At the ninth edition of The ET Startup Awards 2023 in Bengaluru, ministers of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal and state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar expressed an assertive note of confidence over the scope and promise of Indian businesses.
ET Startup Awards 2023
The two Union ministers promised during an excellent ceremony attended by entrepreneurs, investors, and officials that the Center would stimulate the Indian innovation ecosystem rather than erecting barriers with numerous laws.
Goyal stated, “If anyone in the startup world feels laws are becoming harmful, they can give their input on the challenges they’re facing with compliance.” When it comes to consumer affairs, for example, all we want to make sure of is that the consumer is protected and not coerced into subscribing to any service.
Chandrasekhar emphasized in answer to questions over the plethora of laws governing the digital economy that “there would not be a circumstance where there will be a Digital Competition Act, then the fear of Digital India Act, and then a Telecom Bill. I can state unequivocally and with authority that all of the measures will eventually be harmonized.
Goyal said good projects would always attract investors and that talk of the ‘funding cold’ was more mental than actual. His words take on relevance in light of business owners’ worries about the decline in venture capital funding.
The commerce minister claimed that the startup environment would only develop and grow if it occasionally encountered obstacles.
The industry will change, but cash flows and earnings are now starting to matter. According to my business experience, once you have too much money, you tend to make mistakes, Goyal said, adding that being somewhat frugal will always benefit individuals who are running a firm. “Occasional roadblocks will only help our startup ecosystem mature,” he said.
In terms of assistance, the minister advised entrepreneurs having trouble raising money to use the government’s Investor Connect initiative. “You will manage money better and control expenses,” he said. Goyal mentioned many programs that have been implemented to create chances for the industry, including the “fund of funds,” loan guarantees, and mentorship programs.
He then advised Indian enterprises to think about establishing a local fund that was funded by Indian investors. The minister also urged unicorns, or firms worth more than $1 billion, to contribute to this fund and promote up-and-coming businesses. In response to a question about the weak domestic venture capital market, Goyal suggested that the government and the market form a partnership.
Goyal was certain that foreign companies investing in Indian e-commerce must adhere to the country’s strict FDI guidelines, which clearly distinguish between marketplace and direct-to-consumer business models. I hope everyone abides by the laws of the land, as established by investing, he said. “Our laws are unambiguous. Foreign direct investors are not permitted to operate in the retail sector. The industry minister also requested that startups help domestic manufacturing and employment by promoting products created in India.
In contrast to the outdated stereotype of India as a back office, Chandrasekhar said that its capabilities had been firmly established. He also said that Indian minds were just as influential in shaping the future of technology as those of the United States or Japan.
In the past five to six years, he claimed, there has been unheard-of investor trust in this generation of entrepreneurs. “There was skepticism, scorn, and aberration about startups in the government system, among others,” he remarked.
The MoS stated that efforts were being made to align all ministries on the GST problem for online gambling. He claimed that because of bad actors in the past, several ministries were timid.
He contends that both good and bad actors participate in internet gaming since there is no framework in place to regulate it. Because of some unscrupulous actors, the finance ministry’s strategy had been more curative in nature, and the tax rate was intended more to deter online gaming. Chandrasekhar predicted that the sector would see a resurgence now that a very clear, predictable structure was in place.