The Commerce and Industry Minister called for developing a futuristic outlook

Two years after the Global Innovation Index (GII) was launched, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Monday called upon stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem to strive to take India to the top 25.

He felicitated the startups for being the key reason behind India’s meteoric rise in the Global Innovation Index from 76 in 2014 to 46 in 2021.

Speaking on the occasion of the first ever Startup Innovation Launch Week, Goyal said that the need for institutionalizing the Startup Week Celebrations as an annual event lies in the idea of reviewing, reinventing, rejuvenating and reenergizing our startup ecosystem.

He said that there is a need for developing a futuristic outlook to pave the roadmap of the future while we celebrate our entrepreneurs.

The virtual week-long innovation celebration aims to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and is designed to showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship across India.

The startup and innovation festival's primary goal is to bring together the country's key startups, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, funding entities, banks, policymakers, and other national/international stakeholders to celebrate entrepreneurship and promote innovation.

There will be interactive sessions, workshops, and presentations based on themes such as Academia & Mentorship Support to Startups, Incubation and Acceleration Support to Startups, Market Access through Corporates & Government to Startups, and Funding & International Avenues to Go Global.

On January 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to interact with startups and address Startup India Innovation Week via video conferencing in a closed-door event.

Goyal expressed confidence that the Prime Minister’s interaction with startups on the completion of six years of Startup India would encourage entrepreneurs to dream big and achieve bigger, and stir the entrepreneurial spirit across the country.

He said that India's Startups turned COVID-19 crises into an opportunity and made 2021 the Year of unicorns, with the third largest number of Unicorns (82) in the world.

Goyal outlined 3 goals for Indian entrepreneurs - ‘Make in India’, ‘Innovate in India’, and ‘Mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs’.

He also said that there was a need to make our startups much more resilient so that they are well prepared to mitigate and overcome crisis situations like the current pandemic.

In his address to the startup community, he acknowledged that young entrepreneurs were eager to make extreme impact and are fearless risk takers.

“Today, almost 4 startups are recognised in India every hour with 45% belonging to Tier II & III cities," he said, adding that 46% of Startups are foundee by women entrepreneurs. During 2018-21, more than 6 lakh jobs were created by startups. In 2021 alone, more than 2 Lakh jobs were created, the minister pointed out.

Goyal called upon the government’s increased participation as a ‘facilitator’ focusing on simplification, facilitation and bringing ease in starting & doing business.

Listing some measure taken by the government to improve Ease of Doing Business, he said that there was an 80% rebate on patent filing and 50% on trademark filing fees, relaxation in public procurement norms, Self-Certification under Labour and Environmental Laws, Funds of Funds for Startups, Income Tax exemption for three out of 10 years and Seed Fund Scheme of Rs 945 crore.

An improved IPR regime had resulted in the registration of 1.16 million trademarks in the last four years, compared to 1.1 million registrations in the last 75 years, he added.

Besides, the proposed Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative will further serve as a game changer and help entrepreneurs save cost as well as build trust, bringing in equity in the business ecosystem.

Goyal called upon startups to explore uncharted areas like Rural Tourism in terms of agri-stays, hotels and homestays, creating additional income for farmers. He encouraged them to focus on “Prashasan Gaon Ki Aur”, ideas to improve last mile service delivery and empower our weavers, artisans and farmers and bring the market to their doorsteps.
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