‘Build the new, don’t just fight the old’ – 50 inspiring quotes from the Startup India Action Plan launch

Madanmohan Rao
18th Jan 2016
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The launch of the Startup India Action Plan may well become a ‘defining moment’ in the history of India’s growth and evolution, with so many speakers talking about how the Vigyan Bhavan venue was filled with new players and not ‘the usual suspects,’ about new kinds of creation and exit requirements of startups, changing student mindsets from ‘get a job’ to ‘create a job,’ digital disruption, and so on.

While we look forward to how fast the Action Plan may achieve its targets, the fact is that a new government ‘frame’ and perspective has been added, and the language of startups will be more accepted in India.

Here are over 50 quotes from the speakers at the launch event in New Delhi on January 16, drawn from across the startup ecosystem – founders, investors, academics, social entrepreneurs and government officials (see YourStory’s extensive coverage of Startup India here).

So what is your contribution to the Startup India movement?

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The interactions today will be the catalyst for creating a completely new India. - Amitabh Kant, DIPP

Soon we hope to have thousands of unicorns! - Deep Kalra, MakeMyTrip

I hope there are innovations in India in frugal engineering. - Onno Ruhl, World Bank

Entrepreneurship is no longer being condemned as jugaad. - Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS, Commerce and Industry

Entrepreneurs need freedom from the state. - Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs

The linear model of creation of wealth is being replaced by the exponential model of startups. - Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Biotechnology

China or India? That’s a political question – I like both countries! - Masayoshi ‘Masa’ Son, Softbank

Are startups in India burning cash too fast? - Shereen Bhan, CNBC

We are active across the startup lifecycle. - K Shivaji, SIDBI

India’s startup programme is a real gamechanger. - Shaktikanta Das, DEA

Startups should be promoted across India. The key lies in technology and management, education and research. - V.S Oberoi, HRD

The business of government is to keep government out of business. - J.S Deepak, Department of Electronics and IT

Dear startups, please articulate your problems for us, we are not as smart as you! - Anup K. Pujari, MSME

We are doing away with many of the documents which startups had to fill out; they are based on old business models. - Prashant Saran, SEBI

India has an anti-risk anti-failure culture. Failure tolerance in Indian government is even less. - Ashutosh Sharma, Science & Tech

We are automating rules about issues like naming companies. - Tapan Ray, Corp Affairs

The challenge we face is in talent – it takes bandwidth and time to get talent and build a team. - Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola

Economic incentives are not enough to retain the best employees – it’s about culture and team spirit. - Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal

Silicon Valley startups are like redwood trees, Indian startups are like banyan trees. Stay focused! - Venk Shukla, TiE

Meet your customers week to week, day to day to find out how their problems change. - Varsha Rao, AirBnb

Be willing to learn from your customer, they can teach you a lot. - Vinod Dham, Indo-US ventures

Our motto: aspire, believe, create! - Dilip Chabria, Team Indus

Women should stop undermining other women. - Pranshu Patni, Culture Alley

Women need to be on all panels, not just women entrepreneur panels! - Shanti Mohan, LetsVenture

I met 113 investors before finding success. Our articulation and customer understanding improved along the way. - Nidhi Agarwal, Kaaryah

Do women need to be natural, or do they need to be like Rambo every day? - Shaili Chopra, SheThePeople.TV

Build the new, don’t just fight the old. - Sairee Chahal, Sheroes

The government should keep promoting the Startup India initiative, that will be good for all entrepreneurs, including women. - Anisha Singh, Mydala

We convert smoke into printing ink. – Kaalink

India has 64 million people with cardiac diseases, only 500,000 are operated annually. – Cardiac Design Labs

Fear is the disease and hustle is the antidote. #AlwaysBeJugaading! – Travis Kalanick, Uber

The biggest myth is that Indians want old ways of doing things. We have been shocked by how fast digital payment took off. - Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm

India is one of the most exciting markets in the world for financial services innovation. - Kabir Kumar, World Bank

In some areas, India has better digital infrastructure than the US! - Karl Mehta, EdCast

Silicon Valley innovated for the world’s first billion, India will innovate for the next six billion. - Sharad Sharma, iSpirt

Women are major drivers of empowerment. - Nitin Mehta, Atherton Capital

2015 was the year of tremendous funding – and a shakeout. - Nikesh Arora, Softbank

If you get too much funding, you lose financial discipline. We have seen this movie before – we are in a bubble now, and it will be harder for India to recover than for the US. - BJ Arun, July Systems

Many countries recover from crises. If India faces a bubble, it will be good and build resilience. - Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo Rooms

The appetite of a horse is different from that of an elephant. - Radhika Agarwal, Shop Clues

As a startup, you must go after money which understands the business. - Sachin Bansal, Flipkart

If you can raise money, get it. It’s OK to have foreign money coming in. - Naveen Tiwari, InMobi

Success comes when the founder has the mindset of balance. - Sreedhar Prasad, KPMG

We need to strengthen domestic venture capital in India too. - Jayant Sinha, MoS Finance

In 25-30 years, India can surpass the US and become No.1 in the world. – Masayoshi Son, SoftBank

I want to tell every women to dream and make it happen. - Suchi Mukherjee, LimeRoad

How do we unravel the mysteries of our own history? - Anu Acharya, MapMyGenome

India is the most spiritual country in the world. Look beyond valuations, make the world a better place. – Adam Neumann, WeWork

We never gave up on our dream. We entrepreneurs have a responsibility to deliver for our country. - ND Shashank, Practo

In my family, I was the chosen one to go to private school. Today, I feel the same. I’m the chosen one. - Neeraj Kakkar, PaperBoat

Make In India and Startup India must include Innovate in India. - B Santhanam, St Gobain India

More IITs will start research parks. - Ashok Jhunjhunwalla, IIT Madras

We unobstacle. – poster at Startup India, Vigyan Bhavan

The energy in this hall reflects the enthusiasm in the hearts of the youth across the country. – PM Narendra Modi


YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

NOW WATCH: Modi's Startup India action plan summarised in under 3 minutes!

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