The startup ecosystem in India has really evolved and grown, and one of the drivers of this growth is the support provided by the government and various private agencies. We all might have heard of campaigns like Digital India, StartUp India, etc. However, to know more about various such government startup schemes and how they have been helping the startup industry, keep reading.
Enablers of Growth of Startups
Government support and subsidies are something that is needed in almost every industry. Without it, new and small businesses might not be able to survive and might get crushed by their competitions. However, in addition to government aid, private agencies and institutions can also help in providing sufficient help to the startup owners.
Such a collaborative approach with the government and private institutions can help in building a sustainable business environment and ecosystem for the startups, so that they can nurture and grow and so that a healthy competition is maintained in the market.
Let’s have a brief look at some startup schemes by the Indian government, which are worth mentioning.
This campaign is an Indian government startup scheme, aimed at transforming the country into one which is digitally empowered. The scheme was started with the biometric ideas that were issued to all Indians and also the launch of the digital infrastructure system of IndiaStack.
This led to the opening of bank accounts by those people who did not have a bank account before. This was also an attempt to transform India into a cashless economy. This has helped in the direct transfer of subsidies and benefits provided by the government to the bank accounts of citizens. So, it becomes easier for startup owners to access such benefits.
Also, with the Digital India plan, owners can now get access to data that is reliable and from trustworthy sources. This may help them in setting up their businesses and getting the resources and necessary capital from the correct sources.
It also helps startup owners to reach out to those who might help them by either giving them the proper direction and guidance or by providing them with the required capital funding.
Startup India, started by the Modi Government, is the flagship initiative to support startups. The main objectives of the Startup India scheme were to make it easier for startups to get funds, to create an environment in which startups can sustain themselves, and that is conducive for their Startup growth. For this, funding was provided to incubators and labs; tax benefits were provided and Rs. 10,000 crore fund was set up to help the startups in raising funds.
Apart from this, the recognition process for startups has been made relatively simple. A mobile application and a website were launched where anyone who wanted to get themselves registered could do so by filling up a form and uploading the necessary documents.
So, the entire online process has made it really convenient. It also includes the fast evaluation of patents at comparatively low costs. To facilitate Research and Development, 7 Research parks were also set up.
Another objective of this government startup scheme was to encourage employment through startups. In 2018, startups created 2.64% of the total jobs in India. This scheme, until 2019, had created more than 1,87,000 jobs roughly. With the help of StartUp India, the government aims to reduce the high unemployment rate in the country.
Stand- Up India
The government startup scheme was launched in 2016 by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. With the help of this scheme, the government aims to help startups by providing them with sufficient funds in a quick and easy manner. The plan is to encourage the younger generation to also look at entrepreneurship as a viable career option.
The plan also encouraged around 1.25 lakh bank branches all over India to grant loans and provide funding to at least one startup owned by people belonging to the tribal or the Dalit community.
This Indian government startup scheme has also helped in providing funds to female entrepreneurs and startup owners belonging to the scheduled caste or tribes. It has also tried to facilitate loans for greenfield projects in non-farm areas.
These initiatives have really been helpful, and startups can really leverage on these facilities to ascertain their growth.
NASSCOM is a non-profit organization that was established in 1998. It is the abbreviation for The National Association for Software and Service Companies. One of the main initiatives of this organization is the ‘10,000 Startups’ that was started in 2013.
As is implied by the name, the main objective of this initiative was to enable the growth of and provide assistance to 10000 startups in India, in a span of ten years.
This initiative also has something called the FAME Model, which helps foster growth and bring a change in the startup ecosystem. This model involves-
Funding - The organization shortlists certain startups and then tries to assist them in raising funds from different sources. These sources include venture capitalists, angel investors, government funding, etc.
Acceleration - This step helps the startups that are shortlisted to work with the top accelerators of the country. This helps the owners to get good guidance and insights on their ideas.
Mentoring - Here, the shortlisted startups can benefit by taking various workshops that are organized by the organization. The topics of these workshops include product management and distribution, branding and marketing, etc.
Enterprise Connect - This step mainly gives a chance to startup owners to build their network and build relevant industry contacts. It allows shortlisted startups to present their ideas in front of industry experts and provides them with an opportunity to build partnerships.
This plan has been in effect for 7 years now. The program has helped in providing funding to startups, and along with that, they have also assisted in providing global market access to startups.
This government startup scheme has also helped in providing all the updated tools and online services to entrepreneurs. Other than that, they have tried to offer mentorship programs and workshops to these startups in order to point them in the right direction.
The Decade of Growth
The startup culture has been on the rise for a decade, and such initiatives by the government and agencies go a long way. Apart from such initiatives, there are other organizations like The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE) organization that also helps the growth of entrepreneurs and startups.
Many big companies and institutions also help startups by providing them with funds or investing in them. This has helped many startups to become Unicorns. A lot of organizations also offer grants that if won, can be really beneficial for the startups.
There have been mixed reviews about the Indian government's startup schemes and its other initiatives and programs, but many of these programs have also helped startups to realize their full potential.
In this way, the government with these schemes and initiatives, have acted as the enablers of growth in this industry and hopefully while the world is going through difficult times of the pandemic, these schemes might become beneficial for some more.