India and Germany share a similar vision and there are immense opportunities for startups in both countries to collaborate and work together, German Consul General says.
German Consul General Margit Hellwig-Botte believes that Germany needs to learn frugal innovation from the Indian social startup ecosystem.
Indian social enterprises, meanwhile, need to incorporate the German model of being more focused, staying with an idea and concentrating on making the perfect product without getting diverted, Margit said.
Germany ranks eighth as India’s top import partner, with India importing goods worth $7.7 billion from the European nation. With close to 60 partnerships under the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Margit, at the social startups SIGMA Accelerator launch, said both countries can grow and learn from each other.
The two countries are already involved in various collaborative projects, including improving rail connectivity of Indian ports. Germany is also looking to offer technological assistance to India for agriculture and skill creation.
Calling social enterprises a combination of social vacation and economic activity, Margit explained that Germany’s social enterprises are still viewed through the lens of charity. While private organisations fund various social initiatives, the European country still has a way to go before social enterprises can begin to generate profit.
Unlike Germany, India has been successful in converting social initiatives and not-for-profit work into a business model, which can serve as a lesson for all countries. India boasts of a robust social entrepreneur ecosystem due to the presence of many accelerators and infrastructure supported by the government of India.
In an exclusive interview, Margit Hellwig-Boette discusses the roadmap ahead for both countries.
Camera person: Rukmangada Raja
Video Editor: Anand Prasad