that the city's infrastructure is quite inadequate in the backdrop of traffic congestion and high pollution levels. The situation is same in many other cities. This shows that, there hasn't been much change on the ground. Unless these issues are resolved, companies cannot hope to attract quality talent. There are a few things the government could do to change the outlook on Indian start ups. These include providing these firms seamless access to free internet, good infrastructure and create special zones to operate.

To sum up, the government needs to address the structural bottlenecks that are paving major roadblocks for young, aspiring entrepreneurs to venture into the start up space. If the government acts right, India can emerge to the top spot as a global start-up hub among the emerging economies.

(The author is Founder & CEO, Practo)

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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2016 14:32:05 IST

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