Startup Founders speak on Startup India Action Plan

By | Jan 19, 2016 | 1824 views |
  • Startup Founders speak on Startup India Action Plan

The ambitious ‘Startup India StandUp India’ plan was recently launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The initiative will prove to be a game changer for the Indian economy and usher in a new era of entrepreneurship, innovation along with investments.

The 19-point action plan, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a day-long event on 16th January 2016, came with the promise that the government will only play the role of a facilitator and not burden entrepreneurs with complicated compliance requirements. In tune with this new ideology Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “If the government doesn't do anything, so much will happen. We have done a lot for 70 years. Where have we reached? Please tell us what not to do. If we decide not to do anything, they (entrepreneurs) will take us places.”

PM Modi shared the dais with prominent names such as Uber founder Travis Kalanick and SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son who defined startups and gave a detailed action plan to help technology based new businesses to grow in India.

What is the definition of a Startup?

  • Any entity which has been around for less than five years and has an annual turnover of less than Rs 25 crore in any preceding year qualifies to be defined as a startup.
  • It has to work on innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products, process or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

Some key facts

• With more than 4,200 startups, India ranks 3rd globally in number of startups after US and UK.
• Of $18 billion pumped into Indian startups in between 2010-15, $9 billion came in 2015 alone.
• 9 Indian startups have been valued at more than a billion dollars.
• Increase in number of incubators: 80 in 2014, 110 in 2015; 50% outside Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai.
• Companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola Cabs and Paytm, have attracted huge investor interest  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Startup India initiative has evoked much interest and expectations from stakeholders. Here's what they have to say:

Pramod Saxena, Chairman, Oxigen Services:

"Banks are not taking position to support early stage projects, hence only areas of interest to venture capitalists and private equity players are seeing growth in startups. If government ensures a frictionless access to early stage capital to young entrepreneurs, we will see many more startups in areas of priority for country's overall development."

Ankita Tandon, COO, CouponDunia:

"Our Government should also encourage micro-entrepreneurship by investing and dedicating an exclusive fund for entrepreneurs apart from the ones provided by the VCs and angel investors. Further, the government should address the challenges faced by start-up companies and set up proper compliance and redressal forums for addressing these issues. Any start is a good start."

Ameen Khwaja, founder and CEO,

"The Indian laws, particularly for listed entities, make it impossible for any startups to get listed on stock exchanges. It is also impossible for an entrepreneur to take the stock in his company through sweat equity because of the existing tax laws which are taxing such equity upfront by considering it as "deemed income". They must make sure that tax laws are amended for entrepreneurs and technocrats to own substantial percentage of the company."

Saurabh Arora, CEO, Lybrate:

"We are looking forward to the Action Plan which the Prime Minister will be unveiling on January 16. As a player in healthcare sector, we want to work closely with the government and make a cohesive partnership to help further its effort of making healthcare available to every citizen of the country.

Rajiv Kumar, CEO and founder, Hippo Innovations Pvt. Ltd.:

"With many new E-commerce ventures starting in India, we look forward to the policy as it will address the problems of technology based startups and introduce a friendly business climate."

Umang Srivastava, JMD, Bonita India:

"Despite the demand, many entrepreneurs are hesitant to establish a startup owing to the existing roadblocks such as high interest rates, hassles in fund approval and regulatory constraints. Therefore, with the new policy, we not only expect the government to ease the regulatory compliance, but also exempt the startups from the taxes imposed by the central and state government. A change in tax regulation can boost further investments into the startup segment."

Rahul Jalan, Director, Indiaonline Network:

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative will simplify the things and doing business in India will be easier than ever. However, government should take measures to provide relaxation in existing tax laws and other regulatory procedures."

Tarun Wig, Co-founder, Innefu Lab's:

"It's high time the Govt of India realize that the any innovation in cyber security ecosystem can achieve the double aim of economic growth as well as improving national security landscape of the country. US has already realized this and established In-Q-Tel and CIA funded venture capital firm to invest in technology startup. India needs to follow it."

Govind Bansal, Co-founder, Aqua:

"Aqua Mobiles requests The Controller of Certifying Authorities to take necessary actions that may expedite the certification process in the interest of both consumers and manufacturers of mobile handsets."

Sean Blagsvedt, Co-founder and CEO,

"We look forward to the government's efforts to innovate education initiatives so that all Indians can enjoy rich, fulfilling livelihoods."

Aarti Gill, Founder, FitCircle:

"Women entrepreneurship is being recognized as an important source of economic growth and the special incentives for women entrepreneurs in the new policy will help overcome gender based barriers in the industry."

Rahul Gupta, Founder,

"We strongly believe in the vision of Make in India and the financing options and tax breaks under the new policy will help boost entrepreneurship and job creation and effectively streamline the procedure of doing business in India."

Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation:

"With an already strong momentum on entrepreneurship among our best and brightest, Govt. support and favorable policies will go a long way in fueling vibrant financial ecosystem and a well-trained & accessible mentor network including accelerators and incubators that can maximize success of new enterprises through readily available knowledge and guidance. Startup India will provide a platform to create many 'silicon valleys' in India, boosting economic growth and creating millions of jobs."

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