Kerala’s start-ups will generate 20,000 jobs during the current financial year, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while participating in the opening of the first-ever ‘Infinity Centre’ in Dubai. The event marked the start of a series of such launch pads developed in association with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
More such facilities, conceived as a one-stop destination to strengthen the State’s ecosystem for nascent companies, will be set in the US, Australia, and Europe during the first phase, said the Chief Minister.
During the launch, Dubai-headquartered platform ‘Startup Middle East’ founder Sibi Sudhakaran signed a pact as Infinity Centre’s partner in the UAE with KSUM’s CEO Anoop Ambika.
The Infinity Centre aim to be a one-stop destination for NRIs to get themselves into the entrepreneurship bandwagon through various collaboration opportunities with Kerala-based start-ups and KSUM. They will act as a global desk in select countries where the NRI community can engage, co-create and set up businesses — either in their resident country or India.
Support from UAE
The UAE provides “considerable” support to Kerala’s efforts to link with other economies through the Infinity Centre, said the Chief Minister. “The international laurels that Kerala has won in the start-up sector can translate into cooperation from NRIs to further strengthen the State’s ecosystem.”
This will enable them to run companies through a plug-and-play collaboration with KSUM’s Infinity Centres. These launch pads can enable start-ups to receive investments from abroad and widen their domain.
Appreciating the start-up culture in Kerala, the Chief Minister also noted the change in the attitude of the State’s youth from “job-seekers to job-givers”. He said that this trend has been “strengthening the ecosystem of upcoming firms”.
The government’s IT Department is engaged in finding ways to make the best use of the changed attitude among the new generation, he added.
Betting big on IT sector
The Chief Minister also said that Kerala is taking certain measures to improve its IT sector.
The government is in the process of setting up IT corridors in stretches such as Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam in the south, Alappuzha-Ernakulam and Ernakulam-Koratty in the centre, and Kozhikode-Kannur up north. Land acquisition is on for these projects. Besides IT, the sectors that can woo start-ups will be agriculture, he added.
Room for more
Chief Secretary VP Joy said, “Start-ups have a key role in strengthening the State’s industry and economy. Our aim is to take the number of start-ups to 15,000 from the present 4,400 in the next three years.”
The proposal for Infinity Centres sprang up in the context of NRIs totalling 3.2 crore, topping India in the global list of hosting the largest number of migrant citizens. Adding about $78 billion in remittance to the Indian economy, they play a huge role in the country’s development.