West Bengal getting start-up friendly: Nasscom
There has been a positive outlook from the West Bengal government towards promoting start-ups in the state, industry body Nasscom said.
According to the software companies’ association, the state government is considering a plan whereby it will help start-ups to address their problem of seed funding, which is crucial in the formative years of a start-up firm.
Although still at a conceptual level, the state government may augment funding of these companies by investing in the company and later sell its stake to other investors at a premium.
“This way, the state government can rotate the seed fund and invest on other such companies”, Ravi Gururaj, chair of product council at Nasscom said.
The industry body had held a meeting with top government officials to advise it in the start-up space.
“This (start-up ecosystem) will take some time but the government policies are friendly and the product eco-system is showing signs of high potential growth. The government has recognised the challenges the start-ups faces,” he added.
Responding to a query from Business Standard if the state government’s stand over ‘No SEZ’ policy would hurt the technology based start-up eco-system, Gururaj said: “For start-up companies, SEZ is not required. It is pretty clear at right now that the government’s previous stand over SEZ will not change.”
He said the West Bengal government needs to help the start-ups from this state grow over the business cycle and align its policies to prevent these firms from exiting the state when they mature.
Besides, the industry body appreciated the government for heeding to various industry bodies’ concerns and recommendations. In turn, this is helping the state government to come up with policies to address key challenges in the industry and promote investment in the state.
Partnering with the state government, Nassccom has already set up an incubation centre (warehouse) in Salt Lake, on the metropolis’ fringes from where it had incubated 23 start-ups in two batches so far. The third batch which has seven companies is underway this year.
“Out of the 23 start-ups, four have received funding”, Rajat Tandon, vice-president of Nasscom’s 10,000 start-ups initiative said.
The state government has already undertaken an initiative to promote innovative business ideas under the Startup Bengal programme, which facilitates such companies to access various resources in the state.
According to the state government, the objectives of this initiative is to create an enabling environment to address the aspirations of youth and to engage with all stakeholders of start-up, eco-system for strengthening the start-ups with appropriate incubation & mentoring infrastructure, to develop human capital, to provide fast track statutory support and network of appropriate funding agencies.
The Trinamool Congress government, which has been mandated for a second term by the people, has also drawn up a start-up policy 2016-21 under which the state is engaging with various academic institutions to promote start-up culture in the state.
anandabazar patrika epaper 16/07/2016 : http://www.anandabazar.com