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Live from the #Startup India Standup India event today


Update: Find the PM’s plan of action in pictures here.

Earlier today: We go live at the Startup India Standup India event being held in Delhi:

(Live webcast here)

10AM: Nirmala Sitharaman: We’ve been engaging with the concerned ministries for synergies.. We recognise India’s change, people looking for government jobs is coming down. People looking to startup are on the rise… We’ve brought on board all ministries. Startups are playing a critical role in this country.  In the last one year there’s a 50% increase in funding of startups in India… The Bankruptcy code is already in the parliament to help investors exit startups in India. Our (the government’s) fund is one among the several, and concerns about how the other startup funds will be. The government is looking to make the exit also.

10:10AM: Arun Jaitley: The Government will only be at an arm’s length, essentially a facilitator, but negligible role in day to day interventions in the business. We broke away from License Raj in 1991. The consequence of that restricted startup/company growth, because government tried to control everything.. The break was partial. Who will be funded? Invisible controls of the state, land control, environmental clearances, FDI, political nod, along with large capital required, entrepreneurs were reluctant. We are trying to restrict the role of the state as a facilitator.. The piles of files in the FIPB has been removed. 

10:20AM: Investment is coming in a big way, urban places are seeing demand. Challenges are agricultural production.. private investment is slow.. The private sector’s own expansion is throwing a challenge, as they have overstretched themselves.. Standup India will be separately launched. The program emphasises on SC/ST (scheduled castes and tribes) and women. Each bank branch, public or private,will adopt one SC/ST category and one woman entrepreneur, so at least 2 of them. Government has to explore new areas. The Mudra scheme is one of the new areas; to target 25% of bottom of India, includes private banks as well. 1.73 crore entrepreneurs have asked for loans, and it will grow. Program will be year after year, creating entrepreneurs. 300,000 new entrepreneurs over next 2 years and we plan for entrepreneur friendly taxation. The more the sector is unregulated, the better it will be. India, because an IT centre because we had no laws governing the field. SC and ST entrepreneurs will be funded. The IT sector did so well because of low regulations. 

10:25AM: Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan (Secretary, biotechnology)Startup ecosystem should not just deal with electrons such as ecommerce, digital and technology. It has to deal with dirty hands and fingernails into sectors such as farming etc. 


Fostering the Spirit of Innovation: 

10:40 AM: Masayoshi Son, founder & CEO, Softbank: India is the country of the 21st century. 800 million young generation over 35 years old, IT, sunshine, the English speaking.. make me believe that 21st century is this country. 5-10 years from the startup, profit or balance sheet is not that important, customer acquisition, customer experience and overall business model needs to be created. You need a balance. You cannot burn the money in a stupid way. 3 years from now when we (the startup) have enough scale, what will be the business model?

10:50AM: Initially looking for startups looking to go global, now on internet companies, why the change? The stage has come. The mobile smartphone capabilities for internet etc., the domestic market will be big enough, initially it was so small, but has grown to a large scale. In the next 10 years India will repeat..

10:53AM: Smaller country, small market, even with capabilities, its too small to compete against global players. this (India) is one of the very few countries, that has a huge domestic market that can ‘fight back’

10:55AM: When we started (Softbank) 30 years ago, not everybody had a PC or PC program. It was the start of the PC. AI will surpass human intelligence in many forms. It will be 1 million times faster to process, communicate. When that happens, the business owner, the lifestyle everything changes. The new business models should have a lot of capability to analyze big data. Data analytics, deep learning, combined.. 

10:59 AM: Start up companies cannot take care of infrastructure. Two things lacking in India: connectivity is too slow and none of these technologies are.. 

11:05AM: The captain of the ship has to make up his mind to “I will be the last guy to save the ship”.


Face to Face with Policy Makers:

11:15AM: – K Shivaji, Chairman and MD, SIDBI: Rs 2000 crore fund, Rs 1100 crore already invested, 2500 venture funds.

