At a start-up summit organised by the Gujarat government on Thursday, the president of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), Debjani Ghosh asked Gujarat to leverage its entrepreneurship strength than seek advice from the world for setting up start-up ecosystems.
“Being someone from outside, it is very surprising for me to come to Gujarat and hear people talk about building start-up ecosystem. I have always been taught from childhood that Gujarat was home of entrepreneurship; Gujarat was where original entrepreneurship was born; entrepreneurship runs in DNA of Gujarat. So you should be teaching the world, how to set up their ecosystems, rather than the world telling you how to set it up,” said Ghosh in her opening remarks at the event where Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani was present along with senior officials from the Industries Commissionerate.
“I think it is important to look inwards now and figure out how do you scale that initiative and the strength that Gujarat has to really make it matter. Today the IT industry in India is USD 167 billion, Gujarat contributes USD 1 billion. Now given that entrepreneurship is the future— not just the future of IT in terms of innovation — of creation of jobs that are needed in India. I think it is time to figure out how do you leverage that,” she said about the state which has so far churned out a minuscule 184 start-up firms about two years after it floated an “Electronic & IT/ITeS Start-up Policy (2016-21).
“In a few years, India is poised to be a trillion dollar economy, I think Gujarat should not be satisfied till it gets at least 10 percent of that and that should be the goal of Gujarat,” she said asking the state to become a hub of talent required by “digital India”. Later talking to media persons at the event that was held as a “precursor event” to Vibrant Gujarat 2019 summit, Ghosh said Gujarat is lagging behind in “new-age start-ups” despite growing at a rapid rate. She also suggested that the state government should explore opportunities to “buy” from start-ups.
Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh who spoke later at the event said, “If we look at where the start-ups are concentrated, about 80 per cent of them are in Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai, while Chennai and Hyderabad also have also got a good base. Among the Tier-II cities, Pune, Jaipur, Indore, Kochi and our own Ahmedabad are some of those cities where promising start-ups are emerging which account for rest of 20 per cent. Ahmedabad is one of the new places where start-ups are coming up.” He also spoke about how the state government has recognised 33 nodal institutions for facilitating start-ups and have also set up a start-up cell under the industries and mines department which has assisted about 184 start-ups to secure funding.
CM Rupani in his speech said the state has targeted to support 2000 start-ups in Gujarat by 2021.