Start Up India: As it happened

Start Up India: As it happened

Sunday January 17, 2016,

23 min Read

On 15th August 2015, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to 'Startup India, Standup India' from the ramparts of the red fort, India was on its way to become a startup nation already. Five months down the line, the 'Startup India' vision has traversed a long distance in terms of policies and support to entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of the country. Today is the official launch of the much awaited action plan of Start up India programme in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. YourStory is an official partner of the Government of India’s Startup India campaign. Here're the live updates from the event:

(That's a wrap! You can go through the details of the sessions at Startup India event here)

Action plan


PM Narendra Modi: I hope that this startup action plan(and the event) will give the strength and inspiration to the talented young generation of India to do something new for India and for humanity.

PM Narendra Modi: Startup fest - We'll organize a startup fest for showcasing innovation and providing a collaboration platform which will become a tradition. Government will provide all possible support to this initiative.

PM Narendra Modi: Annual Incubator Grand Challenge - To support creation of successful world class incubators in India, GoI shall identify and select 10 incubators who have the potential to become world class. These incubators would be given INR 10Cr each as financial assistance which may be used for ramping up the quality of service offerings.

PM Narendra Modi: Innovation focused program focused for students- Innovation core program shall be initiated to target school kids with an outreach to 10 lakh innovations from 5 lakh schools.

A Grand Challenge Program(National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations) to support and award INR10 lakhs to 20 student innovations from Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres.

Uchhattar Avishkar Yojana has earmarked INR 250 Cr per annum towards fostering 'very high quality' research amongst IIT students.

PM Narendra Modi: To promote entrepreneurship in biotechnology, 5 new bio clusters, 50 new bio incubators, 150 technology transfer offices and 20 bio connect offices will be established.

PM Narendra Modi: 31 centres of innovation, 13 startup centres and 18 technology business incubators in national institutions will be established.

PM Narendra Modi: Setting up of 7 new research parks modeled on the research park at IIT Madras - Government shall set up 7 new research parks - 6 in IITs, 1 in IISc with an initial investment of INR100 Cr each. These parks shall enable companies with a research focus to set up base and leverage the expertise of academic/research institution. 

PM Narendra Modi: Setting up of 35 new incubators in institutions - Funding support of 40%(subject to a maximum of INR 10Cr) shall be provided by central government for establishment of new incubators in existing institutions for which 40% funding by the respective state government and 20% funding by the private sector has been committed.

PM Narendra Modi: Launch of Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) - Entrepreneurship promotion via

  • Establishment of sector specific incubators
  • Establishment of 500 tinkering labs with 3D printers in universities
  • Pre-incubation training to potential entrepreneurs
  • Strengthening of existing incubation facilities
  • Seed funding to high growth startups

Innovation promotion via

  • Institution of innovation awards(3 per state/UT) and 3 national level
  • Providing support to State Innovation councils for awareness creation and organizing state level workshops/conferences
  • Launch of Grand Innovation Challenge Awards for finding low cost solution to India's pressing and intractable problems

All you need to know about PM Modi’s historic Startup Action Plan

PM Narendra Modi: Tax exemption on investments above fair market value- In line with the exemption available to venture capital funds to invest in startups above fair market value(FMV), investments made byh incubators above FMV shall also be exempted.

PM Narendra Modi: Tax exemption to startups for 3 years - To promote growth of startups, profit of startups, set up after April 1,2016, shall be exempted from income-tax for a period of three years.

PM Narendra Modi: Tax exemption on capital gains - Exemptions shall be given in case capital gains are invested in the fund of funds recognized by the government.

In addition, existing capital gain tax exemption for investment in newly formed MSMEs by individuals shall be extended to all startups. If somebody invests the money received by selling his/her own property in his/her startup, he/she shall be given exemption from capital gain tax.

PM Narendra Modi: Credit guarantee fund for startups - To catalyze entrepreneurship through credit to innovators across all sections of society, credit guarantee mechanism through National Credit Guarantee Trust Company/SIDBI shall be rolled out with a budgetary corpus of INR 500 cr per year for the next four years.

