Startups, investors forge alliance for level playing field in digital ecosystem against tech biggies

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January 13, 2021 4:28 PM

The latest alliance has come months after the startup ecosystem involving founders of Paytm, GOQII, Sharechat, MakeMyTrip, Innov8, Ixigo, Toppr, etc., had come together to set up a national body representing the interests of internet companies in India.

Startups Budget 2021 Expectations, Budget 2021 Expectations for StartupsThe startup sector will continue to look for the government's support in helping ease of access to capital, encouraging domestic investment environment etc.

A clutch of Indian startup entrepreneurs and investors have come together to form a new association to ensure a level-playing field between Indian digital businesses and global enterprises such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, others in the booming digital economy. The association named Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF) will also represent the digital ecosystem for advising the government and sector regulators with respect to required legal and policy framework to promote local digital entities. Matrimony.com’s Murugavel Janakiraman, Snehil Khanor of TrulyMadly, Innov8’s Ritesh Mallik, Sairee Chahal of Sheroes, Unnati Co-founder Amit Sinha, startup investors including Anand Lunia from India Quotient, Massive Fund’s Shailesh Vikram Singh, etc. are some of the members of ADIF as of now.

“Do we have any company which is as large as the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other big enterprises? Is the overall internet ecosystem shaped to allow Indian companies to grow that big? The association is formed to work not against large enterprises. It is for us to grow and have a level playing field instead of allowing a near-monopoly in the ecosystem,” an ADIF member told Financial Express Online.

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The latest alliance has come months after the startup ecosystem involving founders of Paytm, GOQII, Sharechat, MakeMyTrip, Innov8, Ixigo, Toppr, etc., had come together to set up a national body representing the interests of internet companies in India. The intent was to amplify their stand against the app store policies of Google after the latter had announced enforcing app developers distributing Android software on the Play Store to use its Google Play billing system instead of other payment systems and collecting 30 per cent from the in-app purchase as a fee. The search giant had later announced extending the timeline to comply with the Play Store policies until September 30 this year. The Indian government has envisioned a $1 trillion size of India’s digital economy by 2025, up from $200 billion in 2019.

“ADIF is a formative body as of now. It is a trust formed that will now have members on board who will elect the actual body and then what steps are required to be taken will be decided. It will take some time,” said another member. The association will invite other Indian entrepreneurs to join the initiative.

“Our aim is to represent Indian technology companies to help them in building a sustainable and conducive business environment. We believe it’s high time for all Indian technology companies to come together to safeguard the larger interests of the sector and work towards creating a level playing field,” said Ajay Data, Secretary-General – ADIF in an official statement. The association will now set-up chapters in the top 25 cities in the coming months and expand membership in Tier-II, Tier-III, and other towns.

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