“A Universe of Opportunities for Indian Startups”: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

    Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for IT and Electronics, articulates his bullish perspective on India’s startup ecosystem and its potential on a global scale.

    Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Startup Summit on Wednesday, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar expressed his upbeat outlook on the burgeoning opportunities for Indian startups. He emphasized the vast array of sectors, from space and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to quantum technologies and semiconductors, where startups can make a mark. According to the Minister, the government is committed to creating enabling policy and legal frameworks that would help young Indian entrepreneurs turn their visions into global ventures.

    The Changing Landscape of Technology

    “The world of technology will continue to disrupt and shift,” said the Union Minister, emphasizing that constant innovation is the sole solution to ensure the longevity of ventures amid ceaseless change and disruption. He stressed the importance of the entrepreneurial mindset that now permeates young Indians’ ambitions, marking a departure from the previous norm.

    The Minister stated, “There is no absolutely no doubt in my mind that so far as opportunities go, from space to AI (Artificial Intelligence) to quantum to semiconductors there is a huge universe of opportunities in front of our startups.”

    Chandrasekhar also issued a word of caution to those who believe their ventures, as they currently exist, would persist in the future. He affirmed that constant evolution is key to sustaining ventures, as technological disruption is the new normal.

    The Expanding Startup Ecosystem

    The Minister acknowledged that entrepreneurship is no longer confined to larger cities but is rapidly expanding to smaller towns and cities. With India’s potent tech abilities, robust policies, and thriving startup ecosystem, he noted that the nation stands at an “inflection point”.

    Discussing the relationship between corporates and startups, Chandrasekhar extolled the benefits of this model, saying it’s a “wonderful idea and a powerful model”. This arrangement not only extends the innovation ecosystem but also offers a win-win for larger enterprises by allowing them to expand and accelerate their capabilities.

    A Shift in Tech Capabilities

    The minister observed that while IT/ITES and BPO capabilities were significant in 2014, today’s tech prowess extends beyond into fields like electronics manufacturing, AI, semiconductors, consumer and non-consumer tech, blockchain, the internet, and high-performance computing.

    Expert Insights on Startup Culture

    Kris Gopalakrishnan, former Infosys CEO, shared his perspectives at the event. He asserted that India will continue to be a top destination for startups, potentially becoming the leading global hub due to the necessity for innovation and new solutions across all industries.

    He offered advice for startup founders, “Founders should think of value creation before thinking about valuation, they need to focus on performance and serving customers, they need to focus on governance and creating long term enterprises and organisation.

    On the matter of investors, Gopalakrishnan emphasized that they need to help build enduring enterprises, and when they think of exiting, they should ensure the next set of investors also benefit.

    The industry veteran appreciated the government’s sharp focus on the startup space and called for continued momentum with an emphasis on ease of doing business, compliance load, and taxation aspects. “These companies can start a business in any part of the world, so we need to make sure they have a good reason to remain and stay in India. That is a continuous process in this competitive world,” he concluded.

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