Digital transformation is the foundation for enlarging deep tech ecosystem: Softbank India Head, Manoj Kohli

The growing deep tech ecosystem in India can be catalysed into a larger set up with the coming together of all the stakeholders, opined leading startup investors while speaking at the ongoing NASSCOM Product Conclave
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The deep tech industry in India is still in the nascent stages but the ongoing digital transformation can help this segment leapfrog into something more impactful for the country, according to leading investors from the  startup ecosystem.

Manoj Kohli, Country Head, Softbank India, said, “India has a good run on digital transformation and this sets the foundation for the next phase of deep tech where the opportunity is fantastic.”

Speaking at a panel discussion during the ongoing NASSCOM Product Conclave on the topic, 'Betting Big on India’s Deep Tech,' the Softbank India Head felt the need for the creation of a large ecosystem around deep tech which can be leveraged to bring non-linear solutions to the various challenges the country is facing.

The investments into deep tech in India has been very low when compared to other nations such as the United States and China.

According to Manoj, deep tech solutions can help in uplifting the society as a whole and this is the best generation to start.

Rajiv Srivastava, Partner & Investor, Antler, felt that core sciences in the country needs to bring about that change which also needs the emergence of certain large companies from this segment to create the effect.

Hemant Mohapatra, Partner, Lightspeed, said deep tech engagements generally remain long term oriented where one would require patient capital which are willing to remain invested in such startups. “These companies do not have linear growth,” he remarked.

The deep tech segment in India from startup investment perspective has sectors such as space, climatic change, electric vehicle to name a few.

“Deep tech is a very promising space and we expect the ecosystem to expand in a couple of years,” said Hemant.

The deep tech investments from the venture capital industry in the Indian startup ecosystem has been fewer but there has been some increased interest in the recent past.

“India is lagging behind in deep tech so we need to integrate the efforts of all the stakeholders to make a solid ecosystem of deep tech to take off in a big way,” Manoj said.

Hemant was also of similar opinion, and he sought support from the policy side to foster the growth of this ecosystem.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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