– V.S Oberoi, Secretary, HRD: (on spreading the growth of startups across India, not just in metros) We hope to provide handholding, credit, spread this across India. Strong emphasis on research, research orientation to these institutes. In the next few months, there will be a strong element of support, which is not big city oriented. We hope to prove handholding, credit, to spread this across India. 

11:30AM: Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Science & Tech: Take risk and fail, but if you succeed, the reward is high. Government wants to see success. If you take calculated risk, the rewards are good.

11:35AM: Tapan Ray, Secretary, Corporate Affairs: Startups start with registration, we have to be efficient there. We’re going through an action plan to revise that. We have 39 rules to finalise a unique name of the company. Only 8 will be required for uniqueness, that’ll expedite the process. And we’re planning to do it in 24 hours. Private placements etc looking in a positive way. New policy looking at being startup friendly. 2 months, for registration of companies in 1 day.

11:40AM: J.S Deepak Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT: On censorship of content: We dont want to restrict any content unless its against the maintenance of public order. we get lots of copyright, violations, etc. Except for child pornography, we do not recommend taking down of content.

Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Industrial Policy & Promotion: On IPR: 1000 patent examiners, sourced to IITs. In 18 months we will fix it.

11:43AM: Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Biotechnology: By addressing the domestic market, there is a domestic need in health, agriculture, biotech. 


Freelancers and early stage startups

12:05PM: Adam Neumann, founder, WeWork: The more money you raise, the more responsibility you have on your shoulders.

12:10pM: 83% of millennials in India prefer to work at lower pay at a company with intent than one without one. India could be larger than Europe for us (WeWork). Young population is huge here, but you need to teach them how to fish, and not give them the fish.

12:20PM: In Q4 there have been lesser late-stage seed funding globally… I don’t think any country would have the secretaries sitting at a table. It’s actually a true democracy… When we come to India, it will be with a local company… Local execution with a global playbook. Collaboration is the secret of innovation.


Unleashing Entrepreneurship and Innovation:

12:30PM: Kunal Bahl, founder, Snapdeal: On challenges: Getting high quality team members who stick it out when times are tough. Events like these will serve as catalysts to become entrepreneurs. Many small businesses can’t find say guys to operate computers.

12:35PM: Venk Shukla, President, TiE: On challenges: The mindset in India is that, globally successful companies do 1 thing and 1 thing well, and has discipline to say no to other things. But in India, maybe fear of failure, or customer pressure. So companies tend to do a lot more things at which they are not the best, but we are doing it because the customer is asking them to do. Israel sends more globally successful startups than India does. Since they have a small domestic market, they think global from day 1. Indian startups need same discipline and same mindset if they want to go global. 

12:40PM: Varsha Rao, Entrepreneur and Head of Ops, Airbnb: If you’re solving a need, then you’ll be successful.  

12:50PM: Dilip Chabria, founder, Team Indus: You really have to believe in what you’re doing.


How digitization will change India’s future:

2:25PM: Pratyus Patnaik, Co-founder, Appurify: When driverless cars come in, you need to rethink roads. So that will still create jobs.

2:30PM: Rajat Tandon, Senior Director, NASSCOM: (on social media helping to define policies) I dont think the kids today read the newspaper, they go to Twitter. On Facebook, you’re connected with communities. Your message is reaching a much farther audience.

2:33PM: Deepinder Goyal, Founder, Zomato: (On creating a need for the product) Its never should be about creating a need, but a need should always be there. You need to find a latent need and make a good product which addresses it. If you’re creating a need for customers, then you have to force feed them that and it won’t go well with them.

2:37PM: Rajat Tandon, Senior Director, NASSCOM: We’re encouraging startups to go to Tier 2 and 3 cities as well. We want entrepreneurs to get access to the technologies and an audience. Apps needs to be developed in multiple languages. There’s also NLP. 

2:40PM: Pratyus Patnaik, Co-founder, Appurify: Apps sometimes amplify behaviours. It has certainly changed behaviour. So instances of people falling off while taking selfies, is just an amplification of tendencies in people. (on infrastructure needs) The government has to partner for infrastructure, a lot of capital has to come from the government.

