There was an overwhelming response from global investors at Dubai Expo 2020, officials said

n a never-before opportunity, five startups from Jammu & Kashmir got a chance to showcase themselves and their ideas to global investors at Dubai Expo 2020.

The Union Territory administration also closed deals for some major projects during the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020.

Startups to the fore

The startups were a part of the Jammu and Kashmir business delegation led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to Dubai during the Jammu & Kashmir Week held earlier this month.

Those which made it to Dubai included FastBeetle, which is a tech-driven logistics support service; e-fruitmandi, J&Ks first B2B farm produce marketplace; Kashmir Trout, a Kashmir-based Trout procurement platform; Sky Robo Drones, which uses hexacopter drones to help people caught in disasters, and Grenlam, a clean construction company.

FastBeetle is Kashmiri first logistics service, which brought a much required change in the Valley.

Started by Sheikh Samiullah and Abid Rashid in 2018, it recently raised $100,000 funding from investors.

It started as an online courier service to provide door-to-door delivery service to meet the needs of people. "It took off very soon and we are overwhelmed by the response," Sheikh said.

While talking about his experience at Dubai Expo, Abid Rashid said that initiatives like these are quite beneficial to boost the confidence of startups and also enable them to gain knowledge.

Habib-ullah Malik, CEO of Sky Robo Drones, said, "We were one amongst top five startups selected from Kashmir to be part of the business delegation to visit Dubai. This is the most important event for our company which was represented by our director."

A detailed presentation was given before the global investors which would prove fruitful for us in future, Malik remarked.

Greenlam was another start up from Kashmir which is an award winning clean construction company. The company aims to replace conventional clay bricks etc with Agrocrete, the world’s only carbon-negative load-bearing block, made using crop residues and industrial by-products.

e-fruit mandi is J&Ks first B2B farm produce marketplace which help small and marginal growers connect to markets through the effective use of technology and sustainable practices.

Kashmir Trout is an initiative to bring fresh trout to the door steps of people.

"People would have to travel miles to procure trout but with our stores in Srinagar and Anantnag, they can get it easily with one phone call. We bring the best rainbow trout from different places of Kashmir. We have trouts from different glacial streams as well which make us unique and that's why we figured among the five startups to be part of business delegation," said a top company official.

Elevate series is a key initiative of the India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai that aims to display unconventional solutions created by 500 Indian start-ups over five months under the India Innovation Hub umbrella and is supported by HSBC.

Dubai-based companies to invest in J&K

During the expo, the Jammu and Kashmir government has also locked several investment deals with Dubai-based companies.

"Investment proposals worth Rs 17,000 crore signed between the J&K Govt and well-known business groups at the Dubai Expo are essential to accelerate the pace of economic and social change, with a broader aim of improving the lives of the common man," the J&K LG's office said on Twitter.

There was an overwhelming response from the global investors at Dubai Expo 2020 with the Union Territory administration signing several business agreements and inking six MoUs with global investors, an official said.

"Jammu and Kashmir as an investment destination has received a massive impetus with Dubai Expo as several investors have shown their keenness to invest in J&K. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha personally leading the J&K delegation was a big plus point as it showed to the world that J&K administration is willing to walk an extra mile to woo global investors," said a senior government official.

According to a government statement, J&K government also signed an MoU with UAE’s pioneering financial services company, Century Financial that will invest $100 million in the Union Territory. The MoU was signed in a special event presided over by Lieutenant Governor Sinha.

LG Sinha said that this will further strengthen J&K-Dubai’s trade and investment ties.

Among the other projects which are coming up in Kashmir are an inland port and a food processing & logistics (FPL) hub in Srinagar by Lulu group.