Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha on Friday said India requires more of Unicorns in the start-up space and provided the example of home-grown e-commerce major Flipkart which is locked in a fierce competition with US-based giant Amazon. Sinha, while speaking at the TiEcon Delhi 2017 — an event of start-ups — said the country needed more of Flipkart kind of start-ups. He said there are three sectors — fintech, electric two-wheelers and drones — where entrepreneurs and investors can join hands to create mega start-ups. “India in terms of volume is the largest producer of two-wheelers but those run on petrol. There is a need to switch to electronic two-wheelers and engineers can play a vital role in that. Drones are another product that can solve a lot of problems for many sectors right from e-commerce, agriculture, security, etc,” Sinha said.
However, he pointed out that only those start-ups that are able to solve day-to-day problems of consumers would be able to create a good business. Once again citing the example of Flipkart, Sinha said, “Flipkart solved the problem of shopping online by introducing cash-on-delivery and reverse logistic, an idea even its arch rival Amazon adopted and introduced it as one of the mode of payments,” he added. At the same time, the minister noted that start-ups should refrain from charging a very high cost for providing products and services, underlying that affordability should be a big area of focus.
Speaking at the event, Rajan Anandan, V-P, Southeast Asia and India, Google, highlighted the importance of creating an India-based fund. “There is a need to create India’s very own vision fund with a corpus of as much as $100 billion. Of the corpus about $10-$15 million each, should be allocated to three-five sectors including healthcare, education, agriculture, among others, so that start-ups working in these sectors are able to receive investments from time to time,” Anandan said. He said for the exit clause, the tenure should be a long one, instead of the current seven to eight years. “Usually an investor looks at exiting after completion of seven to eight years. But as start-ups working in the space of agriculture, education, etc, takes a long time to grow, the period of investments should be nothing less than 30 years,” he explained.