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Centre to focus on ensuring access to funds for start-ups: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

BL Ahmedabad Bureau | | Updated on: May 22, 2022
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Electronics and Information Technology

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Electronics and Information Technology

Minister of State for Skill Development inaugurates NASSCOM’s ‘Smart Manufacturing Competency Centre’ in Ahmedabad

The government of India is working on creating sectoral funds to ensure start-ups get access to finance, amidst turbulent economic situations elsewhere in the world.

"There have been several foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Indian start-up ecosystem but we need to remember that the US economy has been passing through high inflation. So we should not solely depend on funds sourced from the US. The government is also planning to announce sectoral funds (for start-ups)," said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Electronics and Information Technology.

Chandrasekhar on Saturday informed that the Centre's start-up initiatives such as Software Technology Park (STP) Schemes would be focused on creating opportunities for start-ups in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

Chandrasekhar was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the ‘Smart Manufacturing Competency Centre’ (SMCC) by NASSCOM Centre of Excellence-IoT & AI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the government of Gujarat.

‘Open and safe Internet’

The Minister said, “Internet is a very important platform. Today, 800 million Indians use it and in the next 2-3 years, this number will rise to 1.2 billion including women and children. Hence, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the Internet should remain open, safe and accountable.”

SMCC is a platform that was part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal to ensure the country's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) use digital technology to make the most of emerging global opportunities and changes in the global supply chain.

"Today, the launch of the SMCC platform will enable every MSME in Gujarat to connect with the start-ups in the ecosystem for digitisation solutions. This way the MSMEs will benefit in terms of productivity, product innovation and market access, thereby making them more competitive," he said.

With the vision to make the Indian Industry 4.0 ready, the Centre will help create a collaborative ecosystem that will bring together solution seekers and providers under one virtual roof with an opportunity to understand the manufacturing challenges and co-create solutions.

‘Digitalisation is a necessity’

Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, "Today, India’s 90 per cent manufacturing companies are SMEs that account for 33 per cent of manufacturing GVA and 45-50 per cent of exports, but they lag in tech adoption due to scale, financing, and leadership challenges. Digitalisation is not really a choice today but rather a necessity for the sector to bring business performance stability and broaden its reach."

SMCC is the largest existing innovation ecosystem that will help accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 solutions by bringing together enterprises, government, researchers, and innovators to create awareness and opportunities to network for technology adoption.

Manufacturers will be able to experience demos and success stories of large tech enterprises and start-ups, network and meet top solution providers to co-create solutions using emerging technologies such as IoT, data analytics, AI, and AR/VR.

Published on May 22, 2022
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