Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal asked startups to focus on devising solutions to problems of rural India at the third meeting of National Startup Advisory Council, noting that from 2018-21, almost 5.9 lakh jobs have been created by startups.
Goyal said that startups have the potential to catalyse India’s integration in global value chains and to increase the country's footprint in global markets, and therefore called for greater focus on nurturing entrepreneurship in Tier 1 and Tier-2 cities.
He said that startups should "explore the unexplored areas like rural tourism in terms of agri-stays, hotels and homestays that would help create additional income for farmers."
"Successful startups to focus on rural economy and work on solutions such as drip irrigation, natural farming etc. to improve the lives of farmers," he added.
He assured that the government as an enabler was committed to develop a robust startup ecosystem by providing exceptional benefits such as 80% rebate in patent filing and 50% on trademark filing, relaxation in public procurement norms, self-certification under labour and environment laws, funds of funds for startups of Rs. 10,000 crore, income tax exemption for 3 out of 10 years, seed fund scheme of Rs. 945 crore creating open network for digital commerce (ONDC), which will create new opportunities and
remove some monopolistic tendencies in certain spheres.
"Apart from mass jobs creation, our startups have the potential to catalyse India’s integration in global value chains and increase our footprint in global markets," the minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs and textiles said.
He urged successful entrepreneurs, especially unicorns to share their experiences with students and youths in order to inculcate startup culture and entrepreneurial spirit at grassroot levels, especially in regions like the North East of India.
He asked academia, government and industry to work hand in hand in promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.
He added that Indian Missions all over the world would also be sensitized about the need to promote entrepreneurship in India and this would open doors across the world to Indian startups.
"A robust Startup ecosystem would help formalize the economy and help in improving the ease of living and the ease of doing business and in turn help promote the ideals of good governance," he said.
He observed that ‘Startup India’ movement had brought a ‘change in mindset’ from ‘can do’ to ‘will do’ and had helped us move past traditional notions of entrepreneurship.
"Startups had turned COVID-19 crises into an opportunity and made 2021 the Year of unicorns with 79 Unicorns now thriving," the minister said.
It may be noted that 45% startups in India are from Tier 2 and 3 cities and 623 districts have at least one recognized startup. From 2018-21, almost 5.9 lakh jobs created by startups. In 2021 alone, almost 1.9 lakh jobs have been created, the minister said.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had constituted the National Startup Advisory Council to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
Besides the ex-officio members, the council has several non-official members, representing various stakeholders such as founders of successful startups, veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India, persons capable of representing interest of investors into startups, persons capable of representing interests of incubators and accelerators, representatives of associations of stakeholders of startups and representatives of industry associations.