‘Startup India’ policy will help Indian firms find easier commercialisation channels globally but these businesses need a lot of hand holding and funding and governments should lower administrative and regulatory barriers, says an expert Israeli startup hubs builder. Tal Catran, who is collaborating with Indian tech firm Collaborative Intelligence to launch its innovation accelerators, says the number of software developers, size of the market in and out of India and the ‘Make in India’, would, in his opinion, be a catalyst, enhancing the motivation and success rate of Indian start-ups. “I also foresee Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda helping Indian start-ups find easier commercialisation channels into the international market,” he told PTI. Governments, according to him, play a very important role is enabling the startup industry to kick-start and grow. “A startup is a growth engine in every economy but needs a lot of hand holding and funding. I see governments as enablers of this process, alongside professional help and support from the local ecosystem. While the government is a major financial player that can lower many administrative and regulatory barriers, it will not touch on the business and technology part of start-ups,” he says.
While the government is a major financial player that can lower many administrative and regulatory barriers, it will not touch on the business and technology part of start-ups,” he says. Catran says his venture Collaborative Intelligence accelerator, having one foot in India and the second in Israel is an example of Indo-Israeli partnership and is one of the first few to support the government’s initiative. Two-way highway for skilled software professionals, innovation, out-of-the-box thinking, finding technological solutions for tomorrow’s needs, education of the highest level, turning from manufacturing to development, making international companies look into India, not go for cheap labour but for top notch technologies are some of the mantras for success, he says.
Asked whether crowd funding should be encouraged to boost startups, he says, “Crowd funding still holds a small niche in the market, still being used in cases where direct fund raising is not met. There are repercussions to a crowd-funding campaign failure which are much more severe than in the door to door.” Catran says innovation is pushed in Israel out of necessity. “We battle our day-to-day lives differently from what Indians do. Our market is relatively smaller than most countries in the world. For us, innovation is a part of who we are, and what fuels our survival. “Indians don’t lack innovation, they lack the problems we have that motivate our innovative spirit. That said, the motivation of both nations to share and cooperate for a brighter future would for sure be a game changer,” he says. He also suggests that Indian start-ups concentrate on sectors like smart cities (IOT, transportation, parking), 3D printing (using not just nylon or plastic), FinTech (cyber) and video analytics.
During his historic visit to Israel earlier this month, Prime Minister Modi had invited the Israeli industry to participate in ‘Startup India’ initiative, saying his government has done a lot to improve the ease of doing business and is positioning the country as a global manufacturing hub. Modi, along with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, also established an innovation bridge between startups and innovators of Israel and India for a better world. The India-Israel start-up bridge was launched to encourage start-ups of the two nations to work together and come up with innovative solutions to tackle challenges in the agriculture, water and healthcare sectors.