PM Narendra Modi: Funding support through fund of funds with a corpus of INR 10000 Cr - to provide funding support for development and growth of innovation driven enterprises, Government will set up a fund with an initial corpus of INR 2500 cr and a total corpus of INR 10000 cr over a period of 4 years.

PM Narendra Modi: Faster exits for startups - To make it easier for startups to exit, provision for fast-tracking closure of businesses have been included in 'The insolvency and Bankrupcy Bill 2015'.

Startups with simple debt structures may be wound up within a period of 90 days from making of an application for winding up on a fast-track basis.

PM Narendra Modi: Relaxed norms of public procurement for startups - to provide an equal platform to startups vis-a-vis the experienced startups/ companies in public procurement, startups(in the manufacturing sector) shall be exempted from the criteria of prior 'experience/turnover' without any relaxation in quality standards or technical paramaters.

PM Narendra Modi: 80% rebate on filing patent applications by startups - To enable startups to reduce costs in their crucial formative years, startups shall be provided an 80% rebate in filing patents vis-a-vis other companies.

PM Narendra Modi: Panel of facilitators to provide legal support and assist in filing of patent application - Facilitators shall provide assistance for startups in filing and disposal of patent applications related to patents, trademarks and design under relevant Acts.

Government shall bear the entire fees of the facilitators for any number of patents, trademarks or designs that a startup may file.

PM Narendra Modi: Fast track mechanisms of startup patent applications - In order to allow startups to realize the value of their IPRs at the earliest possible. Patent applications of the startups shal be fast tracked for examination and disposal.

PM Narendra Modi: We've to combine IP(intellectual property) and YP(youth property).

PM Narendra Modi: Starting a startup in 1 day on mobile app - To serve as the single platform for information exchange and interacting with government and regulatory institutions, a mobile app shall be available from April 2016. This will ensure that startup companies/partnerships are registered in one day.

Startups will also be able to file for various clearances/approvals/registrations through the mobile app and portal.

PM Narendra Modi: Startup India Hub- Single point contact for the entire startup ecosystem. This will be a setup and a friend, mentor and guide for startups through their entire journey.

PM Narendra Modi: We've introduced compliance regime based on self certification. To reduce regulatory burden, startups shall be allowed to self certify compliance with labor and environment laws. In case of labor laws, no inspection will be conducted for three years. In case of environment laws, startups under 'white' category would be able to self certify compliance.

PM Narendra Modi: The first and foremost thought is that government shouldn't come in the way.

PM Narendra Modi: If India has millions of problems, it boasts of billion plus minds(to solve them) as well.

PM Narendra Modi: When I say startup India, I assume stand up India well. I need not say it separately.

PM Narendra Modi: For the country which has 800 million talented youth (less than 35 yrs) and tremendous opportunities, nothing is impossible.

PM Narendra Modi: Today there's massive scope of technology innovation in healthcare sector.

PM Narendra Modi: We need a psychological change in the mind of the youth to change the mentality from job seeker to job creator.

PM Narendra Modi: Even if my startup is giving job to 5 people, I'm contributing to the growth of this country.

PM Narendra Modi: The startup's knowledge is not associated with money but with the inquisitiveness to solve problems and pain points which will help resolve the pain of hundred others.

PM Narendra Modi: There's no shortage of Jugaad in this country. People run pumps with their motorcycles in areas without electricity.

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

PM Narendra Modi: When a discussion about startup takes place, it's close to IT sector. I've been benefited by it, I've launched Narendra Modi app. I've come through so many fresh ideas. You share your stories with us and I'll share it with the world.

PM Narendra Modi: Risk taking appetite and being adventurous are some of the natural virtues associated with an entrepreneur.

PM Narendra Modi: Dreamers of today can do wonders tomorrow. And the critics of today become his supporters tomorrow!

PM Narendra Modi: Ideas are many but some leave the idea halfway while the others become very involved with the idea.

