Startup India, Standup India...Speakup India! - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Startup India, Standup India...Speakup India!

Jan 30, 2016

Startup India, Standup India...Speakup India! 

It's been two weeks now since the mega Startup India, Standup India event took place in New Delhi. I wasn't there, but a host of prominent entrepreneurs and investors were. And going by the write-ups, the air at the Vigyan Bhawan venue was charged with positivity.

In true Modi style, yet another slogan has been etched into the Indian mind. At the event, he added a tagline too - 'We Unobstacle'...a fairly inventive one, I must say...and clearly setting the tone. The government stated its intention: to give the new entrepreneur as smooth a ride as possible by removing regulatory hurdles.

Because, as Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, rightly said: 'Entrepreneurs need freedom from the state.'
After the launch, I researched the 'Action Plan' to know better what the Indian entrepreneur can expect.

The plan's 19 points have been analysed ad nauseam I'm not going to go over those in detail. But here are some highlights:

  • Startups are tax exempt for the first three years
  • A fast track mechanism to acquire patents
  • A startup fest to showcase innovation
  • Incubators to be set up across the country
  • Startup spirit to penetrate to school and college students
  • A mobile app to register your business in a day
  • A huge corpus set aside to fund startups

Not everyone applauds these policies.

Serial entrepreneur Sumanth Raghavendra commented on how the Rs 10,000 crore corpus the government has set aside for startups is really of no use. His exact words...

I have no idea why the government feels that it needs to support the Indian startup ecosystem with direct funding. It is not as if there is a dearth of capital for startups currently - billions of dollars of venture capital (VC) money was invested last year and most people in the know will tell you that there is 10 times more money waiting on the sidelines to enter the country.

Ouch! But then governmental policies tend to get these reactions. They get so ripped apart that you begin to wonder if they have any promise at all. And that's when the government has to redeem itself by focusing on speedy implementation and illustrating their true intent.

All said and done, Startup India has indeed set the mood for entrepreneurs, who have struggled with various issues so far. The Prime Minister's support, while not majorly altering anyone's business plans, has given entrepreneurs the much-needed impetus to go all out and pursue their dreams. In the words of the secretary of DIPP, Amitabh Kant, it may just be 'the catalyst for creating a completely new India'.

Ever since it was announced on August 15, 2015, at Red Fort, the Startup India initiative has been eagerly awaited by the startup community. It was already their era. All they needed was a high-level endorsement and some benefits... Entrepreneurs have never had it easy in this country, even though entrepreneurship has defined the Indian economy.

What was once perceived as jugaad is now finally recognised as entrepreneurship. As Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS for Commerce and Industry, clearly stated: 'Entrepreneurship is no longer being condemned as jugaad.'

In my view, Startup India, at least the event, was more than just a pat on the back from the Prime Minister. He has put his money where his mouth is. And in business, that's all that matters.

Additionally, Startup India promises to transform India from, as Tata Steel Managing Director TV Narendran says, a nation of 'job seekers' to a nation of 'job creators'.

Another positive is that Startup India not only acknowledges the need for entrepreneurs but also gives them a platform. Entrepreneurs can finally talk directly to the government about the various speedbreakers they face, which the government encourages. As Anup K Pujari, MSME, urges, 'Dear startups, please articulate your problems for us; we are not as smart as you!'

Which brings me to the final point: It's finally time for the Indian entrepreneur not just to 'startup' and 'standup' but also to 'speakup'.

Because as you innovate, create jobs, and steer the nation into a new era, it's time for you be heard too. It's time for you to join hands with the government and other entrepreneurs to find long-term actionable solutions for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Startup India, Standup India can fade away into oblivion like many governmental policies... It's up to you to make it a success. It's up to you to create a new way of working and doing business in India.

Entrepreneurship need not always be about the consumer. It can be about the entrepreneur too... Here's your chance to shape your business environment to your specifications... All you need to do is...speak up!

Is Startup India just another government initiative created for sound bites and photo ops, or will it truly transform entrepreneurship in India?

Image Source: Shutterstock/


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6 Responses to "Startup India, Standup India...Speakup India!"

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25 Aug, 2017

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raj nair

01 Feb, 2016

The start up initiative is to be lauded. The steps outlined by the GOI , clearly indicate the Government's intent to be a facilitator in this process . My only reservation is about the ' huge corpus set aside for funding start ups' ( approx. USD 1.50 billion ). The govt.agencies have a clearly delineated, linear process for awarding contracts . Generally a 2 bid system is adopted . Bidders have to be technically qualified as a first step. Thereafter, among the technically qualified bidders, the lowest bid is awarded the contract . It would be interesting to see how start ups would be funded, keeping in view the current tendering systems in place. There is a distinct possibility of an element of opacity creeping in during the process of start up funding.


01 Feb, 2016

Startup India is to initiate India towards growth.Standup India will make India to get strengthened in economic growth.Srart Up and Stand up will be successful when all Indians co-operate.The days are not far off ,the world will stand up and speak up about India's gigantic growth.

Like (1)


31 Jan, 2016

We want from Govt: Act and implement initiative. Speaking is over.


31 Jan, 2016

A great era will start if the bureaucracy and each individual of the government performs and works for the true spirit of STARTUPs honestly.


31 Jan, 2016

While the intention of the govt. is good, there will be a general reluctance on the part of the entrepreneur to approach a govt. organization as it tends to be bureaucratic. Moreover, he/she will prefer to approach a private organization or institution which understands the business and its potential. It is good to see Industrialists like Ratan Tata who have already taken the initiative to promote young entrepreneurs.


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