Andhra Pradesh is all set to have a new government, with YSR Congress' YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at the helm. Will the young leader ensure the State continues to court innovation and make it an aspirational destination for startups?Thimmaya Poojary
One of the youngest states in the country – Andhra Pradesh – is set for a change of guard with incumbent Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) set to step down, conceding defeat to YSR Congress' YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Known as the Sunrise State, Andhra Pradesh was formed on June 2, 2014, following its bifurcation, and since then, has steadfastly driven its goal to become a leading destination for startups and innovation.
Andhra Pradesh saw simultaneous Parliamentary and Assembly elections, and as the day wore on, it became clear that YSR Congress was leading in both.
Though the election manifesto of YSR Congress is heavily focused on the agriculture and social sector, there is a strong emphasis on employment generation, which is likely to be contributed by industries and startups.
The Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP government had envisioned bold steps for Andhra Pradesh to lead in the sector of new-generation software products, as manufacturing would create employment and social transformation.
On the startup front, the incumbent government had laid out plans to set up over 100 incubators and accelerators, incubating 5,000 companies or startups. It also earmarked 1 million sq ft space for incubators, and sought to mobilise venture capital investments of Rs 1,000 crore for innovation. With a new government likely to be sworn in, there are expectations from all quarters that the new government will continue the various plans and schemes set up by the previous government to encourage innovation and give a leg-up to the startup ecosystem.
Andhra Pradesh has also laid out a roadmap to create a fintech valley in the district of Vizag, and attract the best in class companies and foster the growth of startups. Already, entities such as Paytm, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and HSBC have set up shop at the Vizag Fintech Valley.
Other than startups, Andhra Pradesh has also attracted some leading Indian and global companies into the State, such as HCL, Conduent, Apollo Tyres, Bharat Forge, Asian Paints, Kia Motors, Isuzu, and Foxconn. It also has the credit of bringing in a large number of women into the manufacturing segment.