PM Narendra Modi: The parents of these entrepreneurs would've been concerned about their behavior and persistence. Today, they will say that they always knew.

PM Narendra Modi: My concern is that we might do more than what's required. They(entrepreneurs) should tell us where to stop. We did a lot in 70 years and see where we reached. We couldn't do anything for these people in 10 years and look where these people have come on their own.

PM Narendra Modi: When I said 'Startup India, Stand Up India' it swayed away with the air, but today people will know what is it.

PM Narendra Modi: When I heard Ritesh Agarwal, I thought how could a tea seller not think of being a hotelier.

PM Narendra Modi: Today is Saturday. Government's behavior is that of holiday and after 6PM there's no question of presence. If someone asks what's the difference, then this is the one.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will now release the startup action plan.

Neeraj Kakkar: As my parents could afford only child's education in private school, there was gratitude for everyone of my family members who were making sacrifices because I was the chosen one. Today, I feel the same. I'm the chosen one. The one who can dream. The onus is on me to make the products which are not just India's best but the best in the world. The onus is on me to make this country the best county in the world.

Shashank ND: When we started they asked us, has this been done in US or China. We said, no. We could reach where we're today because we never gave up.

Ritesh Agarwal: After Jan Dhan Yojana and Swachcha Bharat, today is our day. FOr someone like me, who come from a rural background in southern part of Orissa, at 22 years, it would have been impossible in any other country to build one of the largest hotel brands in the country and provide indirect employment to 40000 people.

Adam Neumann: India's democracy embodies the regeneration. The regeneration knows the sharing economy is the future, that being a part of something greater than you is the future. If I treat you the way I want to be treated then I can make a difference and be successful. And if we define success as not just making money but as being well and happy and having an ability to give and receive, then we redefine the world.

Anuradha Acharya: Startup stand up, stand up for your right. Startup stand up, don't give up the fight. Doubting me don't tell me what to do, perhaps you don't know what my disruptions really can do. And while India's history has been laced with gold, we'll tell a story that has never been told before. So, now you see a light, stand up for your right.

Naveen Tewari: 10 years ago while I was still a student in US, I used to imagine that like in US there would come a day where companies created by aam admi in India will become large. Today, look where we've come (in 10 years). When we created InMobi, we didn't think about going global. Today, we're world's third largest advertising platform after Google and Facebook. Today, our technology touches 1.5 billion devices everyday. This is the just the beginning of the change that you're about to bring on. This country's problem will be solved by the entrepreneurs from this country and not by outsiders.

Suchi Mukherjee: 17 years ago, I as a middle class Indian girl left for Cambridge with a scholarship(because I couldn't have afforded otherwise). When I came back and shared with my mother that I'm going to startup, she said it's going to be a debacle.

Samay Kohli: We are a bunch of started Grey Orange because we couldn't find a company which was building hardware and robotics in India. We strongly believe that supply chain and logistics is one of the most deprived industries which alone has the capacity to be the single largest activator of growth.

Masayoshi Son: Sitting through out the day, made me feel my gut. I along with Softbank support Startup India.

Masayoshi Son: India will surpass the US in next 25 yrs says.

Arun Jaitley: The largest retailer in the world doesn't own a store. The largest transportation company doesn't own a vehicle.

Arun Jaitley: Companies that were on top pre-1991 have been replaced by companies that were startups, by those who didn't belong to business families.

Arun Jaitley: Startups not only changes the social(and economic) profile of the country, but also marks the changing mindsets of the country.

Arun Jaitley: The only subsequent relation with startups(and government) is that they pay their taxes in the year end and continue to grow.

Nirmala Sitharaman: The startups have spoken loud and clear, and we have heard the message. The PM will say more.

Nirmala Sitharaman: It's been one of the most fascinating days of discussion on what startups can do for India if alone government understands them, which you(Prime Minister Narendra Modi) have already done.


Ritesh Agarwal: I think in India the issue is with the risk taking appetite.

