Why Chandigarh is an Ideal Breeding Ground for Start-ups
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Indian Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities have no dearth of talented individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations. However, the lack of infrastructure has pushed many of these innovative minds to move places in search of a better ecosystem to establish their start-ups. Despite being the centre point of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh has been among the top cities to lose its youth population due to this aspect.
While tech aspirants prefer Bengaluru as an ideal breeding ground, finance start-ups have found a home in the heart of India. The recent years have, however, witnessed a shift in trends as millennials have started appreciating their birth ground. Punjab, especially, is among the states that have showcased immense power in calling back the young individuals on sentimental grounds.
It is only in a country like India where emotions can play a major influence in running businesses. Chandigarh is no different. The city has developed many enterprises on the aspect but is not far behind on Information technology as well. Jugnoo founder, Samar Singla even believes that the Tri-city has the potential to become the next Silicon Valley of India.
Talking to Entrepreneur India, the founder of Chandigarh’s most successful start-up provided a testimony to why the city’s ecosystem is fast picking up on the race. “In the demography of tri-city, there are world-class educational institutions like Panjab University, Punjab Engineering College and Indian School of Business which attracts the youth and talent from various parts of India.”
Adding aspect to why Chandigarh is an ideal breeding ground for started, he said, “The co-working spaces like innov8 are redefining the working model. One of the major entrepreneurial events like TiECON and Entrepreneur Summits are hosted in Chandigarh only.” Due to access to talent with many good educational institutions in the vicinity, the region is believed to have a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The Founder and CEO of Graycell Technologies, Munish Jauhar even believes that Chandigarh has it all to offer start-ups the much required conducive environment that evolved over the last few years. He shared that the city has “good infrastructure available at low cost and a great quality of living,” along with multiple start-ups ready to handhold the budding enterprises.
When we talk about technology startups, Bengaluru just pops up into our heads but the recent times have witnessed Punjab cities like Chandigarh and Mohali becoming a delight for tech entrepreneurs. Be it the farming space or mobility sector, youngsters are solving the ground level issues by creating feasible solutions using technology.
“IT services hold the biggest part of the pie when it comes to the niche but things are changing with time with a new generation of entrepreneurs focused on building tangible/ intangible products taking inspiration from the local problems but building for the global markets,” said Manipal Dhariwal, Founder & CEO Netsmartz LLC.
Promoting the Start-ups
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. For further strengthening the state’s position in the start-up ecosystem, Punjab government is aiming to facilitate 1,000 start-ups in coming 5 years and set up 10 incubation centres in the state.
Particularly from the regional perspective, “Chandigarh has government set incubator called Entrepreneurship Development Centre’ in the IT Park to assist young professionals in setting up their entrepreneurship by providing the infrastructure,” Singla said. The state is also working to improve the infrastructural requirements of the start-ups.
“Apart from the infra, a conducive environment is being built with the support of Punjab government via startup events and soon to be hosted Punjab Startup Yatra. We are also putting our efforts towards coming up with a centre of excellence on AI, Data Analytics and IOT in the next six month's time frame. The initiatives like these are surely helping in passing on the knowledge and support to the local Startups,” said Ajay P Shrivastava, Additional Director STPI, Mohali.
Chandigarh offers great geographical proximity and access to the markets of neighbouring states like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. “While the region is mostly known for the multimillion-dollar IT services outsourcing businesses, trends indicate the growing interest and opportunities in the space of agriculture, healthcare, education, e-commerce & lifestyle,” inputted Vineet Khurana, Vice President- Chandigarh Angels Network.
He further added, “Chandigarh Angels Network gets a vast majority of the applicants from the Chandigarh Tricity region representing the aforementioned sectors with their wide outreach in the neighbouring states.” While the city has great potential, there are not many platforms available for business aspirants from the region to socialize and learn.