Indian startups have fast become India Inc's growth story champions, said Goyal

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday called upon Indian industrialists to achieve the target of 75 Unicorn startups in the weeks left to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.

Launching the NASSCOM Tech startup report 2022, he stated that the country has been able to record 43 Unicorns in 45 weeks since the commencement of the Central government's ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ programme in March last year.

Goyal urged industry players to climb up to 75 Unicorns in the remaining weeks to the 75th anniversary of Independence on August 15.

Lauding Indian startups, Goyal said that India has acquired global fame in the startup landscape. He also praised Indian startups for their remarkable performance in 2021 and called it the year when Indian based firms delivered promises despite being overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“India has now become the hallmark of a trailblazer & is leaving its mark on the global startup landscape. Investments received by Indian startups overshadowed pre-pandemic highs. 2021 will be remembered as the year Indian start-ups delivered on their promise, fearlessly chasing opportunities across verticals - Edtech, HealthTech & AgriTech amongst others," the Minister added.

Goyal also called upon startups to leverage "deep tech" to build solutions for local & global markets. He lauded the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industry, including the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, for record services export during the last year despite the pandemic.

Goyal apprised that India's export services alone reached beyond $178 billion during April-December 2021, even as Covid-19 continued to batter the global economy. Motivating young startups and aspiring industrialists, Goyal asserted that the coming financial year will be a breakthrough for the country and the startup landscape will further escalate to reach heights in 2022.

He added that India at 100 years of independence will be known as a 'Startup Nation.' "As PM Modi said in his speech earlier- the "Amrit Kaal," the coming 25 years - are the period of utmost hard work, sacrifice and Tapasya," Goyal added.

The Union Commerce Minister further acknowledged that the development of the startup sector has happened exponentially over the last six years after the launch of the Startup India programme by the PM Modi-led Central government.

According to Goyal, the government has taken several efforts to support the startup environment. The initiatives include removing 'Angel tax' issues, simplifying tax procedures by reducing the burden of over 26,500 compliances, and permitting self-certification and self-regulation. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared January 16 as National Startup Day.

Goyal said the New India is today being led by a new troika of Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship (ITE), which in a way has grown further from the original ICE (Information, Communication & Entertainment). He added that India’s unique digital infrastructure - Aadhaar, Digilocker, Fastag, Cowin, UPI - have enabled Access & Affordability.

The Minister emphasised that India's next Unified Payments Interface (UPI) moment can be the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), which will help the common man access new-age technology at affordable costs.

It will enable interoperability between eCommerce companies, providing equal opportunity to small and large players, will help control digital monopolies and make industry more inclusive for buyers and sellers alike, empowering MSMEs to unlock innovation and value, he said.

Goyal also unveiled a five-point agenda as the way forward for the NASSCOM:

1. Emphasize on basic & core needs of people, - providing better access to financial services, education & healthcare; solutions to problems of farmers, etc.

2. Focus on High growth & Job creating sectors, - Advertising & Marketing, Prof. services, Fitness & Wellness (Yoga becoming popular globally), Gaming, Sports, Audio-Visual services

3. More & more startups should leverage Deep tech to build solutions for local & global markets, - AI, IoT, Big Data, Data Analytics, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing, Drones, etc.

4. We have a lot of potential in Startups from Tier-2 & 3 cities. If we give them more support & proper mentoring, they could also play a much greater in the years to come.

5. India will assume G20 presidency in 2023 – suggest ideas on themes resonating with our vision to solve global issues.