Radhika Agarwal: The Indian consumers and the Indian market is very different from China.

Sachin Bansal: I've started investing in startups. There are enough number of people in the market who are interested. I'm hoping that with time, we'll have people rasing $50M-$100M from domestic investors.

Jayant Sinha: Today 90% of the money raised by startups in India is foreign capital.

Jayant Sinha: It's almost as important to attract domestic capital for equity as foreign capital.

Sachin Bansal: We'll love to raise money(public listing) in India as people here will understand and value our business better.

Naveen Tewari: If people confuse bubble with people(startup/entrepreneur) spending a lot of money in one sector, it's stupidity.

Naveen Tewari: Countries do not enter a bubble unless there's positivity in and around. I might not believe that there's a bubble but I hope there's a bubble. Let the bubble be, the wave is lifting so many boats. Some companies may go bust, but others will survive and thrive. Comparing India's bubble with 1999 is wrong because of the different situations.


Sreedhar Prasad: The valuation of startups is related to the amoebic growth of startups.

Sachin Bansal: We need to take a step back and look at the larger picture and see where are. All the internet startups put together, the valuation is less than $50B. This will reach $500B. The path to this point will be shaky. So, if you look at this picture, we can say that we're not yet in a bubble.

B J Arun: We're in a bubble. When people are in a bubble, everyone is in a high. I'm afraid that it;s going to be tough for India to recover when we hit the bubble.

Ritesh Agarwal: We care about building a business which creates value. In long term, when India has 450 million people who are traveling, the valuation of the businesses in this segment is going to go further up.

Naveen Tewari: It's very distracting to raise money. As a CEO and founder, you're the only person who can raise money. So raise as much as you can. Just don't relate it to your success. That's the only caution you've to put.

Sachin Bansal: As competition heats up in the market(like in taxi or ecommerce market), your expertise which fuels the growth needs to go up which needs capital.

Sachin Bansal: It's important to acknowledge that money follows great business, unless you've dumb investors who don't understand business at all(which happens once in a while).

B J Arun: It's not necessary to be a unicorn. You can be just a profitable business solving a problem.

Jayant Sinha: We'll discuss three questions:

  1. How do you balance between raising capital and building a company?
  2. Are we in a bubble?
  3. Will you list in India?

How the government of India is creating an enabling ecosystem for startups in India
Startup India Stand up India, New Delhi

Nikesh Arora: 2015 was the year of tremendous funding – and a shakeout. 2016 to be the year of execution for Indian startups.

Nikesh Arora: Please focus on execution and create a good customer experience. Let the customer decide who's the winner.

Nikesh Arora: You shouldn't give up until you've lost faith in your ideas, and when you you realize that you need to reinvent the idea.

Nikesh Arora: We are seeing more Indian entrepreneurs focusing on (i) products (ii) India market

Nikesh Arora: What an investor wants to see – an entrepreneur working on a big problem, with a good business model and satisfied customers.

Nikesh Arora: I like the entrepreneurs whom I've to convince to take my money and not who's convincing me to invest in his/her idea.

Nikesh Arora: We've already achieved something. The fact that you can get people on stage answering questions of entrepreneurs shows that we've won the first battle.

Nikesh Arora: One of the areas I've been interested in and where I haven't seen skilled solution is education - there's a huge amount of technology which can be applied here.

Nikesh Arora: Everyone in this room is trying to change the world. So learn how to manage your time – and your timing.

Nikesh Arora: Find the problem of the consumer. Find an amazing way to solve it and make them see it and go wow.

Nikesh Arora: As an entrepreneur have to think- How am I changing the life of my end consumer? How am I making it better? If you're doing really well, people will find you and give money.

Nikesh Arora: People with passion survive.

Nikesh Arora: 18 months ago when we discussing about the strategy for investments, that coincided with the change of government and the smartphone revolution in the country. With Masayoshi Son's experience in China, we could think of India as the best bet.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma: India will leapfrog plastic into digital money faster than any other country!

Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Out of 100 million transactions(daily), more than half of them are going through Paytm.

Karl Mehta: In order to bring financial inclusion, we need not give people cash but financial tools.

Abhishek Sinha: 100s of millions of Indians will have payment options available via smartphones.

Kabir Kumar: 20% of the unbanked are in India. That's a huge opportunity.

Sanjay Jain: Aadhar API can be used by developers to build other services – India Stack.

Sharad Sharma: The next Uber from India will come in the financial sector.

Travis Kalanick: In India, payments is very different, it's a big area where we need to change the way we serve. The way we deal with that is to empower the local team to find the local solution.

Travis Kalanick: I like to describe the Uber journey as you drive a car in a highway as you're going really fast. Our mission is to make transportation as running water.

Travis Kalanick: When we started, we didn't have big ambitions.

Travis Kalanick: Champions' mindset is about:

  1. Put everything you've got there.
  2. You'll get down. You'll face adversity. If you get up, it's impossible to fail. You've to enjoy the ride.

Travis Kalanick: If you elevate your story telling, you can inspire people and reach out to more audience.

Travis Kalanick: Four dimensions of magic:

  1. Give people their time back.
  2. Give them calm.
  3. Bring people joy.
  4. Give them some money or help them save some money.

Travis Kalanick: When you see the difference between perception and reality, you better be right.

Travis Kalanick: Einstein said creativity is intelligence having fun.

Grand Prize Winner($100k in Google credits and direct entry to Google Launchpad week) is Cardiac Design Labs.

People's Choice Award(direct entry to Google Launchpad week) goes to Guru-G.

[Startup pitch] Reap Benefit: We have developed low cost solutions like water less urinals, weather stations, organic enzyme to convert food waste into compost and more.

[Startup pitch] SlamdunQ: We use smartwatches and smartBands available in the market, to develop applications for these wearables to improve their clients’ sporting potential.

[Startup pitch] Guru-G: We provide in-class guidance to teachers on different ways in which they can teach a topic.

[Startup pitch] Cardiac Design Labs: We're a full fledged cardiac diagnostic mobile solution.

[Startup pitch] KaaLink: We're giving the power to people to know the air quality in their environment.

Shashank ND: Indian rural healthcare faces two major challenges - accesibility and affordability.

Asha Jadeja Motwani: The only way entrepreneurs can leverage us (in the silicon valley) is to reach out via text, mail or call. All of 4 investments in India have happened with just a handshake.

Shanti Mohan: You don't raise funding because you're a woman. You raise funding because your business is good and the investor is looking at its viability. When you pitch for funds as a woman entrepreneur, don’t feel under-powered.

Nidhi AgarwalI met 113 investors; our articulation & customer understanding improved along the way.

Anisha Singh: I want to be recognized as a successful entrepreneur, not just as a successful woman entrepreneur.

Vinod Dham: It's not the economics that keeps a team together, but the culture that you inculcate and a common goal.

Bhavish Aggarwal: Trust and safety are key for our industry, we have to keep improving tech, design, compliance.

Decoding the brain behind SoftBank: 14 nuggets of wisdom from Masayoshi Son


Bhavish Aggarwal: Industries are not about commodity products, especially in high tech sector.

Kunal Bahl: If you believe in what you're doing, and solving a problem even for five people, it's good enough to pursue for some time. Don't let comments from people bog you down.

Bhavish Aggarwal: If you build a robust product which is relevant, first few customers will come on their own. It might take some time because you'll not have a marketing budget to accelerate growth.

Kunal Bahl: You figure out what is the real problem you've to solve and work backwards.

Vinod Dham: Wearable category has much more hype than the reality behind it right now. Unless you make it a part of who you're(body of an individual), it's going to be hard to raise money for it.

Venk Sharma: Silicon Valley startups are like redwood trees, Indian startups are like banyan trees. Need focus.

Vinod Dham: Engaging customers early on helps.

Venk Sharma: You need to have the global mindset and discipline to say no to a business that doesn't fall through what's best in you. Think global from day one.

