Stressing on India’s growing significance in the startup world, Modi said India has become the world's third-largest startup ecosystem and that the country’s Tier-II and Tier-III cities are also witnessing the emergence of startups.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday invited investors from across the world to invest in India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem to benefit from it. Stressing on India’s growing significance in the startup world, Modi said India has become the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem and that the country’s Tier-II and Tier-III cities are also seeing the emergence of startups. PM added that the number of unicorns (startups valued at $1 billion or above) is also increasing in India even as many Indian startups have started investing at the global level.
Urging the global investor community and particularly venture funds, Modi asked them to benefit from India’s startup ecosystem. “I am confident of investment made in innovation in India will deliver maximum returns. And these returns will also empower the youth,” Modi said.
PM emphasised on strengthening the culture of adopting new technologies including artificial intelligence, genetics, nanotechnology and innovating on it further. “Whether it is startup challenges or hackathons for the youth or Atal Tinkering Labs for school children where they experience innovation first hand, a comprehensive ecosystem for research and development to tech entrepreneurship is in development currently in India,” he added.
Modi government had launched its biggest initiative for startups growth — Startup India in 2016 for new businesses to register themselves with the government to benefit in terms of tax benefits, easier compliance, IPR fast-tracking etc. So far 24,266 startups have been recognized by the platform to benefit from the initiative. 221 startups have been given income tax exemptions while 264 startups have been funded till date, according to Startup India portal.
The government’s focus on encouraging startup ecosystem gains significance in terms of employment generation, innovative use cases of technologies, attracting foreign direct investment even as the leading players in multiple categories including e-retail, cab-hailing, and food, have been challenged by traditional or offline businesses questioning their business model, pricing strategies and discounts offered creating an uneven level playing field.
Modi, in his speech, also stressed on India’s improvement in global rankings including Logistics Performance Index where it jumped 10 ranks, 24 ranks jump in the Global Innovation Index, and 14 ranks jump in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index this year.