Bikky Khosla | 23 Oct, 2018
'Startup India', a flagship initiative by the government,
first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 15 August 2015
address from the Red Fort, was later launched in 2016 with much fanfare. This
19-point Action Plan was based on three pillars: simplification and
handholding, funding support and incentives and industry-academia partnership
and incubation. Since then more than two and a half years have passed, and
naturally the question comes to mind how much we have been benefitted.
According to official figures, a total of 8,765 startups
have been recognized by DIPP since Jan 2016 and 6,954 startups have reported
employment generation of 81,264. Again, the Startup Intellectual Property
Protection Scheme has benefited 671 patent applicants and 941 trademark
applicants. Under the Fund of Funds scheme, 25 VC funds have invested Rs. 569
crore in 120 Startups. Similarly, under the Startup India Hub programme, over
41,000 users have registered and more than 4.4 million users have visited the
Hub since launch.
Among other measures, 19 States have implemented Startup
Policies; 21 regulatory changes have been made to enhance ease of doing
business, and the insolvency resolution process duration has been cut to 90
days for startups; more than 18,000 young entrepreneurs were supported through
mentorship under the Startup India Yatra initiative; and 2,441 Tinkering Labs
are being established in selected schools to inculcate the "do it yourself"
spirit among entrepreneurs. All these steps sound encouraging.
But entrepreneurs claim that the ground reality is not that
encouraging. According to a recent survey, around 80 percent of startups said
that they have not benefited in any way from the Startup India Mission. The
survey finds some major challenges facing the sector, such as lack of skilled
workforce and funding and inadequate formal mentoring. In other words, it seems
there is a big gap between the 'Startup' objectives and the real needs of our
startups. This gap needs to be addressed.
I invite your opinions.