Indian startups playing up the ‘home-grown’ card and asking government to shut doors to global companies indicate that companies are losing confidence, entrepreneur and angel investor Saurabh Srivastava said today.
Instead, companies need to focus on ways to create an “enabling environment” without closing the doors for foreign players, he said.
“One needs to have a balanced matured view… I think, we are losing confidence… there’s no reason for that… We should make sure that the environment that we have is fair, free and level-playing field,” Srivastava, who is also the chairman and co-founder of Indian Angel Network (IAN) said at a media briefing ahead of the TiE Global Summit. He added that while Indian companies should not be at a disadvantage, the focus needs to be on “how to create an enabling environment for our companies without closing the doors for foreign companies”.
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“Giving access to government contracts is a very good idea. I think we can be smart about how we create an enabling environment for our companies,” TiE Global President Venkatesh Shukla said. He added that companies need to push for fixing last mile connectivity and increasing the size of the market. “I think we are focussing on the wrong side. India is a price sensitive market. You have to get the intersection of price and functionality right,” he said.
According to reports, e-commerce company Flipkart and transportation app Ola have asked the government to create policies to favour home-grown firms against global ones. These firms are facing tough competition from global rivals like Amazon and Uber. Ironically, most of the Indian start-ups have raised millions of dollars from foreign investors. “This kind of a thing is very unfortunate. If you are a copy-cat model and the original shows up, you are at a disadvantage, to begin with,” Shukla said.