How This Indian State is Fast-building an Innovation Landscape
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The India innovation story has taken off and how. With the Government of India encouraging digitization and supporting startups by creating an environment of growth, India has seen a growth in the number of startups also resulting in being the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world. While the central government has introduced several initiatives like Make in India and Skill India to encourage entrepreneurship, state governments too have introduced several policies to ride on the “startup wave”.
And one of the states that have been riding ahead is Gujarat. It won’t be wrong if one calls Gujarat the land of entrepreneurs for it has produced some of India’s biggest and richest entrepreneurs, creating businesses in every corner. In the recently held, Vibrant Gujarat Startup Summit, it was this entrepreneurial spirit that was seen everywhere.
The Gujarat Startup Story
For years and years, Gujarat has made to the news and sometimes also the jokes, for the business perspective of the Gujaratis. But it’s not a joke for the Gujarat government, they are holding on to this narrative to change the story of Gujarat to become a state for innovation and technology.
Inaugurating the event at the Exhibition Ground in Gandhinagar, the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani said, “I am pleased to see so many young faces in the audience, this shows that the youth of Gujarat is an active participant in Gujarat’s vibrant economy and it is the youth that will find the solutions for our development goals through innovative ideas and thinking.”
With the focus on technology as a catalyst to entrepreneurship, the summit saw the who’s who of the startup world make their way to Gandhinagar for the summit. Speaking at the two-day summit, NASSCOM President, Debjyani Ghosh also spoke about Gujarat’s entrepreneurial roots, she said, “In Gujarat, entrepreneurship runes in the DNA of Gujarat. The people of Gujarat understand the need for risk taking and the need to solve problems at the same time. In a few years India will have a trillion dollar IT economy and Gujarat should have 10% share of the trillion-dollar economy in the coming years. Gujarat should aim to develop talent to leverage the existing technology to disrupt markets in a positive way.”
How They Aim to Achieve It
The government of Gujarat is looking at several ways to ramp up the innovation in the state. At the summit, the Chief Minister also announced that the Gujarat State Government currently supports 184 startups and aims to support up to 2000 start-ups at the cost of 7000 crore rupees by the year 2021.
But there’s also a shift in the way Gujarat aims to finish its growth story. D.Thara, IAS and Hon. Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation said that they are encouraging startups to be incubated in the state and once they reach a certain stage, they also give them marketing support and seed fund, facilitating them to grow. “Gujarat is a place to find a lot of machine tools startups, agritech startups and service-oriented startups,” she said.
Agreeing with her, Vivek Ogra, Chairman, GESIA IT Association in Gujarat too believes that the state is in for a big change, especially in the way they do business. “Gujarat has been predominantly a service-led economy in the IT sector. What has happened in the last few years is that there is a lot of focus on product-led and innovation IP led growth. Hundreds of companies here are focusing on product-led innovations – AR VR, cybersecurity etc. In the next few years, Gujarat is going to be the largest IP led ecosystem in the country,” he said.