The Union Minister of Commerce highlighted how Indian startups have used innovation and agility to adjust with the changing times post COVID-19 can expand them to the global stage with capital investment from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Indian startups which have scaled up business can aggressively look for opportunities outside the country and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which counts countries like China and Russia as member states, could be a perfect platform to help them achieve their global dreams.
Pitching the potential of Indian startups to the world, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said that Indian entrepreneurs had proved their mettle in the domestic market by adjusting quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and realigning business models to scale up in these challenging times.
“The SCO member states have a huge amount of untapped potential and talent and cooperation among these countries will lead to an enormous amount of spread of mutual benefit and prosperity,” said Goyal while inaugurating the first SCO Startup Forum today.
SCO is a multilateral body comprising countries like Pakistan, Kyrgyztan, Kazakhstan, Tazikistan, Uzbekistan, other than Russia and China. While India used to be an observer in this body, it been added as a permanent member state. India is hosting the SCO Summit in 2020.
Goyal mentioned multiple examples of startups doing exemplary work across sectors like ed-tech, clean energy, 3D printing and others which have helped consumers during these tough times.
The minister added that through the forum efforts will be made in monetising and mobilising capital, setting up incubators, providing exposure and scale to innovators who in turn will get a much larger engagement through this SCO partnership.
While on one hand member states coming together through a multilateral body is a great starting point, Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys and currently chairman of the Startup Council at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said that there is need for harmonising regulations between member states which can help startups scale up beyond borders easily.
“Startups tend to be small and harmonised regulations can help them comply easily and scale up quickly,” he said.
Anil Agrawal, joint secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) noted that India now had 30 unicorns from 23 in 2019. Unicorns are startups which are valued at a billion US dollars.Agrawal pointed out that sectors like fintech, health, enterprise and retail were the sunrise sectors and grabbing a lot of attention from global investors. He added that 45 percent of India's 38,500 startups are from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.