A start-up can be defined as a small, initially financed, the business operated by a handful of entrepreneurs or an individual founder where the company provides a unique product or service to the market.
Start-ups in India have seen massive growth in the past few years and today, the Indian Start-up ecosystem is the third-largest in the world with around 28000 start-ups in operation (as of Feb 2020) and investors investing heavily in these businesses.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DIPTT) which comes under the umbrella of the Ministry of Industry and Finance is responsible for the promotion and organization of these small businesses.
The strongest boon of the start-up ecosystem is that it provides a livelihood opportunity to the young entrepreneurs and generates employment for the unemployed youth as well. At a time when unemployment is one of the most pressing issues in the country, start-ups are a blessing.
The Start-up India is undoubtedly one of the biggest successes of the Government of India in the last five years. The focus on ease of doing business and government initiatives have created a healthy business atmosphere in India.
The Start-up India was announced by the government in 2015 on Independence Day as an initiative to develop over 75 start-up support hubs across the country.
Aims: 1. To support the start-ups in India by providing hassle-free bank finances. 2. To end restrictive practices in the administration like License Raj, Land Clearances, Environmental Clearances, Foreign Investment Proposals, etc.
Pillars of Start-Up India Initiative: Pillar I: Supporting and incentivizing various start-ups in the country. Pillar II: To provide Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation. Pillar III: Simplification and Handholding.
Key Plus Points of Start-up India: 1. Encouragement of entrepreneurship in India and Promotion of India as a hub for Startups. 2. Targeting over 5 lakh schools with the involvement of over 10 lakh students in innovation-related programs. 3. Fast track patent approval with reduced registration costs. 4. Protection of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) of the small businesses. 5. Creation of ‘Fund of Funds’ of Rs 10,000 crore corpus to ensure support to the start-ups. Through these funds, the government will invest in the capital of SEBI Registered Venture funds. 4. 3-year exemption of income tax on profits earned by Startups. 5. Creation of multiple incubators across the country in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to help the innovators to materialize their ideas.
Schemes and Initiatives to promote Start-Ups in India
Atal Innovation Mission
The idea of AIM was flouted by NITI Aayog, the National Think Tank, and it was launched by the Government of India in 2016 to create world-class innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in India by linking various start-up initiatives together to ensure that they inspire, enable and create a nation of innovators and job creators of the future.
Under the mission, the government announced the establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in schools across India.
With an investment of one-time establishment cost of 10 lakhs and further operational cost of Rs 10 lakh more, the government aims to develop innovation, curiosity, creativity, and imagination among the young minds of the nation.
Significance of ATLs: 1. With the rapid evolution of technologies all around the globe, Indian minds need to catch up with the young generation of more developed countries. There is an urgent need for empowering our youth to take interest in the skills of the ‘modern world’. 2. These Labs will work as the promoters of the spirit of entrepreneurship and help the youth of India to develop a scientific temper, which also happens to be our fundamental duty under the Constitution of India.
In 2019, AIM and global tech giant Adobe signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to collectively start a wave of digital literacy and develop creative skills across all ATLs in India.
To promote start-ups and create a sense of competition among existing ones, the Union Minister of Science and Technology recently announced Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Awards.
The GYTI Awards will constitute two categories of awards: 1. SITARE-GYTI (Students Innovations for Advancement of Research Explorations-Gandhian Young Technological Innovation): This Award will be given to the most promising technologies by students in life sciences, biotechnology, agriculture, medical devices, etc. The Award will be presented by The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). 2. SRISTI-GYTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technological Innovations-Gandhian Young Technological Innovation): This award will be conferred every year to the students in other engineering disciples except for ones covered by SITARE-GYTI. The Award will be presented by the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technological Innovations (SRISTI), a developmental voluntary organization.
E-Yuva (Encouraging Youth for Undertaking Innovative Research through Vibrant Acceleration)
E-Yuva has been organized to involve various universities and tech colleges to act as a mentor for the development of a network of student entrepreneurs all over India.
Aim: To promote a culture of applied research and need-oriented (societal or industry) entrepreneurial innovation among young students and researchers.
The scheme’s objective is to fulfill this aim by providing fellowship, pre-incubation, and mentoring support to the students under two categories a. BIRAC’s (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council’s) Innovation Fellows (for postgraduates and above). BIRAC’s E-Yuva Fellows (for undergraduate students)
BioRAC (Biologically-inspired Resilient Autonomic Cloud)
The BioRAC is a security solution for entrepreneurs to help them against cyber-attacks.
BioRAC employs biologically inspired techniques and multi-level redundancy techniques to increase attack and exploitation resilience in cloud computing.
It’ll help entrepreneurial start-ups in minimizing the impacts if they suffer a cyber-attack.
Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme
Through this scheme, the government strategizes to support numerous exciting ideas from research institutes, scientist entrepreneurs, academia, and start-ups that have an unmet need for funding and mentorship.
It is the largest early-stage biotech funding program in India with the funding grant of up to Rs. 5 million to best in class innovative ideas to build and refine the idea to proof-of-concept.
The Start-Up India has been one of the most successful initiatives of the government of India in past few years as it has helped thousands of youth to generate income for themselves and employment for others. During the pandemic, several start-ups have boomed their businesses but on the other hand, numerous of them have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. The government has announced many measures like collateral-free loans for MSMEs, an extension of loan moratorium, etc.
These start-ups are the future of India and are currently facing survival tests. If the majority of them, with the help of the government, survive this time, they can make the dream of a $5 trillion economy, a reality by 2025.