There’s plenty of sunshine and support for startups in Goa, says Minister Rohan Khaunte


There is a lot of momentum to make Goa the preferred startup and IT destination in India, and one of the Top 25 startup destinations in Asia by 2025. Globally acknowledged as the bright star on India’s tourist map, Goa is on a mission to showcase its other side – as the go-to destination for IT firms and startups.

Learning from the successes and challenges of the startup boom in larger cities, Goa is leveraging its unique strengths to become the next startup hotspot.

To this effect, the man of the hour - Rohan Khaunte, Minister of Revenue, IT, Labour and Employment, Government of Goa - led the Goan delegation at TechSparks, delivering a passionate discourse on why Indian entrepreneurs need to be in Goa. In conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, Minister Khaunte and Ameya Abhyankar, Secretary, Government of Goa elaborated on the state’s new focus on IT and startups.

“Goa is already marked as a tourist destination on the map, and now we plan to make it as a startup destination too. Huge policies and incentives are out to support ideas and innovations. It's time startups come and claim their business on the ground and beaches of Goa.”

One of his goals, he said, was to create a startup culture in Goa where the youth of the state became job creators, and not job seekers.

“Goa now stands for Golden Opportunity Available!"

~Rohan Khaunte, Minister of Revenue, IT, Labour and Employment, Government of Goa

The state government is offering a host of financial and infrastructural incentives for businesses to come to Goa. Earlier this year, Minister Khaunte had launched the Goa Startup Policy, and later, the Goa IT Policy in July, with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. The policies aim to make Goa a vibrant destination for IT and ITeS businesses.

Khaunte also spoke about how the government was focussing on ten technologies as special focus areas including IoT, AI, ML, interaction design, Big Data analytics, robotics, 3-D printing, data sciences, drones and virtual, augmented and merged reality.

“We want to create a policy environment that helps people set up their businesses quickly, with as little hassles as possible.”

~Ameya Abhyankar, Secretary, Government of Goa

Building on what the minister said, Ameya elaborated on how the state has signed several MoUs with IT companies such as Wowsoft and Visteon to set up operations in the state. Impressively, Wowsoft actually kicked off its Goa operations in less than 30 days after signing the MoU at the Goa IT Day.

On the ground, the IT Department is working towards educating students at the school and the university level about entrepreneurship, emerging technologies and skill development. It has organised various training camps that give participants an opportunity to set up initiate business even from their homes and be self-sufficient.

As seen through various initiatives, the state is approaching its vision with the spirit of collaboration with all possible ecosystem partners, including enterprises, global trade bodies and policy makers, and entrepreneurs. The minister and Ameya said they are actively looking for all kinds of relevant collaborations, and assured full cooperation in this regard.

YourStory's annual extravaganza TechSparks brings together the best and the brightest from the startup ecosystem, corporate world, policy makers, and of course, the investor community. Over the years, it has grown to become India's most loved tech and startup platform for knowledge sharing and networking. The ninth edition of TechSparks also marks YourStory's 10th anniversary. A big thank you for all your support over the years and keep reading and watching YourStory.