Govt ropes in advisor for stuck telecom projects

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 10, 2014

Vikram Upadhyaya, Co-Founder of the Indian Angel Network Incubator

Angel investor to oversee public-private ventures

The Government has roped in Vikram Upadhyaya, Co-Founder of the Indian Angel Network Incubator, as an advisor to projects being undertaken through the Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE). The primary objective of roping in Upadhyaya is to ensure that the ideas generated by TCOEs are taken from conception to commercial deployment based on sound business.

The Government had set up TCOEs in a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership in the telecom sector. There are eight Telecom Centres of Excellence across the country working on key issues like technology management, rural application, next-generation network and policy. However, after more than five years of existence, the applications have not been deployed commercially.

“I have submitted a broad framework on how to turn around the TCOEs. I have seen some very good ideas being worked on at these centres. Over the next 12 to 18 months my focus will be on taking some of these ideas to the market,” Upadhyaya told BusinessLine, adding that he has also proposed collaboration between the TCOEs and the Indian Angel Network Incubator.

Upadhyaya has been an angel investor and has orchestrated multimillion-dollar business start-ups, turnarounds and growth ventures. Having worked in Japan in the late 1990s, Upadhyaya is known for his familiarity with the country and will try to interest Japanese in TCOE. Upadhayaya sees his unpaid advisory role as a business opportunity.

Separately, he is planning to start a seed accelerator fund in India with the backing of investors from Silicon Valley. Accelerators help new start-ups companies get off the ground and find follow-on investors through mentorship and a network of potential financiers. Upadhyaya said that India needs an accelerator that brings down the time period for a start-up to get follow-on venture capital.

Published on July 09, 2014

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