The Indian startup ecosystem needs to work more closely with the government and engage in sharing information and analysis to “make sure all the irrationality is ironed out over a period of time”, a top government official said today. Speaking at a CII event, Ministry of Electronics and IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan conceded that the regulatory environment is far from “ideal” but added that the industry needs to offer more information and analysis to government. Also Read - BYJU's Early Learn app takes kindergarten classes online using Disney characters and computer-vision frameworkAlso Read - Oppo signs MoU with Telangana to help startups grow
“I do concede that we have far from ideal regulatory environment. But the regulatory environment or the tax fiscal environment is not going to better on its own. It will only get better when industry applies itself diligently to interacting and dialoguing with government to make it happen,” she said. Sundararajan further said: “I have seen occasions like government will call meetings, (but) nobody from industry at a senior level will come. No serious submissions are made ..”.
Talking about how startups and government can engage more closely, she said the industry will have to “feed much better information, analysis and facts to government”.
“…we would need to learn to work much more closely to make sure that all the irrationalities are ironed out at least over a period of time,” she added. Sundararajan said fast pace of technology adoption and sheer scale of the Indian market make it a significant opportunity for startups to tap into and that they need to work on products and services for the masses in the country. “We need to look to some of the neglected sectors rather than everyone going into a small narrow spectrum of sectors,” she said.
She cited examples of sectors like agriculture and said while these do not see a lot of startup activity, they have a huge potential. Angel investor and Google Vice President South East Asia and India Rajan Anandan said the startups in India should focus on addressing not just the first 50-100 million users, but the rest of India. He further stated that India should have an open light touch regulatory environment and build on “cross functional skills to convert each problem or an issue into an opportunity”. ALSO READ: Intel to help 17 startups to innovate products in India
India ranks third globally in the number of startups, after the US and the UK. Industry body CII has launched a new ‘Startup Coalition portal’ as a platform to assist and connect different stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The platform will provide startups with opportunities to get discovered by investors, potential customers, prospective employees and partners as well as offering a platform to interact with industry leaders and get mentorship.
The platform will also help provide access to finance by connecting with individual angel investors and registered incubators and accelerators, along with opportunity to participate at policy roundtables.