• Goyal said that home-grown startups have not been able to get adequate domestic capital even though the government has tried to provide seed capital and guarantees through banks that lend money to startups
  • I announce that Invest India will pioneer a dedicated helpdesk for startups, he said
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Piyush Goyal, minister for railways, commerce and industry on Wednesday urged businesses and entrepreneurs to dedicate a portion of their wealth for early-stage investing in startups.

“I appeal to our Indian businesspersons to dedicate a part of their wealth to this cause, say a ₹10,000 crore fund which is professionally run and managed with no role of government. Even if 1% of your valuation is pooled in a domestic fund, we will not sell out cheap to international funds,” Goyal said at Resurgence TiEcon Delhi – NCR, a four-day virtual event.

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Goyal said home-grown startups have not been able to attract adequate domestic capital even though the government has tried to provide seed capital and guarantees through banks that lend to startups.

“This is music to my ears, if we can support startups through this domestic fund,” he added. The minister, who was in conversation with Info Edge (India) Ltd’s founder and executive vice-chairman Sanjeev Bikhchandani, also spoke about Invest India, a body that helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India.

“It would be optimum if the ministry and Invest India have a help-desk which looks into the issues of the startups. Therefore, I announce that Invest India will pioneer a dedicated help-desk for startups. It will act like a bridge and can work across ministries to sort out queries which startups may have,” Goyal said.

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He said the National Startup Advisory Council, set up to make it easier for startups to access capital and incentivize domestic capital, will act as a bridge between policy makers and startups. “It’s a body for the startups, by the startups and will work relentlessly to help them, government and policy makers to act accordingly to the needs of the startups.”

“With 41,000 startups and 37 unicorns, India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. Startups have proved their mettle in the covid pandemic and are now the bedrock of India’s economic revival,” said Rajan Anandan, President, TiE Delhi & NCR & MD Sequoia India.

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the e-commerce industry is growing at 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) post-covid, as compared to 25% before the pandemic.

He said that the middle-income segment will contribute to almost 75% of India’s consumption economy, with the country being the third largest state by consumption expenditure by 2030.

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“With the pandemic it is clear that vernacular commerce, video content, kiranas will continue to grow disproportionately […] and with middle income contributing to consumption. Making commerce more affordable will play a very strong enabler for e-commerce growth,” said Krishnamurthy.

“Kiranas will also grow disproportionately. Therefore, providing them access to working capital, enabling reliable delivery of merchandise, technology and selection intelligence (for customers) will also play a vital role in ecommerce growth,” he added.

He said the Indian e-commerce market size at present rests at $90-100 billion, almost double what it stood at 3-4 years back.