Could Chandigarh be the Next Silicon Valley of India?
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The entry of 8 startups in the unicorn in 2018 proved that India’s startup ecosystem is gaining momentum. With multiple government initiatives pushing the young talent to take up entrepreneurship, the nation has witnessed plenty of unexpected innovations happening to solve the real issues in recent years.
As Bengaluru races to become the startup hub of the country, regions like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Gujarat are soon catching up. Unlike popular belief of Punjab, which has been termed as the land of entrepreneurs, lacking in the space, the state has registered more than 140 start-ups with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) as of August 2018 and the number is increasing every passing day.
Being the centre point of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh, in particular, enjoys certain attention from young entrepreneurs looking to venture into the world of start-ups. So much so that it has the potential to become the next Silicon Valley of India. In the recently released Startup Ranking 2018 by DIPP, the city was ranked among the start-up beginners. Nonetheless, the region’s potential for growth was acknowledged.
While many unregistered start-ups are operating in the region, youngsters are coming forward to get their ventures registered with the centre to avail incentives offered by the Central government. According to DIPP guidelines, the freshly registered start-ups are exempted of income tax along with the taxes on capital gains and investments for three years. In addition, they can avail 80 per cent rebate on patent filings along with other incentives.
Like other state governments, Punjab government has also taken the lead to promote their start-ups via offering waiver in the stamp duty and electricity duty for a period of seven years. The start-ups are also being given exemption from payment of change of land use (CLU), property tax and investment subsidy by the way of reimbursement of state good and service tax (SGST).
For further strengthening the state’s position in the startup ecosystem, Punjab government is aiming to facilitate 1,000 startups in coming 5 years, to set up 10 incubation centres and to facilitate over 50 entrepreneurship development centres in the colleges by establishing strong links with major institutions.
Developing an Ecosystem
Of the most popular locations in Punjab to start-up, Mohali has been developed as an information technology (IT) hub by the Punjab government whereas Chandigarh has seen a mix of start-ups entering the ecosystem. From education platforms like WizIQ and Edurev to e-commerce start-ups like Jumbo Basket and Pumpkart, the city is producing various gems.
Working as a testimony to Chandigarh’s developing ecosystem, we have the on-demand auto rickshaw platform, Jugnoo, which has now expanded to over 30 cities and is now looking to go global. Slowly but steadily, the young entrepreneurs from Haryana’s capital are carving a niche for themselves in India’s startup community by bringing their creative ideas to life.
To further push their dreams towards reality, organizations like Chandigarh Angels Network are coming forward to fund the start-ups with growth potential. While there have been ups and downs in the journey for the majority of new ventures, the end success is what matters.
While the youth today is well-aware of the opportunities present in the field of entrepreneurship, various initiatives by both the government and private organizations have further fostered the start-up culture in Chandigarh. One such upcoming opportunity is Franchise India’s Startup Summit 2019 which is India's premier and most trusted business & Tradeshow. It is one of the largest emerging platforms for business aspirants to socialize and learn.