2:50PM: Its a good opportunity, I won’t call it a problem, for entrepreneurs to figure out the Tier 2 and 3 cities.

2:49PM: Sanjay Vijay Kumar, founder, Startup Village: India does not have a ton of grants, and it has to come from the government. As per government rules, you can’t take govt grants and be for-profit, and if you are non-profit, you can’t take private funding.


Presentation on 8 lessons to entrepreneurs:

3:47PM: Travis Kalanick, founder, Uber: You gotta find something broken. Find a problem that you’re passionate about… you have to find something hard…Think of a math professor who has no problems to solve. That is sad picture. So if you’re a geek, you have to look for the hardest problem.

3:52PM: Driverless technology is coming. Google, Apple, Tesla are looking at this. Every Uber car is now mapping the world. Uber needs to be on this. To be creative: cross analytics expertise with a creative instinct. the joy it brings can be a game changer. Without creativity, what computers create does not matter. We’re (Uber) capturing people’s imagination with things like the ice cream truck.

3:54PM: Perception vs reality: You need to find the distance between the two. And you better be right.

3:59PM: Magic is seeing it way before everybody else does it.

4PM: What’s Hustle in Hindi? “#AlwaysBeJugaading”… We didn’t  have big ambitions It was a side project. We had an app on the app store. And it was pretty high end and then we started to realize a lot people were using it… In India, payments is very different.


Disruptive Power of Finance Plus Technology in Financial Inclusion:

4:16PM: Sanjay Jain, Platform head, EkStep: Aaadhaar, it is an API. You can build an app thet relies on Aadhaar to assert identity without physical contact. People can present eKYC forms… The E-sign and the digital locker, that we have launched … now you can build an app that allows an individual on his phone, apply for a loan, mutual fund account with zero fiction. When you visit a doctor etc, info is with doctor, what we want to do is give that to people. We want to put together a service which puts people in control with people.

4:20PM: Abhishek Sinha, CEO, Eko Financials: Emergence of 300-400 million customers, who have Aadhaar and smartphones, they will, have API for some library UPI and….From data poor, we are becoming data rich. Smartphones bring all this together very beautifully… RBI in its first time has issued 20 licenses. The payment instrument architecture will get disrupted through the India stack. The NPCI and UPI and Aadhar will play a huge role in it.

4:21PM: Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm: This is the biggest myth that Indians want to keep cash…We were shocked in 15 months we crossed 100 million users. 100 million users have been doing most of Visa, MasterCard and Amex’s transactions. (On mobile finance)We will skip the plastic generation and go to the mobile phones. 

4:24PM: Kabir Kumar Specialist, CGAP’s Digital Disruptive Power of Finance Plus (World Bank): India is one of the most exciting markets for payments business. Huge opportunity. India stack is not just technology, Aadhar, APIs, its smart policy that creates the environment. 20% of the unbanked population is in India.


The Funding Curve:

4:35PM: Nikesh Arora: CEO, Softbank: On why India, why now: no other country do you get government officials answering questions on a forum like this.. 

4:38PM: On focus: What am I creating for the end user of my service? What value am I creating for him? If you’re answering that question well, you’ll have no more problems. You focus on the customer’s feedback.

4:38PM: On focus: What am I creating for the end user of my service? What value am I creating for him? If you’re answering that question well, you’ll have no more problems. You focus on the customer’s feedback.

4:40PM: On time management: Everyone in this room is trying to change the world. So learn how to manage your time & your timing. We all have to focus our energies. I wish I had more time, but we’re trying to be as ruthless with our time, as you’re being with yours.

4:42PM: Two of the areas I’ve been personally interested in: alternative education. We all get the same thing at the same time. Technology can reshape the way education is conducted. There’s huge technology that can be applied in education… 

4:47PM: On AI: we are interested in AI, the question is how do you invest in it?

4:48PM: 2015 was the year valuations were soared and there were a lot of shake ups. 2016 a lot of startups will die and will be the year of execution. Great companies will get funded. The not-so great companies will get weeded out. Consumers will decide who they want to make the leader. Our message is focus on your customer experience.