Kunal Bahl: The biggest challenge startup faces is to get the right team member in early days who'll stick through the tough times of the company.

Bhavish Aggarwal: One of the biggest challenges for us in the taxi sector is the availability of skilled manpower.


Startups can now focus on their business, not compliances: Nirmala Sitharaman

Adam Neumann: 83% of millennials in India will prefer to work for a company with intention for a lower pay than for a company without intention.

Adam Neumann: We're coming to India sooner than later. We're going to have a local brand with a global playbook. We're looking for CEO, CFO, COO and everything that comes in between.

Hasmikh Adhia: Right now, for B2B startups 10% TDS means that 24.5% cash flow is blocked. We'll rationaize this.

Amitabh Kant: 20 department services of government are listed on ebiz platform. We're going to tie up with 10 state governments in 3 months. One single pint of payment, one single paper.

Amitabh Kant: We have hired 1000 patent examiners and we're outsourcing to IITs. In 18 months time, we'll bring our patent pendency level at the same level as US and Japan. In about year's time, we'll bring down the trademark pendency to zero level.

J.S. Deepak: The policy of the government is to not block any content unless it's against maintaining the law and order. Except in case of child pornography, we do not recommend taking down content.

Anup K Pujari: According to government procurement policy of 2012, it has become mandatory for all departments to procure a minimum 15% material from medium and micro small entrepreneurs.

Ashutosh Sharma: Network of incubators and mentors at grassroot level. We introduce high gain high risk programme. This scheme allows you to take calculated risk if the idea promises high return.

Prashant Saran: We have done away with the problems startups face. Detailed object clauses in IPO document have been changed to suit startups.


For an overpopulated economy like India entrepreneurship the only alternative: Arun Jaitley

Articulate yourself and we assure you'll get an answer. We're learning from the startups.

J.S.Deepak: Our two focus areas will be- funding and incubation. We are focused on being the best in this area. We have announced the electronic development fund with the corpus of $500M. This include the possibilities of startups in areas where we import as well.

V S Oberoi: 38 research parks will provide hand holding. Imprint India was launched by President of India. In next few months, one would see the clear focus on non-metro cities.

Mohandas Pai: 6 of the 8 unicorns have redomiciled, the remaining 2 as well. We need to make provision to avoid this.

Masayoshi Son: I look in the eyes of entrepreneur before taking call.

Masayoshi Son: Just because big cheques have been signed to startups and entrepreneurs become rich, they shouldn't consider themselves successful.

Masayoshi Son: Even if you're the last person left in the ship, you should be able to save it, or have the attitude to do so. This is what we expect from startup entrepreneurs and employees.

Masayoshi Son: Information revolution is going to be 100 times bigger than the industrial revolution.

Masayoshi Son: First 5-10 years should be focused to try being a big fish rather than eyeing public listing.

Masayoshi Son: Startup companies cannot take care of infrastructure. Two things which are lacking in India are: mobile infrastructure, connectivity is very slow, and electricity, none of the things work without electricity.

Masayoshi Son: 21st century belongs to India and Indian startups.

Masayoshi Son: Everytime I visit India I become more convinced. This is the country!

Arun Jaitley: Amongst the potential entrepreneurs we have some world-beaters and we will create the environment for them.

Arun Jaitley: Our effort over last few years has been to restrict the role of State to that of a facilitator.

Arun Jaitley: The more this (startup) sector becomes unregulated, the better it is for the sector.

Arun Jaitley: Prime Minister's own idea was that startups need to be encouraged. Both banking system and government will make resources available.

Arun Jaitley: Will end license raj for startups.

Nirmala Sitharaman: Indian entrepreneurship is not 'jugaad'.

Nirmala Sitharaman: We as Govt should remove the clutter so you (founders) can focus on core business.

Nirmala Sitharaman: Indian entrepreneurship is not 'jugaad'

Nirmala Sitharaman: We as Govt should remove the clutter so you (founders) can focus on core business.

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

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