Startup India: A Mission to Inspire Entrepreneurship
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Startup India: A Mission to Inspire Entrepreneurship

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Launched to build a robust eco-system for entrepreneurship and encourage enterprising individuals, the Startup India programme is about setting up a sustainable growth system. It aims to create an encouraging environment to take risk and go innovative for work, Elets News Network (ENN) takes a look.

With Startup India programme, the Narendra Modi Government aims to empower startups to expand through innovation and design.

Considering the objectives of the drive, Modi Government has announced the Action Plan that touches upon and aims to address all aspects of the Startup ecosystem. With this plan, the Government hopes to accelerate spreading of the Startup movement.

An additional area of focus linked to Startup India is to discard restrictive States Government policies within this domain, i.e. License Raj, Foreign Investment Proposals, Land Permissions, and Environmental Clearances.

Startup India — A Growth Model for Doers

The Startup India drive of the Government has thrown light upon the world of startups, turning them the centre of attraction for all, especially the ones with innovative bent of mind. Today, the youngsters can dream of launching initiatives of their choice and take them to any level in terms of growth.

A section of the startups believes there is need to speed up execution of all the initiatives and scope for plugging loopholes.

Startup India“Almost three years into launching the Startup India Campaign, it is high-time the government looked into the macro- mega plan and addressed numerous challenges on the ground-level,” said one of the startups heads.

“At the time of demonetisation, many startups benefitted overnight but some in rural areas had to shut the shop. Agri-tech suffered, daily wages to labourers could not be paid as rural areas do not have enough banks,” he added.

Challenges of Startups

Stating that the Start-up India initiative is bound to motivate and promote young entrepreneurs by fostering and creating an ecosystem that is positive for the growth of the start-ups, Amit Bansal, CEO and Co-founder, MediGence, finds it “a great way to promote the country as an innovative hub”.

“As a healthcare start-up that leverages technology to provide seamless patient experience, one of the key challenges that we face today is the lack of patient trust. This is mostly because of the touts or so-called “healthcare agents” that promise to provide healthcare to patients at the “cheapest” cost. Healthcare should never be compromised and therefore, one should prefer quality over cost while ensuring that the patient expenditure is reasonable and affordable,” says Bansal.

“As an organisation, we intend to bridge this gap and assure the best healthcare to patients by establishing their trust in ourselves and the services that we provide,” he adds.

Pawan Gupta, Co-founder, Curofy says the biggest challenge that they faced is the same challenges that the medical industry faces while approaching doctors. Doctors are so busy in general that they would hardly be available to meet us. “We often spent hours sitting in queue with MRs, only to get five minutes from a doctor…Tech aversion is a major obstacle that we faced in our initial days. Doctors and the industry alike had a very low tech acceptance rate.”

Soon, A Portal To Let Startups Use Public Data

With an aim to facilitate private organisations, especially the startups, in using public data available with various government ministries, the Narendra Modi Government’s think tank NITI Aayog is likely to launch a new portal within next six months.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant announced it recently while speaking at a conclave on artificial intelligence (AI) organised by Bennett University as part of leadingIndia.ai — a collaborative initiative by 100-odd pan-India institutions to promote research in the field of AI.

“I believe innovations always come before the regulations. Hence, few policies might not be very relevant. And in certain areas, it’s better for the government to let private players innovate and disrupt,” he said.

“The government departments are generally hesitant in sharing data with private players, restricting the scope of technological research. Hence, we are trying to change that with the help of this portal. Startups can then leverage this data with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to address India-specific issues,” the NITI Aayog chief said, adding that the Aayog would also come up with, a ‘guidelines set’ for use of public data by private players.

Highlighting the utility of artificial intelligence in boosting businesses productivity, Kant further elaborated on Aayog’s plans on a soon-to-be-launched comprehensive strategy document on artificial intelligence.

Kant, the chief of the Government’s think tank which is mandated with designing strategic and long-term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, said artificial intelligence could help increase India’s year-on-year growth rate by 1.3% and that the government was already working with organisations, such as Microsoft and IBM, in that direction.

Dispelling apprehensions that the upcoming technology already making waves across the globe could drastically affect conventional jobs in India and hinder traditional workforce, Kant remarked that AI would instead lead to numerous new job opportunities.

“The effect of coordinated care would only show when we have enough doctors from various specialty on the network. It took us lot of time and convincing to seed the initial 1,000 doctors on the app. Once we reached there, it started picking up at a good pace by itself. Doctors started talking about the app in their community,” he added.

Despite its room for improvement, the strong push from the Government to encourage people to feel free of all shackles of red-tapism before launching a startup is worth hailing. But how much this growth model is actually supported and protected to flourish by successive regimes, only time will bespeak.

Understanding Startups’ Algorithm

To be a startup in the country, a company has to qualify certain criteria. Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India. Other characteristics of startups include:

The Startup India drive of the Government has thrown light upon the world of startups, turning them the centre of attraction for all, especially the ones with innovative bent of mind.

Up to a period of seven years from the date of incorporation/ registration or up to 10 years in case of Startups in Biotechnology sector.

As a private limited company or registered as a partnership firm or a limited liability partnership.

The company should have an annual turnover not exceeding Rs 25 crore for any of the financial years since its incorporation/registration.

It should be working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation.

An entity created by splitting up or reconstruction of an existing business shall not be considered a ‘Startup’.

How any entity shall cease to be a Startup?

On completion of seven years from the date of its incorporation/ registration, 10 years in case of Startups in Biotechnology sector, or if its turnover for any previous year exceeds Rs 25 crore.

The Action Plan is based on three pillars:

• Incentives and Funding Support
• Handholding and Simplification
• Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation

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