“While banks can provide the debt, equity has to come from venture capital funds, angel investors. Many countries exempt them from tax to encourage startups, why can’t we?“ The suggestions were made at a recent meeting chaired by the principal secretary to the PM, Nripendra Misra.
Amending the bankruptcy law to ease entry and exit norms and rejuvenating ties between academia and research are also on the cards.
The government is also considering changes to rules on intellectual property rights to encourage innovation.
India is among the top five largest startup communities in the world and these companies have created more than 80,000 jobs in the country so far, according to a report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) lobby group. The prime minister wants this entrepreneurial streak, confined mostly to tech, to spread to manufacturing, given its vastly greater job-creation prospects.Among Modi’s poll pledges was the creation of more than 1 crore jobs for the country’s youth in order to raise income levels and speed up growth.
That’s why the government has pegged startups as a vehicle of growth for the manufacturing sector, employment opportunities and the overall economy.
“We are one of those few economies in the world where there are so many billion-dollar opportunities waiting to be created,“ said Ankit Bhati, cofounder of taxi aggregator Ola, winner of ET’s first Startup of the Year award in Bengaluru earlier this week.
The government wants to redirect startup energy espe cially toward 25 focus areas identified in the Make in India plan, including textiles, leather, and gems and jewellery. “If we want to boost man ufacturing, we have to start with single-window clearance,“ said Nitin Saluja, founder of Chaayos, a Gurgaonbased chain of upscale tea shops. “Tax breaks for investors and even employees for things like Esops (employee stock options) will help us attract more talent, create more jobs and up the risk appetite.“ Part of the plan is also to encourage startups in tier II and tier III cities instead of concentrating such activity in the big metros such as Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai.
The government is also talking to premier engineering schools such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to reacti vate incubation centres for providing a plug-and-play model for startups.
The commerce ministry’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been given the mandate to run the Startup India, Stand Up India programme. Speaking at the ET Startup Awards, Rishad Premji, chief strategy officer of Wipro, said startups have a huge opportunity to create “the next wave of growth“ in India.