The Global Venture Capital Summit 2018 kicked off in Goa on December 7. An initiative of the Departmental of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Government of Goa, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation and Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, the event brought together international fund managers, startups, government officials and other key stakeholders from the startup ecosystem.
Present on the occasion were Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Suresh Prabhu and Goa Minister of Revenue, IT, Labour & Employment, Rohan Khaunte.
The Summit focused on the opportunities for investments in the Indian startup ecosystem, and showcased the diverse market opportunities and technology innovations available in the country, with discussions held around the current and future regulatory changes .
Ease of doing business increases
The context of the Summit was set by Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP. “This event will help us discuss the opportunities available and the challenges of the Indian ecosystem,” he said.
He spoke about the ease of doing business in the Indian ecosystem – including at the district level, faster environmental clearances (from 600 days to 140 days) and abolition of inter-state check posts after the introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST), among others. “In terms of ease of doing business globally, India was ranked 133 in 2009, now we are at Rank 77,” he said.
Since the introduction of Startup India in January 2016, 14,479 startups have been recognised with the Government of India. “A corpus of over Rs 100 billion is to be provided by March 2025,” the DIPP Secretary said.
The Union Government has undertaken steps like the introduction of transformative measures – GST, IBC and Commercial Courts Acts, and introduction of third party and self-certification measures.
Under the Startup India programme, the Government also started a virtual incubation platform for startups to register themselves. “Before the launch of Startup India, only four Indian states adopted the startup policies. Since January 2016, 16 states have launched their own startup policies,” he added.
Goa as a preferred startup destination
Addressing the audience, Goa minister Rohan Khaunte said that the state is set to become a desirable startup destination by welcoming more investments and creating more job opportunities.
He compared Goa’s cultural richness with the culture of startups. “Startups have the culture to innovate, the culture of risk-taking and the culture of treating every failure as a stepping stone to success,” he said. Having said that, he added, “Everyone has ideas but only few can execute these ideas.”
Khaunte also spoke about how buoyant the mood in the Indian startup ecosystem was, with roughly $11 billion being invested in the country in the last year and Flipkart making a huge exit.
“The Indian startup ecosystem is set to break all records. We look at Goa being the startup capital and capital of startup investment,” he concluded.
The relationship between ideas and money
Setting a context to the premise of the Summit – attracting investments — Suresh Prabhu said, “When you talk about a startup, you are talking about a new idea, and money and ideas need each other.”
He said that India will be adding another $10 trillion in the coming 15 to 16 years, and would need more ideas for wealth to multiply. In this context, the Union Minister announced that India was prepared for this level of growth and that one of the key steps in this direction was adding another 100 airports in the next decade.
Besides this, he also said that startups are the new job creators and they will greatly socially benefit the Indian society.
Prabhu announced that the Global Venture Capital Summit will be held in Goa each year on the first Friday of December.
Expert panels discuss the India story
The Summit saw a couple of expert panels speaking on topics ranging from ‘Opportunity to build India as a $10 trillion economy by 2030’, to discussions on ‘Disrupting traditional models’ and ‘Innovation in India’.
Commenting on the latest technology one of the panellists, Dr Shefali Juneja, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “Drones are here to stay and they will be feeding the Indian startups.”
Other speakers included eminent names such as Priya Rajan of Silicon Valley Bank, investors Alok Goyal (Stellaris Venture Partners), Will Poole (Capria Investments), TCM Sundaram (IDG Ventures), Rahul Khanna (Trifecta Capital), Shweta Bhatia (Eight Road Ventures), Karthik Reddy (Blume Ventures) and Vikram Gupta (IvyCap Ventures) among many others.
Startup founders like Yashish Dhaniya (PolicyBazaar), Abhinav Jain (Shop 101), Mayank Kumar (UpGrad), Shradul Seth (Agrostar) and Venkatesh Bhat (Blackbuck) were also part of these panel discussions.
The Global Venture Capital Summit also saw the release of a report on Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation. The report talks about the Indian Venture Capital landscape, the startup ecosystem in India and the regulatory framework in the country.
VCs at the summit said that they were interested in investing in the agritech, edutech, fintech and healthtech sectors in India.
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