Piyush Goyal seeks India Inc’s help to ensure startups don’t sell out ‘cheap’ to international investors

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January 27, 2021 5:48 PM

In order to handhold startups through various government processes, registration, availing benefits of different schemes, etc., the government will be looking to set-up a dedicated helpdesk for startups.

The minister also requested entrepreneurs to personally mentor one-two startups. (PTI image/File)

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 1,000-crore seed fund for startups, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has now urged established Indian businesses and entrepreneurs to “dedicate a portion of their wealth, value to support startups particularly for early-stage investing.” Speaking at the TiECon event on Wednesday, Goyal noted that Indian startups have not been able to get adequate domestic capital even as the government has tried to provide seed capital and guarantees through banks that lend money to startups. “If all our businesspersons can pool their resources, maybe an initial Rs 10,000-crore fund, which is domestically driven and professionally managed with no role of government in it, but handhold our indigenous startups, I think we will not sell out cheap to international investors. We will be able to get true value by the time they go out in the market for listing or fundraise. This will music to my ears,” Goyal added in a discussion with online classifieds company Info Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani.

The minister also requested India Inc entrepreneurs to personally mentor one-two startups and also engage their colleagues to help startups overcome initial difficulties. Goyal had earlier this month, addressing the BIMSTEC countries at the Startup India’s international summit Prarambh, also urged Indian startup investors to look at investing, mentoring, and support startups in the BIMSTEC region that comprises South Asian nations including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, from South-East Asian region including Myanmar and Thailand.

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In order to handhold startups through various government processes, registration, availing benefits of different schemes, etc., the government will be looking to set-up a dedicated helpdesk for startups. “I will make sure that Invest India pioneers a dedicate startup helpdesk which can work across ministries and states to act like a bridge to sort out any difficulty startups may have. Currently there are 42,633 startups recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade up from 24,927 recognised startups as of November 17, 2019. The government’s citizen engagement platform MyGovIndia had tweeted earlier that each recognized startup employs an average of 12 people.

Along with the seed fund, PM Modi had also launched a dedicated television show — Startup Champions to be telecasted on the public service broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) in his address at the BIMSTEC summit. “his will help to start and grow new startups. Through the Fund of Funds, startups are already receiving assistance to raise equity capital. Going forward, the government will also help startups to raise debt capital by providing the guarantee,” Modi said. As of December 31, 2020, Rs 4,376.96 crore was committed by the Rs 10,000-crore Fund of Funds for Startups’ (FFS) implementing agency SIDBI to 62 SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), according to the data from SIDBI. These AIFs had invested Rs 4,682.28 crore in 388 startups.

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