US-based entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, Asha Jadeja has invested in over 100 startups. She supports technology innovation, non-formal education, economic policy changes, and women entrepreneurship. In an interaction with Praggya Guptaa, she shares insight on startup policies, investments, government's role in boosting the Indian startup ecosystem
Praggya Guptaa | January 9, 2020
Where does India stand in the global startup ecosystem?
Indian startups, when compared on the basis of potential, are equally competent with the Silicon Valley ones. It is only that they lack global exposure which puts them behind and they are not able to get the experience they require. They lag behind the Silicon Valley despite the fact that the Silicon Valley was largely created by and currently is led by the Indian in a significant way. The major reason behind this is that the Indian startup ecosystem is being stifled by a clueless bureaucracy.
It is important for the government to understand that due to the bureaucracy the startups are not getting the exposure they need. Hence, to remove the bottlenecks from the Indian startup ecosystem, you need to remove the bureaucracy from it.
Despite the government's ambitions and initiatives to push start-up culture in the country. How do you analyse the policies, investments, government support, skillet around the Indian start-up? What would be your suggestions to fill the gaps?
Indian government has taken almost all the steps to boost the Indian startup ecosystem. This is the reason why we can now actually think of equalising with the US in the number of startups in time to come. But, as said earlier also the bureaucracy acts as a major barrier which stops the success of these startups. Bureaucracy should immediately pull out from the Indian start-up ecosystem. Serious founders, who have been there, should be given the charge. There are many who can lead the flock like Myntra, Flipkart, PayTm, Oyo, etc. Without meddling the bureaucracy, the government won’t be able to give the push which is required for the Indian start-ups to compete with the global innovators.
Apart from this, the government should bring in more startup-friendly policies so as to encourage more and more people to think and innovate.
What are the key areas you consider while investing in startups? (For example Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech, Health-Tech, Edu-Tech, Logi-tech and Travel-Tech or others)
See, not only the Indian startup ecosystem but the global startup ecosystem is also evolving as it is a continuous process. Nowhere across the globe, you can say that the startup ecosystem is mature enough because when this will become mature, you won’t have startups rather you will start developing industries or sectors.
As far as best bets are considered, the start-ups evolving in the traits of travel, fintech, messaging and communications, content companies producing content for platforms like Netflix India are good bets.
How these startups can secure the right opportunities for lucrative investments?
The first step should be to remove the bureaucracy from the ecosystem, then they should be hand-held to advance to Silicon Valley. I have taken up the initiative to enable the route for the Indian start-ups to the Silicon Valley and am confident enough that if the government takes it up we can do it aggressively, hence, creating a bigger success story.
How India Tech Park at CES 2020 helps startup?
CES is the platform where all global giants in the field of technology are present. This is a great learning experience at such a huge platform. This is the reason I thought that the Indian startups should get a platform at the Indian Tech Park so that they can showcase their potential and gain global exposure. It will be a new experience and hopefully a great experience for those who have not ventured out much and hence giving them more learning which helps them in the longer run.
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