How do we capitalise entrepreneurship:

5:02PM: Sachin Bansal, Founder, Flipkart: (Q: Competitor raising money, do you feel the need to balance it with funding for yourself?) If you don’t have a healthy business, money doesn’t come to you. If it’s unhealthy.. you make a lot of mistakes. I think it’s important to acknowledge the basic fact that money follows with a healthy business. You can’t be, as competition heats up in the market, what it takes to compete in that spaces goes up, in the taxi space or ecommerce space where large international players have taken the game up, this is what happened.

5:04PM: Sreedhar Prasad, Partner, KPMG: Where we see people balancing to having  a clear answer to show me the money, demands are changing… We see the balance when they have the right investor with the right mindset.

5:05PM: Naveen Tewari, Founder, InMobi: Its distracting to raise money, unfortunately the only person who can raise the money is CEO or founder, so prime time is gone, I don’t think there is a balance people should apply. If you can raise more money, you should get more money. If it isn’t good enough then it wont raise money anyway. It boils down to core product, tech, team etc,. that allows companies to build, which is what the companies should worry about rather than what you should raise. you should raise whatever you can whenever you get it.

5:07PM: Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO Rooms: If you build a great company, capital will follow. continue to build the business. A lot of us might think the companies value too much, but in the long term if india has 500 million users for travel, the…. if you are solving a real problem, you don’t need to worry… If China’s ecommerce company can be $200 billion, there is no reason for not having the same in India. Its important to take risks. 

5:07PM: Radhika Agarwal, Founder, ShopClues: The Indian consumer is changing fundamentally. Value is being added right now. They have created industries that have disrupted how traditional companies work… If the policies are right, we would list in India. India is where our business is so it makes sense for us. 

5:08 PM: BJ Arun, CEO, July Systems: We were on a high during the 2000s, and if anyone wanted to poop on the party we would hate it. I think we are in a bubble, and when it bursts it wont be a pretty picture. I worry for a country like India, it would be harder to recover from the bubble than for a country like the USA. (On how much money you spend:) The entrepreneur needs to know if the amount he is raising is how he’s going to use it.

5:10PM: Sachin Bansal, Founder, Flipkart: India will have 4G like any other country. AI is going to, and mobile is going to be a bigger disruptor. In the next 5-10 years, India’s economy will be over half a trillion or more, there will be ups and downs, mistakes etc., India will go through a lot of technology transformation empowered by mobile. If you look at that picture, we are still very early. The future of some companies might be here and there but future of the whole thing is fine.

5:18PM: India is definitely our top choice for doing business. (local investments) There are enough people in the market who have funds, its not gone to a level where it can raise $50 million can be raised from Indian investors yet, but I hope in time this problem can be solved.

5:11PM: Sreedhar Prasad, Partner, KPMG: Crazy convergence of sectors because the end customer remains the same. everybody wanted to go online in the 90s bust. I don’t think its a bubble at all, it has brought stability in the system. 

5:14PM: Naveen Tewari, Founder, InMobi: (On the startup bubble) Countries don’t go into bubbles… I hope there is a bubble, and it becomes bigger, and there will be casualties, but it will create massive companies, so more innovation and disruption. Consumers are starting to pay online. 150-160 million smartphones. 500 million people will come online.. It will create 25 more companies, of which even if 3 fail, it will be still good for the country…

5:18PM: Localized capitalists are better at understanding local solutions. Foreign investors might not understand that. Which is why local investors are important. When companies imitate it creates a bubble.

5:23PM: Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO Rooms: I would love to list in India, there are questions of policy, regulations etc… Its easiest for subscribers to have shares in India.

5:24PM: BJ Arun, CEO, July Systems: (On changing financing in India) I don’t think every startup, will be able to raise venture capital from intsitutional investors. In silicon valley we go our neighbours etc., the money has to come from local investors, we can’t count on foreign money.


PM Modi’s interaction with startups, VCs and Angel Investors and launch of Action Plan:

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