Govt keen to take startup story to small towns: DPIIT Secy

He vouched for regulatory measures even as he said the government would keep a hands-off approach to allow thriving of entrepreneurship in the country.

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He said the government plans to further increase the corpus of the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) investment vehicle.
NEW DELHI: More than 50,000 startups have registered with the government since the launch of Startup India programme in 2016 and the country aims to double that number in the next five years, a top official said on Friday.

Most such entrepreneurs are currently concentrated in the top five metro cities and the government aims to spread it across the country by helping create ideal condition for startups to come up even in small towns, said Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary of the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT).

“There is an attitudinal change about start-ups in various departments of the government,” Mohapatra said in a panel discussion on ‘Startup, the Asian Century’ at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit here.


He vouched for regulatory measures even as he said the government would keep a hands-off approach to allow thriving of entrepreneurship in the country. “We have our regulatory regimes for various other departments and I am sure they apply to startups like any other established entity,” Mohapatra said. “But more we keep away from them, the startups, the more we allow them to operate in the space they want to operate. I think it is better in the long run. That is the attitude in the government. Our job is to encourage them.”

He said the government plans to further increase the corpus of the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) investment vehicle. The government had already committed Rs 10,000 crore for FFS being implemented by Small industrial Development Bank of India (Sidbi).

“We had a discussion with Sidbi and told them this year’s budget and next year’s budget, we want to increase the fund available to Sidbi and we want to use some other channels along with SIDBI,” Mohapatra said. “So, I see a lot of positives.”
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He said Sidbi has so far cleared around 300 funding applications under this scheme. Speaking at the same panel discussion, Aditya Ghosh, CEO for South Asia at Oyo Hotels & Homes, said regulations are important for creating a level-playing filed for organised and unorganised operators.

“As companies become large and companies have ambitions to become publicly listed or running listed companies or want to create a presence around the world, they have to live by certain rules and regulations,” Ghosh said. “Often you are competing with people who are snapping at your ankles, who have little regards to regulations and laws.”

Shailendra Singh, managing director at private equity firm Sequoia, said the Indian startup ecosystem has taken off in a big way. “In the last five-seven years, the amount of capital available to pursue these things and at the same time the quality of talent available is unprecedented,” he said. “That is also a big enabler in why founders and startups are making these choices.”
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