Piyush Goyal Tells Startups to List in India and Not Move to Tax Havens

The commerce and industry minister also urged startups to consider putting in place some standards

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India is home to 95 unicorns and according to the latest report from investment fund Iron Pillar, India is expected to have more than 250 unicorns or privately held startups with a $1 billion valuation or above, by 2025. 2021 was considered a phenomenal year for the startup ecosystem as a record 43 Indian startups entered the unicorn club that year.

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Lauding the same at the Global Unicorn Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry on 'Shaping 1,000 Unicorns by 2030', Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles said, "We needed just one more sixer to hit a Century of Unicorns. The government's efforts to reduce regulatory compliance burden has encouraged innovation and promoted the commercialization of IPR and made it easier to begin, operate, grow and exit businesses."

Goyal spoke about how Indian startups are now offering some outstanding, high-quality solutions to the modern problems faced by society while mentioning the work of Qure.ai, a Mumbai-based startup that uses deep learning algorithms to interpret X-rays and CT scans in seconds and Bengaluru-based CropIn Technology which offers real-time weather updates and predicts crop yields for farmers.

Listing in India

Goyal also shared his desire to see startups incorporated in India and listed in India and not moving to tax havens. For the same, he asked the startups to approach the government if they face any issues. He further assured that the government would strive to resolve problems.

He further said that the government is trying to reduce the compliance and regulatory burden so that it becomes easier to operate, grow and exit, from businesses amid green shoots of investment coming back to India.

He also urged startups to see beyond the metros and expand their presence in tier-II and tier-III cities. He further urged investors to ensure that the intellectual property rights of these entities remain in India.

Self-regulation is Key

The commerce and industry minister urged startups to consider putting in place some standards, "maybe for self-regulation", to bring in greater transparency in the way they conduct their businesses and report their financial status.

"Any such standards will also make life easier for even auditors, who can then declare to the world the transparent governance and ethics system that is driving the Indian start-ups," the minister said.

He also spoke about how issues like misreporting of revenue, data fraud or tax evasions by start-ups need to be nipped in the bud. "Otherwise the country will "get a bad name", he said.

Need for Further Push

The Minister said that technology makes the impossible, possible! "With rise of digital commerce metaverse new opportunities for the users and providers to connect will be unlocked," he said while asking for the metaverse to be leveraged to boost trade and commerce.

Goyal also called for the creation of a Gen-next National Council which would serve as an advisory body to nurture the entrepreneurial talent and potential of our youngsters and to give both continuity and change to the startup ecosystem through its structure and functioning.

He also quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said "Don't just keep your dreams local, make them Global'. He said that many of India's startups were already venturing out beyond the borders of India and making a mark for themselves in both emerging economies and the developed world by being scalable and affordable.

To further encourage startups, he asked the nation to buy from startups and encourage B2B procurement from startups. "Startups must also be stimulated by subscribing to their IPOs and giving them access to domestic capital," he said.