The Maharasthra Factor: Devendra Fadnavis On Start-Ups, Sustainability And More "Maharashtra has become the startup capital for India. And not just the startup capital, but the Unicorn capital of India," Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis had said.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra during his talk.

Deputy Chief Minister of Maharasthra Devendra Fadnavis recently spoke about the viability of startups in the state, climate change and the importance of sustainability.

"Maharashtra has become the startup capital for India. And not just the startup capital, but the Unicorn capital of India. 40% of the Unicorn owners have their residential address in Maharashtra, so I think Maharashtra is the right place to hold this this challenge. It is very important because all of us know that the way India is facing climate change, in fact, the way the world is facing the vagaries of nature, and it is the right time that we take proper initiative and action. Today, the energy transition in India is happening at a very fast pace and it requires a lot of new ideas. A new business ecosystem was created in Maharashtra when we decided that we wanted to shift our entire agriculture power supply load to solar. Now the main proposition is that instead of coal-fired power, we will be using solar power. It will also create an ecosystem which will create huge job and investment opportunities for the people," Fadnavis said at the inaugural StartUp Mumbai Challenge which was part of the Mumbai Festival 2024.

He also went on to talk about how the start-up ecosystem can help in the issue of sustainability. "Today when we look at the issues of sustainability, I think the start-up ecosystem has a great role to play, because we need to improve the lives of people. And I think that is possible only when we innovate. When I look at the start-ups in Maharashtra, I can see at least 40% of them are into the agriculture sector and I feel very happy when they connect directly with the farmers. Environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability- all these things are very important. Innovation is happening day in and day out, and it is only a platform which was required. I am very happy that the Mumbai festival has offered this great platform," Fadnavis explained.

The mentors to those taking part in the start-up challenege were Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson and Co-Founder, upGrad; Vikas Agnihotri, Director, InMobi and GlobalBees; Kaustubh Dhavse, Joint Secretary and OSD to the Deputy Chief Minister, Govt of Maharashtra; Harsh Jain, CEO & Co-founder, Dream11 and Dream Sports; and Venkat Raju, Global CEO, Turbostart. The three winners of the StartUp Mumbai Challenge were- Xovian Aerospace, Kabadiwala and Livprotec.

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Senior Assistant Editor

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